Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day


Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S.  To celebrate I chose another sculpture from the Heard Museum's Veterans Memorial Tribute area.

This one is called "The Gift" by artist Michael Naranjo.  

The artist's statement says: "In creating this piece, I was asked to depict something that would represent all veterans.  I chose the figure of the Indian to represent the indigenous veteran, the native warrior. His arms are uplifted releasing a dove, a universal symbol of peace.  I came up with the concept to represent men and women of any race, creed or belief who served in the defense of the beliefs of their homeland."

Sunday, May 30, 2021

New Discovery


I was looking for a specific address when I saw what looked like onion-domes in the distance.  I turned the corner and doubled back to see if I was right.  That's how I found the Saints Peter and Paul Eastern Orthodox Church on a quiet, residential street.  

What surprised me is that it is located just off of a busy street that I travel on quite often.  I never noticed those domes before.  I guess I was too busy watching the road and the busy traffic.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm doing a little window shopping.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Red Truck


I went out to eat twice last week!  What a thrill to be able to enjoy dining with friends once again.  My friend and I tried a new restaurant that opened this year and we found this gorgeous vintage truck parked in the parking lot.

I was struck by that old, portable air conditioner hanging from the truck's window.  It actually brought back some childhood memories.  My parents had a car with one of those air conditioners.  I have some distinct memories of riding in that car and enjoying the cool air coming from that contraption.  Air conditioning for vehicles was a bit of a novelty when I was little.  Today it would be a novelty to not have it.  

Friday, May 28, 2021

Especially for the Bees


I enjoy the challenge of photographing these delicate white flowers.  They grow on long, thin stems and the blooms are just three or four petals.  They are always swaying in the breeze making them hard to get a clear shot.  The plant is called White Gaura Belleza and sometimes referred to as Bee Blossom.  I took this photo just last weekend when I was at the garden.

As you can see from this shot from last year, it does attract the bees.  

Here is a photo from another past walk at the garden.  The flowers themselves are difficult to photograph but add a bee or two and it's quite a challenge.  As you can see, I haven't backed away from the challenge.  It thrills me when I'm able to catch a good shot.  

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Hiding Among the Thorns


Look who I found hiding among the thorns of that huge cactus I featured in yesterday's post.  I saw these two fledgling doves hiding among the thorny arms of the toothpick cactus.  They seemed to be patiently waiting for the return of their parents.  

They look like they are big enough to leave the nest and start exploring on their own.  Maybe mom and dad left them there to see if they would spread their wings and fly.  

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Among the Thorns...Much Beauty


The Toothpick Cactus grows to a height of between 15 to 25 feet and is often a jumble of arms in every direction.  However, it produces the most exquisite white blooms.  Contrary to most cactus, it blooms most of the year.  The fullest display is in the spring but I've seen blooms well into the winter months.

If you look closely in this photo, you can see a bloom near the very top and center and another one straight down near the middle of the photo.  There are several more visible in that jumble of thorns.

I photographed most of them and put them in this little collage of white blooms.  Out of that big, ugly and wicked looking cactus comes these delicate flowers.  Another one of nature's miracles.  

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Color Purple


I look forward every year to seeing the Guayacan shrub bloom and it seems the bees look forward to it too.  I love the tiny purple flowers that bloom on the plant at this time of year.

It's one of the plants that I spent some time admiring and photographing on my two walks at the Desert Botanical Garden last weekend.  

The entire shrub is not as photogenic as the tiny flowers are but this at least gives an idea of how big and full it gets.  I guess some places actually trim it so it looks like a small tree.  It's those pretty purple flowers that appeal to me.

The color purple was making a pretty good showing all over the garden.  Here is just a sample of the many purple and lavender blooms I found.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

Together We Rise


Local artist Hugo Medina created this wonderful mural to honor our first responders and to shout out that all of us are in this pandemic together no matter who we are or what we do.  The woman painted in the foreground was inspired by a photo (below) that appeared in our local newspaper The Arizona Republic.

The photo by Michael Chow of The Republic, depicts ICU nurse Lauren Leander as she stands in counterprotest to the people marching at the capitol to protest to the Governor's stay-at-home order. This was in April of last year.  It seems we have more than our share of crazies here in Arizona and they were out in full force when the pandemic hit.  Most of these people are still down at the capitol protesting an election that happened over 6 months ago.  It's mind-boggling.  And exhausting!

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Oh Heavenly Day


Yesterday was as near perfect of a day as we get here in the desert southwest.  I took another walk at the garden and the temperature was 66 degrees when I arrived at 7:00 AM and 72 degrees when I left 2 1/2 hours later.  It was a simply glorious day to be outside.  

That pink bloom is the reason I went again on Saturday.  The photo to the left was taken on Friday when I was there.  That bud on the cactus told me that it was going to bloom overnight so I decided to go back to get some photos.  That particular cactus always has spectacular blooms and I didn't want to miss it.

I actually thought I'd only stay long enough to photograph this cactus flower but the day was so perfect, I stayed for much longer than I had planned.  It was just great to be outdoors.  

Between Friday's walk and Saturday's walk, I took around 250 photos.  There was so much to see and enjoy.  Lot's of cactus blooms and gorgeous wildflowers and even some crisp, white yucca blooms to admire against that sapphire blue sky.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I was inspired to return to Chihuly's Garden & Glass.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Desert Rose....Again!


I went for a morning walk yesterday at the Desert Botanical Garden (of course) and I once again was drawn to the Desert Rose plants. The leaves are starting to fill out the plants.  This one has pale pink blooms.

You can see that it has a lot more leaves than two weeks ago and this one has loads of blooms too.  I would get one of these for my balcony but they tend to have a very bulbous base making the plant extremely heavy to move.  That combined with my dismal history with plants of any kind makes me pretty wary of buying any plant, especially expensive ones as these are.

A little further away from the top plant was the one with the bright pink blooms.  

And then, further down the trail I came to this one planted like a bonsai tree.  This one gives you an idea how the base of these plants grow.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Desert Rose


The last time I was at the Desert Botanical Garden, I admired all the Desert Rose plants that were blooming.  It's one of my favorite plants and I watch for them to reappear every spring.  They lose their leaves during the winter and go a bit dormant for a month or two.  When they "wake-up" in the spring, the first thing to appear is the flowers.

So for a while, they are full of flowers only.  They will soon grow lots of leaves and they will continue to bloom all summer long.  The garden has several of these plants and they all are in very large containers located throughout the garden.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Amusing Signs


As of this last weekend, Trader Joe's (grocery store) was still allowing only so many people in the store at a time.  Consequently, there is always a well-spaced line of people outside the store waiting to get in to do their shopping.  I noticed the last time I was there that they had put up a few clever signs to amuse the people waiting.  I especially liked this one, a clever take on the famous British slogan, "Keep Calm and Carry On".  I snapped a photo of the sign while I was waiting and sent it to my sister.

My sister then sent me this sign that she saw at her dog's veterinarian's office.  I thought it was equally amusing.  The artist got those 'beagles' dressed and lined up perfectly!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Admiring the History


Here are a few more shots from the historic Wrigley Mansion.  This one is looking down to the entrance room from the second floor.

And, here is looking up from the bottom of the stairs. 

This last photo shows one of the antique "peacock" lamps that are found along the hallway.  

The Wrigley Mansion is such a great place to visit.  I can't wait for next time I get to go there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Seeing Stars


When I was at the Wrigley Mansion for brunch two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do a little exploring in that grand old building.  I've had posts from this place several times.  In this one I have a photo of the whole place from a distance.  On this latest visit, I ventured upstairs to see the private dining rooms. Long ago when this was the winter home of the Wrigley's, these rooms were bedrooms.  

In this particular room, I was struck by that great chandelier with the many stars.

My friend Dave actually snapped this one with his cell phone and sent it to me.  He captured the chandelier and its reflection in the mirror on the wall.  Clever shot!

Monday, May 17, 2021

A Touch of Italy


I had dinner Friday night at an Italian restaurant that I had not been to before.  I met some friends there who told me that it is small place that has excellent food.  And, they were right.  The food was great.  When we were leaving, I had to stop and snap a photo of the mural on one of the walls.  I liked the modern or stylized take on a classic Venetian scene.  The signature on it was Manuel Gomez but, I couldn't find any other information about the artist.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Friday Morning Excitement


I was waiting patiently in the waiting room at my eye doctor's office for my 9:00 AM appointment when suddenly the fire alarm sounded with its usual ear-piercing scream.  Everyone in the office exited the building to stand outside and after a short time, the fire department arrived.

My doctor is located at an eye clinic where eye surgeries are performed.  While I was standing outside, I wondered what might have been happening in the surgery center.  It wasn't until I looked at these photos and cropped down to the people standing outside that I realized there was a patient there surrounded by doctors and nurses.  I am certainly glad that didn't happen when I had my eye surgery.  As far as I know, there was nothing serious wrong.  I never did hear how the alarm was set off but the firemen reset everything and we were once again inside.  Lot's of excitement for a Friday morning.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns.  I'm continuing my stroll through the V & A.  

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Framing the Shot


I snapped a photo of this agave plant with my cell photo and then compared it to the real thing.  Then I snapped a photo of the comparison with my camera.  Camera in one hand and cell phone in the other, I wasn't sure if it would work but it did.

Here's the result!  I actually took almost the same photo with my camera but, in this case I liked the cell phone shot better.  

Friday, May 14, 2021

In Disguise


Yesterday I showed you the blooms on the top of a giant saguaro cactus.  Today I'm showing you a saguaro the will never bloom.  That's because it's not a real saguaro.  

Do you remember when I had a photo of a fake pine tree that was actually a cell phone tower?  Well around my neighborhood, the cell phone towers come cloaked as saguaro cacti.  If you look closely at the very top, you will see the outline of a little door so it can be serviced if necessary.  The little holes at the bottom I'm sure serve some other purpose.  

I've seen the palm tree towers and the pine tree towers many times, but it took me a while to spot the cactus towers.  I wonder how many other disguises those towers use.  

Thursday, May 13, 2021

More Cactus Flowers


While many of the smaller cacti have already bloomed for the year, the mighty saguaro is just now hitting its peak.  I can see these tall fellows crowned with white blooms wherever I go.  

However, I can still find blooms of some of the smaller cactus when I look closely.  

These are all from my walk at the Desert Botanical Garden last weekend.