Friday, May 20, 2022

Rags to Riches

 

I've got a couple of random shots today starting with the rags...expensive rags.  I saw these shorts for sale at Nordstrom's and they obviously made me stop for a second look.  I know I'm sounding a lot like my mother but, why would someone pay good money for these.  And by good money, I mean $70.00.  

Moving on to the "riches" part of this post, This is a view of the penthouse at the top of an office building in Scottsdale.  The city of Scottsdale has very few high-rise buildings but this one has been there for at least 30 years.  The original owner had a penthouse residence at the very top.  I'm not sure if anyone still lives there.  I happened to park on the top level of the Scottsdale Fashion Square shopping center where I got a great view of the top of this building.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

A New Agave Bloom

 


When I was at the garden on Sunday, I saw a new agave bloom.  New to me, that is.  I don't think I've ever seen one quite like this before.  As you can see, the bees were loving it.
















This is the whole plant.  It's a narrow leaf agave.  That big, tall bloom stalk is growing out of the center of those very narrow, spiky leaves at the very bottom of the photo.  

Another one of natures miracles.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Morning Nap

 

I went for another early morning walk at the Desert Botanical Garden last Sunday.  I arrived at 6:00 AM for the member's only hour and when it was a comfortable 70 degrees.  Later that same day, we reached 107 degrees!  It's way too early for those kinds of temperatures.  I spotted this white-winged dove having a little snooze on top of a saguaro cactus.  

He might have been tucked-in for his nap, but he still managed to keep an eye on me.  


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Twisted Tree

 

When I was in Scottsdale last Friday, I spotted this tree in front of the Drunken Monk restaurant.  I had to snap a photo.  I believe it might be a mesquite tree.  Mesquite trees sometimes get pretty gnarled.



Behind the restaurant, there is a "secret" passageway that used to lead to hidden bar.  It was a popular place that served some 700 wines and offered weekend jazz artists. Finding the place down this secret passage always added a bit of mystery to the evening.  

It is all quiet back there now but I did see a grape vine growing against the wall and an exotic bird sculpture.  

I still think that the star of this little adventure is that twisted tree in the first photo.

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Phoenix Bird

 

I found this new mural on a residential wall near the Phoenix Art Museum.  It's a colorful addition to the outside wall around a complex of condos in a designated historic district.  I featured the condos way back in 2013.  The name signed to this depiction of a Phoenix Bird is Jay Dahl but I was unable to find any information about the artist.

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Stuffed Animal Rides

 

I saw something new on Friday.  I was in Scottsdale when I saw a group of people ride by on motorized stuffed animals.  They were taking a Scottsdale Waterfront tour on electric carts that all looked like giant stuffed animals.  

Here is one without a rider on it.  The company is called Rydables.  It looks like something kids might enjoy but since all of these people were adults I guess there is a bit of kid in all of us.  Several years ago, I posted a photo of a Scottsdale Waterfront tour on Segways.  This is a whole new "tour" option.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Check out the animals.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

On Guard

 

Whenever I see a male Gambel's quail perched on top of something and just sitting there, I'm pretty sure he's on guard and watching over the female on a nest or the young ones out for a stroll.  I didn't see his mate or any chicks so I'm assuming he was making sure a nest wasn't disturbed.  I enjoy seeing these unique birds as they go about their business and I especially love their little "headdress" feather.  

Friday, May 13, 2022

One Last Time

 

There is a restaurant in downtown Tempe called House of Tricks that has been there for over 30 years.  It's a special place that is often used for special occasions, birthdays, graduations and engagements.  The restaurant is housed in two old houses with seating spilling over into the front garden surrounded by tall trees.  The owner, Robin Trick announced last fall the the restaurant would be closing at the end of June.  

When I first started dining there, downtown Tempe was full of old houses that had been turned into small businesses.  The city had that small, college town vibe.  Over the years, the city has changed drastically.  Tempe is surrounded on all sides by other cities so it can't grow outward.  

Instead, it has grown upward.  This group of buildings is directly across the street.  When I first started going to House of Tricks, this street had a few old houses and a large parking lot.  No set plans have been announced for the restaurant property but I'm willing to bet that sometime in the near future, it will look just like this.  With the incredible growth of Arizona State University, the city of Tempe is in a constant state of change.

Now that the restaurant is closing, getting a reservation is pretty tricky but my friends and I managed a reservation last Tuesday evening.  For my last meal at this favorite spot, I chose the Vera Cruz style grilled salmon.  It was delicious.  House of Tricks you will be missed.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Another Cactus Blooms

 


This very tall and very "bumpy" cactus sits near the entrance to the Desert Botanical Garden.  I'm not sure what kind of cactus it is.  There is no sign on it.  

Early Sunday morning when I went for a walk there, I saw a bloom on the cactus so I zoomed in to get a shot of it.  In the photo to the right, you can see it in the center on the lower fourth of the photo.  It looks like a white dot compared to the size of the cactus.  There is another bloom at the very top (center) but that one was harder to photograph.










This is one of those night-blooming cactus so by the time I had finished my walk and was leaving, the bloom was already starting to wilt.  I haven't seen this cactus bloom very often so I was glad I caught it when I did.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Eighth Year of Construction

 

I've posted photos from this house before starting back in 2016 when I posted a photo taken in 2014 of a very large house under construction.  Then I posted photos again in 2020.  One in March when I mentioned how long this place had been under construction.  Then I posted another in May when the very tacky statues started showing up.

Last weekend, I walked by there again thinking that I'd finally get to see the finished house.  Wrong!  It's still under construction.  There were still a lot of workers coming and going and the landscaping is still not done.  As you can see, the tacky statues are still around the place.  I couldn't help wondering what the neighbors must think with that construction going on around them for so long.  I also wonder what they think about those statues.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Last Look at the Yellow

I thought I'd do a last look at all the yellow blooms on the palo verde trees today.  As the days pass, those pretty yellow blooms are falling to the ground and creating lots of 'crunchy' yellow on the ground.

I took an early morning walk at the garden on Sunday and snapped this shot of an agave that is growing along the path that I pictured back in April when the trees formed a tunnel of yellow.  Those big branches of the agave can collect quite a lot of fallen flowers.  

 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Training for Firefighters

 

There is a building I pass often along Osborn Road that went through some extensive remodeling sometime last year.  The street facing side of the building is plain with no signs but recently I saw this fireman painted on the side of the building along the driveway.

So last Sunday, I followed the driveway to the back of building and was stunned to see this brilliant mural painted there.  It turns out this building is a  Command Training Center for something called Blue Card.  Apparently, they train firefighters to handle emergency or "Mayday" situations.  

It was quite a shock to find all this color on the back of a very plain, stark white  building.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Impressive Student Art

 

I stopped at the Shemer Art Center on Friday to see an exhibit called "New Art Arizona".  It was a group of work by artists who are recipients of the 2022 Arizona Artists Guild and Arizona Watercolor Association scholarships.  One artist in particular stood out to me.  She is Lola Panco and she had three pieces in the exhibit.  The one above is called "Enlightenment".  

This one is called "Voskresen'e" which translates to "Sunday".  Ms. Panco was born in Belarus and immigrated to the United States.  


This one is called "Embrace" and all three of these paintings are done in oil on canvas.  She is certainly a very talented young woman.  

I have new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  In Chicago, I found signs to admire and chuckle over.

 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

A Variety of Spring Blooms

 


I'm enjoying seeing flowers in a variety of places right now. Our weather in the Phoenix area allows us to have flowers all year long but, they seem more intense to me in the spring months.  Above is a row of pots filled with blooms that I saw in Scottsdale.

To the right, some bougainvillea petals in the late afternoon sun.














Above are some African daisies that were growing at the Desert Botanical Garden.  I love these with the blue centers.

And, to the left some lavender growing in front of a wall. There is a story to go with this last shot.  I had an early morning appointment to get my hair cut and the place I go has this wall separating the building from the parking lot with lavender growing in front of the wall. When I got out of my car, I reached for my iPhone to snap a photo and discovered I had left my phone at home.  About that time, my hairdresser arrived and asked what I was looking at.  I told him I was admiring the lavender and was going to take a photo but forgot my phone.  When I got home and picked up my phone, this photo was texted to me.  He went back outside after I left and took the photo and sent it to me.  He's such a nice guy!


Friday, May 6, 2022

Desert Rider, Part Two

 



Here are few of the art pieces I saw in the Desert Rider exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.  This one is called "Water That you Should Not Drink" by Margarita Cabrera.  It's made of model cars strung on thread.  







Behind the one above is an electric piece called "End of Trail (With Electric Sunset)".    It's an 'electric' play on the well known "End of Trail" sculptures.  This one was created by Louis Jimenez.  

















This last piece is called "Pony" created by Laurie Steelink.  This one looked very dramatic up against a black wall.  It consists of the painted hood of a car with lights and painted streaks on the wall to look like the headlights of the car.  

There is quite a variety of art works in this exhibit and they all relate to cars and travel.  

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Desert Rider

 



There is a rather unusual exhibit going on at the Phoenix Art Museum.  I went to see it last weekend and I'm not sure what to think about it.

The exhibit is called "Desert Rider" and this is how the museum describes it:
"Explore the sociopolitical realities and imaginative interpretations of automotive and skateboarding subcultures through diverse works by local Arizona and regional artists."

The exhibit had a strange mix of pieces on display among them a series of magazine covers from a magazine called "LowRider".

I chose this cover to display today since today really is Cinco de Mayo!

The "car" above is called Gypsy Rose PiƱata by Justin Favela.  

I'll show you a few more pieces from the exhibit tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Art of Glass

 

Last week when I visited the Desert Botanical Garden, I took the opportunity to visit the indoor exhibit of the Chihuly glass creations once again.  I hadn't seen them since last December.  I visited the room with the bright orange pieces and took a photo using the wide lens on my iPhone to capture the whole display.

I enjoyed these "curly" glass pieces in a variety of colors.

And, I once again walked around this display that looks like it's floating on water.  The Chihuly sculptures will remain at the Desert Botanical Garden through June 19th.  I have to enjoy it while I can.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

More Trees are Blooming

 


This time it's the jacaranda trees that are blooming.  I love the pretty purple blooms these trees display this time of year.  

The Phoenix area doesn't have a lot of these trees but I do love the few that we have.  The blooms don't last very long so I have to enjoy them while they are here.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Behind a Wall

 

I found this mural located behind the block wall of what looks like a residence.  I couldn't see if there was a signature on it so I don't know who painted it or even why it's there.  I supposed it could be that the artist lives here.  Who knows?  

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Theme Day: Shadows

 

I've photographed this Allan Houser sculpture several times but never posted a photo of it before.  It's called "War Pony".  Because of the way it was sculpted and where is sits in the little sculpture garden at the Heard Museum, there has always been an abundance of shadows behind it.  This one was taken around 2:30 in the afternoon.

On another occasion, I took this one around 4:00 in the afternoon.

Finally, this one was taken around 11:30 in the morning.  No matter the time of day, the shadows are abundant.  That makes these photos perfect for the May theme day when we post photos of "shadows".

To see shadows from around the world, click here.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting an Arizona tourist town.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Sparse Blooms

 



I drove past that giant bottle brush tree that blooms every April and discovered another year of weak blooms.  

I first discovered this tree in 2018 when it was ablaze with blooms.  Then in 2019 it was once again full of bright red blooms














I haven't seen it bloom like that again.  I wonder if it has bloomed earlier the past two years and I'm just seeing that last of the blooms.  I'm going to mark my calendar for next year and try again.