Sunday, April 25, 2021

Backroads of Missouri


One of my sisters used to live in rural Missouri and when I'd visit her, one of my favorite things to do was to drive around on the back roads.  You know the unpaved roads that lead to farms.  I've found amazing things traveling those roads.

A good example is this old school house that is surrounded by shrubs and trees.

On another turn in the road, I was greeted by these fellows with their very dramatic head gear.  I wasn't expecting to see long-horn cattle in this part of the country so they were a treat to see.

After spotting the cattle, I came across a little village called Rockbridge.  The bank is no longer a bank at all, I think it has become a gift shop.

Across the street from the "bank" was this place called the Grist Mill Club.  It turned out to be a restaurant and store.  The scene was so pretty, my sister and I decided we would stop for lunch.  

That would be where we were served the biggest, fat onion rings I'd ever seen.  As I recall, they were delicious.  

After a very nice lunch, we walked all around the old mill and spotted a couple of fishermen looking for a good spot to do some fishing.  

It was a perfect afternoon drive around the country roads.  It seems I can always find something interesting to photograph and someplace equally interesting to visit.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Historic Tucson


Earlier this month, I traveled to Tucson Arizona for a long awaited weekend away from home.  I stayed at the Arizona Inn, a historic hotel that has been on the National Register of Historic places since 1988.  I wrote a post about this wonderful place that is still owned by members of the family who built it in 1928.  You can see that post here.

The hotel is located in a historic neighborhood called the Blenman-Elm Historic District.  Little signs like the one above are on walls all around the area.  

Just a block east of the hotel, we saw this sculpture and noticed more artistic touches along the street so we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and admire the houses located there.  This house had a wall around it that was decorated with a wide variety of art like this statue.

A little further down from the upside-down man was this sculpture with a more native look to it. 

The wall was artistically adorned all around the top.

At one spot, this set of tiles were embedded int he wall.

Around the corner, I found an abstract sculpture.

And a little further down, a couple dueling dragons.  It is a truly eclectic art collection.

Across the street from the art filled house was a vacant lot with a forest of cholla cactus and other brush.  

That tangle of desert growth appeared to be home to both rabbits and birds.

To the right is an artistic gate leading to one of the houses.

The houses in this historic neighborhood are much larger than the other historic areas I've photographed.  You can see photos from one of my favorite neighborhoods here.  

The Arizona Inn is the jewel in this neighborhood.  It's beautifully landscaped 14 acres and stunning pink buildings set the tone for the area.  I'm already planning my next visit.  I'll take another walk in this lovely neighborhood the next time I stay there.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Tucson Botanical Garden


When I was in Tucson last weekend, I made a short visit to the Tucson Botanical Garden.  It had been 6 or 7 years since I was last there and a lot had changed.

The garden has added an interesting selection of artistic sculptures that are scattered throughout the grounds.

This very lush garden was centered around a fountain (that agave plant in the center is actually a fountain) with pots of all shapes overflowing with pretty blooms.

I spotted a hummingbird resting in a blooming acacia tree.  It was nice of him to pose for this photo.

The "Cactus Car" was also a new addition.  There were cactus growing from the front, back and inside the car and you can see that even the wheels are covered with plants.  

There was even a little miniature village at one place withs street cars that moved along the tracks.  This was a popular spot with both kids and adults.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Treasures From Around the Globe


The British Museum in London has a spectacular collection of artifacts from around the globe.  After my post two weeks ago, I dug a little more into my photo archives to come up with some photos of some of the treasures that caught my eye.

The above shot is a close up of some of the detail on this clock to the left.  This isn't just any clock, it's a Monumental Carillon Clock that was created in 1589 by Isaac Habrecht of Strasbourg.  It plays "Our Father" (written by Martin Luther) every hour.  It also has three faces, the 24 hour dial, the quarter hour dial and the lowest one is an annual calendar naming the Saint's days and feasts days.

What an amazing piece of ingenuity and craftsmanship. 

If you found that first clock impressive, take a look at this one.  This is called the Milkmaid & Cow Automaton Clock dating around 1600 and made in Poland.  On this clock, the standing farmer indicates the time with his staff, the cows eyes move back and forth and with a flick of the switch, the milkmaid 'milks' the cow.  Liquid stored in the reservoir actually comes out of the udder.  Pretty ingenious, I'd say.

Getting past the fancy clocks, I stopped to admire this Wedgewood piece called The Pegasus Vase.  It dates to 1786.  This has to be the ultimate Wedgewood piece for any collection.

Moving into a room with much larger specimens, I came face to face with "Hoa Hakananai'a" (roughly translated to stolen or hidden friend).  You probably recognize him as a former resident of Rapa Nui or Easter Island.  He's a very long way from home.

Every time I visit the British Museum, this fellow always draws a large crowd of admirers.  I don't think I've ever seen him without a crowd around his base.

Not far from the fellow above, I found the god Amun represented as ram protecting a figure of King Tahargo.  It's just one of an astounding number of Egyptian statues and artifacts to be found at the British Museum.

The beautiful lady to the right can be found in the great, domed hall at the center of the museum.  She is Thalia, muse of comedy and she is Roman from the 2nd century.  

These fantastic objects are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things you can see at the British Museum.  And it's why I return again and again.