Monday, November 30, 2009

Sidewalk scenes

So many things to see, in a short one-block walk yesterday. All manner of activities posted in the Book Nook window and on the yoga bulletin board. Something for anybody of almost any persuasion!

I've always liked the old-style circus typefaces, tho I'm puzzled by the anachronistic spelling of custom in its midst. Then there is the shop's fun with security (below).

A decorated window at the Outfitters features both fall symbols on the left side and bandana handkerchiefs on the right side.

And finally I have seen one of those discrete little bits of animal graffiti that's showing up around town. It looks to be a decal on the lamp post -- note how one ear has almost disappeared. Note too how small the rabbit is, as compared to that bolt. As for the splash of color below, I'm not sure if it was intended as a little critter or is merely that, an accidental splash of yellow.

While I was inspecting the rabbit and the yellow whatever, a young woman stood nearby with her back to me. The duck on the back of her tee fit in very well with the graffiti theme.

Over at Batterman's, the auction place, display items were being moved from the sidewalk, back inside.

But I was able to get a picture of this marvel leaning against the building before it was stowed for the night. The riverboat is 3-D and, as I understand it, the paddle wheel turns when the unit is plugged in. The little box to the left houses an 8-track tape player (remember those?) This could liven things up in my office if I were so careless as to attend this week's auction.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Art Walk on McCormick

After reading a big write-up in the Courier, I decided that I should take a gander at what was happening in the so-called McCormick Street Arts District for the 4th Friday Art Walk. The short walk extended from the sign above near Gurley Street to the sign below at the Willis Street end. Of course, I had to show up early, as it would have been dark at opening hour (6 p.m.), though I'm sure I missed a lot, including fire dancers.

The action included thrift shop and collectibles as well as art: Ripple Repeats (above) and the House of Plenty (below).

The real art action had been organized primarily by Eye on the Mountain Gallery, which featured huge panels assembled and painted by Kingman artist Mikel Weisser.

An example: a conquistador among the barren Mexican mountains (above, below). Weisser told the Courier that he works with found and cast-off materials, as well as left-over paints.

More of his work. The street showing was organized because the gallery was too small to really hold and highlight Weisser's big works.

The main feature was a five panel description of the stages in a mountain sunset. The panels were distributed among the galleries and shops taking part in the street fair. Number one is above, the subsequent panels follow in order below.

I have to admit Weisser's art is more likely to get my vote than his politics, which you can read about at his blog "from the left coast of Arizona." Read it here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fruit of the rose

My wild Arizona rose was covered with its single pink blossoms early this summer; which led in due time to an equal number of fruit, called rose hips. Old fashioned folk made jelly and teas from rose hips; the herbally conscious make all manner of medicinal concoctions, from syrups to powders.

I promised my crop, once ripe, to Georgene to make into a syrup, chock-a-block full of vitamin C (rose hips beat citrus fruits on that count).

Not a bad haul from one plant, eh?

And here is the final product -- a honey and rose hip syrup. Quite yummy. If you also have a productive rose bush, here are some recipes.

Linkage: One doesn't expect to hear about floods in Jeddah; in fact, residents of the Arabian city are ill prepared for a major rainfall. Fortunately, Susie of Arabia was out with her camera to get pictures of this highly unexpected weather. This interesting woman, incidentally, was once a Prescottonian. Next -- a forthright discussion of the problem of dying aspen in the higher elevations around Flagstaff; it would seem that the immediate culprit is the huge increase in number of elk, caused, in turn by the lack of predators and the prevalence of water thanks to stock tanks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What a difference a new front makes

You may recall Allison's, the gas station turned auto parts store, at the corner of Grove and Gurley. For the past couple of months, workmen have been busy remaking this example of nondescript architecture into...

...the very model of a respectable financial institution. It's been absolutely fascinating to watch how a simple new facade is transforming what is basically the same old box for a totally new use.

A touch of parking lot landscaping adds to the illusion. And what will occupy the made-over premises? Just mosey down Grove Street one block... the Credit Union West, which is moving out of its strange quarters and into the newly refurbished building. The future of this structure, which is the last non-Prescott College premise on the block? PC is adding it to the collection of recycled buildings that comprise its campus; latest word is that it will serve as the school's visitors center.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lightning tree

Nothing more suitable to carry an electric charge to ground than a Ponderosa pine. I know of at least two trees in the neighborhood that carry the scar of a lightning strike, but this particular specimen appears to be of recent vintage. I am rather surprised that the electricity didn't go down the pole that is to the immediate right, but the tree was probably taller (I don't recall). And if you're curious as to why there are absolutely no branches interrupting that straight run down the trunk, you can thank the electric company, whose arborists lop off all branches that might possibly interfere with the power lines.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's happening to Lowe's hill?

A thousand pardons, dear friends and readers, I hadn't realized what an absolutely grinch-ly post this was for Thanksgiving Day!!! Right now is the time to thank you all for your continued interest and loyalty to these almost daily notes. And I thank Blogger for making it easy for me to continue to play at being a journalista -- this adventure has been wonderful.

The cut in the hillside made when Lowe's set up shop in Prescott is a very visible eyesore. And not just when you're tooling down SR69 in the vicinity of the big box. This picture is taken from a hill to the west of Park Avenue, for heaven's sake!

A couple of closer views of the big scar, including all those white pipes, presumably to water the non-native pines that were planted up the hill.

On my most recent trip over to Costco, something was afoot. First piece of evidence, the water tank, which is always johnny-on-the-spot when a lot of earth is going to be moved.

And there's the earth, being moved. Somewhere. I certainly hope that the Lowe's landscapers have learned a thing or two about arid country plantings since their first attempt. They could still do worse than investing a couple $ thou in annual seeds: California poppies for spring, sunflowers for summer and autumn.

Apostrophe Abuse: It is almost overwhelming today; more and more plurals are spelled with an apostrophe separating the "s" from the rest of the word. Wrong. WRONG. W*R*O*N*G!!! And yet I've caught myself and others who should know better including that dang punctuation mark incorrectly. All by way of introducing Oatmeal's excellent post on the proper usage -- go there right now! And for a eyeful of how bad it is out there in the real world, visit Apostrophe Abuse.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where were those birds headed?

Amazing sight early this afternoon: a huge flight of large black birds circling so high in the air that they were scarcely larger than specks. Just large enough to be visible as black. And large. As in ravens, possibly. Or they might have been vultures, on their way to the desert, though I'd have thought that buzzards were long since comfortably settled in the Sonoran warmth. I would guess that there were well over 50 of the critters in the high group. A subsidiary unkindness of ravens circled at a much lower elevation -- maybe as many as 25, which is a real crowd. All were headed west southwest -- and gone by the time I fetched up my camera. (The picture above is a much older photo, my only good picture of ravens in flight.)

I was reminded of a lingering question: what has become of the rookery in the forest to the southwest of town? For many years, beginning at about four on a late fall or early winter afternoon, ravens would begin to drift in that direction, one or two or three at a time. They came from the old landfill, from the grocery store lots, from PV, all over. More birds would continue to head southwest well into dusk. The numbers added up.

Of late, I have only seen a handful of ravens flying toward the old rookery site (which we never did locate, BTW). Have the raven adolescents found a new location to meet up and crash? Perhaps near the new landfill out SR169? Certainly we haven't lost our raven population -- or are their numbers down?

Linkage: Every day, NASA posts an amazing earth image taken from satellites, the International Space Station or the shuttle; today's picture shows cloud waves caused by a series of islands. To subscribe to weekly notifications, use the form here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Post Script: Granite Dells

I received these two pictures in my email this morning -- a response to last night's post about my visit to the bones of the old Granite Dells lake and pavilion. Time: 1967. Friend Bobbi sent them; she had noted that the two choices for swimming in or near Prescott were either in a stock tank or at the Dells! Thanks, Bobbi. Quite a contrast with the remains of the lake!

How times have changed! Can you imagine a city or county govt. allowing such a swimming lake today? More: can you imagine a couple daring to operate such a business in this day of liability above all?
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