Hello Friends and Family,

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Luminarias, Part 1

As long-time readers of LAHP will recall, I have shared photos from the Desert Botanical Garden during holidays past, featuring luminarias everywhere. For those who are not familiar with this Southwestern holiday tradition, luminarias are small paper bags weighted down with sand or gravel in which a candle is placed. One is cute, thousands transform the garden into a land of fantasy.

In addition to the luminarias, the garden illuminates cactus and other desert plants with their year-round lighting. One of my favorite sights is the lights on the distant hill.

The Desert Botanical Gardens often has artwork on display and illuminated at night. This piece is by sculptor Carolina Escobar.

Las Noches de Las Luminarias is not just nighttime lighting but also includes live music. There must be at least half a dozen musical groups performing all over the garden. As you stroll around sipping on the hot beverage of your choice you can hear notes from an Irish jig or a blues band or Native American flute lofting through the crisp evening air.

Although luminarias are the stars of this show, the lighting of the cactus is a satisfying treat as well.

Many trees are wrapped with strands of tiny lights — reminding local Phoenix residents of Zoo Lights on display almost next door at the Phoenix Zoo. I always say that Zoo Lights is for kids and Luminarias are for adults. I guess there is a bit of kid in this 66-year-old adult because I enjoy both.

Another Escobar sculpture — hanging root vegetables, perhaps?

More nighttime cactus — a grouping this time. If one lighted plant is a "satisfying treat", a collection is sublime.

Another musical group — you had to sympathize with these guys — there was a chill in the air and their fingers must have felt like cold sausages. I do not know how you play a guitar under such circumstances.

Some spots in the garden are so stunning, it requires no verbal elaboration.

Still another sculpture by Escobar. I noticed a pattern in her work. They are abstract but somewhat organic in appearance. Although they do not resemble a particular plant or animal, one would not be surprised to find such a organism on a distant planet.

We close for this week on the pathway next to the herb gardens. Soak it in — this treat is only presented once a year.

To be continued...


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com