Friday, March 25, 2011

Downtown Phoenix - The Old and The New

This is one of my favorite downtown shots.
I don't know the name of the old building seen in the reflection here of the tall Chase building.

Here's a mix of old and new with the old San Carlos Hotel just left of center.

More old and new.

I thought this was cool and stopped in the middle of the street to take this shot.  Five different different buildings are partially reflected in the varying angles of glass in this building.

And the big Chase building.  I don't know - I always knew it as the Bank One buidling and kinda like that name better.

One more look back at the old building dwarfed by new highrises.

Downtown Phoenix - Civic Space Park

Civic Space Park is quite unique and has won several awards.
This strange sculpture looks really cool when lit up at night. I'll have to go back one of these evenings and prove it.
 Looking up from below.

A little north of the park is a famous Phoenix landmark: 
 The Westward Ho
In its day it was the largest building west of the Mississippi River.  It was also THE place for visiting celebraties to stay; Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman to name a few.   Now a low-income Senior Citizen place, the lobby is still decked out and should be checked out.

ASU School of Journalism is to the east of the park.
Scott is conducting business while in the recessed coffee shop patio - still a part of the park.

The shade structures to the left (and unseen over top of the photographer) are made of old (recycled) conduit tubes. The concrete is permiable, allowing water to go through into the ground and not run off into the streets and sewers.  You almost have to see the power point presentation on the design and build of this little park to really appreciate all the forward thinking and planning that when on.

Downtown Phoenix - St. Mary's & Arizona Center

 From the Convention Center you can see both St Mary's and the Arizona Center.

and random 'artwork' - sorry if you like this sort of thing.

Built in 1881, St Mary's is the oldest Catholic church in Phoenix, and it is still in use today.

A quiet moment.

The original doors to the church are behind the sculpture.

Across the street from the church is the Arizona Center with its modern look and fancy landscaping.

A nice, little oasis in the downtown.

And more fanciness. Quite the place, really.  Not hustling and bustling as it can be at times, which probably makes it all the more inviting.

A look toward the heart of downtown.

More Downtown Phoenix

Already over a week old, these pictures had best be getting to where they belong:
I'm afraid I don't know the names of many of the buildings. Most of them aren't that significant anyhow. I like the mix of nature and buidlings.  Hopwfully, by 2030 the Phoenix Tree & Shade Master Plan will have been completed and much more of Phoenix will have this approach.
as opposed to simply more buildings (and more 'heat island') in the future.
This is by the Convention Center. Or should I say, the newly remodeled Convention Center.
Here's the building above with the flowering agave refleted in the windows across the street at the main building of the Convention Center.
Here are some bouganvilla growing up through the shade structure for the ticket window.

Inside the Convention Center is a strange sculpture or light reflector of some sort.
As you walk past it you can see there is writing in the inside portion of the support arms.
'Art is a guaranty of sanity.'  Not sure I agree with that one, but I'm sure the artist was well-paid to place his or her opinion on the matter up there.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This little one didn't seem too fearful of me.  Kept turning directly at me, so it took a few minutes to get this side shot.  

Heron in Flight

I saw this heron sitting at the water's edge and hoped to sneak up close enough to get a decent shot without a zoom lens.
This turned out to be a fair shot, but I though I could maybe sneak up closer from behind some low palms.

Of course, I couldn't and ended up startling it away.

Powerful, long wings make the lift off seem efortless.

It is simply amazing to watch them go - those wings are huge.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baby Chuckwalla

Chuckwallas are fairly large lizards and I am quite used to seeing them along our trails. Working in South Mountain Park for many years I am used to the dark black ones with bright orange tails.  Over at Camelback, they are much greyer and the tails are hardly orange at all.
Anyhow, this little guy was under a rock at Papago, and you can probably tell from my fingers in the picture that I was the one turning over the rock.  When it grows, it's tail will probably be bigger than the baby is right now.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mercury Mine Trail

Not an 'official' trail, the Mercury Mine Trail is a loop around Veteran's Peak just west of Dreamy Draw.  It isn't even a full loop, because it only goes along the east side of the mountain - the Charles Christiansen Trail goes around the west side.  There are some steep sections, which are no good from a trail builder's point of view, but there aren't a lot of alternatives available in that section.  There are several little mine pits along the trail where they had dug in the early 1900s for cinnabar, which contains a high amount of mercury. 
 Veterans Mtn
Looking NE

Looking more W

Now on the Christiansen Tr looking toward downtown.

Some nice looking ocotillo catching the last rays of the sun.

On the edge of the preserve. Guess they wanted the view all to themselves. I'm glad the trail goes through so they don't have the exclusive on the views. 

One of the mine pits being an attractive nuisance along the trail. 

Happy Birthday Dede!!

Shows how far behind I get on the blog.  Dede was over on her birthday, so we convinced her to do a Krispy Kreme run for her free dozen donuts. That was Sunday and now it is Friday, so a little late getting this posted.

It was great to see you, Dede! Hope you have a great year.

Atl-Atl Throwing

The atl-atl is an ancient spear enhancement tool. According to the guys instructing on technique, it was fairly short-lived. While it does increase the velocity of the spear, or dart as they call it, it does nothing to help with the accuracy of the throw.  That means that one has to be close up to get the full benefit.

 Karen was first to hit the target.

 Eventually, we all hit the target.  Probably wouldn't be our first choice of ancient weapons.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

They Go Marching!

Saw some big ants the other day coming out of a big hole in the ground.

Odd-looking creatures aren't they?