I’m out on a limb because today is the first day of my retirement after working 39 years for the same organization! I won’t have any personal income for another 10 months unless I take a part-time job but it should be okay anyway. Tony is still working for awhile and I have money saved just for this time.
So I plan to be out in nature more and seeing more birds, at more places. Hopefully, it will be all fun and no worries.
Today at Granada Park, I got another lifer, a Western Kingbird, so that is a fortuitous beginning to my new adventures. There were 2 of them but this one posed nicer:
One of my bosses gave me this bracelet (with a Georgia O’Keeffe quote), below…always a good thought…
“I’m looking…at birds and lizards.”
“I’m looking at you with your dumb camera.”
For those days when I’m only backyard birding, I’ve added some new hummingbird feeders and props in hopes that the hummers and other birds will give me some pretty poses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Someday I want my hair this color, at least part of it.
My new purse that gives me extreme springtime joy and seems to affect others similarly.
My favorite earrings that I got last summer in Prescott, AZ at Newman Gallery. They are made by New Mexico artist Cindy Huff. Sterling silver with coral roses.
Geraniums on our front porch. In a couple weeks, they will succumb to the summer heat but they’ve brought color and beauty for the last several months.
Jessi’s new collar. Jessi is one of our outdoor cats who has now become an indoor cat. We love them all the same but it just became time for Jessi to be off the streets and she tested negative for all the bad kitty diseases. Marbles and Google are working at accepting her and vice versa.
Delish ice cream and coffee served here.
Sometimes it’s easier to do a blog post if you give yourself a little prompt.
Last year about this time when it was sizzling hot, I wrote a couple of blog posts on some of my jewelry (amber and turquoise). At the time, I “promised” I would post about some more pieces that I thought were interesting: antique, vintage, handmade, or had a story to tell. I also posted a few months ago about a bracelet I own with a mysterious past (I’ve still never found any answers 😦 ).
So, here are a few more pieces, all in silver. The above is a new acquisition made by Tucson artist, Michelle Spanyard. She also does Tucson map jewelry as well as a lot of other beautiful designs. If you live in Phoenix, Michelle sells her jewelry through Practical Art.
This is a raw chunk of lapis lazuli set in silver by Janice Stiles, a Phoenix artist. I got this at an art fair a couple of years ago.
I totally love this deer pendant, made by Navajo artist Jimmy Jensen. I got mine in Sedona but you can buy them online.
So these 2 pieces above have a story to tell. My grandmother had the ring in her jewelry box and I used to love trying all her jewelry on. I begged and pleaded with her to give me this ring and she finally did although it was too big for me then (this was many, many decades ago). Later on, I wore it in college a lot but then put it away and forgot about it until a few years ago when I rediscovered it. It’s pretty large and sort of dramatic. So…a few years ago, when I was on a major Mexican jewelry kick, and buying stuff off ebay, I came across the bracelet by chance. It’s from Taxco, the Mexican silver capital, from about the 1940s. They look really nice together and you would think they were a set but, actually, the ring is Navajo.
Shortly thereafter, I found the above earrings on ebay that match well. They are large, larger than the ring, and they are from Taxco, too, from the 1940s-1950s. I generally wear them with the necklace above, Navajo etched silver beads, which I bought locally about 35 years ago so now they’re “vintage,” too.
The above pieces are all vintage Taxco, the pin from the 1930s. The earrings are trimmed in bronze and the pin has inlays of turquoise or malachite, made by Los Castillo. There is actually one for sale on ebay right now but the price I paid was nowhere near what they are asking (so maybe I made a good investment).
And this necklace and earrings set are also both from Taxco. The necklace is new, the earrings are old. The necklace, sort of hammered links, is a recent acquisition from the Phoenix Art Museum Gift Shop. I definitely have a weakness for jewelry, but I’ve given up my ebay buying, although I do look occasionally.
My next jewelry post may be about my antique/vintage butterfly pin collection…
Do you ever watch the PBS show, History Detectives? I love it! So here is my little mystery, one of them anyway. I bought this bracelet in 1972 or 1973 in an import shop in West Lafayette, IN (home of my first alma mater, Purdue University). Later, I ran into the owner in a restaurant while I was wearing it. He told me he had purchased it himself in Afghanistan and that it was an Afghan tribal bracelet. He said it was 75 years old which makes it well over 100 now.
I have always loved it and wear it often but I’ve always wondered if that’s what it really is. It’s very heavy and even has holes in some places in the silver that go all the way through. It has no maker marks or hallmarks. It was also cracked so after I moved to Arizona I took it to a Native American jeweler who reinforced it with a large piece of silver that you can see here (below).
So fast forward to a day in early 1999 when I got my weekly Time magazine in the mail. I remember staring at the cover for a few seconds; I wasn’t that interested in Hip Hop or Lauryn Hill, really, and then it dawned on me.
She was wearing a bracelet identical to mine! You have to look at it from the right angle to recognize it and the prong things are not visible in the shot of her (above).
Here’s another shot of her wearing it, although blurred…you can see the prongs here.
Over the years, I’ve tried to contact her a few times, through her website and Twitter, to see what she knows about her bracelet, where she got it, but I’ve never heard back. I’ve also tried, for years, to find another one online to see if it’s really Afghan but I have never found it and the Afghan tribal bracelets I have found don’t really look like it.
But…get this, I have searched for info about her bracelet and have found numerous references to it, most recently in a June 2012 article here. “Before she retired, she was photographed on the cover of Time magazine wearing a bracelet with the Illuminati pyramid with the Eye of Horus on it.” I never perceived my bracelet that way and just don’t believe it and would it be an Afghan tribal bracelet if that were true? I can see the pyramids, obviously, and I can see the 4 eyes on each end of the bracelet, although I never recognized them as eyes until I began reading about it. So…do you think my bracelet symbolizes the Illuminati???? Does the Illuminati even exist? Or is it a conspiracy theory? And since when is the Eye of Horus evil? The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health (Wikipedia).
A lot of mysteries and histories, huh? I was thinking of submitting it to History Detectives but their emphasis seems to be on things relevant to American history. Of course, I can try. And one of the History Detectives, Dr. Eduardo Pagán, is a history professor at Arizona State University, my real alma mater, right here in town, so I could email him also. Since I now wrote it up here, with pictures, I guess I will just send it off to them. What do you think?
I was going to show a couple of other pieces of jewelry today but this got too long so, if you’re into jewelry, stay tuned. Some of them have stories, too…