Thursday, March 05, 2009

Howard and I had a mini-vacation during his mid-winter break, from Feb. 15 to 19 in Phoenix, Arizona. Although Phoenix was having a coolwave with the temperatures only in the 60s, it still was 20 degrees warmer than Seattle and a lot sunnier!

On the 17th, we went with friends to the Desert Botanical Gardens, which was having a special Chihully exhibit with glassworks interdispersed among the cacti and succulents.

Most of the plants in the garden are from the
Sonoran desert.

It was an amazing site and will continue to be there until May 31. In addition to the glass art and plants, we were able to see a number of butterflies and hummingbirds close up.

Chuhully has done other such exhibits. You can check them out at:

Outside the gardens, just before one gets to the ticket booths, are the "3 glass towers." 3 Desert Towers: While amost all of the glass work on exhibit has been used at previous exhibits, the 3 trees above are new, made especially for this Phoenix exhibit.
One of the first glass works you see on entering the gardens is this "tree" above. It is huge, over 20 feet wide, tall, and deep!

Saffron Tower, 2008 27 x 5 x 5' Doesn't this one fit nicely into the landscape?

Old Man of the Andes cactus The Moon
I love the balance of the cacti in many places of this garden!
Notice the two kinds of creeping cacti in this photo--one lighter-colored one in the front and back and the other greener in the middle.

Scorpion Tails and Bamboo, 2008

These two butterflies actually posed for me, so I had time to take their pictures!

Flowering succulents

Red Reeds

This was the top of a 20' tall cactus, normal until this unusual formation at its top.
Another with a similar, unusual growth pattern
The "hair" on this succulent intrigued me.

Orange Hornet and Eelgrass Chandelier, 8½ x 5 x 4½'

Anna's (?) hummingbird...s/he was spectacular!

Starling sitting on a very tall cactus

Blue Polyvitro Crystals, when we came around the corner and saw these chrystals in the pond with reeds around them, we were speechless with awe
Some of the glass objects didn't seem to fit in the environment but the above were definitely examples of those that fit amazingly well!

A pretty photo taken in the gardens.

Squero di San Trovaso Chandelier, 1996 7½ x 4 x 4’

Mexican Hat and Horn Tower, 11' x 7' x 7'
Campiello Barbaro Chandelier, 1996 7 x 4 x 4'

Close up of chandelier to see the detailing

Float Boat 3.5 x 5 x 17'

Boojum tree, one of the most unusual plants in the area. Carol's future daughter in law has one in the garden of her new house. She didn't know what it was and was going to take it out. ...though probably not now!

Blue Fiddleheads with Neodymium Reeds in the backgroun
Neodymium Reeds

Two cacti that fascinated Howard: The one to the left which "jumps" and can attack, even if you are not touching it, and the arms growing out of the cactus below.

Neodymium Reeds

Blue Reeds, Marlins and Floats,

Floats up close

Blue and Purple Boat

These together with other items behind glass windows were on exhibit inside a small building.
Our hostess Carol Talmon had seen many of the same items on display at Migdal David in Jerusalem in 1999. If you are in Arizona before June, do try to see this exhibit. It is truly , especially at night when lights shine on the glasswork.

As we drove away from the gardens, we were treated to a spectacular sunset. I took this picture through our windshield.