Friday, May 18, 2012

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a Tucson Treat

We visited The Sonora Desert Museum, outside of Tucson,  a number of years ago and found it to be a superior facility to experience desert fauna and flora without the rigors of tramping out into the back country.  The paths are smooth and seats are available when you tire.  There is a fine and reasonably priced restaurant where you can get a meal or just a cold drink.   And it is a photographer's paradise.
When we returned this year it had lost none of its luster. 

For flowers.

For desert landscapes.

For humming birds and prairie dogs.

And the stars of the whole operation remain the amazing raptors that come screaming and swooping in on their trainer's calls.  Immmmmmpressssssive!

Y'all come if you can.

Phoenix and the Museum of Musical Instruments

By the time you get to Phoenix you are usually thinking of sun, sand, and cacti, but there is another Phoenix that offers up some marvelous museums.  One of the newest is the Musical Instrument Museum.  It is housed in an impressive new building

and contains a series of sparkling galleries in additon to a performance space and the recquisite cafeteria and souvenir shop.

The exhibits are top drawer and technologically superb.  Each country represented has a display of indigenous instruments.  There are also sound/video clips of performance on screens that are activated as you approach the area.

 Coverage is worldwide and inludes all styles from classical to  pop and all time periods from the primitive to rock and roll.  

See more at their web site

We found it fascinating though like most museums it needs to be paced.  See a bit, break for lunch, go back more more, take anohter rest, etc.   Sitting places are limited.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

De Young Talks About the Ancient Maya at OFTA on May 9, 2012

 The Wednesday, May 9, 2012   10:00 AM gathering of OFTA (Old Friends Talk Arts) at the Buchanan Center for the Arts will feature an illustrated talk by Dr. Jim De Young, titled “The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Maya.”

Dr. De Young has had a life-long interest in ancient cultures and in the past two years he and his wife have traveled twice to the Yucatan where they visited the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, Coba, and Tulum.

Dr. De Young and his wife Jan at the Mayan city of Tulum in January, 2012

His lecture will cover some of the main ceremonial buildings built by the Mayans and the decorative elements used on and around those structures. You’ll get a little bit of history, plenty of colorful photos,
and some bloodcurdling stories of human sacrifice.

The famous Sacred Cenote or Well at Chichen Itza supposedly the site of human sacrifice .

The Buchanan Center for the Arts is located on the main square in downtown Monmouth, IL. Admission to all OFTA programs is free of charge and complimentary refreshments are available. The program will begin at 10:00 AM and last about an hour.

Professor De Young taught at and was the director of the Monmouth College Theatre from 1963-2002.

He holds a B.A. from Beloit College, an MA from Bowling Green State U, and a PhD in Theatre History and Comparative Drama from the University of Minnesota. His book, London Theatre Walks, is currently in its second edition. He has been a community arts supporter throughout his career. He has served on the Board of Directors and been the Director of Advocacy for the Illinois Theatre Association. Locally, he was one of the founders of the Buchanan Center for the Arts and currently serves on the board of directors of the Warren County Historical Society.