Saturday, October 10, 2009

Book 'em, Dan-o!

Today was the day. Prescott Valley's sparkling new library had its grand opening.

The exterior apparently will maintain it's rusty look but it is complemented by shiny steel.

Inside, here is the children's area. Brightly lighted thanks to the huge windows and warm with the look of wood on one wall and the ceiling.

The center of the building is open to a roof above the second floor and with the combination of wood and steel, it reminded me of the downtown library in Seattle, though on a smaller scale. From the second floor balcony, there are great views down to the main floor.

I imagine those cubes will hold even more books once the library is complete.

There's a beautiful lounge in front of windows looking toward the town office building.

The smaller building to one side will house offices and classrooms for Yavapai College and Northern Arizona University. There's an enclosed walkway from one building to the other on the second floor.

The library building also houses a large new room for town council meetings.

In the front lobby there is a small cafe, which was doing a land office business today with free Italian cookies.

Here's a view of the back of the building.

And one last look up.

I'm still not hooked on the outside look of the place but it grew a little more on me today as I toured the building. But I love the interior and I suspect many of the thousands of people that attended the grand opening today will as well.

The contractor has said he still has a couple of weeks of work left to finish the buildings. But the library is open for business once again.

Friday, October 9, 2009


While in northern Arizona earlier this week, I took note of a few pieces of evidence of life lived earlier.

For all things there is a season . . .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oak Creek Canyon

One of the most beautiful drives in the state, maybe the world, is through Oak Creek Canyon just outside of Sedona, Arizona.

Earlier this week I found myself a little early for the changing of the colors. But there was some indication of things to come.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sad news for aspens

On our trip to northern Arizona, we were looking for the changing of the colors, particularly in the aspen trees. But SWMBO said it looked like the older trees were dying, or at least sick. The leaves seemed gray and many of the trees were leafless.

I mentioned this to a friend when we returned home and he said he had heard something was killing the aspens. Investigating, I found an article that said the death rate of aspens in some forests near Flagstaff has neared 95% and fewer appear to be regrowing. The high death rate has mystified scientists, the article continued, though the list of suspected causes includes drought, disease, insect infestation, wildfire suppression and the grazing habits of elk. Couple that with the bark beetle infestation that is threatening the Ponderosa pines and you have a grim picture of the future.

Fall color (???)

After reading about fall colors in the newspaper the other day, SWMBO and I headed north today to the Flagstaff area to check them out.

Arizona's highest point, Humphrey's Peak, had a dusting of snow on top.

There was some color on another hillside but SWMBO determined it was some kind of shrubbery.

But we did find a few young aspens that had changed color. This was behind a big snag of dead wood from seasons past.

It makes a difference in color as to which side the photograph is taken. The first picture, above, was taken with the sun at my back. The second one was taken more into the sun.

In spite of the many signs along the highway, we once again saw no elk. But as I was walking over to take the above photos, SWMBO did spot several deer bounding away through the trees and I caught a glimpse of them.

But they were too far away for the camera to catch them.

More photos tomorrow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

6 months to go!

Get ready fans! The opening day of the 2010 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks is exactly 6 months from today. Play ball!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A windy day

What a difference a day makes. The wind is blowing like crazy today.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A great day for folk music

The 31st annual folk music festival is going on today and tomorrow at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott. Highlighting today sessions was a birthday party this afternoon for the legendary Katie Lee of Jerome. Take a good look at her.

Believe it or not, she is 90 years old!

(By the way, I must apologize for the inside pictures as they are a bit blurry.)

Katie entertained with stories and songs from her long career as a singer, composer and author.

Sharing the stage at her party was Tony Norris, who sang a beautiful song about a cowboy and his Mexican girlfriend.

Also on hand was cowboy poet Gail Steiger, grandson of Gail Gardner with whom Katie used to sing and learn cowboy songs.

Also performing a moving number were the wonderful duo known as D-Squared.

Later I got the opportunity to wish Katie a happy birthday. I told her that I had heard of her for years but had never seen her. While I was waiting for her birthday party to begin, I said I was looking around for a very old lady in a wheel chair. Obviously . . . especially after she displayed a shoulder high kick on stage . . . that day is far away. Some people I was sitting next to in the audience said Katie bicycles about two miles every day!

There was plenty of additional good music outside all over the grounds.

Along with the scheduled performers, there were jam sessions everywhere.

Arizona's official state historian, Marshall Trimble, was on hand to entertain and chat with festival attendees.

There were a number of the infamous Shady Ladies on the grounds.

And one man who might have been an old time gambler.

As I said, it was a great day for folk music. If you live anywhere near Prescott, I'd urge you to attend tomorrow's second day of the festival.