Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pier 39

I had to post this after hearing that the sea lions had disappeared from Pier 39 in San Francisco. From what I understand, they suddenly turned up in the harbor after an earthquake in 1988 or 1989, and now they've just as suddenly disappeared some time after Thanksgiving this year. I'm just glad I got a chance to see them before they left.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Allan Houser at the Desert Botanical Garden

Here's a sample of Allan Houser's work, now on display at the Desert Botanical Garden, through August 2010. Houser (b. 1914, d. 1994) was an Apache sculpture considered by many to be the father of American Indian sculpture. I'm not sure why I like this particular piece...maybe because it reminds me of a pregnant woman.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ice Skating in Arizona

I was playing around with different shutter speeds, and I thought this one came out kind of interesting, although the composition could have been better. Anyway, I took this at Polar Ice in Gilbert, much closer to home than some of my recent posts.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wild West Junction

The last couple of days have been super busy, so I'm posting an older photo, one from my Williams trip a few months ago. I believe this was the sign for a themed restaurant.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cactus Needles

Here's a fun photo. I thought I was seeing things when I noticed these colored needles on some of the saguaro at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson. No! Each year, they've marked the growth as part of a botanical experiment. (The docents couldn't give me any more detail than that.) One of the interesting things I noticed is the growth on each saguaro seemed to be different, leaving you to wonder if the saguaros all grow at their own pace.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Potted Plant

After the dude ranch, I visited Tohono Chul Park, a botanical garden in Tucson. I liked the colors of this arrangement: the blue pot, the red stairs, the white walls and the green plant.

Friday, December 18, 2009


This is one of the Tanque Verde Ranch horses. The ranch has 168 geldings (mares have a mind of their own and distract the males). Most of the horses are between 5 to 7 years old, and they tend to be bigger-boned, larger animals suitable for riders of any size (under 250 lbs).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tanque Verde Ranch

I visited Tanque Verde Ranch yesterday and got to take a horseback ride through the desert. Here's a photo I took as I was riding.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Tempe Segway tour: In front Arizona State University

Arizona Ceramic Research Center

One of the pieces on display at the Arizoan Ceramic Research Center on the ASU campus in Tempe.

Monday, December 14, 2009


This is the best shot I could get of the Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden. Unfortunately, it's in the parking lot on the way out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tempe Festival of the Arts, Part 1

This guy was having such a great time playing that I had to take his photo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Metal Flowers

I was at the Tempe Arts Festival on Saturday, and a friend pointed out these metal flowers. She wants a yard full of them because they look great and she can't kill them. LOL! At her request, I took a few photographs.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tempe at Night

I'm on a press trip in Tempe, Arizona, this weekend (which is why I didn't have an opportunity to post yesterday). I took this photo last night, looking from the Tempe Performing Arts Center and across the Town Lake.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cactus Face

Something about this cactus creeps me out a bit. To me, at least, it looks a little like a face even though the second "eye" is so far off to the side.

Anyway, this is post 100 today! I feel like I should be making a little cake and throwing a party like they do for the 100th episode of a TV show!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DeGrazia's Gallery

I rediscovered these photos from my visit to Ted DeGrazia's studio and thought they'd be great to share. DeGrazia painted angelic figures in bright colors. I'm sure you'd recognize the artwork if you don't recognize his name. Above is the entrance to his studio. Below the actual studio. To learn more, please visit my other site, The AZ Traveler, at

Monday, November 30, 2009

South Mountain

This is one of my favorite photos of the city, a view from South Mountain. A monsoon blew in, and in the photo below, you can see the wall of wind moving through downtown Phoenix.

South Mountain Park is the largest muncipal park in the world. Seven miles of paved road take drivers to scenic views at 2,300 and 2,600 feet. I think I snapped this photo from the second view point, but I'm not sure. The park is 16,000 acres and offers 51 miles of trails.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Hanny's used to be Phoenix's premier downtown department store until it closed about 20 years ago. To find out more about it, visit my other blog, The AZ Traveler at

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sheraton Downtown

I was in this Sheraton for the first time a few weeks ago. Very modern. Very cool. (Unfortunately, I was there for a business meeting and didn't have an opportunity to take photos inside.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making Bullets

I watched a Revolutionary War reenactor make bullets Saturday by melting aluminium foil over an open fire and pouring the liquid metal into a small mold. When he was done, he crimped the runoff away so it formed a perfect circular bullet. Then, he threw the bullet back into the aluminum to melt down and start all over again. (Something an actual soldier, of course, would have never done.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Another photo from the American Heritage Festival...This reenactor represented the mountain men. After we had moved past him, he pulled out his banjo and began to play.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We Make History

We went to The American History Festival yesterday at Schnepf Farms here in Queen Creek. The event is put on by a group called We Make History, and my brother was one of the reenactors. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing some photos. Todays are from the Civil War reenactment.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I took this photo in my backyard. It's not uncommon to open our back door and have two or three rabbits run off, though I've seen as many as half a dozen. The rabbits are definitely what's drawing the coyotes into our neighborhood.

Speaking of coyotes...Last night, as we were driving home along Hunt Highway, my husband slammed on the brakes, like he might have if he missed our turn (which isn't that uncommon, given how dark it is out here). I looked up and was surprised to find we weren't anywhere near our turn off. Just then, I saw one of two coyotes dart into the road. The first one made it all the way across; the second one went about halfway, then turned back. They both seemed pretty confused and kept trying to cross the road to get back to each other. We finally were able to move on, leaving them on opposite sides of the road.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Light Rail

We've had light rail in the Valley for less than a year now. I haven't taken it from the East Valley to downtown yet (the closest stop for me is Tempe), but I've heard from those who have that it's great, especially if you are going to a Diamondbacks or Suns game.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I was back in downtown Phoenix yesterday getting ready for my book signing on Thursday (1-5pm) at the Visitors Center, right next to the Convention Center. Again, I parked on the 9th floor of the Arizona Center parking garage. (I like to park away from other cars, and its a nice view.)

This photo is of the skyline to the north of I10.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Her Secret is Patience

This is another photograph taken from the 9th floor of the Arizona Center parking garage. You'll see a large metal pole in the middle of the photograph, anchoring two blue circles just above the buildings. From where I was, I couldn't get a better shot of "Her Secret is Patience," a new artwork in Downtown Civic Park. The net sculpture, inspired by monsoon clouds and cactus blooms, moves with the wind and glows at night. See a shot of it at night in this month's issue of Sunset magazine.