Monday, September 1, 2014

Daily Photo Theme -- Rust and Ruin: Guano Point at Grand Canyon West

Today's worldwide Daily Photo theme for the first of the month is "Rust and Ruin."  I chose the rusting ruins of Guano Point at the Grand Canyon.

The history of Guano Point is fascinating.   In the 1930's a boater floating through the Grand Canyon discovered a bat cave 2,500 feet (760 m) below the rim.  In the 1950's a company decided to mine the estimated 100,000 tons of guano in the cave, which is used for fertilizer.

They build a tramway using 30,000 feet (9,100 m) of cable to haul the miners down and the guano up.  They had to replace large portions of the cable twice in its first year of operation, once due to a construction accident and because the original steel cable wore out after only a few months.

It turned out that the mining engineer's estimate of 1,000 tons of guano in the cave was 1,000 times too high.  There was only 1,000 tons of guano, and the rest of the cave was limestone, which is worthless.  Guano was worth $100 per ton at the time, so the enterprise had invested $3.5 million to access a resource worth $100,000.  Oops.

Mining ceased in 1960.  A short time later a U.S. Air Force pilot doing some hot dogging flying through the Grand Canyon clipped his wing on the cable and broke it, although he returned safely to his base.  The federal government paid a claim for damage.

There at one time were plans to remove the ruins of the tramway, but people protested and saved this remnant of recent history.  Guano Point is now a tourist stop on the visitor buses at Grand Canyon West, where the Skywalk is located, operated by the Hualapai native peoples.  

This week with have photos of Ethiopia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.


To see how other City Daily Photo bloggers have interpreted the Rust and Ruin theme,please use this link.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Photo: Buddha Shadow on Front Door

I noticed the other day that the setting sun casts a shadow onto the inside of our front door of a Buddha statue in our entrance hall.

Maybe the peace of this scene will help people relax during this Labor Day weekend.

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 people, culture and countryside of Ethiopia.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Photo: Canadian Goose Coming in for a Landing

You don't normally think of Canadian Geese was waterfowl that would live in Arizona, but we have quite a few of them in the lakes in teh Indian Bend Wash greenbelt in Scottsdale.  We hear the flying over our house occasionally.

Like many other Canadians, they love Arizona in the winter.

This week we are showing photos from our cruise along the east coast of Baja California, with some samples of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Photo: Detail of Old Man Cactus

This looks like long, gray hair, but is is a close-up view of what is commonly referred to as an "old man" cactus.

This week we are showing photos from our cruise along the east coast of Baja California, with some samples of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Photo: Boujum Tree

This magnificent boujum tree is in the Desert Botanical Garden.  I tried planting a boujum tree in a pot on my patio, but it did not survive.  I will have to do more research on the proper care and watering.

This week we are showing photos from our cruise along the east coast of Baja California, with some samples of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Photo: Detail of Cactus bud

This is a close view of one of the cactus buds that I showed yesterday.

This week we are showing photos from our cruise along the east coast of Baja California, with some samples of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Photo: Cactus buds

This cactus on our patio is an example of the oversized buds and flowers that some cacti grow.  It is impressive that small plants with little water can produce such large buds and flowers, even if just for a few days.

This week we are showing photos from our cruise along the east coast of Baja California, with some samples of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Photo: Lizard on the prowl

This lizard is on the prowl along the divider that separates our grass from the garden shubbery in our back yard.  I am sure tht he will find what he is looking for, which hopefully will be an insect that eats plants.

This week we are showing photos from our cruise along the east coast of Baja California, with some samples of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Photo: Detail of Fairy Duster Flower

This is a close-up of one of the fairy duster flowers that I showed yesterday.

Today is Sunday, so we have new posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos from our cruise along the east coast of Baja California, with some samples of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Photo: Fairy Duster

I planted this fairy duster in our backyard because it is one of the plants that attracts hummingbirds.  We enjoy watching them hovering and darting from flower to flower.

This week we are showing some more photos from my recent trip to Guatemala, featuring the market town of ChiChi and Guatemala City on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Photo: Diamond Cholla Thicket

This is one of the diamond cholla plants in our back yard.  It contains a dense thicket of thorns with tiny fish hook ends that catch more than the sunlight.

This week we are showing some more photos from my recent trip to Guatemala, featuring the market town of ChiChi and Guatemala City on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Photo: Agave blossom

Agave stalks can have flowers that look like exploding fireworks.

This week we are showing some more photos from my recent trip to Guatemala, featuring the market town of ChiChi and Guatemala City on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Photo: Agave stalk

I have shown agave plants during the last few days.  This is the top of an agave stalk. When agave plants send out a stalk, they will soon die. Fortunately they usually send out shoots or pups, which spread new agave plants in their place.

This week we are showing some more photos from my recent trip to Guatemala, featuring the market town of ChiChi and Guatemala City on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Photo: A narrow leafed agave

This is a very unusual type of agave.  It has the same basic structure as the traditional agave that I showed yesterday, but the leaves are narrow spindles rather than broad paddles.

This week we are showing some more photos from my recent trip to Guatemala, featuring the market town of ChiChi and Guatemala City on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Photo: Agave

This photo illustrates a landscaping tip for agave plants.  They are adapted to the desert by having leaves that collect rain and channel the water to the base of the plant.   The same design also collects leaves or other plant debris that blows by in the area.

The collection of leaves and twigs in the base of the plant can result in a disease because the leaves trap and  moisture around the base of the plant.

This photo shows some leaves gathered at the base.  TH solution is to use a hose on high power to try to blast out the loose plant material.

This week we are showing some more photos from my recent trip to Guatemala, featuring the market town of ChiChi and Guatemala City on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Photo: Coyotes in the Neighborhood

This is a photo of coyotes prowling across the street from our house.  We live in a little gated community about a mile from the center of Scottsdale, yet we have occasional coyotes.

Sometimes they even hop the six-foot wall and come into our backyard.  They are looking for quail and rabbits, of which we have a lot.

There have been some articles in the newspaper lately about coyotes becoming more bold in foraging through yards.

Today is Sunday, so we have new posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing some more photos from my recent trip to Guatemala, featuring the market town of ChiChi and Guatemala City.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Photo: Quail making themselves at home

These quail seemed to occupy the patio furniture on the other side of our backyard swimming pool.  Some are standing on the chair and others are on the table.

Perhaps they feel safer when they are up off the  ground with a better view of their surroundings.  The scurry away whenever we open the door to go outside.

Tomorrow I will show a valid reason for the quail to be vigilant about watching out for what may be nearby.

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

Friday, August 15, 2014

Photo: Lizard on a tree

When I sit in my home office I can often see lizards climbing a tree in the front yard.  I like them, and I assume they are beneficial in eating insects.

This is a cropped photo taken with a telephoto from a distance through the window, as the lizards scamper away if I open my front door and walk outside.

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

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Photo: Optima Camelview Condos in Central Scottsdale

This is a wider view of the Optima Camelview condos.  I showed a closer view yesterday.  The project is designed so that many units have terraces that capture the glorious Arizona sun.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Photo: Optima Camelview Condos in Central Scottsdale

This view of a portion of the award-winning Optima Camelview condos near Scottsdale Fashion Square.  This is a green building, with rooftop and terrace gardens.

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Photo: Daytime moon over Camelback

The wonders of a telephoto lense bring into view a daytime moon peaking over a corner of Camelback Mountain, with one of our neighborhood palm trees in the foreground.

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

Monday, August 11, 2014

Photo: Arizona Inn Flowers and Rooms

This is another photo of the Arizona Inn in Tucson.  The landscaping and flowers highlight the rooms, each of which are individual in design and furnishings.  The Inn's architecture is Southwestern, and the color is called "deep rose pink."

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

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Photo: Arizona Inn

The Arizona Inn in Tucson is a charming place.  It is an oasis of tranquility in central Tucson, with a rich history and architectural tradition, and outstanding food, service and amenities.

It is a favorite place for many reasons, including the fact that Dave and I chose it for our wedding.

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of Punahka, Bhutan.    We attended a festival there that provided an excellent venue for getting photos of the colorful local people.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Photo: Wildflowers and Vermillion Cliffs

This is a slightly wider view of the Vermillion Cliffs that I showed yesterday, with some wildflowers in the foreground.

This week we have photos of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Photo: Vermillion Cliffs

The Vermillion Cliffs in Northern Arizona seem to come alive and glow when catching the late afternoon sun.

This week we have photos of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Photo: Windswept tree

There is no doubt about the direction of the prevailing winds at this spot near Monument Valley in northern Arizona.

This week we have photos of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Photo: Rabbit and barrel cactus

We have lots of rabbit in our yard.  This one paused to look at our swimming pool.  I wish he would eat the weeds that sprouted amidst the barrel cacti behind him, but no such luck.

This week we have photos of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Photo: Prairie Dog

This prairie dog at the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson is alertly checking the surroundings, although he has no predators inside his habitat.

This week we have photos of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Aerial Photo: The Former General Motors Proving Ground

I think this is a photo of the former General Motors Proving Ground in Mesa.  I make that assessment because there is a pattern in the desert soil that looks like a large round track.

General Motors closed the facility about a decade or so ago.  They used to test their production cars and their developmental concept cars here.

When it operated as a test track, there was a large berm an fence around the facility so that people could not see what cars were inside.

With the closure of the GM Proving Grounds, home developers have their eye on this area.  Some of the new home developments are visible on the left of this photo.

This week we have photos of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Aerial Photo: Phoenix-Mesa Williams Gateway Airport

This is the former Williams Air Force Base, which closed about 20 years ago.  It is now Phoenix-Mesa Williams Gateway Airport.

There are some commercial passenger flights at this airport, but mostly it is used as a business park for  companies that want to be located at a facility that includes several large runways.

When I was a child, we frequently heard the jets and sonic booms from the Air Force operations at what was known as "Willy."

Today is Sunday, so we have new photos posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.  This week we are showing photos of Croatia.  The Dalmatian Coast of Croatia is a scenic, cultural and architecturally intriguing place to visit.
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