Thursday, August 31, 2023

Shelters, Fences and Corrals


Here are a few more scenes from the Desert Botanical Garden trail I featured yesterday.  Above is a little shelter and an animal corral and to the right, a fenced garden.

This spot is described as "kitchen" or cooking area.

Another animal corral above and a clay vessel for holding water to the right.  

This trail tells a story of how ancient civilizations lived in the harsh, desert environment.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Home Improvements


There is one trail at the Desert Botanical Garden that is called the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Loop.  On that trail, there are many places with examples of the types of homes or shelters that indigenous people once built.

This particular shelter is getting some new "siding".  I was impressed that the new branches were being tied on to the structure with long, thin pieces of plant fiber.  No modern techniques were used.

This trail highlights how indigenous people used native plants for food, fiber and shelter.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Watch for the Watch


I pass by this building quite often and I've noticed the rock wall with the clock on it many times but it wasn't until a few days ago that I saw that it was created to look like a wrist watch with a nice multi-colored band.

These days that corner office space houses a Kids Dental office.  I couldn't find any history information on the building but I'm betting there used to be a jewelers in that building years ago.  

Monday, August 28, 2023

Black and White Saguaro


I saw this brand new mural on the side of an apartment complex on Thomas Road recently.  I recognize that black and white cactus as the work of Andrew Brown who sometimes goes by the name "Soldier Leisure".  I wish that advertising flag to the right wasn't in the way but there was nothing I could do about that.  I love the clouds in this one.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Plant Recovery


Two years ago I posted that one of my favorite shrubs had been savagely pruned down to just the base.  You can see that post here.  

When I was at the garden last Sunday, I was pleased to see that it had grown back and was nice and full and surprisingly, showing a few blooms.  This is a guayacan bush and it usually blooms during the month of May.  I was surprised to see a few blooms on it in August especially after the extreme heat we endured during July.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Fruity Prickly Pear


I noticed that all the prickly pear cactus at the garden last Sunday were simply overloaded with fruit.  Native peoples harvested the fruit to make wine, juice and sweets.

Even today you can still find prickly pear cactus candy for sale.  You find it mostly in souvenir shops but it's still around.  

For anyone who still makes candy or syrups from prickly pear fruit, it looks like this year will be a good harvest.  

Friday, August 25, 2023

Hiding in Plain Sight


Besides all the bird sightings from last Sunday, here are a few of the little critters I encountered on my walk.  This rabbit thought he was hiding under a shrub but I spotted him.

This squirrel scampered across the trail in front of me and then stopped for a snack on the other side.  Those mesquite seed pods must be pretty tasty.  

Finally, this little desert spiny lizard stopped by for a quick visit.  It seems like these fellows are always happy to pose for a photo or two.  

Thursday, August 24, 2023

More Garden Birds


The lovebirds I featured yesterday weren't the only birds I enjoyed watching.  There were several birds at the fountain.  This photo made me laugh.  Doesn't it look like that little bird is saying "hey, you're splashing water all over me". 

This tiny little hummingbird stopped by for a quick drink.

The seeds on these flowers must be very tasty.  Lots of birds were jumping from bloom to bloom.  This handsome goldfinch stopped long enough to pose for a photo.  

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

She's Taking Our Picture!


I mentioned yesterday that when I was at the garden last Sunday, I had many encounters with the different wildlife that inhabit the area.  One of those encounters was with a group of peach-faced lovebirds who were very busy eating all the seeds on the these flowers.  These two seem to have spotted my camera and were kind enough to give me a smile.  

Here is something we humans can't do, eat while hanging upside down.  

As usual, these birds were so much fun to watch.  They really are quite the characters.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A Change in Weather


We had a big change in weather this last weekend.  It was cloudy with temperatures in the 80's so I decided to do an early morning walk at the Desert Botanical Garden Sunday morning.  It was a bit humid but, it was perfect walking weather.  

We are getting a bit of the remnants of the hurricane that hit California so badly.  We just didn't get the heavy rain.  We only saw a few sprinkles here and there.  

I climbed the high trail so I could catch the sunrise.  I was hoping for some spectacular color but this was the best I got.

It was so much fun to be out walking in my favorite place once again.  All the animals and birds were out and about so I was able to get lots and lots of great photos.  The desert critters almost seemed happy to see some people around.  

Monday, August 21, 2023

Colorful Patterns


I found this colorful mural on the side of a house converted to a pizza restaurant.  I didn't see a signature but I do like the wild patterns in this one.

Right across the street is another building with something similar painted on the side.  I'm guessing it might be the work of the same artist.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

The Evolution of a Mailbox


Way back in 2007, my friends Julie & Dave introduced me to Crystal Cove State Park on the Newport Coast in California.  At that time, it was just in the beginning phase of the restoration and preservation of a tiny beach village where a settlement of people lived in rustic cottages built in the 1920's and 1930's.   I took the photo above on that first visit in 2007.  I found the old rusted mailbox sitting on the porch of one of the cottages and I thought it had a certain historic charm. 

When I returned to the spot in 2013, the old rusty mailbox had been replaced by this new one painted with depictions of the area.  

In 2014, the new mailbox was still being used and still sitting on the same porch.  

I photographed it again in 2015 when I could see that the rust that had started at the back of the mailbox was now creeping over the top of it.

The 2018 photo above shows the the mailbox was still there in spite of the progression of the rust.

I took the photo to the right just last week when I was in California.  That mailbox is still there and in exactly the same spot but it's starting to look similar to the one I photographed all those years ago.  If you live by the sea, a little rust is inevitable.   

That historic charm that caught my eye in 2007 is still working its magic all these years later.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Watch Out For.....


....sandwiches falling from the sky!

I saw this mishap on a car parked in old town Scottsdale and it puzzled me.  How on earth did a sandwich come flying at this car.  I kind of wish I could have seen what happened when the people who own this car arrived.  

Friday, August 18, 2023

Random California Shots


I have a few random shots from California today starting with this fish-out-of-water shot above.  This was taken in Newport Beach at the Fashion Island shopping center.  These fish appear to be flying above the shrubs in this decorative planter.

Here is another bit of fishy decor.  This time this wooden fish was part of the decor inside a seafood restaurant where I had superb fish tacos.  

Here's something I don't think I've ever seen before, a duck on the beach.  I'm used to seeing plenty of seagulls and other aquatic birds but ducks tend to stick with rivers, lakes and ponds.  

Above are a few of the colorful koi who came to greet me at my favorite koi pond.  I think they thought my camera was something holding fish food.

The photo to the left is the distinctive door handle for the Vladimir Kush gallery in Laguna Beach.  I wrote about visiting this wonderful gallery last week.  

Thursday, August 17, 2023

National Non-Profit Day


Yesterday, I saw a post on Instagram saying that August 17th was National Non-Profit Day and that we should pay tribute to our favorite non-profit organization.  It just so happens that I work for a non-profit organization.  

It's called Southwest Human Development and they provide services that uplift the lives of children, families  and other child-care providers.  We provide Head Start programs, Healthy Families programs and a variety of mental health programs along with foster care and adoption activities.  

I work in the information technology area as an analyst so I'm not one of hundreds of childhood education specialists who work directly with clients.  I admire the work those people do very much.  

This picture is from the front of our main office building.  I actually had worked here many years before I spotted those colorful panels on the front of the building.  I guess if you park in the back or underground, you miss some details.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Great Dining Atmosphere


Last Sunday when I was in California, I had lunch at a new restaurant in Newport Beach called Cucina Enoteca.  The food was delicious and the decor of the place was fascinating.  I snapped a few photos to share because I loved all the details in the place.

In the top photo is a communal dining area that I passed through on the way to a table.  I liked the chandeliers there.  

To the left is in the entrance to the restaurant with a ceiling display using antique shoe forms hanging from string.  

I love all the mis-matched wooden paneling on the walls.

But this light fixture above a group table really caught my eye.  The light-box was topped with twigs filled with little stuffed birds.

Here's a closer look.  I really liked the look of this arrangement.  I liked everything about his place.  I think if I lived there, I'd frequent it both for the food and the decor.  

By the way, this is what I had for lunch.  It is crab linguine with tomato and lemon gremolata.  It was delicious.  That bowl was empty when I left.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

California Flora


Since I still can't visit the Desert Botanical Garden, I thought I'd share a few photos of some of the vegetation I found interesting while I was in California.  I'll start with the two-headed bird of paradise.  I love seeing all the bird of paradise blooms when I'm visiting California but I have to admit, I've never seen one shaped like this.

Another plant I saw was this rather scraggly shrub with hardly any leaves but lots of be brilliant flowers.  

Another one I liked was a tree that has these pretty puff balls on it.  I saw lots of these around the area.

There were lots of the pretty blooms in the above photo scattered around the resort.

Also around the resort grounds were several of these dragon trees.  

There were lots of pretty plants to admire.