Monday, May 25, 2015

Phoenix, Arizona - Phoenix Homesteads Historic District

I started the holiday Monday with a short geocaching adventure.  It took me to an area near to my home but one that was new to me.  The geocache was placed to bring us to this forest in the city to see these adobe homes from the 1930s.

Phoenix Homestead Historic District was part of the federal government's program to resettle disadvantaged farmers and unemployed urban workers to planned, part time subsistence farm projects. This experimental program was initiated by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal Administration in 1933. The Phoenix Homesteads were established in two sections on a piece of land originally known as the Baxter Tract, located approximately four miles east and north of downtown Phoenix (just north of Thomas and 27th Street).

The first section, known as the Rural Homes of Arizona, was located on the southern forty acres of the Baxter Tract. This land was subdivided into forty lots; twenty-five homes were built in this section in 1935. The homes were designed by Phoenix architect Robert T. Evans, who used locally available adobe materials and the regional pueblo revival style in his plans. Lots were large enough to allow a family to grow a significant portion of their food in a garden and orchard and to keep chickens and a cow. Residents in this section were to work part time in the city and part time on the farm. [Source:]
Initially I was going to drive and snap photos from the car, but I ended up parking and talking to homeowners about the unique neighborhood.  Jim mentioned that I should come back the weekend before Christmas as the street is lit with luminaries and there are many open houses.

I don't know much more about each of these homes but wanted to share and save the pictures.  The map shows the neighborhood. The main street for the photos is Pinchot Avenue, the street near the bottom of the map.

The good news about the neighborhood is that there are tall trees and lots of vegetation.  The bad news is that the vegetation covers most of the great views of the homes.

 Some remodeling on this home.
 This is not an adobe home but I did love the airstream.

 The trees make Pinchot Avenue a shady dog walking paradise.

 The little blue box is a neighborhood library.

Last house on my tour. 

This is a link to one of the house which leases:  I don't know how long this link will be available.

Here is a link to a Arizona State University document on the project:

Samples from the article:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Phoenix, Arizona - Desert Cactus Blooms

I walked through the Desert Botanical Garden this morning. The focused mission was "cactus blooms".  I realized once I was half way through that I did not get the names, so just enjoy the beauty and diversity.  I took the lens that allowed me to get close because I have a new gadget coming that will allow me to get even closer.  I wanted this as a base set of photographs.

I have tried to tone the reds down a bit because they are very overwhelming on the screen.

 This is an succulent flower.
 These are very tiny flowers.  And I didn't notice the stripes on the cactus until I brought the photographs home to view on a larger screen.

 I couldn't find any of these "open and in bloom", so maybe this is the full bloom stage.
 One of the staff members stopped me as I walked to leave and asked if I had seen the "Stapella Gigantea" in bloom (Giant Starfish).  These are from Zambia to South Africa.  The sign said that flies love these blooms that smell like rotten meat and carry the dust inside to the next flower.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rimrock, Arizona - Montezuma's Well

Montezuma's Well is located east of Interstate 17 in Rimrock, AZ.  Take exit 293 and drive through McGuireville (stop at Nikki's Grill for a great meal) and Rimrock.  The location is well marked with signs.  Also, there is a really nice picnic area, so remember to pick up a lunch at Nikki's.

The Well is not considered "accessible" as there are steps and rough paths.  I only had time to walk the upper path.  There is a continuation of the path that winds down the hill to the creek and returns to the parking lot.

The information that I provide on this page was taken from the Park Service's information displayed around the area. The internet has many more details if you are interested.

 There is no cost to enter. A donation is appreciated. Find the red box near the path exit.  It is across the parking lot near the restrooms.  This building is the office.
 Rocks layer on either side of the path.
 This is my first peek as I approached the first view point.
 The Sinagua (name means without water) cliff dwellings.

 Looking down at the Well.

 There are no fish in the well due to water conditions.  There is plant growth.  Life in the Well consists of leeches, amphipods, water scorpions, and turtles.  The water is highly dissolved concentrated carbon dioxide (more than 600 times the normal level).

The next photos are views of the beautiful clouds and wildflowers.

 The well is a sinkhole, a collapsed underground cavern filled with water.  More than a million gallons of water flow through the well a day.

 A distant storm verga across the valley.

 Reflections of the cliff dwellings in the Well water.

 Some housing ruins.
 An old tree.

 Cactus in bloom.  Don't get too close!
 Ancient trenches carried the water from the well to the cultivated areas.

 The well is 368 feet across and 55 feet deep.  The panoramic pulls the views together so that you can see the entire area.  I am standing at the far lookout. Across the pond are the cliff dwellings.
This ends the views of Montezuma's Well.  We went to the picnic area and enjoyed lunch.

On the way home I stopped at Sunset Point and took a few more photographs.  There was a storm over Bumblebee (the town below the lookout).
 The rest stop had several desert plants in bloom.  I am waiting for the arrival of my new Savage micro lens set but decided to capture some desert color to share.