Saturday, March 28, 2009

distinguished indeed

This has got to be one of my favorite interpretive signs... This is at the Tucson Botanical Gardens and the cactus reading the sign grows along an adjacent tree and drops down to emphasize "...distinguished from all other plants...".

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I dropped by Tucson Botanical Gardens for lunch today and took a few pictures. Lots of flowers blooming. Tucson springtime (and pollen counts, sneeze) is here. I was intrigued by this flower in particular, very complex. Any of you plant people out there know what this is?

Update: After a little research tonight, this appears to be a Passiflora caerulea, also known as the blue passionflower.

[Links: Randy Garsee (of the Tucson Murals Project) is now over in Iraq as a civilian journalist for the Marines documenting what he sees as "our military prepares to drawdown, pack up and roll out." He is blogging about his experiences on his personal blog: ]

Sunday, March 22, 2009

cellular mutations

Looking up the hill from the Pantano Horse Stables today while attending the Boogie n' Blues music festival. Looks like the number of cell phone towers at McGraw's Cantina has expanded to four (click on picture).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

self reflection

This building is across from the Mill Ave light rail stop in Tempe. I like the design and how it self reflects on itself -- nice effect!

I'm also liking the new light rail system -- it is really changing my impression of sections of Phoenix that it runs through. Normally, I only see downtown / uptown from the surrounding highways. I decided to hop the rail from uptown Phoenix out to Mill Avenue by ASU in Tempe for dinner, during rush hour. Piece of cake: no traffic hassles, no parking hassles.

I think downtown Phoenix, Tempe, Arizona State University (ASU), and Sky Harbor Airport are all going to be stronger and healthier due to the light rail. Job well done.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

no effects reflects

I saw the building reflection above while in downtown Phoenix today, one of the best building reflection effects that I've seen. The actual building being reflected (below) has narrow vertical windows.

No mirror effects here, this is literally just pointing my camera skyward and snapping the picture. Great building design, enhanced by the placement of the palms.

This building somehow seems to catch different reflections in each of its windows.

closer view of one of the window reflections... really looks like framed art and yet its just a mirrored window... amazing.

textured reflection

I kept my car parked today and rode the new light rail into downtown Phoenix for my class. Very nice. Similar to San Jose and Portland light rails. Easy to use -- there are ticket kiosks at each stop where you can buy various types and durations of passes. An unlimited day pass runs $2.50. I think they are on the right track here with transit and the revitalization of downtown Phoenix.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

hidden overhead

I usually just blow on past the shade ramadas at the parking lot of Sabino Canyon when I go for a hike. Last week I happened to walk under one of the ramadas and noticed for the first time a bunch of tile mosaics under the roof beams recognizing donors (portions of mosaics above). Looks like they are done in the Santa Theresa style -- lots of individually crafted small tiles set in grout. Nicely done.

As usual, click on individual pictures for close look...