Friday, February 27, 2009


If you live on the wooded side of town, as I do, stumps and logs are among your regular sights. Nor can I resist photographing them in their many variations. Consider the cut ends: two entirely different patterns. One, the natural wood grain; the other, the actual saw marks.

The age of the cut surface is yet another design element. I discovered on opening this folder of images that three of the photographs appeared to black and white. Not. Simply the long-term exposure to the elements which turns the warm browns of the wood into shades of silver. Ive no idea how many years this process requires....

...but it's at least more than 15 years, which is when the log below was cut, if I remember correctly. Maybe more.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Different age groups have their particular fun and games. When you're my age, you sit at home of a night, writing a blog about neons. When you're young and energetic, you are likely to spend many evenings out amongst those bright lights and the crowds they gather round them like moths. It was thanks to my Aussie bro that I happened to be out late for a jazz concert a couple of years ago and caught these two images.

The neons I'm most likely to spot nowadays are the odds and ends one finds in the collectible shops around town. I wouldn't mind owning Big Bird (below.) He would make a fine night light for the loo.

Maybe it's time that I strolled Whiskey Row with my camera for an evening or two. I kinda like these neons!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fences -- digital or analog?

Living, as we do, in a hilly town, erecting a fence leads to a number of choices,

One can go with what I choose to call digital modules: ready-mades that are put together as stairsteps (above) or analog fences that parallel the slope of the earth (below).

Though I prefer the latter approach, following the lay of the land can lead to another set of problems (above) .

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wheelbarrows galore

Today one must wonder if the soldierly ranks of merchandise that yesterday shouted "plenty" today have suddenly symbols of unsold wares, weighing heavily on the economy (and the balance sheets of the merchants in question). Completely without a change in the picture.

Today I did my part for the economy -- a visit to the Westside WalMart. I know, The Evil Empire. But where else can I, a car-less civilian, buy sprinkler nozzles, sharp cheese , velcro strips and vitamins in one trip? There were the same military ranks on ranks of merchandise, but a surprise or two. A small display of Mardi Gras beads, for example. What impresses me the most about the WallyMart is not how economical it is, but how seldom I leave the dang place without dropping a Cnote. They have my number.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A world in flames

There, now. Thirteen pictures of a world in flames. Vehicles, yes. Vehicles, of course. That's what those flames are all about -- hot cars. A celebration of speed. Of studliness.

Of course, the flames could enhance one's poker tournament.

Or a mini-bike. Or an over-developed hog (below).

A flame or two might help sell red hots (or poor boys -- this lovely outfit was in a collection I saw in Memphis).

But in the past year, I've seen a lot of fire on clothing. F'rinstance, this Coors Tshirt or the fine sports shirt I recently spotted at Snap Snap (below).

People wear the stuff, too. Though I bet any boy child would choose the Batman sox over the hot sox at WalMart (below).

However, of all the flaming cars and sleeves and beer commercials I've seen, here's a sentimental reminder of the Detroit that was -- a thoroughtly patriotic Mustang. I do hope that the chilly economy doesn't douse the fire & spirit of the country; we need those flames even more today and tomorrow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Frustration 2

Note the picture above; lovely sox in flame. I'm trying to post that picture (and the other 11 in the folder) LARGE. Blogger (or an imp masquerading as Blogger) won't let me. In the meantime, a Scrabble friend is arriving in a couple of hours and I must clear the kitchen table for play. Backson.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Lynx Lake eagle nest

Yee-Haw! I have an image! All's well with my world. Or at least a lot better.

The setting is Lynx Lake, tho I don't know the year; another photograph from the LH's archive. When we first arrived in the Prescott area, no large raptor was nesting at the lake, tho one year ospreys arrived to take advantage of the fish stocking program. Soon after, either the Forest Service or AZ Fish and Game decided to invite the big fish hawks to settle in by building a nesting platform on the east side of the lake. A pair of birds took the bait and for several years, the trail on that side of the lake was closed during the nesting season. More recently, the bald eagles have moved in, to great fanfare. Like the ospreys before them, they started out on the nesting platform but decided to build a Real Nest after a year or two. I suspect that the Forest Service will soon be closing down the east side of the lake for the 2009 nesting season. As for the displaced ospreys? I don't what neighborhood they moved into. Certainly the lake is not big enough for more than one major nest.

Friday, February 20, 2009


So I waited until too late to consult the owner of the laptop to find out just how to download a single folder from the thumb drive I plugged in earlier today. PhotoShop has an aggressive take-charge attitude & was determined to schlurp up all 840 pictures on the drive, even though they were carefully separated into folders. I figured the lot of them would chew up too much memory & crash the machine.

Thus a brief report on today's walk -- down to the Goodwin Street Pharmacy. Depressing. The little Mexican grocer is gone, replaced (briefly, I'm told) by an establishment called Gyros. The little sandwich shop is finding business too slow (I'm told). This after reading Oddball Observations that Sue Ann has put her PV Apple Pan up for sale. However, I lucked out enough to find the new thrift shop open, for a change.

And some reader was kind enough to printout the post about Tai-Phoon, which was tacked up on one of the walls of the take-out where I ordered ... Thai take out, what else? Made me feel loved and almost as much a celebrity as the dotter the day she was spotted down at Sky Harbor by a reader who shouted, "It's OmegaMom!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Computer Woes

Tis my annual into the shop for the freaky Mac which inhabits my desktop. Apparently my experience is quite singular -- for years, I worked on various PCs with no big problems. I make the change to an Apple and am plagued; possibly it's a curse from Bill Gates. The SteveGuru says that he's never seen a Mac with as many problems as my lovely machine. Cold comfort.

So, in the meantime, I am slowly adjusting to a loaner laptop from friend Georgene. Maybe by tomorrow night, I will be comfortable with PhotoShop & such in alien surrounds and thus able to return to my standard picture posts. In the meantime, I am composing a new calypso tune:

I picked my lovely Apple from the Lemon Tree.

Too bad Harry Belafonte is not around to sing it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Coffee at the Wild Iris

Gentrification -- it's a very mixed bag. Too often, the plainer lines of an honest past are traded for an imaginary (and thoroughly upscale) re-creation of an idealized history. In contrast, the courtyard on Granite Street is one of the times it really works. What was once an old, unused warehouse is now the home for a gallery, a coffee house and a beauty salon. Plus outdoor seating when the weather warms. A perfect setting for the Wild Iris.

Outfitted in lavender and pale green, this coffee house is quite a contrast to, say, Coffee Roasters over on Gurley. The interior is spacious...

...somewhat elegant -- and appears to have attracted primarily grown-ups. (Yes, adults also like to have Wi-Fi for their laptops. No, I don't carry a computer in my wanderings...)

I like to sit there with my coffee and a goodie, staring at the patterns made by the lavender ductwork.

The neatest feature of Wild Iris is a pair of picture windows overlooking Granite Creek. Of course there is Van Gogh himself (as well as a reproduction of one of his irises); the door (below) connects to the gallery next door. All in all, a very satisfying arrangement.

A Pair of Links: For the Scandinavians among us, there's the handy Viking Answer Lady to make certain that your helmet is equipped with the right kind of horns or that you've got your gods straight. Much more up-to-date is the contribution from my SIL -- Billboardom, which does for outdoor advertising what LOL Cats does for our feline friends.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two snakes

As I was riffling through a few of the LH's photographs to illustrate an article I'm working on, this image of a basaltic cliff jumped out at me. The concentric circles on the upper rock suggest the locale was Barrata Tank, a permanent water hole in Hell Canyon upstream from the SR 89 crossing. The thematic glyphs at Barrata are representations of the sun and other circles.

However, it was the snake that actually caught my eye. The shape of the head is that of a rattler. Furthermore, the zigzag is quite like the design of one of my favorite sweatshirts! In keeping with this theme, I also turned up the photo below; it's difficult to make out this fellow's head tho it's there in the center of his coil. On the other hand, his telltale rattle is very evident. But there's absolutely nothing zigzag about him.

I don't know if there are other pictures of any snakes, much less rattlers, in the LH's archives. Possibly not, because we saw few on our outings. Very strange -- there was a restaurant operator down in Peeple's Valley who was afraid of rattlers; he found them every time he ventured into the bush. We wanted to see snakes and so they made themselves scarce. The four rattlers we met in nearly 20 years of boondocking were 1) hiding in the rocks on the west side of Sycamore Canyon; 2) among the rocks on the way to the dam at Watson Lake; 3) among some boulders out Downers' Trail (pre-development), plus one timber rattler in the middle of the Copper Basin Road up near Spruce Mountain. Go figure.

Links to the Works of Nature: Finally an I-was-there description of the Great Snow of 19-aught-67; this by LindaG at her new Prescott Past blog. She was snowed in at Groom Creek. Maria Langer posts re: the dangers of quick sand in desert rivers, the Hassayampa in this case. Steve Ayres has written a report on getting to the bottom of Montezuma's Well. And for a really big picture of the natural earth, there's no better place than the daily photo from space at NASA's Earth Observatory. OK, OK, this just in -- and off-topic, but plenty worth the visit -- ROL Cats, translated from the Russian.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Willow Lake pots

Downtown library rule: always check out the display cases at the rear of the main floor.You will find very cool displays. Recently pieced together pots, for instance. Quite plain, but nicely shaped.

Here's the history of this particular batch of shards. Too bad they didn't display the black-on-white ware, though.

Two photographs of photographs here -- pictures of the field work at the Willow Lake site. BTW, I'm sure that the project chief for Qwest wishes they hadn't turned up that black-on-white ware; this is the kind of delay that's likely to happen to many of those public works projects envisioned by planners of The Stimulus. At least here in the Southwest.

A somewhat prettier pot, though it certainly does not look very grey to me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Critters in the winter snow

This has been my week to be on the receiving end of critter pictures from all over the Prescott area. The buck deer above was browsing beneath a bird feeder over in Mountain Club, while friend Leslie met up with the javelina (below). Note how close to two-dimensional the lady is in this picture.

These guys on the other hand look quite sleek and well fed by their friends in Mountain Club.

Here is the resident roadrunner, all fluffed up, at Bobbi's up in Chino. She reports that he's a fine bird, tho she doesn't really approve of his appetite for baby quail.

And over at friends Patty & Bob, the ravens continue to gather -- and prosper. I was especially taken with the photo through the venetian blind.

My thanks to all the friends who are keeping me in critter pictures; I seem to be limited to household pets currently. Yes, I have noted signs of my javelina troop, but I haven't caught a single glimpse of them recently. And, yes, my dotter did spy a raccoon on my back porch, rummaging through the woodpile where the chipmunks make a nest. But nothing for the camera.
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