Saturday, November 29, 2008


We have much to be thankful for and One to whom we are thankful for all we have.
Here's Erik & Jake with Grandma Gronseth at Thanksgiving. We were going to put up the tree afterwards, but I had to work. We did get it up yesterday and the boys put the ornaments on it.

Christmas Ornament

Remeber the Devil's Claw from a few weeks back? I had a bunch and didn't know what to do with them. Then I remembered I could build a dream catcher.
After a few practice catchers I finally figured it out. I thought the cross was a nice touch - sort of symbolizing Christ's victory over the Devil. The 'claws' are tied up and rendered powerless just as Christ will bind the devil and cast him into the pit when He returns.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chihuly at Desert Botanical Gardens

Dale Chihuly is a glass artist who has some extraordinary pieces he brings to exhibit in places around the world. Some of his work will be at the Desert Botanical Gardens through March of '09. Each piece is individually packaged and boxed, then shipped to the site and handled only by his people. That is, each twirly piece of even the largest works. They are assembled on site. Some are lit from within at night and some are lit from spotlights. Some pieces even have a concrete foundation - even though this is a temporary exhibit. You can imagine the costs to bring this all together! DBG is figuring on record attendance, and from the little preview I've seen, they will probably get it.

Near the entrance to the gardens:

Hanging in the Succulent House:

Hanging like an upside-down Christmas tree:
Lit up and reflected on the metal screen overhead:
Close up of the 'upside-down tree' Remember each twisty piece is individually wrapped and boxed! Amazing how nothing gets broken (actually I believe I heard that one had broken, but I don't know if it was in transport, in removing from the box or in set up (dropped?)

I hope to get some decent shots of the complete exhibit this week....

I also hope to get some good Zoolights pictures this week....

I also hope to post a nice family shot from Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shy Guys

The boys love the Nintendo Shy Guys in some of the games. Erik keeps asking me to draw one for him. I found an old pad of construction paper and decided to do a little more than just draw one. Of course, one is never enough! I stapled them on their walls.
Jake's room:

Erik noted that the green Shy Guy is supposed to have yellow shoes. That will be corrected for his Fly Guy.

Erik's room:

Nice hole in the wall - better get on that!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on the Pelican

Got some better, less grainy shots today. Some fishermen were complaining that the pelican was doing too good a job at fishing, and they think there won't be anything left for them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brown Pelican

I'm pretty certain this is a brown pelican. Actually very certain (I saw it dive into the water), though it doesn't have the yellowish head...I don't know how it got all the way into Phoenix, but it was doing a pretty good job fishing at Papago Park.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Zoo Shots

Besides the stingrays, can you guess the boys' favorite attractions?
These monkeys are free-ranging in a walk-through open cage. They are very active and would sometimes jump onto branches over the path. They seemed almost unaware of all the people watching them.

The orangatans had a little one scampering about, but I didn't get any good shots of it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Petting Zoo

Used to be the boys headed straight for the treehouse play area, the water fountain play area or the 'farm' and it's petting zoo. Now, the first thing they want to do is watch and pet the stingrays

One particular stingray seemed to enjoy splashing the spectators. I missed the splash, but caught the reaction Jake and others had.
Here are some of the rays. The barbs on the tails have been clipped off, so there's no danger in touching them. In fact, the biggest danger is probably to the rays - kids grabbing the fins or tails or spreading germs to them.

There were some big ones, small ones, dark ones, light ones. There were also some small sharks and some horseshoe crabs in the tank.


Monday, November 10, 2008

New BLOG for my ARTWORK!!!

Yep, right next door to this world famous blog comes a blog dedicated to my start-up career as an artist.

My first post is up and ready. I figure God has gifted me with a heart and some talent for art. I would love to be able to use this talent to honor and glorify Him. The first post is regrading a silent auction in which two of my drawings are donated. If God has gifted you financially, please consider my request in the new blog!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Got a chance to take a short hike in South Mountain Park the other day. It was late afternoon, so the light wasn't perfect, but certainly not harsh which tends to make for bad shots. South Mountain is riddled with petroglyphs, but even so we tend to be pretty protective of where they all are. These were technically off City property on Boy Scout camp land.
First off, petro = rock and glyph = drawing or writing Petroglyph = rock 'art' or rock drawing or rock writing. Take your pick!
There are literally hundreds of petroglyphs in this canyon, and they probably range in age from 1500 + years ago to about 5 - 600 years ago. Here is an example of recent vs old. The older a glyph is the darker it tends to be: a patina forms over the rocks in a slow, relentless pace. Some glyphs have been re-pecked for emphasis - often associated with Equinox or Solstice shadows or sun spots across the rock at certain times of day. This one also shows the brighter (newer) could be an abstract form. At least more abstract than many/most glyphs which have some discernible shapes.

Here are a wide assortment of figures. It is generally believed that the collection tells a story. There is no linear plot line to follow, but some features are integral to the story. Note the many sizes and even shapes of the humanized figures and some appear to be holding things. All significant to the story (most likely). I wouldn't even be able to begin to attempt to interpret this for you. I'll leave that to more creative minds... I do think the placement of some figures may have something to do with marking solstices or equinoxes. The more you look at this the more interesting things you begin to see... Here is a pipette, or rather two pipettes, with some scratched out markings to the sides. Popular interpretations of these are as symbols of kachinas or cloud gods. This ram has some interesting things going on. The legs begin at one crack and the body ends at another. The head is cut off sticking above the second crack. Their also appears to be a line extending from where the head would be attached, almost as if to emphasize the detachment. Then there's the little figure beside it. A man? without a head? with a spear? and something like a whip or lasso? Probably not human. Possibly associated with water. Could even be some kind of stellar or lunar or solar event. Could simply be a hunting ritual.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Desert Botanical Gardens

Yes, I went again today and took more pictures. They have a new entryway and there are nice garden squares that are very well done. This month a glass artist has an exhibit opening - it will be showing for a few months. This is going to be something else! I hope to get some awesome shots - both daytime and nighttime. Hope, as in hope to get in to see it and hope the shots come out nicely.

The sun was backlighting this agave's red leaf edge.
Mamillaria cactus with some interesting abberations giong on.
At the cactus house. I like the rich colors this has right near sunset.