Sunday, April 30, 2023

The End of April


Here it is, the last day of April.  The palo verde trees are in full bloom, casting a yellow glow all over the city.  And, the temperature is predicted to be 100 degrees today.  

After a colder than usual winter, we are having a hotter than usual spring.  Normally, we wouldn't hit 100 until the first of June.  Mother Nature is truly not happy about what we humans have done to the atmosphere.  

Summer is just around the corner!  We desert dwellers need to brace ourselves.  

Saturday, April 29, 2023

When Cacti Bloom!


There is something purely magical about the blooms on cacti.  That such ugly and hazardous plants can produce such beauty is one of nature's many miracles.  

I was lucky to catch these two beauties last weekend when I was at the garden.

The varieties of colors and shapes and sizes is just amazing.  Since they usually only last one day, taking photos of them is the only way to preserve their beauty.  

Friday, April 28, 2023

Those Busy Quail


I've noticed how active the quail have been every time I walk at the Desert Botanical Garden.  They have been scurrying around all over the garden.  This one posed for me on top of a fence.

This one appears to checking out her reflections in the water.

This fellow was watching me take some photos of a blooming cactus.  They are very busy birds with lots and lots to do every day.  

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Decorating the Car


Lately, I've seen a lot of stickers and other decorations on cars expressing opinions.  Today I have a few examples like this response to all the cars with the family stick figures on their cars. This one is a little antagonistic.  

 This one is rather sweet.  It looks like a little tribute to the four-legged friends of this car's owner.  It was a pretty warm day when I saw this one so I'm glad Ollie, Cooper and Beaver were at home instead of in the car.

I wonder how many people actually honk at this guy when he's on the road.  Could he have gotten that sign any bigger?

Most of the time I see signs expressing the car owner's political positions so it's interesting to see what else people think they should express to others.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Stallion Stampede


The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show event is sponsoring a painted stallions event in Scottsdale.  I found three of the horses in different locations but according to their website, there are a lot more out there.  I need to see if I can find a few more.  

The one above was inside the mall and the one to the right was in the park in Old Town Scottsdale.  

They are fun to find.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

I Had a Plan


I took another early morning walk at the Desert Botanical Garden last weekend and I found this Argentinian Giant cactus just full of buds ready to open.  Since this is a night bloomer I knew they wouldn't open until after dark.  I decided that I needed to go back the next morning to see the blooms.

I'm glad I did.  I was rewarded with this beautiful sight.  There were just a few of the buds that hadn't opened yet however the majority had burst open in all their splendor.  It was well worth the second trip.  

Monday, April 24, 2023

Is It a Mural or a Photograph?


I found this one on the side of a printing company.  I'm pretty sure it's printed on a billboard sized sheet and put up on the wall.  I cropped the photo down because I thought that row of decorative blocks at the top made it look like this was a drawing in spiral-bound notebook.

Here 's the original photo of the side of the building.  It's a very pretty scene splashed up on this building.

Taking part in Monday Murals!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Hidden From the Street


I attended a fund-raising gala for Habitat for Humanity on Friday evening.  It was held at the DoubleTree Resort in Scottsdale. I took the opportunity to explore the gardens located in between all the buildings at the resort.  

From the street outside, all you see is a wall so this really is a hidden garden.  

Saturday, April 22, 2023

A Smack of Yellow


When I was watching the photos download from my camera to my computer, I saw this one pop up and I thought "Pow" that flower is smacking me right in the face.  

The Desert Botanical Garden has at least three huge Mexican Sunflower bushes and they are in full bloom right now.  Lots of the big flowers can be seen on all of them.  As you can see, the bees are happy to see them as much as I am.  

Friday, April 21, 2023

I See Patterns Everywhere


I have a tendency to see patterns everywhere I look.  From nature to art to utilitarian objects, patterns seem to appear in front of my eyes.  Today I have a few to share.  First, the leaves of three agave plants overlapping each other.

The electrical wires that run above the light rail line.  

The patterns woven into a Native American rug.  I saw this one at the Heard Museum.

This highly unusual and I might add, useless chair.  It was part of an exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. 

Finally, the pattern on the side of a beautiful vase.  Patterns catch my eye wherever I go.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Culinary Adventures


It's the time of year here in Arizona when there are lots of activities going on.  Because we have such hot summers, events all take place from February through May.  Consequently, I've been out and about quite a lot.  I've also been dining out more than usual.  I thought I'd share some of the culinary treats I've enjoyed lately.  We start with the salad that was served at my friend's house last Sunday night.  It was too pretty not to snap a photo of it.  

When I had lunch in the garden at The Hermosa Inn a week ago, I had the Lon's Louie salad.  It was delicious and stuffed with shrimp and crab meat.  

One evening, a friend and I tried a new Asian restaurant near me.  I loved the way they served the tempura shrimp in a neat little stack.

Last Saturday night I had dinner with friends at a new restaurant downtown before we went to the Symphony.  At the beginning of the meal they brought these warm buns accompanied by that beautiful butter rose. 

And finally, here is dessert.  I recently discovered this sweet treat at my favorite pizza restaurant.  It's called "The Perfect Chocolate Cake" and I think it lives up to its name.  A dense chocolate cake mixed with a cherry compote and topped with whipped cream.  I'll be ordering that again.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

A Beautiful Spring Garden


Yesterday I mentioned having dinner at a friend's house.  In addition to her five charming dogs, my friend also has quite the green thumb.  Her garden was full of beautiful blooms.  

Being a person who can't seem to keep even the hardiest plants alive for very long, I'm always impressed with people who can grow things.  

This is just a sample of all the beautiful flowers growing at my friend's house.  

Our little dinner group enjoyed dining on the patio surrounded by these spectacular blooms.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Friends With Dogs


I had dinner Sunday evening at a friend's house, a friend who has five wonderful dogs.  They are all such happy and healthy animals and they seem to enjoy having a house full of guests.  This is Max, the oldest of the group.

And this is Winston who gave me a loud bark right after I snapped this photo.  They are all a treat to be around.

I'll have to get photos of some of the others the next time I'm at their house.

Monday, April 17, 2023

George & Dragon


I've come to the conclusion that this mural is in an impossible position to get a good photo.  It faces north and no matter what time of day I've tried to get a photo, it still comes out looking rather dull.  That's probably because the sun is never north enough to shine directly on it and the colors in the mural are all dark.  This mural is painted on the side of the English pub called George and Dragon and there is said "George" battling with said "Dragon".  It's a great looking mural.  I just wish it was in a better potion to photograph.  The mural is signed "Ruben H."

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, April 16, 2023

In the Pink!


There was an abundance of pink at the Desert Botanical Garden when I was there on Friday.  Starting with the Perry's pentstemon that is growing all over the garden.

Some tiny little pink blooms on top of a tiny little pincushion cactus.

The Pam's honeysuckle bush was blooming like crazy.

And this hedgehog cactus was putting on a grand display of pink blooms.

Everything is in the pink a the garden these days.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Giant Blooms


I took an early morning walk at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday hoping to see some of the giant blooms.  I checked every location where I know the Argentinian Giants grow and each time, it looked like they had bloomed yesterday and I missed them.  Finally I spotted one that had bloomed over night.

This one had two giant blooms for me to enjoy.

If I'm lucky, I'll see a few more before the blooming season ends.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Native American Works of Art


Another place I visited last weekend was the Heard Museum.  Actually, it was the gift shop I visited after having lunch in the museum's cafe.  Whenever I visit the gift shop, I always make a stop in the Berlin Gallery where some very special works of art are found.  I always find beautiful things here, none of which I can afford.  However, I can admire them and snap a photo or two.

First up, is this lovely bronze sculpture by artist Doug Hyde.  

This playful stone sculpture is also by Doug Hyde.  This one is called "Flight of the Red Dragon Fly".

My favorite pieces from this visit were these two Katsina dolls.  They are by Lawrence Acadiz and they both share the name "Longhaired Maiden".  These are not your traditional katsina dolls.  these are much more modern and sleek.  I liked them very much.  

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Surrounded by Wildflowers


I've had pictures of these Chihuly glass sculptures on my site many times before but here they are again, this time surrounded by wildflowers.  They looked so pretty with the flowers framing them that I couldn't resist another photo to add to the thousands I've taken before.  

These are the sculptures that the Desert Botanical Garden purchased back in 2008.  They've been adorning the entrance to the garden ever since.