Tuesday, November 25, 2008

desert plants & melted sand

I have Thanksgiving week off from work and decided to combine a trip up to Prescott (to bring my mother down to Tucson for Thanksgiving) with a stop at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. I've been meaning to visit there for some time (new thing #62), but held off for a while so I could visit when the Chihuly blown glass art exhibition was displayed (new thing #63). Click on pics for larger views.

Incredible green glass agaves next to real agaves!

Columnar blown glass intermixed with columnar cacti

reminds me of a bunch of Night Herons, well... at night

Very nice gardens and plant specimens

I think I saw this creature on an original Star Trek episode?

Very peaceful blue agave setting

Great ball of glass plates

Gives new meaning to the expression Float Your Boat? That's a 14-16 ft boat by the way...

a nice mix of glass and plants

I'm guessing the cacti grow toward the sun and the glass is reaching for the moon...

Most of the glass art is illuminated by small spotlights at night with one very large exception pictured above. This piece is call the Saffron Tower and is 27 ft tall, made out of a bunch of yellow neon tubes. This thing was BRIGHT.

This is the ball featured in my night shot at the start of this sequence. Boy, this looks fragile. According to one of the staff, the glass exhibits showed up in three semi-trucks and each individual blown glass piece had to be painstakingly assembled into the big art pieces such as the one pictured.

This display of Chihuly intricate blown glass art works placed among desert plants is really something to see -- I recommend seeing it if you find yourself in the Phoenix area!

The Chihuly glass will be at the Desert Botanical Garden from November 22nd, 2008 through May 31, 2009. Reservations are recommended. There are three different entry periods per day: 8-12, 12-4, and 4-8. I recommend the 4-8 period which lets you see a mixture of daylight and nighttime settings. The plants by themselves are very cool. The blown glass art work by itself is cool. Together they are are outstanding. [My pics are just a sampling, there is a lot to see -- plants and melted sand.]


  1. This is fantastic...thank you for the tour. I used to work there, but haven't been back in a while...would love to get up there to see this.

  2. Didn't Sock mind-meld with that one? heheh

    I just finished a sci-fi fantasy placed on another planet and these look like some of the described plant life. The "Herons" make me think of flesh eating plants, though. I loved the boat!

    I could not imagine putting those together!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. In a region which has lain barren for centuries, it is yet another Chinese engineering marvel. The desert sand reaches boiling point in the summer but freezes in the winter, when temperatures can drop to -20 degrees centigrade.

  4. SWMBO and I have tickets to go see this exhibit in mid-December. Thanks for the preview.

  5. Kim -- I'm glad you like, that must have been an interesting place to work at.

    tree ocean -- the boat was very neat, I spent quite a bit of time there just relaxing and taking in the scene.

    William -- thanks for the comment!

    GrannyJ -- indeed!

    Catalyst -- I'm sure you will enjoy the exibits and plants. I'm kind of amazed that some of the glass will (?) be able to stand up to strong winds.

  6. WOW! This is fantastic. Thankyou for sharing these. I may never get to see them in 'real life' but I do appreciate this visit!!
    We watched glass blowers in Westport New Zealand, many years ago, & loved their art.

  7. meggie -- thanks for stopping by and for the comment!

  8. I think I just found a reason to go to phoenix! :)

  9. TomboCheck -- well worth the visit

  10. this is simply superb!!! my friend too had visited this place recently!!! gr8!!!

  11. My Fantasy: To run through that place with a bat and pellet gun...

    Reality: Stand behind ropes and fantasize...


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