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FAMILY TRIP TO THE ZOO – PART THREE

JungleBeasts  Starting off the final zoo segment with a display of carved wooden jungle beasts. It’s a work my nephew brought back from Lagos, Nigeria. It shows several of the animals that retired for the day before the picnic even started at the zoo.  As we walked through the River’s Edge, all we saw were empty display areas. At the brand new exhibit for the Andean Bears all we saw was other zoo visitors with their noses pressed to a glass panel trying to see the two bears huddled at the back of their cave. (I can just see the mama bear asking the papa bear, “Do you think they want to sleep in our bed?”)

We lucked out an exhibit later when the black rhino began to strut around his stomping grounds shortly after we arrived and even pretend to charge the viewers. (For about two or three feet)

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Unfortunately, he didn’t even scare the sacred ibis from ancient Egypt that shares part of his domain. (Hmmm, what is the plural of ibis? There were about six of them.)

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The star attraction of the next exhibit area was an abandoned ant hill.UncleHill

It was a real nice ant hill, but the sign on the fence said that this was the home of the cheetah family. (Guess they were all lurking in the shadows and licking their lips as they decided which one of us would make the best dinner guest.)

Next up were the warthogs … but they were dining. On what appeared to be takeout wrapped up in old newspaper.WhataMessyPig

What a messy pig!EvenMessierPig

And his friend was even messier!

And next door, we couldn’t even get a chuckle out of the snoozing Hyena!  (Never ever heard of a somber hyena before.)SlumberingSomberHyena

However, the African Painted Dogs were actually much more active group of canines.AfricanPaintedDog

Guess they’re trying to prove they’re not extinct yet. They are an endangered species in Africa, and the Saint Louis Zoo is part of a world-wide effort to keep them from disappearing. That’s why this year’s picnic was A Painted (dog) Picnic.ZooPicnic2014

The big stars of THE RIVER’S EDGE were the HIPPOS …HipposAreBig

And LITTLE LUKE (standing next to the hippo on the bottom of the pool) decided that hippos are really BIG!!!  He liked the little fishies, too.

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Hippos do love swimming in their pool though!FloatingHippo

And that brought us to the end of THE RIVER’S EDGE!  There was an Elephant Enrichment Program scheduled for 6:00, but that was the time for our own enrichment … the picnic dinner! Besides we had to get to CHILDREN’S ZOO first, so the adults could watch the little kids pet the baby goats, big snakes, and guinea pigs. There are so many things for the kids to play with here, it’s hard to get the away.  The adults got a special treat though, we were watching the new moma tree kangaroo and her little baby stuck his or her head out of the moma’s pouch.  (Yes, I again failed to get my camera up fast enough to photograph him or her.)

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Nichole with the little goats!

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Luke with the big snake that was taller than he was.

(And the kids wouldn’t touch the real live Python. Guess kids really aren’t that dumb!)

And that was our annual family trip to the zoo!

But we missed the lions, tigers and bears!!!

 

And I survived …

Yes, boys and girls, I managed to survive yet another birthday last weekend. And only a couple of the cards I received commented on my impending senility.DSC00478What I was not expecting was a surprise birthday party in my honor given my family.  I was expecting a small family gathering to celebrate all of the family birthdays that occur during the month of September … (there happen to be four of them) … and I was enlisted to make a batch of my baked mini-mostaccioli. So I got up at seven in the morning and began making twenty pounds of Italian delights. (I know that sounds strange for someone with German, Polish and French grandparents, but then my DNA analysis says my ancestry is 75% Scandinavian. Guess they might have been Italian Scandinavians.) 

When I got to my brother’s house, I noticed a line of signs running up the front walk.DSC00460

 

And I realized that something was up!  And once inside, it was verified when I discovered the house was full of three odd generations of my family. OMG! Would 20-pounds of Baked Mini-mostaccioli be enough? DSC00450

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I did receive some very nice gifts. My two nieces made a scrapbook of my life …DSC00476

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It was very impressive!  And my six-year old grand nephew Jake built me a cute little birdhouse.

DSC00474Note that he couldn’t resist adding that I’m as old as the Wizard Of Oz. I suspect that my nephew had something to do with that, too!

And the day closed with the arrival of a super-sized harvest moon.DSC00468

A special thanks to all my loving family. OMG, I just realized that I’m the official patriarch of this bunch of crazies.

FINALLY IT REACHED 100!

sun-wearing-sunglassesDo you realize that if we used the celsius method of measuring the temperature, it would have only been 37.778 degrees outside today.

TODAY’S EXERCISE WAS CIVIC DUTY!

Today, was our local primary election, and it actually involved a lot of exercise. I don’t mean the effort in sifting the hyperbole, mud, slander and b.s. that has been flying around the airwaves for the past two months. I meant actual physical exercise. You see, my polling place is the elementary school at the top of this hill.DSC00339

And every time I have to vote, I have to climb this three block hill. And I’m either getting older, or this hill is getting steeper.

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I actually made it to the top ….DSC00342

And I didn’t have to call on any of the fire fighters who were on hand to build support for PROP R to resuscitate me. DSC00344

I voted, got my sticker and breezed down the hill.

WHAT THE HECK IS A CLIMATRON?

Well, the CLIMATRON is a multi-level greenhouse enclosed in a geodesic dome that is a featured attraction at the Missouri Botanical Garden.Climatron

Or to put it simply, it’s a tropical jungle under glass. And on my recent visit to the garden, I went through it to see a special exhibit featuring some very unusual pieces of sculpture.

They were all constructed out of LEGO BLOCKS!DSC00256

A MAJESTIC BALD EAGLE

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A MENACING GIANT PRAYING MANTIS

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A GIANT MONARCH BUTTERFLY ATOP A HYDRANGIA BLOSSOM


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A SOMEWHAT UPSIDE DOWN LOOKING FLOWER

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A SQUIRREL AND A BLUEBIRD EYEING THE BIRD FEEDER

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A BLOOMING CACTUS?

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A VERY UGLY BUG THAT WAS REAL!!!

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AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

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AND A REAL SPATHIPHYLLUM TO CLOSE!

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Drop by and see the show yourself.

ONE OF THE MANY GREAT SIGHTS OF SAINT LOUIS!

31 DOC – Photogram Butterflies … Day 30

Today, I decided to vary my daily creative quest and go from origami to an art form used by Man Ray and Pablo Picasso.

THE PHOTOGRAM … which is created by placing real objects on a sheet of photo sensitive paper and exposing  it to light.DSC00324

I created this work about 49 years ago.  The objects featured in the photogram are assorted butterflies and moths, mimosa branches, dandelions and other weed blossoms. The 12 x 36 print  was decoupaged to a sheet of masonite and has hung on the wall of the sun porch until last week  when the screw holding it up pulled out of the wall and came crashing down in the middle of the night. I thought someone was breaking into the house and got up to see what was going on.  My fearless canine companion yawned and went back to sleep. No damage, other than my Australian bush hat falling into Renee’s water bowl. Well, it had to be washed anyway before I mowed the lawn this week.

30 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 14

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack when Mlle. Renee was a young pup, she would play and frolic in the yard and explore everything that she came across or discovered.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In her first fall of living with me she discovered butterflies. They would land on the flowering plants in the back of the yard and she would race back to watch the float away. Just like her rabbit chases, she never caught a butterfly. But that didn’t stop her from running and jumping after them.

So my butterfly for Monday is for Renee  .DSC00142

MLLE. RENEE’S SPECKLED FLUTTERBY

This is an original origami butterfly that I designed myself and named in Renee’s honor.

THROWBACK THURSDAY

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Well, I did have nice legs!

SIGNS THAT SUMMER IS FAST APPROACHING … #2

Well, the rose bushes in the front beds are currently showing more wilted blossoms than new buds.  But the lilies are going crazy with blossoms all over the place.DSC09996

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And surprise of surprises! Some yellow lilies showed up as well.DSC09994

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Still no sign of the orange, red or purple lilies though. But the petunias are going crazy in the back.Petunias6:15

 

It’s Monday, And Everything Is Coming Up Roses Around Here!

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And not single roses either!  They’re coming in clusters this year. Yes, there is over a dozen individual red roses in this cluster!  DSC09922

And PINK! Only the pink bushes have smaller clusters.

And I have no idea what I did to make them grow like that this year. Well, I was very late in trimming the bushes back this year … well, it is too cold to get outside and do it any earlier this year.

I can hardly wait for the lilies to start blooming.  They have tons of buds, too!

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