February 2023

POTD: Scoot

Tucson, Arizona

If I wander around looking at often offbeat and odd street art long enough, I find myself looking at the streets in and of themselves as interesting composition as well.

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POTD: Smell No Evil

Smell No Evil
Tucson, Arizona

My apologies to the artist, Fin Dac (thanks for doing the research on the name Teresa), who produced this strikingly interesting mural for the rather silly name I came up with for it on the spur of the moment.

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POTD: Space Invasion

Space Invasion
Tucson, Arizona

This odd (to me) scene was on a sidewalk in downtown Tucson. I’ve seen a number of signs or graffiti around the Southwest in recent years using the word “occupied” to reflect indigenous peoples feelings about their traditional lands being mostly taken over by European peoples and their descendants over the last couple of centuries.

I was not familiar with the word Cukson though. I wondered at first if it were an odd, possibly profane slang word of some sort. But I did some research about it on the internet and found it was not that at all. Instead it is variation of an English language spelling of the Tohono O’odham word for what is officially called Sentinel Mountain, and later the original settlement now known as Tucson that surrounds the peak. The word means “black base”, which is visually descriptive of Sentinel Peak. Alternate spellings I came across include “Chukson and Tu-uk-so-on. As close as I could figure, the name is pronounced something like “chew-sawn”, which the Spanish pronounced or spelled as “Tuqui Son,” later becoming Tucson.

As far as the flying saucers (submarines?) go, I imagine their placement next to the text was incidental. However, the juxtaposition does make some coherent sense given that the encroachment of European settlers and the appearance of little green men in flying saucers in the area could both be seen as unwanted invasions of (and in the later case from) space.


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POTD: Desert Maze

Desert Maze
Sasco, Arizona

The presence of this maze-like building foundation in the same area takes some of the strangeness out of the isolated oddity in yesterday’s POTD (seen in the background of this image). Still I found it curious that the oval shaped hole in the isolated structure was not even pointed towards this building like you might think it would. One thing I know for sure about this foundation structure is that, likes its neighbor, it’s served much time recently as a target for gun nuts.

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POTD: The Hole Part

The Hole Part
Sasco, Arizona

This isolated remnant of an old mine is quite the oddity in the desert. Maybe more odd than it appears at first glance because that hole isn’t actually round, it’s oval shaped instead. Whatever purpose it served originally it’s been repurposed in multiple ways–as an interesting photographic subject, a canvas for graffiti, and as evidenced by the innumerable pockmarks on the side, cannon fodder for insatiable target shooters.

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POTD: Mystery Growth

Mystery Growth
Ironwood National Monument, Arizona

Crest-like growth forms on the tops of some saguaros are a relatively rare, yet can be found scattered around randomly in the Sonoran Desert. They are thought to be the result of genetic mutations or possible lightning strikes. The type of odd growth pictured here is much less common. This is certainly the only “bud forest” on a saguaro I’ve seen, and the only one location I’ve ever seen them documented online. But there are several in a small area surrounding the one pictured here. I read online that it’s a real mystery as to why they grow that way they do at this one location. A mystery, sure, but turning around in the opposite direction and seeing a tall mountain of old mine tailings suggests some possible explanations I think.

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