31 August 2013

Year round blooms ~

Beautiful St Philip's Plaza is a lovely place to stroll, dine, and shop. And throughout the complex they have installed floral mosaics to ensure that visitors always have flowers! Check out these pretty floral planters.

30 August 2013

Monsoon sky, inspiration, and a reflection ~

I'm not sure if the official monsoon season is considered done by weather experts but we are still getting big clouds in the afternoon (and occasionally getting some rain). Here is late afternoon sky over the Pima Community College campus and some words to inspire passersby. Also - if you look carefully - in the lamp you'll see a reflection of yesterday's yellow "springs."

29 August 2013

Sunny yellow sculpture ~

This isn't an official "Where is this?" quiz but anyone want to guess where this is and what it is?

28 August 2013

Curlycue cactus ~

The grounds of Westward Look Resort had so many beautiful specimens of native plants to admire. This odd cactus caught my eye - looks like ribbon or macaroni or.... what do you think?

27 August 2013

Water in the desert ~

These two curvy blocks form a fountain in a shopping center plaza near Sabino Canyon. The sides are etched with an interesting organic pattern. Unfortunately there was no plaque citing the artist's name or the name of the piece. Note to real estate developers: how about acknowledging the artists whose work decorates the public areas?

26 August 2013

Chef Scarecrow ~

At the Westward Look Resort guests can enjoy homegrown produce from the resort's own garden. Check out the kind of scarecrow they use to discourage pesky critters! FUN!

25 August 2013

Road Warrior ~

Ever think other drivers are crazy? Well here's a license plate (BDTEMPR) that at least gives you a warning to "Stay back!"

24 August 2013

Buzz Cut? Flat Top? Crew Cut?

What do you call this kind of haircut in your part of the world? I've seen a lot of interesting cacti but never one that looks like this!

22 August 2013

Table for 6, please ~

These birds know a good thing ~ they were hunting for breadcrumbs on the Westward Look Resort patio after lunch!

21 August 2013

Tinaja Gallery ~ (4 photos)

Westward Look Resort's Tinaja Gallery (means vessel or clay pot) is a mini museum of the region's natural history. Displayed are seed pods, baskets, cacti samples, butterflies, bugs, rocks, and even animals - a stuffed kit fox and a skinned blacktailed rattlesnake, among others! Very interesting display they have assembled to give their guests a flavor of the desert.

20 August 2013

Some local humor ~ 2 photos

The Westward Look Resort's second floor houses the charming Tinaja Gallery (more on that tomorrow). One of the room's doors displays a sign encouraging visitors to open the door and find the fail safe way to find water in the desert. Yep, I fell for it!

19 August 2013

An Equine Entry ~

This beautiful sculpture greets guests and visitors in the lobby of the Westward Look Resort. The steed is constructed from small flat pieces of wood. The resort is situated on 80 acres and stables are one of its many amenities.

18 August 2013

"Be on the Lookout" Notice for Guests ~

Here is just one of the sets of hand-painted tiles that are affixed to the exterior eastern walls of the Westward Look Resort. They give visitors a glimpse of what creatures might be spotted on the 80-acre property. This set displays Javelina, Coyote, Grey Fox, and Mountain Lion. 

17 August 2013

Desert dining ~

This is one of Westward Look Resort's south-facing patios. Isn't this a lovely setting for dinner? The round shape in the back is a fire pit filled with blue glass - I bet it's gorgeous when it's lit!

16 August 2013

Party Preparations ~

Here's a glimpse behind the scenes of the party preparations at the Westward Look Resort. These colorful and festive thatched wagons are put into service as mobile bars and snack servers during events. Fun!

15 August 2013

Hello and goodbye ~

This wonderful metal sunflower sculpture welcomes guests to the beautiful Hacienda del Sol resort. And along with our incredible mountains, stately saguaros, and blue blue sky, it's the last thing you see as you leave....come back soon!

14 August 2013

Look carefully for the surprise....

Here is another guest room at Hacienda del Sol resort but look carefully.... the stone work and arched window are a trompe l'oeil mural. Fun!

13 August 2013

Wild horse ~

For the last few days I've been showing you around the beautiful Hacienda del Sol resort. Not only is the building architecture interesting, the grounds, too, offer some surprises. Here is a life size horse sculpture created from....horse shoes!

12 August 2013

Winding walkway ~

Could it even get more charming than this? I'm still posting from my lovely walk around at Hacienda del Sol. Here is an entrance to one of the guest rooms.

11 August 2013

Party patio ~

Here is the entrance to one of the party areas at Hacienda del Sol resort. The room is perfect for a wedding or any kind of festive gathering. Patio has umbrellas and kivas so you're protected from the sun and the cold!

10 August 2013

Welcoming doorway ~

Step through this gate to a heavenly experience! This is the entrance to the lovely and historic Hacienda del Sol resort - a lovely hotel set on 34 acres of mixed desert and beautifully landscaped grounds.

09 August 2013

Old Warrior (2 photos) ~

The desert's dead and decaying saguaros are so interesting and beautiful. This one in Saguaro National Park East reminded me of a noble old warrior who just refuses to succumb to the elements. 

08 August 2013

Layer Cake Rock (2 photos) ~

During my drive around Saguaro National Park East I stopped at all of the information kiosks. Here I learned that this striped-looking rock formation is actually called Javelina Rocks - named after its favorite inhabitant. The rocks are composed of Catalina Gneiss, ancient granite modified by heat and pressure and raised from deep in the earth. Bands of minerals in the re-melted rock create the layers of colors. Interesting!

07 August 2013

Spectacular Specimen ~

In stunning contrast to yesterday's post, here is a huge and stately living saguaro at Saguaro National Park East. Look at the many arms it has sprouted! This specimen is quite old as it must be around 75 years old before it sprouts its first arm. Learn more about these desert beauties here.

06 August 2013

Saguaro skeleton ~

Tucson is surrounded by magnificent, protected park lands. Recently I took a drive through Saguaro National Park East to see if I could photograph some cacti during a rainstorm. Although cloudy and overcast, the sky didn't deliver rain. Here is a beautiful saguaro skeleton. 

05 August 2013

Monsoon Ladies Tea Party ~

Ah - what a way to spend a lazy Sunday ~ at the Monsoon Ladies' Tea! This group is a collection of Tucson artists and creative women who gather every few months for conversation, wine, food, and a treasure exchange. Everyone brings a dish, dessert, or wine - there was plenty of all -- and an item of beauty to give away! This photo shows the table just getting filled up with goodies... a little later there was not an inch to spare on the tabletop!

04 August 2013

Cactus Cupcake ~

Looks like the monsoon rains might have caused this barrel cactus to have a sudden growth spurt. Reminds me of a cupcake with frosting and a cherry on top!

03 August 2013

Neighborhood Pride ~

There is a lot of construction now on Kino Parkway near 22nd Street and I had to thread my way through the residential area to get to my destination on Silverlake. During my detour I spotted this interesting monument/sculpture saluting the Pueblo Gardens neighborhood. 

02 August 2013

Desert Treasure ~ Desert Tortoise

Rescued from the street, this handsome fellow (lady?) will be transported to the Desert Museum to enter their Tortoise Adoption Program. I would love to offer my backyard as a new home but with 2 dogs, that would not be an ideal home for this handsome creature. To learn more about adopting a Desert Tortoise, click here.

01 August 2013

Patch of blue ~

This photo captures the mystery of the monsoon ~ huge grey clouds rolling in quickly. At the last moment before the rain you can still see the tiniest bit of blue sky.