Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Aerial Photo: The Arizona State Capitol

This is the Arizona State Capitol complex.  The original Capitol is under the low copper dome.  The Senate and House of Representative buildings were added to the right, in front of the Capitol. Behind the Capitol on the left is a 9-story tower that houses executive branch agencies, with the Governor's Office on the 9th floor.

My husband complains about how the buildings with "mid-20th century charm, or lack thereof" dwarf the old, historic Capitol building.dow

This week we have photos of the people of Guatemala posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Photo: Aerial Photo of Downtown Phoenix

This is a wider view than yesterday's photo of the ball park.  This shows most of downtown Phoenix.

This week we have photos of the people of Guatemala posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Aerial Photo: Chase Field

The roof is usually open at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix except when they are getting ready for or playing a game during the summer heat.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are featuring the people of Guatemala.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Photo: Arizona Cardinal

When people think of Arizona cardinals, they probably are thinking of the NFL football team.  But we have real cardinals in Arizona as well.

I am posting this photo for my husband's birthday today.  He is from St. Louis, so the Cardinals baseball team is like a religion to him, and I thought he might enjoy this cardinal as well.

This week we have photos of the National Archaeological Museum in Guatemala City posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Photo: Hummingbird Sitting on Her Nest

I guess hummingbirds need to rest in their nests at times, as they get quite a workout flapping their wings an average of about 50 times per second.

This week we have photos of the National Archaeological Museum in Guatemala City posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Photo: Mountain Lion

Mountain lions are occasionally spotted in the mountains in the Phoenix area, but that is rare.  This is another of the species that live and are displayed at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum just outside of Tucson.

This week we have photos of the National Archaeological Museum in Guatemala City posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Photo: Desert Bighorn Sheep

Desert bighorn sheep are majestic creatures.  We do have them in the wild in Arizona, but they are hard to spot.  This one was at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.  It is in part a museum, partly a zoo, and partly a botanical garden.

This week we have photos of the National Archaeological Museum in Guatemala City posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Photo" Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs are cute, but they are rodents.  Farmers and ranchers do not like them, however, and sometimes refer to them as "prairie rats."

I took this photo at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum just outside of Tucson.  That explains how I was able to get close enough to be able to tell that this is a female.

This week we have photos of the National Archaeological Museum in Guatemala City posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Photo: Close-Up of Hummingbird

It is much easier to focus on and photograph a hummingbird during the occasional moments when they can be observed resting on a branch than during their more common behavior of darting around from flower to flower.

This bird has a cluster of purple spots on his cheek.

I have chosen plants for my yard that attract and provide food for hummingbirds.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posed on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are posting photos of the National Archaeological Museum in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Photo: A Classic Desert Sunset

I never tire of cactus and sunset photos.  At this time of year, with the monsoon season approaching and more clouds and occasional thunderstorms, it is can be like a movie in the sky.

Check out our Viva la Voyage travel photo site to see photos of the Great Synagogue of Budapest, Hungary.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Photo: A very large Paradise Valley home

Yesterday I posted a photo of a large Paradise Valley home.  Part of its roof is visible at the bottom of this photo.  In the center of the photo posted today is a home that is twice as large.  

According to one of the real estate websites, this home has 28,000 square feet (2600 sq. meters).  I think in a home that size the family would have to wear cell phones to call each other just to find out what room they are in.

Check out our Viva la Voyage travel photo site to see photos of the Great Synagogue of Budapest, Hungary.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Photo: A large, Paradise Valley home

Yes, this is a house.  If you hike up Camelback Mountain, the size of some of the Paradise Valley homes is revealed in ways not visible from the streets.

Some of the homes look like they could be resorts, not just a private home.

Check out our Viva la Voyage travel photo site to see photos of the Great Synagogue of Budapest, Hungary.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spa Day at Mi Amo

Who does not love spa day!

Mi Amo spa at Enchantment resort is the place to go.

Beautiful surroundings, excellent food at Mi Amo Cafe, and wonderful spa services.

Check out our Viva la Voyage travel photo site to see photos of the Great Synagogue of Budapest, Hungary.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Photo: Haboob warning

We have not had any haboobs yets this monsoon season, which is just beginning.  We did have one haboob warning last week, but the wind outburst did not escalate into a haboob.

This is a photo from my office of a haboob as it moved across central Phoenix.  Fortunately, these are very rare, and the blow through in a few minutes.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of the Great Synagogue of Budapest, Hungary.  It is a unique, amazing building.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Photo: Papago Park at night

I showed some photos of Papago Park from the air a few days ago.  THis is Papago Park looking from the western butte  towards the eastern butte.  The streak of a plane coming in for a landing at Sky Harbor airport is in the center.

At the base of the butte is a small white triangle, which the tomb of the first Governor of Arizona, George W.P. Hunt. The light in the distance is the Ocotillo power plant in Tempe, near Arizona State University.  Apparently they do not need the plant much longer, as it is scheduled to be demolished in the future.

This week we are showing some underwater photos from the Sea of Cortez on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site, including several photos of sea lions swimming underwater with us.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Photo: Recipe for Arizona Agriculture -- Just Add Water

This aerial view of the Arizona desert shows that in those locations where water is applied, the desert soil is fertile and supports agriculture.  Some farms use lasers to level the ground to reduce water runoff.

This farm has a section of what is likely the Central Arizona Project canal slicing across it.  The C.A.P. carries water from the Colorado RIver about 300 miles across the desert to Phoenix and aerTucson.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing some underwater photos from the Sea of Cortez, including several photos of sea lions swimming underwater with us.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photo: An Open Pit Mine

Continuing my series of aerial photos after a take off from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, here is an open pit mine in the desert east of Phoenix.

Copper is one of the "5 C's" that we were taught in school that historically have been the foundation of Arizona's economy -- cattle, copper, cotton, citrus and climate.  Copper mining remains important today.


This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing some underwater photos from the Sea of Cortez, including several photos of sea lions swimming underwater with us.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Photo: Wind farm

As our airliner climbed out of the Phoenix area, we noticed this facility int he desert with rows and rows of windmills.

It seems like a good place for a lot of windmills, which a appear to be part of the overall solution to our dependence on fossil fuels.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing some underwater photos from the Sea of Cortez, including several photos of sea lions swimming underwater with us.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Photo: Tribal Lands Bordering Scottsdale

This photo shows the difference in land use between urban Scottsdale, on the left, and the agricultural lands of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community that borders central Scottsdale on the east.

The border between Scottsdale and the tribal lands (I do not use the R-word, as it does not show proper respect for Native Americans) is Pima Road, just to the left of the 101 Freeway.

Back in the 1980's the Native American community was justifiably upset that the City had knows for a long time that there were plans to build a freeway, but the City allowed houses to be built right up next to Pima Road so that it would be too expensive to clear the right of way if Pima Road was the location for the freeway.  The tribal leaders resented that the City just assumed that tribal lands would be take for the freeway.

So, the lease for Pima Road the use of tribal lands for the northbound lane of Pima Road expired and the tribe refused to renew the lease.  Half of the road had to be closed.

The tribe then got an acceptable deal for their lands that were used for the freeway, and the have since developed significant revenue sources with the enhanced land values due to proximity to the freeway.   There are several shopping centers, office buildings, the Spring training facilities and stadium for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, and more.

And of course none of the sales tax revenue from those facilities goes to Scottsdale because the facilities are located on tribal lands, outside the city limits.

This week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site we are showing some underwater photos from the Sea of Cortez, including several photos of sea lions swimming underwater with us.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Photo: Central Scottsdale from the air

Continuing with this little series of photos from our airliner as it left Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport heading east, this is a photo of central Scottsdale, looking north.  Here are some of the things you can see.

In the lower right is Sky Song, the research park owned by Arizona State University.  Extending west is the stretch of McDowell Road known as the "motor mile" because of the many car dealerships, which are the larger buildings across the lower middle of this photo.  Many of them are now closed, victims of the recession, consolidation of auto brands, and large newer dealerships in north Scottsdale.  

At the far left edge are the baseball fields where the Oakland A's do their Spring Training.  That is also the side of a former prisoner of war camp for Germans during World War II.  At the center right is downtown Scottsdale, usually called Old Town.  "Old" in Scottsdale means 1950's and 60's.  Scottsdale Fashion Square and the Waterfront is just north of downtown.  

Camelback Mountain is still prominent in this view, and the Phoenecian Resort is visible near the right base of Camelback.  Beyond Camelback is Mummy Mountain, and the area between Camelback and Mummy Mountains is the heart of Paradise Valley.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing some underwater photos from the Sea of Cortez, including several photos of sea lions swimming underwater with us.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Photo: Desert Botanical Garden from the air

I have posted a lot of photos over the years from the Desert Botanical Garden, as has Sharon on her Phoenix Daily Photo site.  Here is a different perspective on the DBG.

In the center of this photo is a butte.  The Desert Botanical Garden is on the far slope of that butte.  You can see a slightly more green area and a band of buildings.  The buildings are the entrance, area, gift shop, restaurant, a classroom building, a multi purpose room where special events are held.

One of the Salt River Project canals slices through the right side of the photo.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing some underwater photos from the Sea of Cortez, including several photos of sea lions swimming underwater with us.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Photo: Camelback Mountain and Papago Park

This is a somewhat different angle than yesterday's post for Camelback Mountain.  This is a view from almost due south, with Papago Park in the foreground, just north of some office buildings that include the headquarters for the Salt River Project.

The Papago golf course and Papago Buttes are visible.  The Phoenix Zoo is on the lower left of the park.

This week we have photos of Majorca posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Photo: Camelback Mountain from the Air

This is a photo of Camelback Mountain from the window of an airliner just after it took off from Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport.  I'll have to try this again on a clear sunny day.

The large white building in the center of the photo is the former Motorola plant, which is now home to ON Semiconductor.

I hope all of my readers in the USA will enjoy today's Independence Day holiday.

This week we have photos of Majorica posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Photo: the bird eats a cactus bud

The bird that I have been showing finally decided to eat a different cactus bud than the one on which he was perched.

The structure of the bird's feet and legs is remarkably adapted to be able to land on an object such as the cactus bud, and support his body perched directly to the side,  then reach upward and twist his neck to the side.

This bird must do yoga.

This week we have photos of Majorica posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Photo: THe bird steadily perches on the cactus bud

The bird that I have been showing this week hopped up and landed on the cactus bud that he had been eyeing.  That presented the dilemma of whether he could each the same bud on which he was perched.

This week we have photos of Majorica posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Photo: The bird tries another approach to reach for the cactus bud

The bird with his eyes on the cactus bud a little below the top of the Mexican fence post cactus decided that a better way to reach the cactus bud was to fly off his perch on top of the cactus and land on a slightly lower cactus bud to reach up to the bud that he wanted to eat.

I wouldn't think that these little buds would be strong enough to be a good perch to support the bird, but I will defer to the bird's judgment on that.

I took this photo from my kitchen window, zoomed in, with a shutter speed of 1/1,600 of a second.  Even at that super fast speed, there is nevertheless a little blur from the movement of the wings.

This week we have photos of Majorica posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Photo: Can the bird reach the cactus bud?

Birds, especially doves, love to land on the Mexican fence post cacti in our back yard.  Usually they are scouting to see if it is a good time to swoop down to visit our bird feeder.  When the cactus is in bloom, however, they love to feed on the blossoms and buds.

That presents a bit of a challenge for this bird.  Will he be able to eat this bud?  I will show a few more photos of this resourceful bird in the coming days.

Today is Sunday so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos from our trip last month to Majorica, a diverse resort island in the Mediterranean.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Deep Color Sunset

Here is a photo of a deep color sunset with silhouetted mountains.

This is another Arizona classic.

This week we have photos from Papua New Guinea posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Stately Green Cacti

Here is a photo of stately cactus backlight by setting sun.

These look like they are walking towards me in a group.

The Desert Botanical Garden always has something wonderful to see.

This week we have photos from Papua New Guinea posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Diamond Cholla Cactus Flower

Here is a photo of a diamond cholla cactus with a colorful red bloom.

Diamond cholla are very interesting and can grow in direct sunlight with very little water.

Their spines are yellow and white and look fabulous when the sun backlights the spines.

This week we have photos from Papua New Guinea posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.
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