Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Nesting Time


When I was walking at the Desert Botanical Garden, I saw several nests in use.  This mourning dove had a nest that was almost at eye level and she seems to be hard at work keeping those eggs warm.

This dove had a nest in the arms of a very large cactus.  This one appeared to be just settling in.  She kept turning around as if to find the most comfortable spot.

This dove isn't nesting but appears to be taking a nap on a big rock near the entrance to the garden.  The top of that rock was at my knee level which to me seemed like an odd place for this bird to be having a siesta. Nature is always a fascinating adventure.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

North of the Flight Path


I made another 6:00 AM trip to the Desert Botanical Garden on Sunday.  I was standing at the top of the trail that goes up the side of a mountain and noticing the stream of flights taking off from the airport.  One right after the other, they kept emerging from behind the mountain.  I decided to try to snap a photo of one of the jets popping out from behind the cactus on the hillside.  This was the best one I got.  

When I was looking at the photo after downloading it, I wondered if I could tell what airline the plane was part of so I made a duplicate of the photo and cropped it way, way down to get just the jet.  I was surprised to see how clear it was.  After all, that jet was traveling pretty darn fast and the camera was hand-held.  

The Desert Botanical Garden is located north of the flight path for Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.  Every time I visit the garden, I always see jets taking off and if I'm there early in the morning it seems like a steady stream of them are flying past.  I'm so used to seeing (and hearing) them that I hardly notice them.  I'm glad I took notice this time.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Santa Fe Style Creature


I have another mural from my trip to Santa Fe New Mexico.  It looks like this one is a little worn in places.  It depicts an interesting and mythical creature, part angel and part demon.  At least that's my interpretation.  

I had to do some serious editing of the original photo to try to eliminate the unsightly utility pipes.  It's an interesting mural in a very strange spot.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Construction Continues


Last Friday I went to Scottsdale Fashion Square for a quick shopping trip and decided to check out the progress of the construction going on.  I first posted about it in April.

It looks to me me like it's still pretty far from being completed.  In the top photo to the right, you see an escalator. When I posted in April, they had taken the escalator out and now it's back.  

With malls closing everywhere, I hope they know what they are doing.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Two by Two


Every now and then, a little scene in a corner of a store or a museum or other place catches my eye.  I found these photos I had taken at different locations and each was a set of two.  The two chairs above were found in a corner at the Scottsdale Museum of the West.

This pair of chairs was at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel and Resort in a quiet corner of the hotel lobby.  

This table with two chairs was found in the courtyard area of the Heard Museum.

And, it just happened to have two oranges sitting on top of the table.  There were sets of two everywhere I looked.

Friday, May 26, 2023

More Spring Blooms

I've featured quite a few different cactus blooms these last few weeks but I thought I should feature some other plants I've seen blooming lately.  These 4 o'clock flowers were looking very pretty.

The datura are showing their big, white blooms.

The passion flowers are still blooming and the desert roses are starting to show some blooms after their winter storage.

I just noticed the squash blossom above on my last visit to the garden.

The yellow bells to the left are blooming all over the garden showing these big clusters of bloom.  

The Desert Botanical Garden is a very colorful place right now.  We have to enjoy it now before the intense, summer heat hits us.  


Thursday, May 25, 2023

iPhone Silliness


Just a few very silly iPhone photos I've accumulated over the past few weeks.  This first one is what happens when I've been left sitting in the doctor's exam room on my own for too long. I get intrigued by the wheels on the rolling table in the room.  I was going to delete this after it was downloaded but I like how you can see the reflection of me taking the photo in the chrome.

Inside a restaurant where a I had a late lunch with a friend. I kept expecting Frank Sinatra to come walking in.  Doesn't this look like the kind of place he'd frequent?

A couple of mindless gentleman sitting in a hotel lobby.  I say "mindless" because they each had a giant whole in their head where their brain should have been.

This one was a little tricky to get.  It's an advertising display inside a department store featuring a Coco Chanel perfume called Mademoiselle.  I took this one just to see if I could get the photo without getting me in it.  I almost made it.  You can still see a tiny sliver of me in two of the mirrored panels.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

A New Plant in the Garden


I discovered a new plant in the garden that I hadn't seen before.  First I noticed these unusual but very pretty blooms.

The small bush-like plant had lots of these wispy looking blooms on it.  Then I noticed the sign underneath the plant.  It said it was a caper plant.

Sure enough, there were caper berries all over the plant. This was a first for me.  I'd never seen a caper plant before.  I have to admit that from time to time when I've opened a jar of capers, I've wondered where they came from.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Desert Critters


This bullfrog was calling to another frog across the pond. I could hear him but I couldn't see him.  He was well hidden in among the reeds and vines that grow at the edge of the water.  Finally another photographer pointed him out and I was able to get just this one shot. 

The desert spiny lizard wasn't hard to spot at all.  He was in the path just ahead of me and he stayed put as I walked past him and turned to take his photo.  Nothing shy about this fellow.

The rabbit actually jumped straight up into the air when it heard me on the path close by.  However, he took one look at me and decided I was harmless and continued his search for things to munch on.

This little round-tailed squirrel found something he could munch on.  There were two of these little guys scavenging for food and drawing a few photographers.  If those photographers hadn't been there, I might have missed him altogether.  The wildlife was plentiful Sunday morning at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Close Encounter


I went for another 6:00 AM walk at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday.  At one point, I was watching this quail walking around near me when all of a sudden he jumped up on the wall only about two feet away.  He was watching me and I was watching him and we both were perfectly happy to be there.

It was a good morning for bird watching as well as other desert critters.  I saw rabbits and squirrels and lizards and I even saw a bullfrog.  I'll have more photos to show you this week.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Another Perfect Pose


On one of my walks at the Desert Botanical Garden, I heard the chirping of a cactus wren and I started looking around to find the little fellow.  I looked up in the tree and over at the cactus and the agave but no sign of it.  And then I saw him sitting on a handrail about three feet away from me.  He continued to sit there while I snapped off a few photos.  The cactus wrens are getting more and more used to people milling about the garden.  

Speaking of birdsongs, did any of you see the David Attenborough Nature special about birdsong?  He featured an amazing Australian bird called a Lyre Bird that can perfectly imitate any sound it hears in the forrest. I was amazed at how perfectly it made the sound of a clicking camera shutter.

Here's a link to a clip from the show.  It's only 2:54 minutes long but if you want to get to just the camera clicks and other sounds, those start at 1:50 minutes.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Those Colorful Birds


A blog post I read yesterday made me think about when I was living on the other side of town in the house that was visited by the peach-faced lovebirds.  So, I decided to scroll though my photo archives and reminisce about how much I loved watching those birds.  

These two pictures were taken in 2013 when I first discovered them in a tree in my front yard.  

I put up a couple of bird feeders in the back yard and they started to hang out there.  Shortly after that, I learned about the giant seed squares so I got one of those and they loved it so much, they invited all their friends.  Sometimes there would be as many as twenty chowing down at the same time.

And then I moved to the other side of town and I had to look for them in other places.  One afternoon I saw a few on wires running behind a friend's house.

Every now and then I'll see a few at the Desert Botanical Garden.  I miss their daily visits.  I know they are still around the Phoenix area because I can hear them in various parts of town.  I just wish I saw them more often than I do now.  

Friday, May 19, 2023

The Lady Has Been Moved


I took this photo in September of 2015 and it's been sitting in the archives ever since.  The sculpture was located outside an entrance to Banner University Medical Center in central Phoenix.  There wasn't a sign or other information about the sculpture so I never posted it.

Recently, I saw the same sculpture had been moved to a new location outside the entrance to the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center only this time it does have a descriptive sign.  

The sculpture is titled "Woman" and the description reads "Image of woman as strength, energy and Mother Earth, her hair mixing with the moon and stars and sun and clouds overhead." The artist is Carole Harrison and it was a gift to the hospital from Debra Withers.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

A Brilliant Hand


This hand was found as part of new exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.  The artist for this is Glenn Ligon who created this using the "outlines and contours of his own palm in neon".  

When I saw this, I couldn't resist taking a photo just to see how it would look.  I like how it turned out.  

I decided it might be a good subject for some artistic manipulation.  Here are my two favorites from my experimentation.  

This one makes the neon glow with other colors.

I like this one with its mosaic look too.  

As always, it's just fun to play with certain photos.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Color on Four Wheels


I spotted this very colorful VW bus sitting on the lot of a local Volkswagen repair shop.  The painted Arizona state flag on the door is a nice touch.  

A little later I saw this old classic.  It's been restored and painted a color that I am sure never existed on any auto when this car rolled off the assembly line.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Last Look at Santa Fe


I flew home to Phoenix yesterday afternoon and have been sorting photos ever since.  The funny thing is that I took way more photos with the good old iPhone than I did with my Nikon, 38 versus 237.  

One last look at the great Santa Fe architecture with a full lilac bush in front.

Above is a sculpture of the brilliant artist, Allan Houser standing in front of one of his sculptures. This was at the place called Museum Hill.

Remember the sleeping rabbit sculpture from two days ago?  This bear was located at that same restaurant sitting in the window of the dining room where I ate dinner.  He looks perfectly content watching every one dine around him.

This last photo is from the airport preparing to board the plane.  The Santa Fe airport is tiny.  They have two gates but only use one and they have no jetways as you can see.  However, the star of this photo is the sky.  Isn't that a beautiful sky?