Monday, February 14, 2011


For some reason or another which escapes me at the moment I have always found windows to be very interesting. As a result I have been photographing them for awhile. One of my friends says I have more windows than Andersen. I'm not sure about that but I have photographed quite a few. Some windows tell a story, such as hard times or elegance. Some are very colorful, some are truly marvelous. Some provide ventilation, some allow light to penetrate the interior of a building, some provide a view for the building occupants. Some examples are shown below.

The two windows shown above each tell a story of hard times with missing glass and weeds growing in the buildings. They are separated by thousands of miles, the one on the top is from Varna, Bulgaria and the one on the bottom from Miami, Arizona.

The window below reveals elegance and probably wealth on the part of the occupants. It is from Amsterdam.

The window below is in a shop on the Greek island of Santorini. I'm sure some stylish woman would find these attractive.

The window below is also from Thera, Santorini.

Some windows exist for no apparent reason except for decoration. Such is the one below found on a Victorian era house in St. Charles, Idaho.

The window below is one of my all time favorites. It is in the Alhambra in Grenada, Spain. The Alhambra as a whole is magnificent and this window is one of the many wonderful things there.

I am thinking about doing a book on windows. What do you think? Please vote in the poll. Thanks much for looking.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Riparian Reserve

The City of Gilbert, which is just to the south of Mesa, has done a very interesting and unique thing with their waste water. They decided they should use it to recharge the underground aquifer. They are doing this by having it percolate down to the aquifer from the surface. After it has been treated and is relatively clean, they put it in streams, shallow ponds and wetlands which they have created in a 110 acre plot of land. They have planted trees and other vegetation along the banks that you would find in riparian areas in the Sonoran desert. There are still a few natural riparian habitats in Arizona, but most of them have been damned and therefore turned into reservoirs or dry stream beds. They have placed fish in the ponds to eat weeds and insects. Some of the birds then eat the fish. There is one small lake where fishing by humans is allowed. There are some 3 miles of paths for walking, bicycling and horseback riding. There are benches and places to observe fauna, primarily birds. The photo above is a view of one of the ponds, with an egret on the far bank.

A red winged blackbird, seen below, welcomed us to his world.

Long billed dowitchers are common working the shallow waters for food, below.

There was a small flock of ring necked ducks the morning I was there, below.

Below is a photo of a great blue heron slowly walking across one of the ponds, stopping frequently. I presume he was hunting for breakfast.

Here is a photo of a great blue heron standing on top of a pole. I wonder if he is contemplating building a nest there.

The last photo is a cormorant. We watched him dive and return to the surface with this fish in his mouth. There was a problem, however. He was holding the fish in the middle, crosswise. In order to swallow it the fish needs to be lengthwise and go down head first. Any other way it will hang up because the fins need to go down flat, which they won't do if it goes tail first. So he tossed it in the air until he got it going right and then he swallowed it. Amazing to watch. The photo below is the flip where he gets it going head first. Serendipity at work allowing me to capture the action.

This is a great place for a morning walk. The only fly in the ointment is some fools have dropped cats off there which of course are now feral. The authorities are struggling with how to deal with this. I think a few red tail hawks and great horned owls would solve the problem.