Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Garden Variety Bugs?

 Saw this giant ant on the side of a hill at Papago Park, but it wasn't on the park's side of the fence, it was in the Desert Botanical Gardens.
Along with a number of other oversized bugs. Here's the praying mantis near the entrance.
It is made entirely out of wood. 

The ant wasn't alone (are they ever?) on the hill.
 Closer look:

Giant spider and web!

There were other bugs, but I'll leave them for others to discover...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Zoolights Sneak Peek

This is the 20th year of Zoolights! And the finally got a new lighted sign; the old one was getting pretty ragged.
Makes for a nice reflection in the water.

Every year they start on Thanksgiving night.  I will have to ask if they had more or less people than usual due to all the early Black Friday shopping being offered.
This is the giant tree just inside the entrance.  You can see it from the road before you turn into the zoo.

These seem to be new additions this year, and I didn't go in farther. Saguaro, ocotillo, and flowering agave at the entrance to the Arizona section.

That was all I checked out the other day. Really went in to buy some kettle corn, so I only took a couple pictures.  Next time I will go all the way through and take some more pictures.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Arizona Centennial Coin

Arizona Centennial is quickly, and all too quietly, approaching!
Arizona State Parks has produced these copper commemorative coins on a limited run. Hmm, 3 c's there, I should come up with two more as Arizona boasts the 5 c's: Cotton, Cattle, Copper, Citrus and Commerce. Centennial copper commemorative more.
Front and back shown - not two different coins.

Certified centennial copper commemorative coins!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


City Hall, 16th Floor is my department's headquarters.  I seldom get downtown and visit there.

Right next door is the Municipal Court building, where I go if someone tries to fight a ticket.

Phoenix Mountains Preserve. On a nice day, I would much rather be here.

On the south edge of the preserve is an old structure which was once a small house or miner's shack. Here are a couple coworkers - Roy (my boss) and Joey.

Another coworker, Lee, can get away with being a kid since he's a good 20 years younger than me.

St Peter's Basilica

Erik had a project in World Religions class to build a replica of any type of place of worship.  We found a 3D puzzle, which I think the teacher may count as somewhat less as he didn't build it completely from scratch as most other kids did with theirs. 

Fortunately for us, this was a used puzzle and the previous owner separated major sections, so we didn't have one giant mess to start with.

With the entry plaza done, it was time to do the main church building.
The elongated nave was a later design, it was originally set to be in the shape of a Greek cross (four equal sides).

The finished product took us much less time than the original builders.  From tear down of the original church to the finish of the dome took over 120 years.  An interesting note is that with the shift from Greek cross to Latin cross, visitors cannot see the impressive dome when approaching the Basilica.  Only when one is farther away and looking back and down can one see the dome.  The obolisk in the plaza is nearly 4000 years old and was brought to Rome from Egypt in 67 BC.  Nero brought it to this spot (then called a Circus) where he put to death many Christians, most notably the Apostle Peter, whose remains are interred somewhere beneath the church (there are a number of Popes, two other apostles and a necropolis beneath as well).

Let's see...Vatican City, we'll put that on the list of places to see - eventually.

On the Way to Church

Snapped this pre-sunset shot from the car on the way to Church.