Birthday Bird


Today’s my birthday so I thought I would commemorate it by trying to get a photo of my “Zodiac Bird.” You can find yours here. I succeeded but this is the time of year they are molting (I just found out today) so they don’t spread their plumage much. I was hoping for a more dramatic shot…and maybe finding a feather but neither of those worked out.


There were several Peacocks at historic, pretty Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale.



I’ll have to go back in the fall when it’s a lot more pleasant and they have their feathers again.


And there were Peahens, too, of course.


They were in the shade. I was the only one dumb enough to be out in the sun. There were also some bonus birds ~ Helmeted Guineafowl:


I like their feather pattern, kind of tweed-ish.



“Leave me alone!”

The Phoenix



It’s been so hot (116 today) and humid the last few days that I haven’t taken any photos. Here are some from last week on cloudy days during our monsoon season.


Someone’s nest blew down during the strong winds but I didn’t see any evidence of occupation so I’m assuming it was an old nest.


It’s only 3 inches across, too big for a hummingbird nest, not the right construction for a verdin nest, and too small for most of the other birds I’ve seen around here so it’s a mystery to me who built it. But I’m keeping it and thinking of a way to display it.

Phoenix Bird 4

This 18 foot tall piece, The Phoenix, located at the Shops at Town & Country, close to where I live, is by artist Paul Coze (1903-1974). He was a French-American anthropologist, artist, and writer, most notable as a French authority on Native Americans, and for his public art in the 1960s. Settling in Phoenix full-time in 1951, he founded an art school and created nine major pieces of public art in the city, including large multimedia installations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and other civic landmarks, most with Native themes. Coze provided artistic designs for Arizona’s celebration of 50 years of statehood, The Arizona Story, in 1962 (Wikipedia).

I’m hoping for a little bit of a cool down so I can head back out and get some more shots soon…

Music and Old Paintings

bass detail

Without music, life would be a mistake.

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

It almost looks like I was at Phoenix’s beautiful and impressive Musical Instrument Museum but I was just at home. Tony is a musician and this is his upright bass, one of his many musical instruments.

I don’t often really like when I add a texture to a photo but I like how this one turned out (Kim Klassen texture) because it reminds me of an old painting and, if you’ve read The Goldfinch, you’ll understand why old paintings appeal to me right now. I highly recommend the book but it’s a definite commitment at 755 pages!

Church in My Yard


God is in the details. This was how I went to church this morning…in my yard.


LC Bee




Cicada Exo with poem 7.13.14

Well, a little wishful thinking. Here in Phoenix, it would be fine with almost everyone if the summer had gone by already…I know most other parts of the US anyway don’t feel that way.


My Yard This Evening

Hawk 7.9.14

Look who’s back! I haven’t taken any photos of our neighborhood Harris’ Hawks in awhile. There are 4 who hang around but tonight I saw 2 of them right before dusk.

Hawk 2 7.9.14

This is #2. These photos are all high ISO because of the fading light, which is not my favorite way to take photos. I’ve gotten better hawk shots in the past like these.

2 Hawks 7.9.14

Hum 7.9.14

And at the other end of the size spectrum, but equally formidable, are all these little regulars, the Anna’s Hummingbirds.

Hum Fly 7.9.14

Sven 7.9.14

Svengali loves when we spend time outside with him and the other outdoor cats. He loves the attention.

Moon 7.9.14

Almost a full moon!