Saturday, May 31, 2008

a well-balanced diet

Here is Simba, my neighbor's cat, demonstrating the importance of water as part of a well-balanced cat diet (or is that a well-balanced cat is part of getting a cool drink of water?)

It must be reassuring for a desert dwelling cat to have his own 9 ft deep water dish!

Hmmm, also shows that its time for one of my least favorite activities, cleaning tile. Sigh.

Friday, May 30, 2008

#26 artistic structured chaos

Sometime back I heard that there was a house over by Salpointe High School that had a lot of metal art or something. Last weekend I found myself in the area, so I drove around and finally found the house at the intersection of Water & Highland. The musician in the picture above is at a nearby turn circle in the neighborhood and undoubtedly by the same artist.
But the yard... Wowsa. Tons and tons of folk art of different ages and condition. All the way out to the curb. Walking along the street it was very interesting: saw a lot of clutter and a lot of interesting, really neat stuff. Well worth a stop. Not sure if I would want to be a close property owner. But pretty darn cool to visit. Everywhere I looked, the more I looked, the deeper I looked, the more things I would see that I initially missed.

Chrome magnon men?

Rusted large coffee or food cans

A local band hanging out on the corner

Perhaps these cans originally held Llama Beans?

A little camera shy, but I wasn't shy of a camera, so I snapped it

The very definition of recycling!

A saguaro in another street turn circle nearby

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

non monochrome

This house is located in the neighborhood east of the UofA. Wow. Check out the tiled chimney. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some lime green somewhere on this house, maybe in a hidden patio. One creative & brave homeowner! I think it works nicely.

[For some great pictures of victorian style towers on houses up in Prescott Arizona, check out the May 26th blog entry over at WalkingPrescott.]

#25 created a semi-protected e mail image

I've been meaning to do this for a while now... I created an image of one of my e addresses in a form that makes it difficult (but not impossible) for a traditional automated text crawler to find it. Hopefully this will be sufficient to have an address on my blog and not get a large quantity of junk mail in the process.

Coming up on June already and I had a "new thing" goal of 100 for the year, I guess I better start getting creative!

Monday, May 26, 2008

#23, #24 saw a mural on purpose, not accident

The Tucson Murals Project blog recently posted a picture of a mural in Tucson that looked pretty neat, so I decided to follow their virtual link to the physical address and see it for myself. Usually I spot murals by accident while driving around doing errands. This is a "new to me" (#24), to actually seek a specific one out on purpose. Here are a few of my pictures of it. Very big, very well done. Worth a visit. [click pics to enlarge]

Also on my "was" new-to-me list from a little while back, I joined AARP (#23). Part of the ritual of turning 50, I guess. Even though retirement is hopefully some ways off for me, I enjoy reading many of the articles in the AARP magazine. Useful for insight and planning. But 50? Come on, 50 is the new 30, right?!!

[Lynette's blog at Portland Daily Photo has a very nice, and serendipitous, Memorial Day photo sequence worth checking out. Also, Rick Steves (of Rick Steves TV travel shows) is currently visiting Iran and blogging about it. Interesting reading.]

Saturday, May 17, 2008


This sculpture measures 10 feet tall by 8 feet wide. It is located at a residence along La Canada, north of River Road, viewable from the street. The sculpture is actually named "El Hombre" and was made by artist Bruce Butler.


This would be a cool sculpture to see on a dark stormy night with lightning in the sky. [I used photoshop to drop the brightness of the sky and ground to help set the mood...]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

#22 Yavapai College Sculpture Garden

I went up to Prescott to visit my mother for Mother's Day and took her out to a Symphony Orchestra concert at the Yavapai College Performance Hall. I spent a lot of time hanging out at Yavapai College back in Junior High and High School, but not much since leaving Prescott. I have to say I'm impressed with how it is today -- very nice campus layout, a really nice and modern performing arts hall, and a lot of cool sculptures in a peaceful sculpture garden.

The Orchestra performed the world premier of a piece entitled "Whiskey Row" which was a reflection on the street full of saloons called Whiskey Row burning down back when the old west was young. During the performance they projected historic photographs from the Sharlot Hall Museum of the actual fire, complete with pictures of the saloon patrons who had dragged a bar and several barrels of booze across the street to safety where they could continue imbibing while watching the buildings burn to the ground. A nice piece of music set to an interesting part of Prescott's history.

Here are a few nice examples of some of the pieces in the college sculpture garden. Well worth a stop if you are passing through Prescott.

This flagstone sculpture was one of my favorites. The piece changes dramatically as you walk around and through it, full of uniform and irregular surfaces and changing perspectives.

And driving out Iron Springs Road we were surprised to see how far back in time we had traveled...
We passed a house with a LOT of large and small metal dinosaurs spread out over their yard. I took pictures, but decided to search the Walking Prescott blog and sure enough, "grannyj" had found this place back in 2006 and taken a bunch of pictures here with her daughter and granddaughter in the pictures for scale (no pun intended). Check out her pictures of these very cool animal sculptures here. Very, very cool way to decorate a large natural property and an unexpected surprise to find while driving around.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

shadow boxing

I think this is a grate shadow picture, but that's not cast in concrete. *smile*

I found this interesting shadow in a construction zone on Copper Basin Road in Prescott this weekend. No one will see the shadows cast inside the drain once its planted, but they will be there.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Saguaro flowers

This is the saguaro arm I've been following in previous posts now starting to bloom. Each night a few of the buds will open into 3 inch diameter flowers to be pollinated by the three Bs: Bats, Birds, and Bees. Later in the day the flower will close forever and begin to create what will be a 3 inch oval red fruit.

The picture below is this same arm, two weeks ago, showing the flower buds at different stages of development. Saguaros bloom for a few weeks, but only a few percent of the buds bloom on any given day (there can still be a LOT of blooming flowers, but each day its a completely new set of buds which have bloomed). Pretty neat planet we share!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

the blue bird of ...

I really like this artist's wall art, found over on the west side of Tucson. My photo above, and four more from the same wall can be found over at Randy Garsee's Tucson Mural Project.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

#21 Hiked Wild Burro Canyon

I joined friends GT & PT for a nice hike today up the Wild Burro Canyon and Alamo Spring trails in NE Tucson Metro (about 8.5 miles roundtrip). Palo Verde, cholla, prickly pear, hedgehog, ocotillo were all still blooming and the saguaros were just starting to bloom -- most were still getting buds ready to bloom. The above picture shows a palo verde tree still in a bright yellow bloom.

I guess I'm still working the bugs out of the new camera... We ran into several of the above insects roaming around in the sandy wash. I don't believe I've ever seen these before... Anyone have any idea what they are? Update: It is an Iron Cross Blister Beatle -- not one to handle or eat. For some more info check out notes on it at the Firefly Forest.

The ocotillo up here were putting on quite a show. Most of the ocotillo were leafless -- but just a little bit of rain and these sticks will be covered with fresh green leaves in a few days, only to drop them again shortly after the soil drys out again.

Which way? Oh, ok, thank you kindly Mr. Saguaro.

This low hanging saguaro arm is really budding out getting ready for the bloom!

Orange cholla flowers

We ran into a bunch of these poppy'ish looking flowers along the trail. Very pretty and really stood out against the other ground cover. [Update: grannyj has identified this as a "Mariposa Lily"]

When I uploaded this picture from my camera I did a double-take... This looks like one of those camera or photoshop special effects where you emphasize one color and drop out the rest. But no no no... I assure you this is a full color picture and the cholla really was that drab and its one flower really stands out this much!

Here is a closer shot of the cholla flower shown in the previous picture.

I really like purple thistles. I usually see bumble bees on patches like this one, no such today.

Here's GT & PT headed on down the Alamo Spring Trail and back to the car, shade, water, and food! It was starting to get hot out -- Tucson hit the low 90's today -- time to start thinking about heading to the high ground in the surrounding pines for summer hikes.

Ran into this rowdy bunch on the hike out. Not sure if they were giving us a hard time for thinking it was getting hot... Then again, they may have just been watching the game on a secluded TV stashed behind the bolder.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hedgehog(?) cacti in bloom

I drove by these purple and orange blooming cacti today and had to pull over to take a few pictures. I'm not sure, but I think they are both forms of hedgehog cacti.

El Rio murals

This a snap I took of a very cool mural located at the El Rio Neighborhood center on the west side of Tucson. I submitted this picture and several others from El Rio to the Tucson Mural Project Blog, check out that site to see more excellent murals. The artist is David Tineo.