Saturday, May 31, 2008

Camelback Mountain to the North

Looking north from "A" Mountain, a nice view of Camelback Mountain. The resemblance to a resting camel is obvious and is probably the most recognized landmark in the Phoenix metro area. The mountain itself is not too far outside of Tempe and can be seen from many Tempe vantage points.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tempe, as Seen from "A" Mountain

A hike up "A" Mountain is better than a stairmaster! Very steep, very fast. The reward is many beautiful views of the city. In this shot, looking southwest you see South Mountain; in the foreground is a new high rise condominium that will have a Whole Foods and other retail in the lower floors - all aimed at transforming Tempe into a walkable, light rail sort of city.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harkins Valley Art Theater - Enter Here

Wood frames around movie posters, nice doors with window rounds, stars on the walkway and a free standing ticket booth outside. The Valley Art shows one movie at a time, usually an independent or cult popular film.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Harkins Valley Art Theater on Mill Avenue

Harkins is synonymous with movie theaters in several southwestern states. The Harkins Valley Art Theater has been a part of Tempe for 70 years, and is an icon of the downtown area. Originally called the College Theater, it was constructed in 1938 by Dwight "Red" Harkins. This was Harkins' third theater in Tempe. He opened his first theater, the State Theater, in 1933 on Fifth Street, and operated an unsuccessful outdoor theater for one year in 1934. The College Theater was a successful expansion of Harkins' theater operations in 1938. Later, Harkins and his son, Dan Harkins, expanded their theater operations across the Salt River Valley. The building is importantly associated with Depression-era business in Tempe. Entertainment was one of the few areas that were economically successful during the Depression. Also, the theater contained new innovations such as glow in the dark carpet, headphones for the hearing impaired, and automatic drinking fountains.

The Harkins Valley Art building is significant as the only Depression-era theater constructed in Tempe. Virtually intact, it provides a positive contribution to the historic character of the streetscape along Mill Avenue. Character-defining elements include the wood frame movie poster cases and freestanding ticket booth.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Hippie Gypsy

The Hippie Gypsy store, 601 South Mill Avenue downtown. Wild clothing and patchouli incense smells to the sidewalk. Peace, love and groovy songs keep the granola crowd coming back to shop.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Flags on Mill - Happy Memorial Day!

What an unbelievably gorgeous day it was. The temperature was perfect, what a treat for late May. Thank you Veterans, we salute you!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nice Boat!

This big boat looks like it's floating on grass. At Mill Avenue across from the

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More Wall Art

Chicken-headed wall art figures catch a bus, maybe?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Green Heron Hunting

The Green Heron is one of my favorite birds, they are intent fishers. And, they are one of the few birds in North America that will use a "tool" to fish with. They'll use a feather, leaf, or some little bit of something they find and place it on the surface of the water to lure a little fish to investigate. Then it's snack time!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Flaming Hot

We officially hit the triple digits for the first time last Saturday. Today is a cool low 80s with rain - quite a treat for late May. After March or April it usually doesn't rain again until late July. I was already set on using this car with flames photo for today (I'm out of town) - even though it's not blazing hot - it will be again soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Balloons in a Tree

I was walking in my neighborhood, looked up, and there I saw this bunch of red and yellow balloons in a tree. Set free or escaped? Reminds me of a movie I saw when I was very young, The Red Balloon or Le Ballon rouge - a French short film, 34 minutes long. It won numerous awards and is the only dialogue-free film to ever win an Oscar. The story of a young boy named Pascal who discovers a large helium-filled red ballon on his way to school one morning. The balloon follows Pascal all over until a group of bullies destroys it. Then balloons from all over come to Pascal and take him off into the sky. For my 7 year old self, it was magical.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mucho Gusto Mexican Restaurant

Mucho Gusto Taqueria & Mexican Bistro is a stylish mexican eatery located just a few blocks west of downtown Tempe, Arizona. Mucho Gusto prepares and serves numerous gourmet authentic Mexican dishes and some of the best margaritas in town! One of my favorite restaurants, with a great outdoor patio. The old Chevy pickup sits just outside.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Classic Car

A broken down truck in front of a great restaurant near downtown. I took several shots of this so I'll post a couple more over the next couple days. I am enjoying getting out in Tempe to take photos and am noticing things I'd not really paid attention to before. Like this red truck parked outside one of my favorite restaurants.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Eye To the Sky

I photographed this inca dove near a construction area downtown.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Little Bird Told Me...

I shot this photo of an immature verdin, difficult to capture as she flitted around in the coral pink yucca flowers at an eastern ASU entry corridor. Young verdins are plain gray all over. I wouldn't have known she was a verdin by her color, I relied on her size (just a little bigger than a hummingbird) and behavior - she was active and flitting and sounding a call that is familiar to me (I love when these little birds visit my Palo brea tree). Adults have yellow heads and rufous-colored shoulder patches. A very attractive little native bird, found in the southwest U.S. and Mexico.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Telling Secrets to Water

Three giant hares sit next to a pool and fountain in a small courtyard downtown. This one is my favorite, he seems to be whispering something to the bubbling fountain. Maybe it's, "how about this weather - it's unbelievable"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Patterns and Reflections

The windows of a building in Tempe downtown show a new high rise building under construction. Lots of building going on downtown to make it pedestrian friendly and the place where people want to live and work and become less reliant on the all-mighty car.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Greetings from Tempe!

Now that the Tempe Daily Photo blog is underway, I think it is about time that I include a welcome sign. This one is located in Plazita de Descanso Park downtown.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Umbrellas on a Sunny Day

Umbrellas are particularly useful in Tempe, not to keep us dry but to block a few sun rays. Tempe probably averages about 330 days of sunshine a year. I like this black and white umbrella. This photo taken of a group as they leave the graduation festivities held yesterday at ASU's Wells Fargo Arena.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saguaros in Bloom

All around the Sonoran Desert, Saguaros are in bloom. Their flowers are beautiful and white to attract nighttime pollinators. There are plenty blooming all around Tempe. This photo was taken right outside the Biodesign Institute at ASU.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Light Rail

Light Rail is coming to Tempe! Planning and construction has been underway for a few years, and this December the rail will be functioning to link Mesa and Tempe to downtown Phoenix.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gone Batting

Okay, so I admit that I plan to OCCASIONALLY post photos from just over the Tempe border in some of my favorite nonTempe places. All within a couple miles. Here's one place, just into Phoenix, near infamous Camelback Mountain there's a concrete flood control tunnel with several thousand bats living inside. It makes for a nice evening to go to the tunnel and watch the bats fly out and there's usually an owl hanging out too. Tonight's event was especially nice because lots of families had come out to watch too. My biologist co-workers and I talked to the kids about bats, they loved the bat wings we had for them to try on. This young nature lover is demonstrating what a bat at rest looks like (imagine her upside down for full effect).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I just love coffee. And coffee shops. You can bet there are going to be a lot of photos of local cafes on this blog. Especially the independents, which I love the most. Today I was tired. An all-day coffee would have helped.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mill Avenue Travel

Tucked away in a quiet courtyard on Mill, this travel agency has been here since the mid-80s. They specialize in European travel - I'm ready to go!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Golden Barrel Cactus

A whole herd of golden barrel cacti, common in the desert wilds of tempe.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Stroll Down Mill Avenue

The Shoe Mill has been in business downtown for over 20 years. It's a great place to get a pair of Birkenstock's.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hayden Flour Mill

Across the street (on Mill, likely Tempe's first named street) from Monti's La Casa Vieja is the Hayden Flour Mill. The mill opened in 1874, built by Tempe founder Charles Trumbull Hayden. A fire destroyed the mill, but Hayden rebuilt a second one in 1891. A second fire destroyed that mill, which was replaced with a concrete building in 1918.Water powered the mill through the mid-1920s.It was the longest continuously operating industrial business in Arizona when it closed in 1998.

A redevelopment is planned beginning in June to restore the iconic mill - and to reveal rarely seen equipment and stonework that's been out of view for most of the last century. It will take 14 to 15 months to restore the mill, add a glass-and-steel structure beside it and open about six restaurants, bars and boutiques.

A stone arch and waterway will become an entrance after spending decades under dirt - hidden so long that many feared the 1890s-era stonework had been destroyed. But as archaeologists explored the site in the past year to look for relics from Hohokam and European settlers, they discovered that stonework was undamaged since its burial in the 1920s.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Back of the Bus - 65N

Happy May Day! Whew, almost didn't make the post today. It would have been easier to post a photo from Flagstaff, where I spent the day. I was really bent on posting a number photo for theme day. Normally, I avoid avoid getting stuck behind a bus but tonight on the way home from the dog park I was happy that this Valley Metro was in front of me, a perfect daily photo op, complete with a number.