Friday, June 30, 2023

Pampered Pup


I stopped at the Apple Store last Friday to ask a few questions and while I was waiting for one of the "geniuses" (do they still call them that?) to help me, I spotted a lady pushing this stroller.  Then I noticed that the passenger was a cute little dog who looked quite comfortable.  What a lucky dog to have this nice way to ride while his human is shopping.  Did you notice the cooling fan aimed his way?  That is one lucky dog.  

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Two Unusual Houses


The house in the top photo reminds me very much of a house where I grew up in Illinois.  It looks like it's from the late 30's or 40's and is very Art Deco.  I love the curved lines.  It looks like it would be perfect in a scene from Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot.  

The one to the right is very unusual with the very tall tower.  At first I thought it was a chimney but there is a narrow window on that column which seems unusual for a chimney.  

Two completely different houses but both very unusual in their designs.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Construction Completed


A year and a half ago, I pictured two construction projects near where I live.  You can see that post here.  Today I have the completed projects.  The first one is an apartment complex called The Common.  When I took this photo I didn't see any sign of people moving in yet but with housing shortages everywhere, I'm sure they will be arriving soon.

The second one is the one with the curved balconies that many of you commented on at the time.  I'm guessing the apartments with those balconies are bigger and cost a lot more.  This one is called Clarendale.  More growth in our fast growing city.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Impact of Art


First, I have to say that this is not my photo.  It was taken by Amir Hamza, a New York Times photographer.  I copied the photo from a front page story in yesterday's newspaper.  The photo was one of many photos in a story about an art exhibit being installed in Madison Square Park in New York.  The artist is Sheila Pepe.  The reason this story prompted me to write this post is that I immediately recognized the artist and her work.  (the link above goes to the NYTimes article in case you are interested)

Back in 2017, there was an exhibit of her work at the Phoenix Art Museum and I did a post about it here.  My post was not very complimentary.  I found the art work strange, confusing and pretty much a mess and many of you agreed with my assessment.

The thing that prompted me to create this post is the recognition that the art I critiqued in 2017 had an impact on me.  I remembered the artist's name and her work.  Whether I liked it or not was beside the point.  It had a visceral impact.  Since that is what art should do, I guess it accomplished that mission.  

So, the next time you see art that you dislike, keep in mind that it is having an impact even if it's a negative one.  

I wonder how this New York work will be received. I'm sure it will have an impact, one way or another.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Cowboy, Cowgirl and Dog


This colorful mural caught my eye one day and I had to stop for a closer look.  I love it.  It was crated by an artist with the tag line Tanner.Than.Me which turns out to be someone named Tanner Christensen.  I like Tanner's artistic style.  

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Woodpecker Antics


The last few times I've been walking at the Desert Botanical Garden, I've noticed an abundance of woodpeckers.  I collected a few photos of these colorful and sometimes noisy birds.  This one was perched up high on a saguaro bloom at the top of that tall plant.

These two were carefully perched on the saguaro blooms so they could pick out the insects that were crawling around inside the blooms.  

This young one was sitting on a wall and taking in the view.

While this one was contemplating a bath in the little fountain located below this water spout.  Once I hear their distinctive call, they are pretty easy to spot with their striped wings.  

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Spring Blooms


I took these photos back in March when I saw them growing in front of a house.  I thought they resembled roses but I was sure they weren't.  I wondered what they were.

So, I took these photos to remind me that I should investigate and see if I could figure out what they were.  However, the photos got filed away and I forgot about them.

Just a day or two ago, I saw the photos and decided it was time for that "investigation".  I found out they are called ranunculus and sometimes buttercups.  I don't recall ever seeing them growing in the Arizona climate before this. 

They are quite pretty and well worth sharing on the blog.  

Friday, June 23, 2023

Getting an Up-Close Look


Yesterday I had telephoto images, today I have some macro images.  I snapped this photo of a tiny little belleza gaura flower.  The petals on this flower are about the size of my thumb.  

I got even closer to see an even tinier little insect sitting on one of the petals.  I'm not sure what kind of bug it is but I was able to get a closer look.  It's fun to find these tiny little creatures hanging out at the garden.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

A Closer a Distance


Here are a couple of things I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't extended the telephoto lens to its full length.  This one was aimed at the top ridge of Camelback Mountain.  It looks like someone scraped a large "L Z" into the side of rocks.  I would never have seen that with the naked eye.

This one was taken in the boulders area north of Scottsdale.  I could see a little bump on this rock but I couldn't tell it was single boulder precariously balanced atop another rock.  I wonder how long that will sit like that before tumbling down.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The One That Stayed Behind


You might remember that the Rotraut sculpture exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden was ending in May.  Indeed, it did end but it looks like one of the sculptures is staying behind.  I don't know if the garden purchased this piece or if the artist gifted it to the garden.  Whatever the case, this one will stay behind surrounded by many desert plants.

There is a history of some of the sculptures staying behind.  The Desert Wildflower Towers were part of the very first Chihuly exhibit back in 2009.  I happen to know that the garden purchased these beauties from Dale Chihuly.  I've featured photos of them many times.

One of the green snails has also stayed at the garden.  He was left over from the "Wild Rising" exhibit that was shown in 2019 and 2020.  You might remember that it stayed an extra long time because of the pandemic.  

There is one more sculpture from one of the exhibits that remains at the garden.  This one stayed behind after the "Whispers of a New World" exhibit back in 2012.  I liked that exhibit with the many other-worldly creations.  You can see some of them here.

It's kind of nice to have these little memories hanging around.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Talking to the Tree


This is another building that has recently had some changes made.  Those inserts along the side used to be painted white.  When the building got a cleaning job recently, they painted those inserts with a deep red.  I like the contrast.  

When I stopped to take the photo, a rather inebriated fellow came walking around the corner and started yelling obscenities at this poor tree.  At least I think that's what he was doing.  He staggered all around that tree yelling and waving his arms.  I snapped my photo and went back to my car before he started yelling in my direction.  

Monday, June 19, 2023

Memory Arizona


When I went to the airport last month for my flight to Santa Fe, I saw this mural that I had not seen before.  It was created by Howardena Lindell and it's a glass mosaic mural called "Memory Arizona".  I see lots of Arizona memories in this mural.  There are two buildings from ASU, a glass high-rise from Central Avenue, a saguaro cactus and the mountains that surround our city.  There are also a couple of things represented that no longer exist.  

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Talented Employees


I've been to several events at the Heard Museum lately.  One of those events was their "First Friday" open house where they featured artworks created by museum employees.  That was a very impressive show.  I think this was my favorite of all of them although, it was hard to choose.  

This work is called "A History, A Current Story" and it was created by  Olivia (Liv) Barney who happens to be a Collection Coordinator at the museum.  I found this one very appealing.  

Here is another piece by Travis Tubinaghtewa, a museum maintenance technician.  He calls this one "Cool Spring Night".  

This last one has some abstract characteristics that caught my eye.  The artist here is Zee Brouwer, a museum security officer.  This one is called "What Mother Quail Sees". 

These wonderful works of art made me realize that when I greet museum employees at the front desk or the security guards roaming the galleries, I need to realize they might very well be as talented as the artists represented on the walls. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

An Unfortunate Change


I took this photo back in 2018 because I wanted to capture this business with all the Mexican decorator items out front.  This business was located across the street from where I work and I loved seeing its festive front display.  I featured those colorful doors back in 2014 and I posted a photo once again in 2018.

We all know what happened in 2020 when businesses closed their doors and we all started working from home.  I didn't go into the office for almost two years and then when it was finally safe again, management decided to do some remodeling and my team continued to work from home.  

The remodeling is finally done and we can once again go into the office.  We are fortunate that we can still work from home part of the time.  This last week, I went into the office two days.  That is when I saw what had happened to the pretty little Mexican furnishings shop across the street.  It is now a fitness business with a rather ugly paint job.  And, instead of pretty pottery in front, it now has a row of overgrown weeds.  What a truly unfortunate change in directions.  

Many small businesses didn't survive the pandemic lock-downs.  It's sad to see so many of them gone. I was especially sorry to see that the colorful little Mexican furniture shop was gone.  

Friday, June 16, 2023

Random Sightings


Look who I saw once again.  It's the man and his side-car pup.  They are still happily navigating the streets of Phoenix.  It was good to see them again.  He was last seen here.

I was enjoying a cool drink in my friend Glenda's garden when this fellow came crawling under the gate for a quick visit.  I jumped up and grabbed the camera and the snake turned and ran.  He must have decided he'd made a serious wrong turn.  

I was taking advantage of the mild weather last week and decided to have a pizza on the patio of a nearby restaurant.  I snapped this quick photo of the dinning companion at the next table. He was a very well behaved dinner partner.

Just two days ago, I spotted a few robins in the courtyard where I live.  I'm convinced they appear when the ficus trees start dropping their seeds.  I snapped this quick shot with the iPhone which was all I had at the time.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Harvesting the Fruit


After the saguaro cactus blooms disappear, the fruit of the saguaro is left behind for harvesting.  Native Americans in this region have long been the harvesters of this fruit making wine, jams and candy from the pulp of the fruit.

At the Desert Botanical Garden, the harvester's tend to be the many birds that enjoy getting a taste of the fruit.

These doves were busy doing their own harvesting last Sunday when I was at the garden.  They pierce the skin of the fruit with their beaks and then....

.....they indulge in the sweet and sometimes juicy fruit inside.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

High-Rise Living


Just one block north of the great, pink towers I featured yesterday is this building known as Regency House.  It's another high-rise residential building sitting just to the north of the Heard Museum.  This building was built in 1965, just eight years after the very first residential high-rise in Arizona was built.  This is a nice looking building but, I really do like the Phoenix Towers from yesterday's post the best.  

In this shot, you can see the light rail heading south on Central Avenue.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

That Pink Building


After many of my visits to the Heard Museum, I've posted photos with the top of this pinkish building in the background.  The Heard Museum is located next door and to the back of this grand old building.  The building is called Phoenix Towers and it is a co-op condo building that I have admired for a very long time.

The building was built in 1957 and was the very first high-rise residential building in the state of Arizona.  

I've always loved this grand old building which probably explains why it has shown up in so many of my photos taken from the Heard Museum such as here and here.  I think I'd enjoy living here.

By the way, those wires you see are from the light rail system.  This building is located on Central Avenue and the light rail runs right past the building.

Monday, June 12, 2023

All About the Back


I caught sight of this mural out of the corner of my eye so I made a point of going back to see what it was all about.  After a first look, I thought it was an ad for something but there doesn't seem to be any direction to a business or object.  The building houses a surgery center so I thought there was some link there.  I did a little research and found out a former tenant of the building was a business called "Advanced Spine and Pain".  I'm betting this mural was painted for them.  Hippocrates was a Greek doctor from well over 2400 years ago.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

No Shadows This Time


A little over a year ago, I posted three photos of this Allan Houser sculpture called "War Horse". In those shots, there were shadows on the wall behind the sculpture.  Just two weeks ago, I visited the museum and saw that I could get a shot without all the shadows and away from the nearby plants.  

I was hoping that one day I'd be able to get the clean shot with a solid background because I knew it would be a prime subject for some creative photo editing.  

I did several edit styles and these two were my favorites from the different applications I tried.  The mostly two-toned nature of the photo makes it work well with the editing tools.  It will be fun to try a few more the next time I'm feeling creative.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Inspirational Words


I found these words of inspiration on a shelf in a small cafe.  They must have worked their magic.  They inspired me to take a photo!

Friday, June 9, 2023

Pretty Things


I captured a very nice reflection at the contemplation garden the last time I was at the Desert Botanical Garden.  The light was just right for this shot.

I also loved the look of these purple blooms on an unmarked plant.  I don't know what this plant is called but the flowers are very pretty.

I saw the cactus wren sitting on one of the tall blooms of a century plant.  He sat there for a few minutes while I took his photo.

And of course, I have to feature one of my favorite blooms, the desert rose.  

There were lots of pretty things to enjoy on my last walk at the garden.