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.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Driving on the Mountain


Last week, I was early for an appointment so to kill a little time, I took a drive on one of the Camelback Mountain streets that I hardly ever travel.  I took the opportunity to take a few photos out the window. 

There are a lot of houses hidden by rock formations and canyons on the mountain.

The architecture is varied and interesting.

I hadn't been exploring on the mountain in a while so I enjoyed this little detour.  

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Evening Glow on the Desert


When I attended the Dinner on the Desert event at the Desert Botanical Garden last Saturday, I snapped a few photos while I was there.  I only had my iPhone with me so these were all taken with the phone.  I got this great photo of Chihuly's Sonoran Neon exhibit.  These glowing pieces remind me colorful tumble weeds.

The boat full of glass called for another chance at a photo this time with the sun backlighting it.  That light was making all that glass glow.  

And, here are the Neodymium Reeds again with the mountain in the background glowing from the setting sun.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Cuisine on the Desert


Dinner on the Desert was beautifully prepared by Fabulous Food, a local catering company.  Sometimes I cringe at catered food served for huge groups but I have to admit they did a superb job with this meal.  

We started with this beautifully plated salad of micro greens, cherry tomatoes, shaved asparagus, zucchini and yellow squash with tri-colored quinoa and herbed champagne vinaigrette.  It was delicious.

The main course was filet of beef with black garlic, baby carrots and cauliflower on a roasted purple potato puree.  I was delighted to see that my steak was just the way I like it and the vegetables and sauces were very tasty.  

Dessert was a Yuzu tart served with fresh raspberries, butterfly pea and a blood orange chip.  I had never heard of butterfly pea before but I discovered it is an Asian plant used quite a bit in teas.  The whole dessert was excellent with a lemony flavor.

As we were leaving, we were encouraged to take a donut for the road.  I did and I saved it for breakfast the next morning.  So my delicious evening carried over to the morning.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Dinner on The Desert


Last Saturday evening was the 2022 Dinner on the Desert event at the Desert Botanical Garden.  It's their major fund-raising event of the year.  My friends Julie and Dave hosted a table and I was lucky enough to be their guest.

Our table was beautifully set.  I love the gold chairs and utensils.  If you look in the upper left corner of the photo, you will see blooms on one of the cactus.

Here's a close up of two huge blooms.  I think there were seven in all and they were right next to our table so we could enjoy them all evening.  Tomorrow I'll show you what was on the menu.

Monday, April 25, 2022

An Overload of Cuteness


When I woke up Sunday morning, I could hear the honking of those geese that hang out around here and I wondered what they were up to.  I hadn't seen them in over a week.  So I went outside and looked down to see this family group walking along the parking lot.

I went downstairs and followed them around a bit.  At a safe distance of course.  They did hiss at me when they first spotted me.  It was just a little warning to me to steer clear of the young ones.  I followed them past the Bar-B-Que grills.....

...and as they wandered along the various pathways on the grounds of the complex.

And, finally they were back in the parking lot again where "mom" and "pop" stopped for a while and all the little goslings took the opportunity to have a rest.  After all, they had been on a very long march through the grounds of the apartments. They must have been tired.

After a few minutes of rest, they were off again marching along the parking lot and back inside the grounds once more.  I have to admit, I found following this little family to be a wonderful way to start a Sunday morning.  

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Desert Rose Plants are Back


The desert rose plants at the Desert Botanical Garden are back on view once again.  These plants love a hot dry climate but they won't survive temperatures around 50 degrees or below for prolonged periods.  The garden removes all these plants during the winter months putting them in a warm indoor facility.  

When they come back out for the summer months, they usually have blooms but very few leaves.  The leaves with come later.

I'm just happy to see them back again and showing off their pretty blooms.  I miss them when they are wintering indoors.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking a ride through Central Park.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Busy Bees


If I want to capture a bee or two, I just head over to the gaura belleza plant.  There is always a few bees dancing around these blooms.  

Trying to capture the busy bees and the swaying blooms is always a nice challenge.  Sometimes I'm lucky.  

Memory Trigger: Typing that title "Busy Bees" brought back a childhood memory.  There used to be a store in Quincy Illinois where I grew up called "Busy Bee".  It was one of those places that sells just about everything.  If I needed a new pair of shoes or dad needed some T-shirts or mom was looking for a summer hat, the Busy Bee had it all.  I can still picture the place with its creaking wood floors and a ceiling full of fans that were all connected together with one, very large fan belt.  Great memories!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Sidecar Pup


Yesterday, I found myself driving behind this motorcycle with the sidecar and I immediately recognized it.  I remembered posting a photo of this motorcycle with the dog on board once before.  What I didn't realize is that it was 4 years ago. You can see that post here.  I see that the dog is still happy to ride along with his eye-goggles on to protect his eyes.  It was fun to see this pair once again.  

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Large Cactus - Tiny Blooms



I think this last Sunday was only the second time I've seen blooms on this particular cactus called a Whortleberry Cactus.  It is amazing to me how large the cactus grows yet how tiny the blooms are. They are not only tiny, but very pretty too.

Those little berry-like growths are the fruit of the cactus which Wikipedia says are edible.  I don't think I've ever heard of using the fruit but apparently it is eaten in Mexico.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A Boat Full of Glass


While the Chihuly exhibit is on view at the Desert Botanical Garden, the very first installation you see when you enter the garden is this boat full of colorful glass objects.  I've posted a photo of it before.  Since it sits right at the entrance it's hard to resist another photo.  This time I tried a couple new approaches.  The one above was taken with the camera close to the ground so I could catch some of the wildflowers blooming around the boat.

In this shot, I concentrated on the large agave plant with the glass pieces in the background.  I enjoy trying to find new ways to photograph the beautiful glass sculptures.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Cactus Blooms & Drunken Bees


There is a very large prickly pear cactus near the exit at the Desert Botanical Garden and every year it gets a lot of bright orange blooms on it.  I always stop the admire it at this time of year.

What I enjoyed watching this time was all the bees who were literally rolling around in the center of the blooms.  They looked like they were drunk on pollen.  You can see one of them in the photo above, although it is so covered in pollen it's hardly recognizable.  

Monday, April 18, 2022



I heard the raucous call of a woodpecker and then I spotted him on top of a saguaro cactus.  I zoomed in and the took the shot.  I didn't realize until I downloaded the photos that there was another one peeking up from the other side of the cactus.  That was a nice surprise!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter!


To celebrate the day I have an Easter bouquet of flowers above and an Easter Bunny to the left.

I think that's the same Easter Bunny who shows up at the mall every year.  He looks a little lonely sitting there waiting for someone to pose with him.  


I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's all about American Fashion.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Exotic Blooms


These blooms might be pretty common but they look so exotic to me.  It's a type of iris that goes by several names, wood iris, African iris, bi-color iris and more.  The technical name is Dietes.  

Whatever they are called, I love them.

I took this photo last year in California.  I didn't know until I researched the blooms above that this was from the same "iris" family and goes by the same set of names.  I think this one looks more like the iris we all know than the blooms in the first two photos.

Friday, April 15, 2022

A Paradise Valley View


I was driving around the hills and mountains of Paradise Valley when I got to one spot with a good view to the south.  I could see all the way to downtown Phoenix and all the tall buildings there.

I zoomed in to get a better look at those tall buildings.  The Bank One building looks like the tallest one from this angle.  It's sitting right in the middle.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Art on Campus


I've posted photos from the Arizona State University Art Museum before but I was in the neighborhood recently and stopped to snap a couple more photos.  This is the front as seen from Mill Avenue and it was the sight of this modern building that enticed me to stop.  

Get up a little closer and the fountain and planters vie for attention.  It certainly lives up to the outstanding architectural reputation that ASU has developed.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Ocotillo, the Skinny Cactus

 Another plant that is blooming right now is the Ocotillo, the prickly plant with long thin branches.  In my title I called it a cactus but apparently it is more related to tea than it is to cactus.  

Those long, skinny legs get clusters of orangish-red blooms on them at this time of year.

Here are a couple of closer looks at those brightly colored blooms.  Topped with those redish blooms, they look very festive.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

More Giant Blooms


I was about two days late for my visit to the Desert Botanical Garden on Sunday.  The Argentinian Giant cactus had produced quite a lot of blooms on Friday that I missed.  The wilting blooms numbered around 20.  That must have been quite a sight to see.

On Sunday, there was only this one bloom.  I wish I could have seen that big display but this one will have to do.

In another location, I found this pretty yellow bloom hiding among Chihuly's Neodymium Reeds.  That bright yellow with a lavender background was a perfect combination.