Sunday, July 23, 2017

Goodbye Samurai

Remember back in March when I had some photos from the Samurai exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.  You can see those posts here and here.  Well I happened to be at the art museum over the weekend and caught a peek into the closed gallery where they were dismantling the exhibit.  It looks like it's a slow process to pack up all those historical pieces.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I visited "Bearizona" last week when I was on my Arizona road trip and I have pictures from that visit.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Want to Start a Band?

I found this row of guitars at a used book store.  Obviously the store sells more than used books, they have used games, records and CD's, magazines, a few toys and of course, musical instruments.  I usually go there to find a book I'm looking for but this time this row of guitars caught my eye.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Phoenix Bird

Sorry for the late post today.  This Ed Mell Phoenix Bird is located in a plaza area in downtown Phoenix.  It  was commissioned back in 2006 as part of an arts and culture celebration.

I love Ed Mell's art so this one was fun to find.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Selfie in Space

I found this mural on the side of a strip of businesses recently.  I was pretty close to it so it took me a minute to see what it was.  I believe that astronaut is taking a selfie while on a space walk!  All I could think of is what if he drops that phone.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Scenes

This scene just says "Summer" to me and I'm not sure why.  I never had a swing hanging from a tree when I was a kid.  We had the regular metal swing set instead.  But  for some unknown reason, to me that swing hanging from the tree just makes the perfect summer scene.

Not far away, I found this colorful wagon in a yard.  It doesn't necessarily say summer to me but I like it just the same.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Adventures Up North

I'm back from my little road trip up to the northern part of Arizona.  I have a couple of iPhone photos today but as soon as I get the photos edited a bit, I'll have some posts about places I visited on my travel site.  One of the stops was the Grand Canyon.  I was hoping to escape the intense heat we've been having but it seems there was no escaping this weekend.  The Grand Canyon was reaching some record highs for that altitude and it was quickly felt.

Even the bears were trying to find ways to stay cool!  I visited the city of Williams Arizona which is the gateway to the Grand Canyon and also home to a new attraction called "Bearizona".  It's also a big place for Route 66 memorabilia.  Williams was one of the last cities to be bypassed by Interstate 40 and it used to thrive when Route 66 was the main highway right through town.  It's thriving again today with new attractions to lure tourists into town.
After Williams, I went down state a way to the city of Cottonwood.  I wanted to experience that central Arizona wine country.  I did manage to visit a national monument and one winery during the day and then I visited a few tasting rooms in the evening.  It was a fun trip in spite of the heat but, I could have done a whole lot more if it had been a few degrees cooler.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Black House

Lincoln Drive is a busy thoroughfare that runs from East Phoenix through the heart of town of Paradise Valley and into the city of Scottsdale.  Along that drive in the middle of Paradise Valley, one can't help but see this ranch style house that has been painted completely black.  Even the perimeter wall is painted black.

It seems quite unusual given our desert heat.  I would think that house would absorb the heat and hold  on to it which would make cooling the place even more difficult and costly.  It makes you wonder.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

On the South Side of the Valley

From the far north of the valley where the city of Cave Creek is located I've now traveled to the far south of the valley to Chandler Arizona a fast growing community where I worked many years ago.  When I was working out there I would sometimes have lunch at Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant.  This last spring I took a drive out there to have lunch there once more and I snapped these photos.

The word "Abuelo" refers to someone's grandfather and it looks like someone has put a statue of "Abuelo" in front of the restaurant.  I don't think that was there when I used to eat lunch here.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm featuring my favorite place to stay when I visit Tucson.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Things for Inside the House

The Desert Foothills Gardens and Nursery in Cave Creek also has a small store crammed full of some very unique decorator items.  These Chihuly-style glass bowls are very attractive.

Or maybe a light pillar with the look of marble might fit into your abode.

And who wouldn't love a chubby chicken to decorate the kitchen.

Or maybe the chicken's friend the googly-eyed rooster might work.

Visiting this place is quite an experience.  There are all kinds of indoor and outdoor items to enjoy and of course, plants too.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Garden Decorations

Since I had the rusty stagecoach yesterday, I thought I'd show a few more things that can be found at that place in Cave Creek.  It's called Desert Foothills Gardens Nursery and they have a little bit of everything to decorate and landscape a big yard.  You might want some of these very tall stone pillars.

Or maybe a fountain would be appealing.

You can made a stone arch or add an Easter Island style Moai to your yard.

A rusty bull might add a western touch.

Or a smug looking lion might add just the right touch of elegance.  

They have pretty much anything you can think of to decorate your yard and many things you never would have thought of.  

Tomorrow I'll show you some of the decorator items you can find inside their little store.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Road Trip

I'm headed out today on a little weekend road trip so I might not be around to comment on sites for a few days.  I will however have posts up every day while I'm gone.

Fortunately I'll be driving a nice. air conditioned car and not riding in the rusty stagecoach that I found at a landscape nursery in Cave Creek Arizona.  That will make my trip a lot more comfortable than traveling this way.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bridges and Blood Drives

I made a quick stop at the Tempe waterfront last week to take a couple of photos of the pedestrian bridge that crosses Tempe Town Lake.

It was early on one of our excessive heat days so there were only a few people out on the trail that the bridge follows.

The bridge is located right by the Tempe Center for the Arts and on this day, a big blood drive was going on so I was greeted by this rather friendly looking giant red guy.  There were lots of people coming and going from the center so it looked like they had a very good turnout.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Optima Apartment Living

I watched the new Optima apartments in Scottsdale being built and I have been driving past and admiring their unique architecture for the past two years.

I finally decided to pull into the parking area and take a look around.  This complex was built by the Optima group, the same people that built that wonderful high-rise in Phoenix that I love to photograph.  You can see it here.

This complex is called Optima Sonoran Village and once again the builders have used vivid colors and lots of plants to adorn the buildings.

The apartments are located in a prime Scottsdale location within walking distance to the Scottsdale Fashion Square and the Scottsdale Waterfront area.  The Optima group is building another complex similar to this one at Kierland, that north Scottsdale shopping area.  I'll have to get over there and take some photos one of these days.

Monday, July 10, 2017

University Growth

Downtown Phoenix has grown by leaps and bounds over the past ten to fifteen years as the university presence  gets bigger and bigger.  Quite a few of these "school" buildings are clad in copper which makes them very distinctive.  I've mentioned before that Arizona State University is the dominate player in the valley but, the University of Arizona is also operating in the downtown area.  This building is the U of A's Health Sciences building.

Some of the buildings on the downtown campus are shared by both colleges but, I only saw the U of A sign on this one.  In fact, you can see a big "A" stuck in one of the windows.

All of these buildings with the copper siding are interesting architectural works.  I wonder if any of the architects are ASU or U of A graduates!  That would seem very appropriate.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Did You Want Something?

This chubby little round-tailed ground squirrel was giving me the eye when I pointed my camera at him.  He seems to have a rather curious expression on his face.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Be sure to look up when visiting cities!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

New Discovery

Sometimes I miss living in a historic neighborhood with all the unique houses all around me.  Last weekend, I took a detour through one of them and I spotted this house that I don't recall seeing before.  Either that or they've added that amazing roof.  This one doesn't look like it belongs in Phoenix at all.  I would love to see what it looks like inside!

Friday, July 7, 2017

More Chocolate!!

Early last month I was lamenting the loss of so many fine chocolate stores in Phoenix when I posted about finding a good one in north Scottsdale.  In that post I mentioned that the Godiva stores had closed.  On a trip to the mall two weeks ago, I noticed that something new was located in the old Godiva store and when I went inside I was surprised to find that it was a brand new chocolate store.  So naturally, I decided I should give it a try.  It's called Ktreats and both the store and chocolates were very impressive.

Unfortunately I was just recovering from that really nasty head cold I had so I only indulged in four pieces that I carefully stored in my refrigerator until I was sure that my taste buds had sufficiently recovered.

I'm glad I did!  It would have been a shame to waste such delicately flavored creations on a dulled sense of taste.

They were simply spectacular.

I want to thank Mark for helping me pick out the four lovely samples and I do hope he's around when I go back for more.  This time I'll be getting more than four pieces!  So no more lamenting the loss of fine chocolates.  I've found three new places in my area to satisfy my cravings.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Fireworks and Friends

I joined my friends Julie and Dave for an evening of friends and fireworks on the 4th of July.  We can see fireworks from their house.  I took a bunch of shots during the show but I was doing it hand held so I didn't expect very good results and I was right.  This one is not too bad.  It was fun to watch the colorful show in the company of good friends.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Little Kids

When I did my 4th of July post for yesterday, I completely forgot that I had this photo sitting in the wings to use.  This is a sculpture that sits in front of a building that is headquarters for Childhelp, an organization that works with victims of child abuse through education, treatment and prevention programs.

It's such a cute sculpture with all the wee ones looking admiringly at the flag.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The 4th of July

Today is Independence Day or as we call it, the 4th of July.  People will be flying flags, having picnics and waiting for fireworks today.  I thought I'd show you an assortment of "patriotic" decorations starting with the standard honor guard.

A flag draped classic car!  What a beauty!

A flag flying from a high-rise balcony.

Some celebratory yard decorations.

A patriotic salute to diversity.  

And last, my own photographic creation!
Happy Fourth to my American readers!

Monday, July 3, 2017

July Blooms

I got up early on Sunday morning and found that it was quite pleasant outside so I decided to head to the Desert Botanical Garden for an early morning walk.  I rarely do that in July because of the heat but since is was hovering around 80 degrees early in the morning I decided to give it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a few things blooming like the desert rose in the top photo and this this plant that was growing in a pot with hanging flowers.  I'm not sure what it is but it is very attractive.

I even found a couple of cactus blooms which was totally unexpected.  There were hardly any people there that early so it made for a quiet walk surrounded by nature.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Old West Display

I was walking along one of the streets in Old Town Scottsdale and I stopped to take a photo of this cart being used to display some cowboy hats.  A bit of movement in the background caught my eye.

I zoomed in to see a tiny little hummingbird hovering over the cactus garden.  There was nothing blooming in that bunch of cactus so I'm not sure what had attracted the little fellow but, in this photo it looks like he's dangerously close to some very sharp thorns.  He skittered away right after I snapped the shot.  I think he decided there was nothing good to eat in this prickly patch.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting a favorite historic spot in Southern California.