Filed under: Blogging, Home, Phoenix | Tags: Blogging, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Phoenix, Photoblogging
…Wildlife in My Yard! For my personal photoblogging year in review, that is what first comes to mind. I feel as though I took more photos in my neighborhood in 2012 than I normally do so this particular review will be photos taken in our very own, very urban yard over the past year.
Two Harris’ Hawks who spent a lot of time in our neighborhood this year were in our 2 front yard trees one morning (Halloween, actually).
Skippers hung around all year.
A rare dragonfly dropped by and I got him away from the cats before damage was done.
The ever-present urban pigeons and doves…
The strangest sighting of the year in our yard…on our roof in this photo…a raccoon…very odd for central Phoenix. I spotted him on 3 different evenings but the last time I saw him was in October. None of the other neighbors seem to have seen him so I am hoping that no harm came to him but I don’t know that for a fact
Many Painted Ladies dropped by…
and a Gulf Fritillary or two.
Bees, of course.
Constant hummingbird action at the feeder, year-round. Click on above to animate.
New to me, a verdin.
I think this one above is an Anna’s Hummingbird. I really can’t tell the difference usually between our hummingbirds…if they are Allen’s, Rufous, or Ruby-Throated.
We also had coyotes in our yard last spring but we didn’t see them. Several of our neighbors did, however, but they left after a few days of sightings and none of our outdoor cats were harmed. I really hope they don’t come back!!!!!
So that was part of my year in review. Other 2012 topics would be our cats, roadtrips, murals (I’m way behind in my local mural documentation), flowers, and holidays celebrated. 2012 was also the year that I started to enjoy putting frames around some of my photos…hokey, maybe…but I find it very relaxing and entertaining, for some reason…and isn’t that part of why we do this?
So, here’s to a great year of photoblogging/blogging ahead for all of us. I enjoy reading all of your blogs and thank you for looking at mine.
Filed under: Arizona, Blogging, Home, Photography | Tags: Arizona, Blogging, Home, Hummingbirds, Learning, Photoblogging, Photography, Verdins
A short story, told mostly in pictures…
A cheery little hummer enjoys some sweet nectar and happily flits around.
The bossy hummer is happy again.
This is what I love about blogging~that I feel compelled to take more photos than I normally would, pay more attention to my surroundings than I normally would, and then research what I’ve found. I now know a lot more about various butterflies, birds, flowers, animals, places, artists than I would have ever discovered if I wasn’t trying to capture them all digitally and record them here.
This previously-unknown-to-me little yellow bird is a verdin (aka yellow-headed bushtit). They are found in only 5 of the US states, all desert southwestern states: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. They’re inquisitive yet shy, only 4 inches long at the most, and one of the smallest perching songbirds in North America. They build unique, basket-like, enclosed nests (which I have yet to see). They love nectar but are not pollinators. Verdins will also visit hummingbird feeders, sometimes using the feeding holes, but more often probing small cracks or openings around the feeders to collect dried sugar water. They also like pomegranate trees and we have one. Read more about these pretty creatures here.
Filed under: Art, Blogging, Phoenix | Tags: Art, Blogging, Downtown Phoenix, Lalo Cota, Murals, Phoenix, Photoblogging, Photoshop
Did you think this was another mural by Lalo Cota? Looks like one but it’s actually a painting by Lalo Cota. And it’s ours!
Sunday night Tony and I went to Barrio Cafe to celebrate one year of wedded bliss (since we were married on April Fool’s Day, 2011) after 17 years of unwedded bliss. It was multi-award-winning Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s vision that was the impetus for the Calle 16 mural project back in 2009/2010. The food is unbelievably awesome.
So the room we were seated in was full of Lalo Cota paintings and, since I love Lalo’s work, it was very tempting to bring one home as an anniversary gift to ourselves. There was a beautiful small one that I really wanted but it was already sold. The one above was right next to our table and I faced it throughout our meal. By the time the meal was over, it was sold, too…to us. I hope it’s the first of many we buy, really, and I would love to be able to buy the work of some of the other muralistas. Our waiter was Hugo Medina, a very nice and extremely accomplished artist, former art teacher, and co-founder of Calle 16. His show will be going up at the Barrio Cafe in a few days. Check out this video about the mural project featuring Hugo.
In other news~since I haven’t posted for a few days, taking full advantage of my last post (about Calle 16) being Freshly Pressed and remaining on the front page for 5 days~my strawberry jar which used to look like this…
Now looks like this…
It is filled with plumbago and vinca, two heat-tolerant plants (we’ll see if heat-tolerant really refers to Arizona heat). Actually, I have had vinca before and it does well in the summer. I’ve never tried plumbago, though. This is vinca…
And the cacti that I originally bought for the strawberry jar but were too big to poke through the pockets now reside here…
“Careful. The beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely prickly.”
And I couldn’t resist using the Warhol effect on the Lalo painting; something about the bright colors reminded me of Warhol. I didn’t realize until today that you can do it in a couple of easy steps in Photoshop Elements.
Thank you to everyone who reads my blog.
Filed under: Arizona, Art, Blogging, Cats, Photography, Valentines | Tags: Arizona, Art, Blogging, Cats, Holidays, Photoblogging, Photography, Sedona, Tony, Valentines
Amidst Valentine’s Day and Arizona Centennial Day, another minor exciting (to me) event occurred…the third anniversary of my blog, my blogiversary! The actual date was February 13th. My last post, The Valentine State, was also my 350th post. So…to keep my tradition going, I am having a little giveaway as I did for my first and second blogiversaries to let you know I appreciate you.
Above is the official first day of issue stamp celebrating Arizona’s centennial, the newest Forever stamp. That’s Arizona’s State Bird, the cactus wren, perched there. This commemorative piece can be yours! And, since that doesn’t seem like much of a giveaway, I’ll also enclose a little surprise, something else Arizona-y. And…I’ll enclose a print of one of my recent photos, either this one or this one, whichever looks better printed. Maybe not the most thrilling giveaway but, hey, it’s free!
Everyone in the continental U.S. is eligible by leaving a comment. As in the past (year one and year two), one of my cats will choose the winner. It’s really Abbey’s turn but the boy cats always horn in when she’s trying to do something constructive. The winner will be chosen on February 26th so get those comments in and tell all your friends!
See what my darling husband, Tony, gave me for Valentine’s Day? This was our first year married, although our 18th Valentine’s Day together. We had a long courtship.
Here is Paul McCartney’s original song, My Valentine, which you may have seen him perform on the Grammys last week.
“Um, where’s my valentine?” asks Google. “Shouldn’t that say, For My Google?”
Incidentally, the Arizona Forever stamp is available for purchase everywhere in the U.S. now. You should get some
The stamp was done by Arizona artist, Ed Mell, and depicts Cathedral Rock in Sedona. Here’s another view of Cathedral Rock from last summer.
Thank you for reading my blog!
Filed under: Arizona, Art, Blogging, Cats, Home, Phoenix, Photography | Tags: Arizona, Art, Blogging, Butterflies, Cats, Downtown Phoenix, Flora, Global Community, Holidays, Home, Hummingbirds, imagine, Lalo Cota, Learning, Murals, Phoenix, Photoblogging, Photography, Photoshop, Resorts, Sedona, Travels, vacation
Hope your shiny new year is off to a great start! I wasn’t planning to do a 2011 year review but it seems like a good idea to take stock now and then and look back but, mostly, it’s an excuse to use photos I already have since I’m running low right now. So, in no chronological order, here are some of the highlights of my blogging year (some coincide a little with my personal year).
In April, after 17 years together, Tony and I got married.
We had a little wedding but a big party.
I made the invitations for the party.
We went on a staycation at the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley.
I did some “imaginary vacation” photos around town in the heat of summer when I couldn’t think of anything to photograph. The first place, El Maya, was torn down a couple of weeks after I photographed it. Oh, and I learned how to do rounded corners and played with textures a lot more in 2011.
A few weeks later I did another local imaginary vacation in the sweltering heat.
We did a day trip to Sedona, I took a lot of photos, and got 2 blog posts out of them. It’s really hard to take bad photos in Sedona. One of those posts was Freshly Pressed on WordPress!
2011 was the year that I FINALLY got some good butterfly shots! Some Giant Swallowtails:
And a Variegated Fritillary:
As if that weren’t enough, 2011 gave me some good hummingbird shots, on two different occasions, something I had also never gotten before.
I continued shooting murals in downtown Phoenix, something I’ve done for 2.5 years now.
I got all enthused about another downtown Phoenix project, the Valley of the Sunflowers, and will post some new shots in a few days.
I took a lot of photos of our 3 indoor cats as well as our numerous outdoor cats. Sadly, 3 of our outdoor cats died in 2011, including WB, our faithful friend for many years (as well as Snowy and Isabella).
My hibiscus plant was the subject of a few posts. It almost croaked last winter through a few frosts even though it was covered. It recovered and thrived through the spring and early summer. Again it got very sickly looking during the intense summer heat, and now it is once again thriving…
I learned how to do animated gifs, providing myself hours of fun!
I got hooked on my old 50mm f/1.8 lens from my old Nikon film camera and have to shoot manually when I use it on my DSLR which is fun. I like the looks of the photos with it, too.
We grew a giant basil plant from seed and it provided a lot of seasoning for us until quite recently when it died. We’ll be doing that again as soon as it gets warmer. They flourish in heat and sun, which we have plenty of here.
I took a zillion rose photos, some got texture added to them, some didn’t.
We took another train ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad with Tony’s sister and her husband when they were out visiting in November. The railroad asked for permission to use a couple of my photos, this one in particular, and in return sent us two first-class passes for another trip (and a photo credit, of course). Someone else has asked for permission to use another photo from that same train ride and it will also result in a photo credit and some goods that I may mention at a later date.
Some photos I liked, just because.
And a lot of my photos were just taken around my yard and neighborhood.
So that about sums it up for 2011 on this blog. Thank you to all of you who read it and I really enjoy reading yours, too, and seeing your photos of your lives. Photoblogging is one of my favorite pastimes as I’m sure it is for most of you, too. I hope we all have a fun, productive, creative 2012 blogging experience.