30 April 2012

Gateway to art ~

Here is the inviting gateway entrance to the the Blue Raven Gallery and Many Hands Courtyard. A variety of small and interesting shops are tucked away in here. This gallery is run by artists with the mission to promote artists and educate the community.

28 April 2012

Tucson dragons ~ 3 sizes

Want to make your garden the envy of your neighbors? How about adding a dragon (or two) to your cacti? I spotted these metal fire-breathers in the side lot of a Mexican pottery store on Speedway. Fun!

27 April 2012

4-Legged Sunbather ~

Humans aren't the only ones in Tucson to enjoy our sun (360 days of it every year!). Here's a very happy coyote doing a little sunbathing at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Nice life!

26 April 2012

It's the Wild West alright ~

Until I moved out west I had never given a thought to the etymology of "maverick." It's a word that has been in use since the 1880's and it refers to a calf or yearling that is unbranded. Specifically Samuel Maverick was a rancher who was negligent in branding his herd. So a "maverick" is an unconventional person and its original meaning was a calf without a master. Interesting!

25 April 2012

Tucson's tremendous taco ~

Wow - this must be the time of year for inflatables all around town! First we had the sumo wrestler and gym rat a few weeks ago. They were followed by the yellow dinosaur and orange monkey last week. Now we have a seriously JUMBO-size taco in front of Big Juan's on Speedway. (For scale check out the car in the background.) Definitely enough to feed a crowd!

24 April 2012

Time to check in with lovely Lucretia ~

I first introduced the TDP community to lovely Lucretia on September 2, 2009 and followed up with her again on November 13, 2009. This beautiful desert tortoise recently emerged from her long winter nap. Thanks to Jerry Weinert, her caregiver, for these wonderful photos! Welcome back, Lucretia!

If you would like to host a desert tortoise, the Desert Museum is happy to talk to you about it. Click here for more info.  

23 April 2012

Community Beauty Project ~

The neighborhood surrounding the corner of Glenn & Columbus created a wonderful art display! It is part mosaic, part 3-D sculpture, and part bench for just sitting and relaxing. The wonderful animals include a turtle, roadrunner, lizard and desert tortoise. This corner is colorful and fun and a neighborhood project of beauty. What a great job they did! Scroll down for the names of all participants.

22 April 2012

Unusual metal bird's nest ~

This metal sculpture celebrates our avian friends ~ metal twigs form a nest and graceful wings are attached to the top platform. This piece stands outside of Gallery 801 on Main. See yesterday's post for more sculpture at this Tucson gallery.

21 April 2012

Bold statement and spiritual guidance ~

Bold and brave, these contemporary metal sculptures stand outside the Steven Derks' Gallery 801 on Main. In the background is Holy Family Catholic Church, an historic landmark and Tucson's oldest parish. Interesting contrast.

20 April 2012

Funky monkey ~

Here is yet another Tucson monkey to admire this week! The Nimbus Brewery monkey was definitely a wild thing with that big mug of beer and now we have a surfer dude sporting banana yellow shorts & shades to match! He's on the opposite corner of the cheerful dino in the Toyota lot on 22nd and Kolb. FUN! Reminds me of the VW beetle I once had - the same color: "Clementine Orange." (:

19 April 2012

Meet Barney's brother ~ Lyle

This huge and cheerful dinosaur is guarding the corner of Kolb & 22nd Street at the Toyota dealership. You may remember their similar gargantuan sumo wrestler and gym rat inflatables from a few weeks ago...  Today when I talked to a salesman he said they are just "for fun." What a great concept! Stay tuned for Lyle's friend on the other corner.... 

18 April 2012

Bucolic horse farm? Nope ~ central Tucson!

Looks like a beautiful horse farm, doesn't it? Well, it sort of is ~ but it's in central Tucson. The University of Arizona maintains their College of Agriculture research center campus just south of River Road - quite a surprise to see a herd of horses as you drive on Campbell! 

17 April 2012

Tucson is a jungle ~

So the Nimbus Bistro folks encourage you to drink Nimbus beer "Cuz it's a jungle out there." This is the mural facing Tanque Verde Rd. Check out postings from Sunday and Monday for more info on this Tucson-based specialty brewery.

16 April 2012

A Tucson hello ~ Monkeys ALWAYS Welcome

The greeting painted over the entrance tells you a lot about the Nimbus Bistro: "Monkeys Always Welcome." What started out as a specialty brewery in the middle of an industrial area has now spun off into a fun restaurant with a lot of monkey-themed artwork decorating the walls both inside and out.

15 April 2012

Tucson treasure ~ locally brewed beer

When the Nimbus Brewery opened in 1996 I doubt that anyone thought it would expand beyond its big warehouse location on 44th Street (oh yes you will need your GPS to get there if you are a first timer!). Beer lovers have been happy to drive to the middle of nowhere to enjoy the beer, the "guest" beer, and the specials. Big loud place. Live music, too. Lo and behold, now there is a regular bistro featuring the Nimbus brews, a regular menu, and an easy to find location on Tanque Verde. Same beer, different vibe.
P.S. The monkey stamp says, "It's a natural selection."

14 April 2012

Golf in Tucson ~ night or day

A classic American family past time is alive and well in Tucson ~ miniature golf. The Golf 'n Stuff playground offers miniature golf as well as a video arcade and fun water bumper boats (yes, you'll get wet but it's fun!).

13 April 2012

Gift shop hideaway ~

Walking through the grounds at the Westward Look resort I happened upon the tucked away back door of the lovely gift shop which features (naturally) many "made in Arizona" products.

12 April 2012

Beautiful blue skies ~ typical Tucson

I attended a conference at Tucson's beautiful Westward Look Resort and even though it's the first week in April the swimming pool was busy and so were the lounge chairs for the sun worshipers. This is a view from poolside looking up at one of the private patio dining areas.

11 April 2012

Tucson's elusive and rare Sand Trout ~

This soaring silver sculpture commemorates Tucson's rare Sand Trout. According to the informational metal plaque on the Tanque Verde Bridge, the Sand Trout (Salmo Harenatus) are "endemic to the dry washes of Southern Arizona, able to withstand extreme heat and absence of water. It swims in sand, feeding on scorpions, sand lions, and juvenile horned toads. In spring breeding males become brightly colored with red on their fins, belly, cheeks, and lips. The fine spots on the sand trout's body help break up its outline protecting it from predators but making it vulnerable to passing automobiles."

P.S. I think this elusive fish is distantly related to the mysterious Jackolope!  (:
Sculpture by Paul T Edwards and Chris Tanz.  

10 April 2012

The charm and beauty of Tucson's history ~

The historic and beautifully restored adobe homes in Tucson's downtown and Barrio districts capture the essence of living here - so much old and new side by side. For more barrio homes, click the "Barrio" link below this post.

09 April 2012

Nature's amazing egg basket ~

This beautiful spring basket is holding two hummingbird eggs. If you are curious about the size of these tiny eggs, they compare in size to a jelly bean!
Photo courtesy of Cita Scott.

08 April 2012

Artful Easter Eggs ~

A friend of mine collects hand-painted Easter eggs and this sampler is just a small glimpse of her treasures. Considering the tiny scale of these "canvases" the painting is astonishing ~ the brushes must be as thin as a human hair to create some of the details on these eggs! Happy Easter, everyone!  

07 April 2012

Tucson film company's new comedy ~

"The 3 O'Clock," a comedy short, is Tucson-based Coyote Moon Films's latest project. It was filmed in downtown Tucson and is set in one of the many beautifully restored historic buildings. The screening took place at the Crossroads Festival theatre's "Reel 6," an auditorium devoted to independent films. For more about this funny short and about Coyote Moon Films, check out these links:

06 April 2012

Blow some giant bubbles ~

When I saw this yellow metal sculpture on Main at Gallery 801 I immediately thought of the plastic wands that come with bottles of bubbles. Make a wish and blow your cares away ~  have a lovely weekend, everyone!

05 April 2012

The sky's the limit ~ fly an F-35


What a fantastic experience! Lockheed Martin and Sargent Aerospace hosted a special event to give Tucsonans an up close and personal encounter with the F-35 aircraft. Attendees could try out flying this amazing aircraft in a cockpit simulator. Runway, mountains, then the wild blue yonder ~ https://f35.com/

04 April 2012

Car & Dog Wash ~ Handy!

Time for spring cleaning! Is your car dirty? Got a dirty dog, too? Go to the Rita Ranch Car & Dog Wash and you can get all your cleaning done in one place! Amazing huge yellow dog marks the spot on Rita Road. Here's full info:

03 April 2012

Welcoming Pizza Man ~

Holding a tray of pizza slices at the front door is the Velvet Elvis's metal Pizza Man. For more images of this amazing restaurant, check the last 2 days of posts. Bon appetit!

02 April 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe honored at Velvet Elvis ~

When the Velvet Elvis restaurant opened its doors in December, 1998, it held a procession to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. Over the bar area are many images of her. Declared an "Arizona Treasure" by former Governor Napolitano, this Patagonia restaurant is well worth the drive. See yesterday's post for more info.

01 April 2012

The Velvet Elvis ~

The Velvet Elvis restaurant is famous for its pizza but believe me it is not your typical pizza parlor! In fact, it has been selected as "One of the 25 Best Restaurants in Arizona" so you know you're going to eat well - very well. Pizza is their specialty but they also serve home-made pasta, delicious fresh salads, and calzone. Plus daily specials to give you lots of other choices. Enjoy the beautiful drive to Patagonia and find this small and rustic restaurant on the main street of town. You will want to visit again and again. Oh yes, the Navajo rugs on the walls are available for purchase so it gives the restaurant a gallery feeling.