30 November 2009

Tucson's Big Sky ~

We are having unusual weather - rain, cold temperatures, and...HAIL! A storm came in right before dawn and delivered a huge amount of rain along with that distinctive clicking clattering sound of ice pellets pummeling the roof. It was mostly gone by first light and this photo shows the storm quickly moving out of the area.

29 November 2009

Artistic Entryway with Personality ~

This charming residence is in Tucson's Sam Hughes neighborhood ~ an area honoring the man who helped develop a public education system in what was then known as the Arizona Territory. The Sam Hughes neighborhood is a charming and desirable area to live - many beautiful, historic homes and old growth trees.


28 November 2009

Recession? Not at Tucson's Target!

This Target store was jammed with cars, carts, & shoppers ~ no recession in sight. I don't have the fortitude to sleep in my car and charge into a store for the much-advertised specials. How is your holiday shopping shaping up? Did YOU venture out on Black Friday? Did you wear protective clothing??

In the background are the beautiful Catalina mountains.


26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Tucson's Favorite Buffalo!

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that your day today is filled with friends, family, food, and fun. This is my favorite holiday ~ a day whose purpose is to recognize all of the things we can be thankful for in our lives.

Here's Fred, Tucson's favorite buffalo, dressed as a pilgrim! In fact, there is a whole Thanksgiving tableau on the roof right now - a ship, a pumpkin, a teepee, and a Native American watching the horizon. Winged Fred stands guard on the roof of Copper Country Antiques, a fun (huge!) antiques store with its own cafe.

25 November 2009

Can a scarecrow be sexy?

The artist(s) who created this scarecrow at the Tucson Botanical Gardens named her "Camencita" and she is a lovely lady with a skirt made from a Jack Gold potting mix bag, a head made from a California license plate, and hands made from garden trowels. And she has wings! And crazy spiral hair...

The "Scarecrows in the Garden" exhibit closes on November 30 so if you'd like to see the rest of this wonderful collection, you have just a few days left to get over there. For photos of other scarecrows in this exhibit, click on the label "Tucson Botanical Gardens."

24 November 2009

And let the feast season begin!

We have a year-round fundraising drive at our office where each department takes turns and provides food that co-workers can buy. The money all goes to a charity that we support. Today we kicked off the holiday season with a dessert sampler ~ yum! The homemade goodies consisted of peanut butter brownies, pumpkin cheesecake, sour cream chocolate Bundt cake, and spicy ginger squares. And did I mention whipped cream?

Some white holiday lights and spicy pumpkin-scented candles added a festive touch. The conference room looked and smelled WONDERFUL!

23 November 2009

Tucson's Barrio - The Old is New Again ~

Definitely one of Tucson's most charming and historic areas, the barrio (also known as Barrio Historico or Barrio Libre) offers a special view of Tucson. Many of the buildings (dating from the 1800's) have been beautifully restored as private homes or businesses for a new generation of residents. For more barrio photos, click on the "Barrio" label with this posting.


22 November 2009

Tree? Cactus? A little of both?

This crazy wonderful plant is called a Quiver Tree (Aloe Dichotoma). Click to hear David Attenborough talk about this extraordinary plant. When thirsty, this plant can AMPUTATE ITSELF. The video is just about a minute long & utterly amazing!


21 November 2009

The 27th El Tour de Tucson: today!

Here's a special image in honor of today's El Tour de Tucson, the internationally acclaimed bike race. To my friend Mark who is racing today ~ go like the wind! Good luck & good speed!

This open air structure is the Bike Church and it is considered to be a shrine to bicyclists as well as a memorial to fallen bicyclists.

The structure is 24' tall and is made primarily of bicycle parts. The colorful acrylic panels glow at night from solar lighting. Blessing Hancock of Skyrim Studio and Joe O'Connell, the talented sculptor of Creative Machines, built this with the help of local teens. (Note: Joe also created the fantastic Griffin sculpture on Scott Avenue.)

The Bike Church is on Main near Davis.

20 November 2009

Tucson's Patriotic Scary Scarecrow ~

All month I've been posting photos of the wonderful exhibit, "Scarecrows in the Garden" which is at the Tucson Botanical Gardens until the end of November. Here is another example of these fun sculpture: "S. Crow, As the Crow Flies." Note the components of this oversized "Heckle Jeckle." The legs are sweatpants and the feet/claws are work gloves! That red, white, & blue scarf does add some flair, too!


19 November 2009

Tucson lush & green? It is at the Arizona Inn ~

As a companion photo to yesterday's posting, here is a sidewalk view of the beautiful Arizona Inn. The Inn has a rich history. It was founded in 1930 by Isabella Greenway who went on to become Arizona's first congresswoman. The Arizona Inn is still a family business ~ Isabella's granddaughter is now the proprietor. It is really a Tucson treasure!


18 November 2009

A Tucson Treasure ~ The Arizona Inn

The lovely Arizona Inn ranks high on my list of personal favorite places - not just in Tucson but anywhere. And I'm not alone in my praise of this historic and quiet inn set amidst beautifully manicured gardens. It has been rated by Travel & Leisure as one of the best hotels in the world. It is centrally located and near the bustling area close to the University yet it retains its aura of calm civility. It has a fine dining room, too, that is open to the public.


17 November 2009

The Mystery of the Tucson Grizzly Bear ~

So driving along 22nd Street I spotted this little picket fence box on wheels that holds a fierce grizzly bear. A plume of colorful balloons adds that "je ne sais quoi" to the whole tableau. He serves as the mascot for a local tile company.


16 November 2009

A weekend celebrating art ~ all types, everywhere!

This weekend Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC) sponsored a city-wide "Tucson Open Studio Tour" where dozens of studios (representing more than a hundred artists) opened to the public. Every part of town was included and the diversity of the artists and their work was astonishing.

The point of the tour was to enable visitors to see the artists' spaces and talk to the artists about their work. This makes the work of the artist much more personal ~ and enlightening!

Here are three photos from the Glass Illusions Studio ~ an interesting husband/wife team of artists. Mark Johnson does the metal work and Pattie is the glass artist. Their work ranges from delicate glass jewelry to mammoth yard art.

To see more of their work go to their website: http://www.glassillusionsstudio.com/

15 November 2009

Sonoran Desert Plants as Sculpture ~

The beauty of the shadows - the light and dark contrast - drew me to this impressive metal sculpture by award-winning artist, Jerry Harris. Jerry is a 3rd generation sculptor and runs a studio in Tucson called The Village Blacksmith. This photo of the century plant was taken at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Tucson Botanical Gardens
www.tucsonbotanical.org2150 N Alvernon WayTucson, AZ 85712-3199(520) 326-9686Get directions

14 November 2009

We've got to get ourselves back to the garden...

As Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young say, "We've got to get ourselves back to the garden." At the beginning of this month I posted the first of the Tucson Botanical Gardens' exhibit, "Scarecrows in the Garden." Every one is hand made and unique. So now after 3 days of images to celebrate Tucson's famous All Souls Procession, we're getting ourselves back to the garden for another image of these great sculptures!

This enchanting purple creature with gossamer wings is named "Matilda." She definitely looks like a friendly fairy, wouldn't you say?

Tucson Botanical Gardens
(520) 326-9686

13 November 2009

What has the lovely Lucretia been up to?

On September 2nd I posted the first photos of the lovely Lucretia, a desert tortoise who had just been adopted. Here's a follow up to how she is doing ~ you can see her in her bunker habitat.

According to Jerry, one of her human caregivers, Lucretia is ready to settle in for a 4-5 month hibernation. Her favorite food is prickly pear cactus fruit. She also loves Lancito kale and eats it right out of his hands. Lucretia's next favorite snack is Bermuda grass. Jerry says, "She's a good reminder to us to slow down and be in the moment...she does that so well!"

To learn more about how you can adopt a Desert Tortoise, click here:

And if you have an extra minute, do also check out the posting of August 10 for a photo of a HUGE Desert Tortoise in Tucson - a remarkable creature indeed!
Photo courtesy of Jerry Weinert.

12 November 2009

Third and final act of Tucson's All Souls Procession ~

Here are the final photos for this year's All Souls Procession in Tucson. Please scroll to the photos posted in the last 2 days for many more photos of this marvelous procession of strange and wonderful costumes and rituals!
From the top we have Celtic Harpist on Bike, Smiling Skull Mask, Belly Dancers, and Red Bull w/Dreadlocks. Enjoy!
Photos courtesy of Mark Wight.

11 November 2009

Tucson's All Souls Procession continues!

As a follow up to yesterday's All Souls Procession photos I am posting 4 additional images that give you even more of a feel of the energy, imagination, and surreal quality of this fantastic event. From the top we have Pushcart Drum w/Yellow Skeleton, Sombrero Skeleton Hombres, Crowd Approaching 4th Avenue Underpass/Overpass, and Crowd Inside the Underpass.

I hope these give you a good idea of this parade ~ enjoy! I will post a few more tomorrow and then we'll revisit this parade NEXT year.

Photos courtesy of Mark Wight.

10 November 2009

Tucson's All Souls Parade, Flam Chen & more...

Tucson's All Souls Procession is now in its 20th year! What started as a performance piece by an artist who was mourning the death of her father has now grown to a creative celebration that attracts tens of thousands of participants, revelers, and spectators.

It was very hard to choose which photos to post! The 4 shown here are: Flam Chen, Blue Bison Head, VW Peace Van, and the Giant Skull Twins. Tomorrow I will post more so check back!

A 2-mile long human procession winds through downtown Tucson and ends with a ritualistic burning of a large urn filled with written wishes, hopes, and prayers and a finale by the fabulous Flam Chen troupe. The All Souls Procession is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones who have passed.

Many Mouths One Stomach (manymouths.org), a non-profit arts collective based in Tucson, AZ, organizes the event.

Photos courtesy of Mark Wight.


09 November 2009

Breathtaking Tucson sunset!

With Tucson's beautiful sunsets all year round, you might think we get used to them. Not me. When I left my house and saw this display of sky color, I pulled my car over and grabbed my camera - hoping that I could capture some of this fiery beauty. The last bits of yellow look like molten gold in the sky. Not bad for just a little digital camera, huh?

07 November 2009

A Different World - Tucson's Tohono O'dham Nation ~

This beautiful stone building is not ancient ~ or even "old" for that matter. I attended a meeting with a group from the Tohono O'dham Nation and this building was adjacent to our conference room. The rocks were quarried nearby and the building was erected just a few years ago as their Elderly Center. It was locked but I was able to peek in through a window at the courtyard. Check out the beautiful stripped log lintel above the entrance and the special door handles.

06 November 2009

A message to my friends & web visitors ~

The beautiful sentiment that is displayed on this mosaic bench is so simple. The bench serves as a lovely resting spot within the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

The message is:
"Friendship, I think, is the choicest flower that grows in nature's garden. It will always flourish if watered by truth, guarded by sincerity and shaped by the gentle boughs of virtue."

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tucson Botanical GardensTucsonbotanical.org(520) 326-9686

05 November 2009

Tucson's Voodoo Medusa ~

Here's another one of the "Scarecrows in the Garden," the fun exhibit on display at Tucson Botanical Gardens through November 30. Check out another scarecrow that I posted a few days ago & stay tuned for more coming up!

The scarecrows/sculpture were hand made by local businesses or artists. Each is different and they are placed throughout the gardens.

Tucson Botanical Gardens
(520) 326-9686

04 November 2009

Magnificent Desert Bighorn Ram ~

This marvelous lifesize bronze sculpture of a Desert Bighorn Ram was created by Tucson artist, Mark Rossi. The ram stands on the grounds of the beautiful Hilton El Conquistador Resort.

Rossi is one of the world's foremost wildlife sculptors and his work is displayed in many Tucson locations such as the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Reid Park Zoo, and the Tucson Botanical Gardens (to name just a few) as well as in numerous museum and corporate collections throughout the country. To see more of his work, click here:


03 November 2009

Very Big (but not very scary) Tucson Rat ~

I'm sure the Ortho company intended to draw attention to their rodent control product by using this giant rat ~ he's about 4' tall ~ but because he is inflatable vinyl, he looks more like a pool toy than a scary menace to me. And doesn't he actually look kind of sad holding his enormous wedge of swiss? And do check out the weird flipper feet - don't otters have feet like that?!

02 November 2009

All Hats off to the Tucson Botanical Gardens!

Through November 30 the gardens are featuring "Scarecrows in the Garden," a collection of whimsical, colorful, fun, or just plain strange scarecrows. The scarecrows/sculpture were hand made by local businesses or artists. Each is different and they are placed throughout the gardens.

This flamboyant lady scarecrow is a tribute to the famous milliner, Lilly Dache. (Unfortunately the official signage misspells her name.) Photos of many of the others will be posted throughout November so check back!


Tucson Botanical Gardens
(520) 326-9686

01 November 2009

Javelina Cantina ~ buffet!

A herd of enterprising javelina foraged in my front yard last night. They attempted to steal a pumpkin I had on the porch but they dropped it as they fled. Check out the hoof prints! If you don't know about javelina (pronounced HAVA-lina), check out this interesting link & see a photo of these peccaries. They are common around Tucson and they can get BIG! I am surprised I didn't hear them snuffling around as they knocked pots over and ate a lot of my flowers. Bon appetit!