Category Archives: Phoenix

Trendy

Steel

Wood Vert

I live in a “trendy” neighborhood, meaning the houses are old and a lot of residents and/or flippers are renovating them. Ours is still in the “fixer upper” stage in many ways and I hope to start on some of those projects in the upcoming months when I have more spare time.

Back in June, I had a guest post by Satinder Haer of Zillow and she also wrote another one that I am posting now. Once again, I am receiving no compensation of any kind from Zillow. I’m including architectural highlight photos that I took around my trendy neighborhood.

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Why Move to Phoenix?


By Satinder Haer of Zillow
Not many people would turn down 320 days of sunshine each year, and Phoenix residents are among those who take advantage of the long, bright season. Why hasn’t everyone already scrambled to move there? The population of Phoenix remains small. In addition to the expansive golf courses, vacation resorts and desert scenery that makes Phoenix a great tourist spot is a thriving and steadily expanding metropolis.

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But the close proximity to travel destinations, sunny skies and the low cost of living might be the best-kept secrets of current Phoenix residents. Check out why you should consider relocating to Phoenix.

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Access
Phoenix is a hub for numerous destinations across the region. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, take advantage of Arizona’s 22 national parks, six national forests and endless hiking trails. Explore many of these outdoor adventures via a quick 30-minute car ride. Or, make a weekend trip out of it by visiting a site outside of the city. Alternatively, snag great off-season deals at local resorts and treat yourself to a weekend of relaxation in a neighboring town.

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For those that would rather vacation outside the state, California and Mexico are both accessible. It’s a 6-hour drive from Phoenix to San Diego if you’re longing to see the ocean, or 8 hours to Los Angeles to spot celebrities. Mexico offers Puerto Penasco, less than a full day’s drive from Phoenix.

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Weather
The sweltering Arizona heat is often discussed fearfully by potential movers. While a few weeks in the summer reach temperatures above 100 degrees, the dry heat keeps humidity levels low; meaning it feels much cooler than being in a location with the same temperature with high humidity.

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Don’t let the desert heat scare you off from moving to Phoenix without exploring the upside. Phoenix experiences seven months of glorious sunshine while most of the country is battling snow and rain. The five month “cold season” in Phoenix has an average daily high of 73 degrees. Residents of Phoenix can golf, swim and make outdoor plans without worrying about bad weather for most of the year. Plus, the days are long year-round, with early sunrises and late sunsets.

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Cost of Living
Phoenix has a low cost of living compared to the national average, 4 percent lower. It’s particularly low in comparison to other major cities. Real estate prices contribute significantly to the low cost of living. Home values in Phoenix are 6 percent lower than national values with a median home value of $174,000. Rents, too, are lower at $1,185, while U.S. rents cost $1,367. Additionally, groceries in Phoenix are 2 percent cheaper than the national average while transportation and healthcare each cost 1 percent above the average.

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For comparison, the cost of living in Miami is 14 percent higher than the national average, Dallas is at the national average and New York is 126 percent higher. If you’re seeking a city lifestyle without city prices, Phoenix is a solid bet.
In addition to these benefits, Phoenix offers plenty of culture, food and entertainment, too. If you’re feeling the moving itch consider communities in Phoenix.

Yellow House

Red Door

Summer at Granada

Ring Necked Duck

Granada Park, as I’ve mentioned before, is my main “go-to” birding location. It’s close to home, has 2 small lakes (ponds), desert trails, and is at the foot of Piestewa Peak. From November to June, I went at least once a week but, in June, due to the heat, I kinda wimped out and only went once the whole month. So far, in July, I’ve gone twice, and last weekend had a good yield for me. So here are some photos of summer in Granada.

Ring-Necked Duck

This Ring-Necked Duck (drake), above 2 photos, is actually a rarity this time of year in Phoenix. They normally migrate but I saw him (or another just like him) last summer, too, so I wonder if he can’t fly or if he just likes Granada. He has plenty of other park ducks to hang out with but none of his own kind. When fall comes, though, his friends will return.

Flicker 2_edited-1Gilded Flicker, male

This handsome guy appears to have been snatched from the talons of death just in the nick of time. I don’t know if tail feathers grow back, hope so. Bet it hurt but he was lucky.

Kestrel 1_edited-1American Kestrel, male

He might have been the culprit because kestrels are small but fierce.

Common RavenCommon Raven

I never see crows or ravens here but I did.

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Goose 1Domestic Goose

This goose is a full-time resident and pretty bossy.

WW DoveWhite-Winged Dove

FinchHouse Finches

Heron 1Green Heron

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HumAnna’s Hummingbird

SparrowHouse Sparrow, male

NestVerdin Nest

Sag

Sag Holes

One of the 2 remaining saguaros in the park after the last one collapsed.

DSC_3033Ash-Throated Flycatcher (LIFER)

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Georgie

This is Georgie, who I have gotten to know at the park, along with her mom. But they are moving out-of-state in a few days so I won’t see this pretty girl there anymore. The lake won’t be the same without Georgie fetching her ball over and over.

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Phoenix Wildlife, A Guest Post

AZ Necklace

Zillow recently approached me and asked to do a guest post about Phoenix since Glenrosa Journeys is primarily Phoenix-based. As I mentioned in my last post, it’s really hot here and I haven’t gone out photographing as much as I normally do, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to buy myself a little time. And since I ♥ Phoenix, I was also curious about what the author would say about my town. I am receiving no sort of compensation for this; I just thought it would be fun to take them up on it and I, personally, always enjoy looking around on Zillow…at houses I’ve lived in before, areas I’m interested in, houses I know are for sale, etc. I’ve added a few of my photos of places or wildlife that Satinder mentioned to personalize this post. Thanks to her, I have a couple new ideas of where to go…when it’s cooler.

PHX pendant

3 Areas in Phoenix with the Best Access to Wildlife


By Satinder Haer of Zillow

Arizona is known for its amazing wildlife and Phoenix specifically is packed with outdoor locations to soak up the sights. The state is home to six national forests, 22 national parks and dozens of wildlife refuges. Unlike other cities, you don’t have to live hours outside of Phoenix to have access to the city and the outdoors.
If you’re relocating to a new home in Phoenix, consider one of these three locations for close proximity to wildlife areas.

Deer Valley
Located only 18 miles north of downtown Phoenix, Deer Valley offers reasonably priced real estate and close proximity to the outdoors. The median home value in Deer Valley is $191,000, about one-third lower than home values in neighboring areas. Less than 10 minutes west of Deer Valley is the Thunderbird Conservation Park with inhabitants such as coyotes, gray and kit foxes as well as dozens of bird species. Some of the trail options are short enough to complete as a quick, evening workout while others require a full day.

Hassayampa River Preserve, early spring

Hassayampa River Preserve, early spring

On the weekend, you can venture an hour west to the Hassayampa River Preserve or an hour east to the Tonto National Forest. Spot over 280 bird species at Hassayampa, including yellow-rumped warblers and cedar waxwings or arrive at sunrise to see ringtails and bobcats emerging. Alternatively, head to Tonto and view a rare Chiricahua leopard frog or a banded sand snake. Exercise caution and follow site regulations regardless of outing.

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Hassayampa River Preserve, early spring

Ahwatukee Foothills Village
The urban village of Ahwatukee is located on the brink of South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the country. You can even find a house nestled into the mountain preserve if you want to live in the epicenter of nature. Housing prices are on the rise in the Ahwatukee Foothills with a median home value of $284,800. The home values in this area are expected to rise another 1.5 percent by next June, even after experiencing a growth of 2.5 percent in the last year. This growth is not unprecedented, since the village is a 20-minute drive from downtown Phoenix.

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White-Belted Ringtail Dragonfly

On weekends, drive 1.5 hours south to Sonoran Desert National Monument for endless hiking options. The Brittlebush Trail is an easy 6-mile hike known for bighorn sheep, desert mule deer and desert tortoise spotting. For a change of scenery, swing west to Estrella Mountain Regional Park and explore the unique wildflower vegetation.

Rocks Crop

Painted Lady Butterfly

Central City
You don’t even have to leave downtown Phoenix to see some of the best wildlife Arizona offers. Central City, which encompasses downtown, is actually the cheapest of these locations with a median home value of $100,800 and anticipated annual appreciation of 4.2 percent. Now is a great time to purchase a home in Central City if you want to live in the heart of the city and simultaneously experience Arizona’s outdoor adventures. During the summer, see hundreds of Mexican free-tail bats emerge in droves from a 7-mile underground tunnel (part of the Maricopa County Flood Control ditch) nicknamed the Phoenix Bat Cave. The southwest corner of 24th Street and Biltmore Circle is a great location for viewing the bats and spotting nighthawks.

Lesser Nighthawk 2

Lesser Nighthawk

Cactus Wren, AZ State Bird, Desert Botanical garden

Cactus Wren, AZ State Bird, Desert Botanical Garden

Later in the summer, enjoy butterfly season through guided walks at a number of locations within an hour drive of downtown: the Desert Botanical Garden, Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park and the Gilbert Riparian Preserve. Of course, if you’re willing to drive an hour in any direction, you can always find a national park or mountain trail to hike.

Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Wildlife seekers will not be disappointed by their decision to live in Phoenix—whether it’s in Central City, Ahwatukee Foothills Village or Deer Valley.

Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

[Note: Copper Necklace by Lisa Pauling of Be You Jewelry; Silver Necklace by Michelle Spanyard. They are both AZ artists.]

Park Pals

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Gilded Flicker, male

I go to several urban parks on a regular basis. Weekly I head over to Granada Park, the closest to my house, but I also visit several others. Here are a few friends I met over the last month, mostly at Granada but also 4 other parks.

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Gambel’s Quail, female

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Green Heron

Killdeer

Killdeer

Lovebird

Rosy-Faced Lovebird, juvenile

Thrasher

Curve-Billed Thrasher

Verdin 2

Verdin

Verdin

Verdins

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Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpipers

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Black Phoebe, chowing down

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Gila Woodpecker, female

Cowbird Girl

Brown-Headed Cowbird, female

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-Winged Blackbird

Finch Yellow

House  Finch, yellow variety

Cormy

Neotropic Cormorant

Matching Ducks

I guess these guys, above, must be Mallard hybrids (or domestic ducks), but they’re funny, always swimming together and looking similar but different. Must be related.

And another little buddy that I see at the park often, Georgie, a water dog:

Georgie

Georgie Wet

Georgie

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Who?

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Burrowing Owls, that’s who. Burrowing owls are small (9 inch tall), day-active birds that live in the abandoned burrows of ground squirrels and other mammals. They are highly social and eat primarily insects and mice. Once common in the Phoenix valley, these birds are disappearing rapidly due to development. Oftentimes, developers are not even aware that there are burrows and they excavate over them. Fortunately, the birds can be trapped and successfully relocated to safe sites; however, these sites are becoming increasingly rare (Downtown Owls).

The City of Phoenix, along with Wild at Heart and Audubon Arizona (funded by Toyota TogetherGreen) have been relocating these displaced owls for the last couple of years in the Rio Salado Restoration Habitat Area. Volunteers build burrows out of PVC pipes and 5 gallon buckets for them, and they are gradually re-introduced into their new burrows.

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We went to see the owls this weekend with our friend, Lawrence Polk, Parks Special Operations Supervisor, for the City of Phoenix, and we got a guided tour of the burrows, which are on a bluff overlooking the Salt River. Each burrow is covered over with rocks to protect it and has a perching post outside.

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The birds are not very shy but you are not supposed to get within 15 feet of them. The burrowing owl is federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Burrowing Owls are listed as Endangered in Canada and Threatened in Mexico. In Arizona, they are considered a Species of Concern.

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Turkey Vulture

They are always on the lookout for any possible danger. I thought maybe the hawk, above, was scoping out the owls but, later, when I looked at my photos, I realized it was a Turkey Vulture, looking for carrion, so the owls weren’t in danger from him.

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We saw several of the owls and I took about 150 photos but they all kind of look about the same, I noticed, so I won’t show you all of them.

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There are a few other locations in the area where new habitats for the owls are being built, including Zanjero Park in Gilbert.