31 December 2010

Looking out, looking ahead ~

As 2010 draws to a close I find myself both looking back at what I accomplished (or where I could have done better) and looking ahead to what 2011 has in store. This is the view west from sort of a treehouse platform at the Desert Museum. Anyone want to share their New Year's resolutions? Happy New Year everyone!

30 December 2010

Let sleeping lions lie...

Here are some wonderful photos of George L Mountainlion, the Desert Museum's most famed resident. Look closely at the rock and you'll see him basking in the sun and blending in to be nearly invisible. 2nd photo is from the viewing window behind him (up top) as he stretches. 3rd photo: PAWsitively amazing!

29 December 2010

Striped-tail masked bandit ~

I wonder what this curious fellow is investigating. Raccoons are omnivorous so a bug is just as yummy to them as an egg, acorn, or worm. They are nimble, highly intelligent, and make a variety of sounds that you can check out at this fun link:

28 December 2010

Mexican Wolf Pair ~ beautiful!

Enjoying the warm, sunny day are a pair of beautiful Mexican wolves that live at the Desert Museum. You don't get a sense of scale from the photo. They remind me of my Siberian husky, Nanook, but these wolves are bigger and their paws are HUGE.

27 December 2010

Tucson's Ballerina Saguaro ~

I thought you would enjoy this "skirted" saguaro - the arms look like a tutu, don't you think? And yes, the Tucson sky is THIS BLUE even at this time of year!

26 December 2010

That face! What a dear deer ~

Just when you thought you'd seen and heard enough about reindeer to last for another year, here is another one and I hope you'll agree that this white tailed deer is a 'dear'! What eyelashes! I came upon her resting sweetly in her Desert Museum habitat.

24 December 2010

T'was the night before Christmas ~

Tonight's the night when one remarkable bearded man flies all across the globe to deliver gifts. I hope you get your dream gift this year - whatever that may be. For me, I'd love to have the gift of more time. If you'd like to watch Santa's progress all through the night, click on this really fun site:
www.noradsanta.org (it's not just for kids!). Merry Christmas, world!

23 December 2010

Meet Rudolph's half brother, Fred ~

Every year the Copper Country Antiques folks have some fun with their mascot, Fred the bison. Here's Fred and a Santa friend waving to passersby on Speedway.

22 December 2010

Mighty big Santa ~

This inflatable Santa is 12' tall and stands ready to greet your holiday guests. He looks like he could be conducting an orchestra - or maybe he's directing sleigh traffic....

21 December 2010

Fun metal people at play ~

This fantastic 30' steel sculpture is "People Play" by Thomas Bredlow on display in Rillito Park (1st & River). Installed in 1981 it is part of the ongoing commitment to public art championed by the Tucson Pima Arts Council.

20 December 2010

Welcome to Chantilly world ~

The lovely Chantilly Tea Room is a world of its own ~ bustling yet serene. The main rooms are furnished with antiques and you are served on beautiful china. You even get to select your own tea cup among the handpainted collection. It was a birthday treat for me with friends but don't wait for a special occasion - give yourself a treat and escape for an hour from the dreadful frenzy of holiday shoppers. Ah, a nice cup of tea...

19 December 2010

The Gingerbread (Arizona) Inn ~

A traditional holiday display in the lobby of the Arizona Inn is this charming mini version of the Inn created from gingerbread, jelly beans, and sugar cookies. Many fun details include a giraffe near the entrance who says, "Please don't nibble on the house!"


18 December 2010

Tucson's Saguaro Santa ~

This festive saguaro is decked out in tinsel, a Santa hat, and check out the cool shades! Ho, ho, ho!

17 December 2010

"Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree..."

This beautiful and huge tree at the Arizona Inn brings to mind the lyrics of that old carol, "Oh Christmas Tree" ~ O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Much pleasure thou can'st give me. This one is at least 15' tall and occupies a corner of the lovely Inn's library. Really gets you in the spirit, doesn't it?

16 December 2010

Time to celebrate ~ birthday time!

Hello ~ it's my birthday today and I wish you all a great, fun day! In my household this calls for a big bark ~ wufff!!

15 December 2010

Got balls? Holy toledo!

As Dave Berry used to say, "an alert reader" sent me this remarkable photo! Does it even need a caption?

Photo courtesy of Cindy Klein.

14 December 2010

Tucson's library plaza ~

These columns surrounding the main library plaza downtown are not at all remarkable during the day but at night - wow - the glow is beautiful. Lovely strings of blue lights create a Christmas tree on the south side of the plaza.

13 December 2010

Tucson's fun street scene ~

So yesterday you got a peek at the Fox Theatre and the Five Way Street concert as part of the 2nd Saturdays event. Today I want to give you some images of the street scene that is created. Here you can see Congress Street lined with tents selling all kinds of things ~ including CUPCAKES! Mmmm. KirkCakes@gmail.com can answer any questions you have about the little cakes.

12 December 2010

Tucson's 2nd Saturdays ~ urban but intimate

So if you haven't yet been to a "2nd Saturday" event, you must check it out! Downtown Tucson is turned into a walking, shopping, eating, entertaining venue with live music, food and merchandise vendors and all sorts of performance art. There were stilt walkers and Santas and plenty to see and hear.

The centerpiece of the evening was a concert at the beautifully restored historic Fox Theatre. It's an Art Deco gem that was meticulously brought back to its heyday glory. See photo of part of the lobby ceiling. The band that rocked the Fox is Five Way Street and they performed a selection of Crosby, Stills, & Nash (and a little Young and a little Buffalo Springfield, too!). These guys ROCK! For more about where to hear them around town, click here: http://www.fivewaystreet.com/

More photos of the "Downtown 2nd Saturday" event tomorrow.... stay tuned. http://www.2ndsaturdaysdowntown.com/

11 December 2010

Festive Christmas gown ~

This sparkling red gown is a window centerpiece at Angelina's Bridal on 22nd Street. Anyone would make quite an entrance to a holiday party wearing this!

10 December 2010

Secret Santa Hatter ~

One sweet holiday tradition that is done secretly every year is popping Santa hats onto the ears of Father Kino's trusty horse. This statue is at Campbell (Kino Parkway) and 15th Street.

09 December 2010

As red as Rudolph's nose!

Every year the Jim Click Automotive team puts together beautiful holiday displays on their lots at Wilmot & 22nd Street. This classic cherry red beauty (restored to perfection, naturally!) is surrounded by sparkling reindeer and pine trees. Hello, Christmas!

08 December 2010

From Tucson to New Castle ~ happy birthday!

It's a sure bet this driver's name is Gina so I'm posting this photo in honor of a lifelong friend named Gina who is celebrating her birthday today - thousands of miles away. I hope your day is filled with cake and other sweetness! Happy birthday from Tucson!

07 December 2010

Tucson's beautiful night lights ~

Just wanted to post one more photo from the Tucson Botanical Gardens' Luminaria Festival ~ here are glass beads designed by local artist/landscape designer Margaret Joplin. These beautiful glowing "flowers" are glass beads and were inserted into the ground at the festival. I don't know if they are a permanent installation at the Gardens but they were lovely!

06 December 2010

Tucson's skyline graced with a Minaret ~

Seems like an unusual sight in the Southwest ~ a minaret! This mosque (on Speedway near Oracle) did not look like an active site when I was there and I couldn't find a website or any info about this building on the Internet. Perhaps it is not an active mosque now but I saw listings for 2 other mosques in town and I will check them out.

05 December 2010

Annual Luminaria Display ~

This weekend is the annual light and luminaria display at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. A big crowd strolled and enjoyed live holiday music, refreshments, and shopping. Santa was there, of course, and plenty of kids were delivering their wish lists to him. http://www.tucsonbotanical.org/

04 December 2010

Vintage Chevy Sleigh ~

Wow - this cheery red Chevy Coupe could be a great stand in for Santa's sleigh! This beauty is part of the all-around-town vintage car collection that is sponsored by Truly Nolen. This coupe is from 1940.

03 December 2010

Check out these GIANT ornaments~

The charming artist community of Tubac (just south of Tucson) held its first Balloon Festival right before Thanksgiving (Nov 20) and I thought you would enjoy these fantastic photos! I can't help but think that these colorful balloons look like giant bulbs for a heroic Christmas tree.
Photos courtesy of Damen Kompanowski.

02 December 2010

Tucson Bee Buckets ~

So yesterday's post showed how one business is fighting pigeons. Today I happened to notice these buckets hanging on a tree and learned that this company is combating Africanized bees. These buckets serve as some kind of trap. Interesting!

01 December 2010

Tucson's Silent Owls ~

Check out the fake owls silhouetted against the evening light. I am guessing that the Sushi Cho restaurant has installed them to frighten pigeons away. There are other shops in the shopping center but I think this restaurant is the only one that has mounted an anti-pigeon attack using the owl statues.

30 November 2010

Winter watering hole ~

In my neighborhood Rudolph and a friend take a sip from a cool blue pool. I thought this simple light display was charming.

29 November 2010

'Tis the season for ~ chili ristras & wreaths

As the sixth in the series of "Team Tucson" I am pleased to shine a spotlight on another individual who works hard to make this a great place to live. Meet Mina, the entrepreneur who sells her hand strung chili ristras and wreaths (both round and heart-shaped) at the corner of Speedway & Houghton (in the Circle K parking lot). Her very reasonable prices start at $15.

Mina's chili stand features Hatch chilis - widely regarded as the very best. Chili ristras are a beautiful way to decorate your home and a lovely gift for your holiday hostess. They can be enjoyed hung inside or out.

28 November 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like.... spring?

As "Jingle Bells" played on the Ace Hardware loudspeaker, I noticed this stack of colorful Adirondack chairs in a rainbow of colors. Of course, we CAN sit on our patios all year round. Isn't that one reason why we live here? (:

27 November 2010

And the holiday mailing season begins ~

I thought the day after Thanksgiving was when everyone descended on the malls and big box stores to grab deals. But at my post office there was already a line out the door with people and their packages. They shopped early!

25 November 2010

A Thanksgiving wish for all of you ~

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and thanks for stopping by today. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday - filled with feasting on turkey or ham or tofu (or even sugary liquid served in blue cotton if that's your preference!). This beautiful butterfly is part of the "Butterfly Magic" exhibit at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. I am giving thanks for many things today and one of them is the loyal followers of the site. I appreciate your comments, suggestions, and photo submissions! Thank you, thank you.

24 November 2010

Tucson's magical butterfly garden ~

When the Tucson Botanical Gardens says it has a "Butterfly Magic" exhibit, you just have no idea how truly magical it is! You step into a tropical greenhouse and butterflies flutter by all around you. And they land on you!

23 November 2010

Tucson's own Cousin Itt ~

Here's another of the great scarecrows on display now at the Tucson Botanical Gardens ~ Cousin Itt (yes, two t's), the furriest member of the Addams family. I am also including a peek into his "Trick or Treat" bucket to see what he likes - mmmm, looks like dried worms and bugs (OK, OK, seed pods)! Scarecrows are on display through Nov 30.