Wednesday, April 22, 2015


There is an annual festival of a relatively new art form in our neighboring city of Prescott. It is chalk art, drawn directly on the pavement of a parking lot. I'm always too eager. I went on Saturday, the first day, in the morning.

The artists are just getting started.

Some are a bit further along.

But the BRD (Beautiful Rich Daughter) was a lot wiser than me. She went down and took photographs on Sunday, the SECOND and final day of the fest. Her photos are much better than mine.

This is the work of Lori Antoinette of Palmdale, California, who knows how to protect herself from the sun.

But I found an artist who drew a girl whose name is spelled the same way as the BRD's.

So the old Catalyst gets the last laugh after all, eh?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


That really is a word, or sort of one. It's formed by combining Science with Technology with Festival. Sci Tech Fest. It took place last Saturday at the Prescott Gateway Mall.

The mall was filled with exhibits displayed by various schools, from elementary all the way up to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Just look at the expression on that young budding scientist's face at the left.

Another young fellow was manipulating a robot device to pick up pencils from the tabletop.

There were airplanes . . .

and drones . . .

and microscopes. (Which attracted an older science aficionado.)

Outside the local astronomy club had an exhibit of a number of telescopes.

But for me the highlight of the day were the creatures from the Heritage Park Zoo.

This little hedgehog was said to be shy and he rarely showed his face but he was still fascinating.

One young man carefully cradled what he identified as a Blue Tongued Skink.

Posing royally atop his perch was an American Kestrel, sometimes referred to as a sparrow hawk.

But the Google tells me he's actually a small falcon, the only one found in the Americas.

He let out a piercing shriek when a young fellow showing me a gopher snake got too close for comfort.

Or maybe he was just expressing his appreciation of the SciTechFest.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Wandering in downtown Prescott Saturday, I came across a whole bunch of classic sports cars. It's one of my favorite subjects to photograph.

They were on of those "fun runs". They probably had started out in Phoenix and they were on their way to Flagstaff next.

One guy kept saying to me "Hop in, hop in!" 

I said "I'd love to but how would I get back?"

He replied "That's your problem!"

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I just had a somewhat unique event outside my den window. Two birds at the birdbath at the same time. 

It is rare that two will share a drink. But these two finches had love on their minds and they chattered and touched beaks as I and a plaster cat added to the backyard looked on.

Looks like the water is getting low. I'll have to refill the basin once again.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


This critter just stopped in for a drink yesterday.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Oh, stop being so demanding. Here it is. The end of the week hilarity.

O.K. folks, that's it. Have a fantastic weekend, special thanks to my contributors, whoever they may be and . . . oh, wait. I just had one final thought.

Keep laughing, friends!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Where I lived for 15 years, Phoenix, Arizona, people like to brag about the swimming pool they have in their back yard.

Well, big deal, sez I.

I had a pool in my backyard in NORTH DAKOTA when I was a kid. 'Course, with our tundra weather it was only open for a couple of weeks in our abbreviated summer. But still.

Oh, want proof, do ya?


Be prepared to watch the future young Olympian about to dive in for a refreshing dip.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I was standing by the patio door gazing out at the back yard this morning when a movement caught my eye. SWMBO was sitting nearby and I told her "there's a little lizard doing push-ups on our hose."

I then went to the window in my den which looks directly down on the scene and snapped this picture.

As I said he's a pretty small lizard so you may have trouble seeing him.  Here's a closer view.

I'm not sure what the little rascal thinks he's going to do with that hose but it's probably warm from the sun so that may be the sole attraction.

There are many of these tiny fellows around the property. We tolerate them because they keep the bug population from overrunning us.

I've only seen one bunny this year and the warblers are still occupying a nest outside our front door. No sign of little ones yet.

And that's your wildlife update for today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I'm told that somewhere in this great and vast land there is a possibility of snowballs being formed this month.

But, thanks to my great wisdom, not where I live.

Instead, this is the closest I've had to snowballs in April.

Oh, I know. They don't look much like snowballs in that picture. But when I was enjoying a wee cocktail on my patio yesterday evening and the wind was blowing the branches around, they did resemble snowballs.

Now many years ago . . . wait . . . it's scores of years ago . . . actually decades ago, I lived in the barren land of snow and ice known as North Dakota. And when I was a bit of a lad it was not unknown for there to be snow in April. In fact, I can remember my mother telling about a blizzard one year on her birthday. And she was born on June 6th!

That's mom and I on a wintry day though I doubt it was on her birthday.

And what idiot left the front door open??!!

On those blissful (remember, ignorance is bliss) days of our youths, it fell to my older brother and I to shovel snow off the sidewalk in front of our house.

As you can see by this photograph, I am practicing my management skills by directing Wayne (the brother) where to put the snow. (He was probably thinking of telling me where to put my advice!)

But wait a second. This is beginning to resemble a Throwback Thursday post and that wasn't my intention.

So let's take a closer look at that snowball tree in our backyard.

The tree is known as a Red Tip Photinia, though you'd be hard pressed to explain that given this picture, covered as it is with snowy white blossoms.

Another look, though, may give you a hint.

Eventually those blossoms will fall away and what will be left is a tree with leaves that turn a deep reddish color. Hence, the red tip monicker.

I have no idea what Photinia means.

But I know this is about as close as I want to get to snowballs these days.

Monday, April 13, 2015


In a feeble attempt at humor Saturday, I said a walk in the park always relaxed me, even in Washington, D.C., and showed this picture.

I started thinking about that and about what people would think: there he is in the nation's capital, right outside of Congress, and he's lying down on the job!

So, I decided to take back my dignity and show you that I wasn't always such a goof-off. In fact, I had been working so hard I was just a bit tired.

So there. Your true hero back on his feet in front of the Capitol (and in front of legendary photographer and friend Steve Torbeck) doing my job like any self-respecting news reporter. I have no idea what fool's mission had taken us to the District of Columbia but suffice it to say we had a good time.

Oh and, by the way, you might have noticed the two spellings of a word that sounds alike. I checked (Googled) it. Capital, with a second a is the correct spelling of the city in which the capitol, with an o, is located.

Told you I worked hard.