Tuesday, May 31, 2022

More Close-up Glass


I have another close-up of Chihuly glass.  This time from the colorful glass arranged inside the boat.

There are a lot of colorful and varied pieces in this sculpture called the Fiori Boat.  

Monday, May 30, 2022

The Cat


This cat was hiding among the plants and watching me on one of my visits to the Desert Botanical Garden.  Years ago, the garden had a resident cat.  I'm not sure if this is the same one.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Friends Meet


The last time I visited the Heard Museum, I stopped in the Berlin Gallery.  That's the part of the gift shop that houses the very special pieces.  These two sculptures caught my eye.  They are both by Doug Hyde, a well known Native American sculptor.  The ribbons on the side indicated that these were prize winners at the Indian Market and Show.  They really are lovely.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a look at "Cloud Gate".  

Saturday, May 28, 2022

When the Backyard is a Mountain


I took this photo three or four weeks ago when I was at my friends Julie and Dave's house.  Their house sits on the north side of Camelback Mountain so their backyard is the mountain.  It's also a wonderland of desert plants.  

Friday, May 27, 2022

Chihuly Glass....Close Up


Here is another close up shot of the glass pieces that make up the Chihuly sculptures.  This one is called Aqua Blue & Amber Chandelier.  

To the left is the whole piece.  This one is located in an odd spot at the garden.  I haven't found a good time of day to photograph it because in the morning it is backlit from the sun and in the afternoon it is in the shadows.  The best photos I have were taken at night with the lights shining on it.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Variety of Blooms


Here are a few more blooms I photographed the last time I was at the Desert Botanical Garden.  This one is a squash blossom.  Have you ever tasted a stuffed squash blossom?  The one I had was delicious.

A patch of Yerba Mansa.  Such unusual looking blooms.  

This is an evening primrose.  There is a spot in the garden where lots of these are blooming right now.  Some of the stalks get quite tall.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Tidy Condos


Two more from my archives.  Some cute semi-detached condos I found in south Phoenix.  I thought they looked interesting and very different than the condo we usually see around here.  

COVID update:  First, thank you for all the positive comments. I'm feeling only slightly better.  My doctor sent a prescription for Paxlovid and I started taking it.  It's supposed to shorten the run of virus.  Hopefully that works.  Others I've talked to said it helped them. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Brilliant RED


I found this cactus blooming the last time I was at the garden.  These blooms are about as red as they can get.  I snapped this with the iPhone.  My camera tends to struggle with the color red. 

Update on the cold.  It turns out I have COVID.  After a day of coughing and feeling generally run-down, I decided to take a test.  Sure enough it was positive.  Apparently we are not out of the woods with this virus yet.  I'm fully vaccinated and single boosted so I'm hoping that helps me get rid of this soon.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Garden Sightings


I developed a nasty head cold and spent all of my weekend at home so I scrolled through my archived photos for today's post.  I take lots of photos at the Desert Botanical Garden so there is always something that hasn't been posted before.  This spider web is a perfect example.  Isn't that an amazing web?

Gila woodpeckers love to feast on the fruit of the saguaro cactus so I often find them sitting atop those tall plants.  It looks like he's sharing the fruit with a dove on the other side.  

I haven't seen or heard the frogs in the little pond over the last few months.  Last year I got some good shots of these amphibious creatures.  I even see few tadpoles in this shot too.  

Sunday, May 22, 2022

A Closer Look

I love taking a closer look at the Chihuly glass sculptures. I've taken several photos where I get close enough to see the many pieces of glass that make up these beautiful creations.  This one is called the Opal and Amber Tower.

In the photo above, I captured the very top of the tower.  When I took a closer look at this photo, I wondered if I had captured a bird in the shot.

No, it wasn't a bird, it was a helicopter.  They pass over the garden quite often so I don't even realize they are there most of the time. 

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm wandering around Milan.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Frothy Blooms


Yucca plants have been blooming like crazy for the past month or two.  I know I photographed some at the end of February and these new blooms made an appearance just last week.  Those big, cascading blooms make me think of cotton candy.

In the photo above, you can see one to the left that bloomed a few weeks ago and has now lost all of its white petals.  I photographed these at the Desert Botanical garden but I've seen many others in yards and landscapes all around town.

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.