Early Morning Hike

Superstition Mountain
Misty Superstition Mountain

As the temperatures rise, our hikes begin earlier. By 9AM, it gets too warm to be comfortable.

We headed out at 7:30 this morning, and hiked the flat preserve just outside of town. Beside the exercise, I wanted to collect more detritus for my artwork.

Hedgehog Cactus in bloom
Hedgehog Cactus in bloom

I scavenged an assortment of old can lids and rusted metal. We spotted a coyote who was too shy for a photo op, ground squirrels and plenty of quail.

The Saguaro all had blossoms on the top, as did some of the hedgehog cacti. That is one flower you really do not want to pick. Continue reading »

Website updates

website Stan SperlakMy website design keeps me busy during my off-time. If you are looking for an affordable, custom website, I would be happy to discuss your options with you. Feel free to contact me.

This past week, Stan Sperlak added new paintings, and a slew of workshop updates to his website.

Kirk McBrideKirk McBride also added new paintings and information on his upcoming workshop.

Both artists hail from the East Coast. Stan is a renowned pastel artist from the Cape May region of South Jersey, and travels the world hosting workshops. Kirk is from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and teaches plein air.

Phoenix Cajun Festival

Yesterday was a perfect Arizona day, not a cloud in the sky, a constant breeze, and not so hot that you fried your brains.

Zach DeputyLiz and I went to the Phoenix Cajun Festival to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Boasting the original line-up that has not changed since 1989, they had the arena swinging.

Sponsored by Abita Beer, Abita had a full line of brews on tap. Cajun food in the food courts, even a cigar vendor. The day started off with the Bad Cactus Brass Band controlling the stage for three hours. Zach Deputy followed with a two-hour set with no break.

After his gig, Zach hung around the arena and freely chatted with the audience. He mingled around the arena and did not hole up in the VIP section, to his credit.

Today I made a large batch of salsa.  We are having a pot luck at work tonight, and I was volunteered to bring my home-made salsa and chips. Now I will relax for the remainder of the afternoon, before an evening nap, and then off to work for another week of the grind.

Nothing new here

ringneck turtle doveThere is not a lot new here in Arizona. I work, sleep, and work again.

I have updated a couple of websites – and will post particulars soon.

My friend visits daily, and she persists on being a nuisance until I feed her. Her mate still will not eat from my hand, but she will tolerate me rubbing her feathers with a finger for a few seconds in exchange for a kibble.

Saguaro bloomThe Saguaros are beginning to blossom, a little early this year. The white flowers bloom at night, and generally do not last more than a couple of days.

Last month we had a week with record high temperatures, after a rare winter snow on New Year’s Day and a higher than normal amount of precipitation. Continue reading »

Prickly Pear in blossom

prickly pear blossomThe Purple Prickly Pear cactus in front of our studio is in full blossom this week. The flowers last a couple of days, providing a very brief splash of color in the desert.

The petals make a very interesting addition to a salad, as almost all of the prickly pear cactus is edible in one form or another.

The flowers will soon disappear, giving way to fruit. By summer, the fruit will be bright red and ready for the picking. The pads can be harvested any time of year for nopalitas. They are delicious in a cold salad, or cooked in an omelette. Continue reading »