Rainy Day Pastimes

Hummer Spilled Ink_edited-1Oops

Thanks to El Niño, we had 5 days of solid gloom and rain. Instead of using the time to do all the things I need to do, I played around with some photos…and the minutes turned into hours and the hours into days. They each can tell a little story, I think.

window lake cupShattered

Nikon Camera HawkShootin’ Film


Window Cat_edited-1Looking Out/Looking In

Hawk Easel Feather BlueArt Imitates Life

I had seen this 5 minute award-winning animated film short the night before and that’s what “inspired” me to make these…not the message of the film (which is kind of sappy although true) but the visual beauty of it. I love all the layers upon layers in it…not that I can do anything very complex but it was fun trying.




Bees, Birds, Butterflies, & More

Bee Purp

Bee Yellow_edited-1

These photos were all taken at the Franciscan Renewal Center’s (The Casa) Healing Garden. It’s on my route to work and I sometimes stop on my way home and usually get a few good shots. It’s a magical, peaceful place.




Kale. They have many vegetables and herbs growing in the garden.




Ladder-Backed Woodpecker

Gila in Palm

Gila Woodpecker


Great-Tailed Grackle, female


European Starling



Their slogan: “Paz y Bien/Peace and Good.”

More than Honey

If you’re interested in how bees affect our ultimate survival, check out this fascinating film, More than Honey (on Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, etc.) One of the featured beekeepers is Fred Terry, one of Tony’s good friends for many years, the “Singing Beekeeper” of Oracle, AZ. We’ve seen Fred’s hives in Oracle before. The film was the 2013 winner for Best Documentary at the Santa Barbara Film Fest 2013, German Film Award 2013, and Swiss Film Award 2013. It’s compelling, troubling, informative, beautifully photographed…and Fred looks great (he’s been stung 100-250 thousand times!!!!!!).

Slice of Life

These condos always intrigue me when I drive by them. Phoenix is not your typical big city; we don’t have a huge downtown area full of skyscrapers nor do we have a lot of apartments/condos in big multi-story buildings so this is not a common sight here. Residing in an 8-story dorm at Purdue University a few decades ago is the closest I’ve ever come to living this way. I understand there are many amenities and that a lot of people would rather live in a condo than a house, and these particular condos are not cheap, but I still find it fascinatingly strange to think of living in a building like this.

“In the heart of the historic central corridor, the best of mid-century chic meets the best of urban living. Landmark on Central offers an eclectic mix of modern and vintage flair with a 17-story tower of condominiums overlooking the skyline. Originally opened in 1963, the building has been grandly renovated to play up its architectural highlights including floor to ceiling windows opening onto panoramic balconies.” In fact, back in 1963, when this building, originally apartments, was built, it was the highest structure in Phoenix.

I always wonder if I enlarge photos like this if I will see something I wasn’t meant to see like in Blow-Up or Rear Window.

Hope so…

(Image courtesy mptvimages.com)

(Photo by Universal Studios – © Universal Studios – All Rights Reserved)


This is what our Arizona sunset skies look like during the monsoon season. This was at Sunset Point, a rest stop on our way home from Prescott, shortly before a torrential downpour forced me to pull over since I was too scared to drive.

Pretty but menacing.

It’s hardly the Very Large Array but it reminds me of the movie, Contact, anyway.

I’m off work tomorrow for an Art Day! My 52 Project is 2 weeks behind but I’m going to cheat and make it up. Then just another day and a half of work and the long weekend starts. Wish every week had the work-life balance more in favor of the latter.

Al Fresco

Poor Felix has been graffitied but the homeowners have left it that way quite awhile.

Both of these paintings are on houses in central Phoenix, the first in a cool, funky historic neighborhood; the second in an exclusive, older neighborhood. Note the cameras visible on the second one so that shot was a drive-by.

Want an art-filled weekend? I recommend the movie Georgia O’Keeffe with Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, who looks exactly like photos of Alfred Stieglitz. Parts of it were filmed on O’Keeffe’s New Mexico ranch and it seemed to capture the essence of those times. It’s available on video.

I’m also reading Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick, historical fiction based on the last 2 years of Vincent Van Gogh’s life. Bundrick is an art historian and sets the scene in late 1880s’ Arles well. Although she takes many liberties, much of it is based on Vincent’s letters to his brother, Theo, and others. It’s an enjoyable and interesting read.

We’ll be going to the Phoenix Art Museum tomorrow, seeing some art, and listening to the Downtown Chamber Series. The Chamber Series is held in downtown Phoenix galleries, combining music and art. In the summers, it is always held at the museum, which will be good because it’s nice and cool in there and it’s really hot (and humid) here.