Sunday, May 20, 2018

Flowers for the House




I had friends over for dinner at my house Friday night and I thought I'd pick up some flowers at the grocery store while I was shopping.  I was surprised to see orchid stems among the flowers for sale so I picked up a stem.  It added just the right touch.

The next morning I decided that I should photograph these beauties so I got out the black drop cloth and took a few shots.  Such pretty blooms.  I hope they last for several days!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting the stunningly beautiful Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wings of Stone


Not long ago, I was wandering around my favorite nursery when I spotted this display with those fabulous stone wings hanging on the wall.  Those would certainly look good in someone's lush garden.

By the way, since I'm not gifted with the green thumb necessary to grow my own beautiful plants, I stop at the nursery every now and then and admire the beauty of all those lovely blooms that are much safer where they are than at my house.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jacarandas


The Jacaranda trees are blooming around town right now.  I love the look of these trees.  I wish we had one street that was lined on both sides with these gorgeous trees so they would make a tunnel of purple this time of year.


Since we don't, I have to stop and photograph the ones I see.  In this spot, there were two next to each other so those purple branches overlapped each other.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Looking Up in Downtown Phoenix


When I'm in the heart of downtown Phoenix, everywhere I look up is another tall building.  This shot looks up toward the Hyatt Hotel with it's revolving restaurant on top.


In this direction I'm capturing the Phoenix City Hall building with the "crown" on the roof and the Wells Fargo office building next door to it.


Looming above the EoS Fitness building is another office building which is one of two matching towers.  There is a tiny sliver of another building in the upper right corner.

I love tall buildings so I enjoy looking up whenever or wherever I'm among them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Weekend Trip to Seattle


Last weekend I flew to Seattle for a fabulous weekend in that city.  Of course I had to make a visit to the famous Pike Place Market.


The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass center.  I think I became enthralled with Chihuly glass works when in 2009 the Desert Botanical Garden did the very first Chihuly exhibition in the garden.  I've always wanted to see his center in Seattle ever since it opened.  It was quite simply spectacular.


Since we were so close, a trip to the top of the Space Needle was also on the agenda.

The weekend was awesome.  The city has so much to offer and so much to eat!  The seafood was superb.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sky Train


The Phoenix Sky Train has been in operation for about 3 years but it seems that every time I go to the airport, I forget to snap a photo of it.  I corrected that last Friday.  I was off on another weekend trip and this time I remembered to take a photo.  There is now a connection from our light rail to the airport but, I took this at the economy parking lot station.  The completion of this train and station makes parking at the economy lot so much easier.


Once you get to the airport, this colorful bridge leads directly into the airport.  Tomorrow I'll show you where I flew off to.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Scenes of Mexico


There are quite a few businesses along one stretch of McDowell Road that cater to the Hispanic clientele.  Many murals can be found in this area but sadly, most don't have a signature on them so trying to find the artist is a bit of a challenge.  This mural is on the side of a Mexican restaurant.  It's beautifully painted so I wish I could give the artist a little shout out for their colorful work.
Click the link for more Monday Murals.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Silly Goose


This silly goose has taken to hanging out in the parking lot of my complex.  I took this photo last Wednesday from the car window as I rolled by.  I asked what he was doing there but got no answer, just that blank stare.


I took this photo a few days before the one above.  I'm not sure what he finds so interesting about the parking lot.  After all, there is a lake and a nice green golf course just a block away where all his buddies tend to stay.  Maybe someone who lives here has been feeding him when they are out walking and he's followed them home.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Fine art in the California Desert is the subject.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mystery Sculpture



I've tried unsuccessfully to find out who created this sculpture that sits on the corner of the Cityscape Center in downtown Phoenix.  It's a big swirl of steel pipe.  There is no artist name displayed by it and I've checked the City of Phoenix public arts website with no luck.  So, I guess I can't give the artist credit for it.

I think it's kind of eye catching but, I bet not many people even notice it.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hummer


I love it when I get a decent shot of those tiny and quick little hummingbirds.  This one was enjoying the blooms on a Baja Fairy Duster plant.  His tiny wings were beating so fast that you can hardly see them.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Southwestern Home


I saw this house when I was driving north on Scottsdale Road and I thought that entrance was pretty nice so I turned back to get a photo.  I saw a road running next to the house that I thought would be a perfect place to park the car so I could get out and take the photo.  I turned onto the road only to find that it was really part of the home's driveway so there I was sitting right in their circular drive.  Did that stop me?  No, I got out and snapped the shot anyway and then quick as I could, I got out of there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Automotive Adornments


People are always adding little decorative items to their cars to make them look happy or fierce or sometimes to make a statement.  I found that I had collected quite an assortment of just such adornments to share with you.  The car above falls into that "happy" category.  That's quite the jolly face painted on the tire cover.


With this one, the adornment was whole lot more subtle.  Someone has painted the top of a face peeking out on the bumper of this car.  I wondered if the owner even knew it was there.


Here's a truck that I think falls into the "fierce" category.  The added image of the storm trooper I think is to say that this white truck is as tough as a "Star Wars" character.  And, look at the license plate....ewwww.


This car appears to be proud to be from Kansas, the land of beautiful girls.  Hmmm....is that all they could think of to describe their state?


And, this car is simply X-Rated.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Notorious RBG


Last Sunday I went to see the documentary movie "RBG" which tells the story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What a woman!  The movie told her whole life story and how she became such an advocate for the rights of women and minorities.  I didn't realize what a wonderful marriage she had before her husband passed away in 2010.  They were a perfect match, he was gregarious, outgoing and down right funny.  She was shy and quiet and thoughtful.  He was a well respected lawyer in his own right but that didn't get in the way of his support for her career from the time they met in college all the way to her nomination to the highest court in the land.




Here is something that surprised me.  I met a friend at the theater and we decided to just purchase our tickets at the door because I didn't think this particular movie would draw much of a crowd.  Well we got there and found it was almost sold out.  The attendant even said that it's been very popular.  That made me feel good.  After all, I live in what we Americans call a "Red State".  The popularity of the "Notorious RBG" must cross all party lines.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Magical Mural


Phoenix has a new mural on 16th Street and Highland at the brand new Crescent Highland Apartment building.

This magical looking piece is by artist Tato Carareo.

I love all those hummingbirds flying around that lady with the red hair.





Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Question Mark


We had a bit of a reprieve from the heat last week when a cool front moved in and we were rewarded with temperatures in the 70's.  I took the opportunity to visit the Desert Botanical Garden in the late afternoon for a change and I visited the butterfly pavilion one last time before it closes next week.  I found a new butterfly to admire, the Question Mark butterfly.  When I first spotted it sitting on that slice of orange, I thought it was a dead leaf.  It looks so drab.


One of the docents saw me looking at it and told me that when it opens its wings, it's a gorgeous butterfly.  I found one in the distance sitting on a lavender flower and saw that she was right.  The bottom of its wings hides the beauty on the top side.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I have the second part to my trip to Sunnylands.  What a fabulous place!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The "Muse"


A friend of mine told me that I should go to the AltaMira Fine Art Gallery in Scottsdale and see a show of paintings by Robert Townsend.  I'm so glad I did just that.  His paintings gave me a rush of feelings, flooding me with memories and nostalgia.

Robert Townsend is a realist artist who has created a series of paintings celebrating the life of a woman he's never met.  It all started when he purchased a box of slides from Ebay and was confronted with a woman who would become his muse.


After reviewing the slides carefully, he found one photo of her and her husband and they were wearing name tags.  He discovered her name was actually Helen and more internet research led to her obituary.  He contacted the funeral home and asked if they would contact her next of kin and have them call him.  Two hours later, he got that call from Helen's niece.  From there, the project of painting Helen grew in scope.

Film makers Ric and Jen Serena started documenting his journey which resulted in an award winning documentary film called "My Indiana Muse".  You can see a clip of the film here.  (I highly recommend taking a look.)

I was so touched by the show and the story, I just had to share it with all of you.  I want to thank Audrey E. Parish, the director of the AltaMira Gallery for letting me take these photos. I enjoyed the show with a tiny tear in my eye and a full heart.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Blue Glow Agave


I love it when I find a perfectly shaped agave that I can photograph and it's even better when the background is a neutral color.  It might look like I used some type of artistic filter on this shot but, I didn't.  The blue glow agave naturally have that watercolor-look to them.

I liked this photo so much that I had it blown up and printed on canvas and it now hangs in my bedroom.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Goodbye to the "Tanuki"


Those lovable "Tanuki" will be leaving the Desert Botanical Garden in mid-May so I stopped by to say goodbye.  The garden had arranged all six of them in the center plaza and they became very popular with everyone who visited.  I saw many people (adults and children) posing for pictures next to their favorite one.

I grabbed one more photo of the yellow head too because it was framed by the yellow blooms on a palo verde tree.

I posted a couple of close-up shots of the Tanuki or raccoon-dogs last October.  You can see that post here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Saguaro Cactus are Blooming


Saguaro cactus are blooming right now and apparently that makes the bees very happy.  This particular cactus was so tall I had to use the telephoto to zoom in on the blooms.  I couldn't tell at the time that there were that many bees swarming around.


I liked this shot because all the bees were lined up like incoming airplanes waiting for their turn to land.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Theme Day: Laugh


I dug through the photo archives to find this photo.  It was taken sometime before Christmas several years ago.  A friend had hired an old double-decker bus to take a group of friends around town to view the Christmas lights.  As you can see, a good time was had by all.  That really was a fun ride around town.  I think we laughed the whole time.  That poor driver, I hope he had ear plugs.

To see laughter from other bloggers, click here.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Mexican Village


The inside of the Arriba Mexican Restaurant is painted with murals in almost all of the rooms.  I always liked this one of a street scene.  It kind of reminds me of a street in Nogales Mexico, south of Tucson, just across the border.  The only exception is that I've never been there when the streets were that quiet.  It's always busy in that town.


In another of the dining rooms, the mural is more tropical with the beach close by and that church in the background.  It's all there to make you feel like you are really dining in Mexico.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Just a House


What is it about this house that attracts me?  I look admiringly at it every time I pass by which is quite often.  I finally stopped to take a photo.  I think it might be the combination of the red brick and those white pillars.  It's not big or elaborate or sprawling.  In fact it's quite modest.  It just looks so...homey.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I've posted a bit about my recent trip to California to see Sunnylands.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Two Bars


When I discovered the Schmooze Workspace and Cafe that I featured last week, I decided to walk down that same street and see what else I could find.  I found two bars a few doors away from each other and looking very similar in style.  This one is called Rock Bar.


This one is called Old Town Gringos.  They both have rooftop drinking areas.  With two bars so close to each other, I bet this street can get pretty busy in the evenings.  I should drive by sometime and see how crowded it gets.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Restaurant Observations


It's time for another one of my series of miscellaneous shots.  This time I selected a group of observations made at different restaurants.  The above shaded chandelier was seen at Central Wine Bar, a cute little place for a glass of wine and light snacks.


This gorgeous copper coffee and espresso maker was decorating Mancuso's Restaurant in downtown Phoenix.  That's a pretty impressive looking machine however, I think it's only for show.  I don't believe they are actually using it to make coffee.


This large scale photographic triptych was on the wall of Ocotillo Restaurant near downtown Phoenix.  That view of a road across a desert and heading toward a smoky storm really caught my eye.  If you have to drive across the desert, a dramatic sky is a bonus.


This last one is a view of the majestic horses that grace the front of the Scottsdale PF Changs restaurant.  This seems to be a standard decoration for PF Changs establishments.  If a PF Changs restaurant is located in your town, you might have seen these horses before.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sky Blue


What a pretty "sky blue" this old truck has been painted.  Someone has beautifully restored this old pickup.  I doubt that this color existed for Chevrolet trucks when it was brand new but, it sure does look good robed in sky-blue now.


It even looks like it's grinning at me!