Filed under: Home, Phoenix | Tags: Butterflies, Flora, Home, Phoenix, Scottsdale
This isn’t the first butterfly I’ve seen this year but it’s the first one I’ve been able to photograph in my yard. And it’s another one that is new to me that I had to ID on the internet: a Checkered White!
Click for better detail on any of these.
Like many places, Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden has a butterfly exhibit every spring as well as a Monarch exhibit every fall but I’ve never been. I guess I assume it would be so crowded it would be hard to shoot. But I also like the challenge of finding them on my own, au naturel, in my yard, mostly, and then trying to identify them.
On May 25th, a whole new butterfly experience is coming to town, in Scottsdale, very close to where I work, Butterfly Wonderland: A Rainforest Experience. It looks interesting so I’m sure at some point, I’ll drop by.
Meanwhile, my yard is my favorite place capturing these assorted beauties. Here’s part of my collection from the past:
This 20 foot gilded feather is suspended at the entrance to the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. It is part of an installation called Imagination Gives Us Wings by Larry Kirkland.
Above it, a bird-shaped oculus traces the movement of the sun as the bird “flies” across the entryway. The feather appears to have fallen from the bird’s wings.
The library had changed since the last time I was there a few years ago. Many of the surrounding trees and bushes were in spring bloom the other evening.
This is an orchid tree, they’re pretty dramatic.
Do you ever have a blog post that you think is kinda crappy? That’s how I feel about this one. Hope to get some more photos lined up this weekend. The citrus is in bloom here now and it smells heavenly. Happy Spring!
Filed under: Arizona, Art, The Route to Work | Tags: Arizona, Art, Flora, Home, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale
He’d always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country. This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaro standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite. ~ Dorothy B. Hughes, The Expendable Man
Everything that ever happened to me that was important happened in the desert. ~ Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
Filed under: Art, The Route to Work | Tags: Art, Greater Good, Parks, Scottsdale
We’ve had some rainy days lately…which is good in the desert, although I personally don’t like rain. These horse gargoyles are on my route to work but Tony and I went over to see them on this past gloomy Sunday, after a lot of rain…and right before a lot more.
We were at Water Mark in Indian Bend Wash in Scottsdale, part of a flood control system. This road was washed out many times so a solution was needed and, fortunately, art was part of it. The five aluminum 14-foot-tall gargoyle horses were installed in March, 2010. They were created by Seattle artists Tom Drugan and Laura Haddad. I guess they know about rain up there.
This above photo will give you an idea of the scale. A bike and walking path runs under the horses, parallel to the road, but we didn’t feel like ruining our shoes. “Directed towards the passing traffic, each gargoyle strikes a different pose and stands sentinel, some with ears pricked back to hear impeding flows, which can envelope but never overtake them. During dramatic flash flooding, water pours from the gargoyles’ mouths.” Each horse’s front legs are in different positions, too.
Watch this great video done by local artist and avid bicyclist Dayvid LeMmon to see the horses spouting water the other day.
Check out Phoenix blogger and cyclist John Romeo Alpha’s blog, too. He was at the Wash on Sunday, too, and got great shots and another video of spouting horses.
The lake behind the horses is full of geese every time I drive by.
They totally fascinate me every time I see them, which is almost daily now.
These photos are from McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in lovely Scottsdale. It’s another park that I hadn’t visited in years but, a couple weeks ago, the office that I’ve worked in for the last few years relocated to a new building farther north in Scottsdale. If anyone had asked me, my preference would have been that we stayed where we were but I was not consulted.
Full-size railroad cars are all over the park. I think some of them are open to the public at times.
The new office is farther from where I live and I was worried~not being much of a morning person~that it would be hard for me to get to work on time. However, as it turns out, the drive is much quicker than I had feared and~as a bonus~it’s a really beautiful drive all the way from point A to point B.
In the mere 12 mile drive each way, there are a huge amount of parks, mountains, small lakes, nature preserves, trails, sculptures, fountains, beautiful churches, gorgeous resorts, flowers, birds, and stunning vistas…Some places I have photographed/blogged about previously are on my route, most recently the place where I saw the lone egret, but there are so many new photo ops awaiting that I’m almost excited to go to work…well, not really, but I’m even more excited to leave work everyday than before.
Right now, it’s a little hard to get many shots before it starts getting dark but, as we head into spring, the opportunities should be plentiful.
Paradise and Pacific Railroad was the first attraction to the park and continues to be its centerpiece. It’s built and operated as an exact 5/12 (5 inches equals one foot) reproduction of a Colorado narrow gauge railroad. The Paradise and Pacific Railroad carries delighted passengers throughout the park on a one mile track. The railroad features three steam locomotives, 2 diesel engines, several scale model cars, a turntable, water tank, trestles, and a 32 x 200 train shed providing protection from the elements. The train shed also houses a complete machine shop for building and maintaining the railroad.