30 June 2009

These flowers are always in bloom ...

Just around the corner from the polka dotted dinosaur you saw yesterday is this happy wall of flowers. The flowers are ceramic; the leaves and grass are paint. Each flower is different and some have ladybugs and other crawly critters on them. What fun!

Dunham Elementary School maps.google.com
(520) 731-4200
Get directions

29 June 2009

Everyone loves a polka dotted dino ~

If I were in grade school I bet I would love having a purple polka dotted dinosaur guarding my playground! This cheerful view is the playground at Dunham Elementary School, home of the mighty Panthers. The photo was taken in late afternoon - notice the grey & overcast sky. The monsoons will start soon...
Dunham Elementary School
(520) 731-4200

28 June 2009

Doggie bags of a different sort ~

This nice community is definitely onto something. Throughout the neighborhood they have placed mailboxes painted with fun themes - desert wildlife, dog silhouettes, etc. As a courtesy to their dog walking neighbors, plastic doggie bags are stored inside the mailbox in case a clean up situation occurs when the dog walker is "bag-less."

27 June 2009

Cotton Candy Hair ~

Where to turn when you want to change your hairstyle, haircolor, and, in fact, your entire look? Why Wig-O-Rama, of course! And if cotton candy pink isn't quite what you had in mind, the store does carry wigs and hairpieces in all the conventional colors...

By the looks of the facade and the interior, Wig-O-Rama has been a fixture in downtown Tucson for decades!

98 E Congress St
(520) 882-8003
Get directions

26 June 2009

Don't even think about stealing my seed!

What wonderful expressions on these Gambel's Quail! Quail have a distinctive slender plume crest and beautiful markings. Gambel's quail are native to the Southwest and are very vocal birds (click the Tree of Life Project link below to hear them)! At this time of year families of quail are seen traveling together ~ often conveying great urgency as they rush about.

Tree of Life Web Project:


(Photo courtesy of Ann Archer.)

25 June 2009

Why we love living here...

Even people who have never visited the Sonoran Desert often know about our fabulous sunsets. Western sunsets are certainly dramatic and a photograph can't really capture their astounding beauty (but I hope this photo can give you a pretty good idea!).

So just why are our sunsets so fabulous? Light scattering. At day's end light has to travel a long path to reach us & the violet, blue and green light of the spectrum is scattered. What remains is fiery reds, intense oranges, and flaming magentas. Everyone has a favorite spot for watching the sun set. What's yours?

(Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.)
For more info: www.desertmuseum.org

24 June 2009

Staghorn Cholla Under a Tucson Monsoon Sky

Today you can enjoy another view of the "Seeds of Knowledge" bronze sculpture garden. The pod sculpture featured in yesterday's post are in the background and here is the mighty cholla in the foreground. The walkways are beautifully decorated with glass bits. It's now late June so notice the dark sky ~ we're very close to our monsoon season.

This project was made possible in part by TPAC, Tucson Pima Arts Council.

Miller-Golf Links Library http://www.pimagop.org/
9640 E Golf Links Rd
(520) 594-5355
Get directions

23 June 2009

Seeds of Knowledge ~ Organic Public Art

This trio of desert seed pods is part of a wonderful art display at the public library at Golf Links & Harrison. A group of artists living & working at Rancho Linda Vista (an art commune) created these bronze works. The installation (appropriately titled "Seeds of Knowledge") is comprised of 7 pieces ~ 4 large ones and also 3 small ones which are placed to look like they are emerging from the ground.

Here is a pinecone, a mescal bean (on its side) and a mesquite desert poppy ~ all in heroic proportions! The poppy stem is 8' tall! Fun! Check back tomorrow for a view of the staghorn cholla.

This project was made possible, in part, by TPAC, Tucson Pima Arts Council.

Miller-Golf Links Library
9640 E Golf Links Rd
(520) 594-5355
Get directions

22 June 2009

Bouffant Awning - What Fun!

There's no way to miss this storefront with its bouffant floral awning ~ WOW! And the store is equally fun with its selection of cosmetics, clothing, and super-girly accessories. "Cry Baby" is located on a sidestreet but here's all of their info so you'll be a know-it-all about this sassy salon.

2510 E 6th St
(520) 323-6868

21 June 2009

Emerald green ~ cool & inviting: Tucson's Agua Caliente Park

Here is a third photo of beautiful Agua Caliente Park on Tucson's eastside. I can't help but describe this as a desert oasis ~ refreshing, isn't it? Scroll down to the previous two posts for more information (and listen to the call of the egret!).

(Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.)

20 June 2009

In Tucson - is that an egret?

Here's one the residents of Agua Caliente Park - beautiful! In the last century egrets were mercilessly hunted for their gorgeous plumes so that ladies could wear stylishly decorated hats. Happily, that fashion is no longer fashionable and the egret is no longer endangered.

(Photo courtesy of Richard Krull.)
Want more info (including what their vocalization sounds like)? Click here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Egret/id

Please see yesterday's post for add'l info on Agua Caliente Park (including a map).

19 June 2009

Ah....Agua Caliente Park ~ Cool spot, hot water

Can you believe this is Tuscon? Many natives have never been to Agua Caliente Park on Tucson's eastside. Mmmm ~ cool and tranquil. Birders know this park is a paradise but you don't have to be a bird-watcher to enjoy the setting. Ponds, wildlife, shade, and lots of green... quite a refreshing outing!
To learn more: http://www.naturalwonders.net/agua/about.htm
For a map: http://www.naturalwonders.net/agua/aguamap1.pdf

(Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.)

18 June 2009

Luscious Color ~ Passion Flower

This is such a showy flower with its intense color! The etymology of the Passion Flower does not refer to love, however. Spanish missionaries from the 15th & 16th centuries adopted the physical structure of this complex plant to correlate with symbols of the Crucifixion. Interesting! This beauty was photographed at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, home to thousands of species of plants, animals, & insects.
(Photo courtesy of Ann Archer.)

See also: http://www.desertmuseum.org/

17 June 2009

Large Red "Creature" ~ Sonora

Seems like everyone has an opinion about "Sonora," David Black's 25' tall metal sculpture on the main library's plaza. Love it or hate it ~ it's definitely a conversation starter. With its brilliant color and undulating shape, "Sonora" is quite a contrast to the sharp angles of the stark white building. And it is HUGE!

16 June 2009

Knowledge Center & Public Park ~ Tucson's Main Library

This gleaming white building is Tucson's main library branch downtown. Built in 1989 it was renamed in 2003 to honor a remarkable businessman & City Manager, Joel D. Valdez. The library houses almost 1,000 magazine and newspaper subscriptions! One of the most talked-about features of the library building is "Sonora," the extraordinary large red sculpture on the east-facing plaza. For an image of that piece of public art, please come back tomorrow....

Joel D. Valdez Main Library (101 N Stone Avenue)

15 June 2009

Tucson's Super Girl ~ Mask, Boots, Flute

A few days ago another piece of mural art ("Brick Dancers") from the Chicago Music Store wall was featured. This masked girl is on the same wall ~ painted inside a niche. With her mask and black boots I think she looks like a super hero ~ part flutist, part artist. Notice the stencil in the lower left: "Waste your life. Be an artist."
(130 E. Congress).

14 June 2009

Saluting the Sky ~ the Saguaro Cactus

The mighty saguaro "is" the southwest. This awesome tree-sized cactus can only be found in the Sonoran Desert and can live well over 100 years. A mature saguaro is magnificent to behold!

More info: http://www.desertmuseum.org/
(Photo courtesy of Mark Wight.)

13 June 2009

Beautiful and Fun ~ Tucson's Outdoor Art

This metal and tile sculpture by artist David Elliott is one of a series of 3 that can be seen on Jacome Plaza in front of the main library. Twelve stone balls surround the sculpture. This one is really fun as the cutout frames anything you look at ~ giving all things a different perspective.

(101 N. Stone Ave)

12 June 2009

Rome? Paris? Guess again ~ downtown Tucson

These arched colonnades serve as the elegant entrance to the downtown branch of Wells Fargo Bank. The bank established a remarkable stagecoach network that played an integral part in settling the Wild West.

150 N Stone Ave.

11 June 2009

Behind the Scenes ~

Here's the patio of Cafe Poca Cosa in the morning hours before the restaurant opens. (Notice the lone purple towel hung to dry.)

If you loved "Like Water for Chocolate," you'll revel in the menu ~ huge platters piled high with an astonishing, sensuous combination of colors, textures, and tastes. It's Mexican food with great flair (and nary a burrito in sight).


10 June 2009

Charm and Style ~ Tucson Style

This charming Tucson home combines natural elements of brick, stucco, stone, and wood to create a welcoming entryway for guests and residents. The rustic ramada and that chile pepper color doorway are fantastic! Add cactus and you've got...Tucson style.

09 June 2009

Brick Dancers ~ Music for Your Eyes

Tucson's public art is colorful, diverse, and sometimes provocative. I am particularly drawn to the dozens of brilliantly colored murals that adorn buildings, fences, low walls, and overpasses. This group of brick-wielding Aztec dancers stretches along the west-facing wall of the famous Chicago Music Store (130 E. Congress).

08 June 2009

Shrines, Warnings & the US Mail

I was driving to visit a friend and noticed this remarkable construction in front of a house on her street. You can see a regulation mailbox there in the center but that's where anything "regular" ends! The mailbox is flanked by fierce Aztec statues and ceramic sunflowers. The two discs are brightly painted Aztec calendars. To add to this eyecatching mix... check out the Madonna mosaic and sculpture on the front of the house! It looks like they keep their holiday lights up all year round ~ I'll have to drive by at night and see how this looks illuminated.

07 June 2009

Paris in the Desert

One of my favorite restaurants in Tucson is Le Delice. It is located in an unassuming strip mall so it hardly looks "French" from the outside. But once you enter and smell the bread and other fabulous bakery aromas... you can think you're in Paris!

06 June 2009

Beauty for Just a Day

Many people don't make the association that thorny cacti can also be beautiful, blooming plants. This particular beauty is such an example ~ it blooms for just one day. The flower is fabulous magenta and orange with an iridescent sheen. And it's the size of a feather duster!