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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Winter!


The sun was shining brightly … the sky was a deep cereulian blue … and the trees were noticeably bare … even though the solstice is officially still three weeks in the future, all of the indicators say it is already here!

Rob’s Random Ramblings And Observations – 11/29/2014





The View From The Top Of Art Hill On A Saturday Afternoon In Fall


And The Fall Forest In Forest Park


This week, share a photo that says “adventure.” It could be an image of someone setting off on an epic journey, a photo you took on an adventure of your own, or something more metaphoric that represents a personal or psychological adventure. For more information go here.

Several times each week, I go past this bronze interpretation of ADVENTURE. It is the statue of King Louis IX of France  leading the Seventh Crusade in the 13th Century. Louis was a wise and just monarch, but a terrible Crusader. He was defeated in both of his Crusade attempts … but his statue really does say ADVENTURE.Louis IX



I have taken multiple photos of this statue over the years. And my attempt this week was the first time I was able to capture all of the details of the statue. The skies were extremely overcast and there was no direct sunlight.


DSC00190  The day started off by first being cool … having great Saint Louis blue skies with floating puffy white clouds. And I decided to get out and seize the great day while I was able. I decided to start with a walk in the park which I captured with my pocket camera.DSC00166

The main entrance to Forest Park is the JEFFERSON MEMORIAL dedicated to our third president who had the foresight to buy the Louisiana Territory from France. The memorial is also the home of the Missouri History Museum. Notice that the Museum is also celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of Saint Louis. They have a great exhibit celebrating the anniversary running through next February, but I didn’t want to waste the day inside a museum. So I went around the museum and into the park.

But first I had to walk around the TROLLY.DSC00168

No, this is not the trolly that Judy Garland rode on in Meet Me In Saint Louis. This is the trolly you will be able to ride on later next year, when it travels from the Museum to the entertainment center of the historic DELMAR LOOP in University City.DSC00167

Once inside the park, I discovered another SAINT LOUIS 250 Birthday Cake.DSC00169

There’s 249 more of them scattered around the metropolitan area. But I wasn’t looking for cakes, so I continued my journey into the park along the Grand Esplanade.DSC00171

You know, the park has something to interest almost everyone …DSC00172

Bikers and runners …


Lovers of forests …DSC00175And waterways …


Wild flowers …DSC00177


And cultivated gardens …DSC00179


And even potted plants!DSC00180

And ducks …DSC00182

And duck families!

And that brings us to the second reason for my walk in the Park.Boathouse


The Boathouse is located on Post Dispatch Lake in the heart of the park. If you’re athletically inclined you can rent a paddle boat and wear yourself out exploring the waterways in the park. The Boathouse is also a damn fine restaurant and that was why I was there.  I was meeting a half dozen people I used to work with for an ungodly amount of years for one of our regular lunch get-togethers.DSC00184

Naturally, we opted to dine outside to enjoy the view and the fantastic day. The conversation was great! Ditto the food! And it was a totally enjoyable day!

30 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 15

Today has been totally strange day.  First we broke a 123 year old weather record for the lowest high temperature for July 15.  Our high for the day was a very pleasant 76 degrees which was one degree lower than the previous lowest high recorded in 1891. I’m not complaining, because last week we were sweltering and sweating. Only one problem I had to go grocery shopping and my MetroBus goes through Forest Park and apparently everybody decided to take a trip to the zoo which caused a massive traffic jam in the park and delaying my travel time by about 25 minutes. I’m not saying we have stupid drivers in the Wicket City, but everyone was so desperate to find a parking spot they paid no attention to the YELLOW stripes painted along the curbs, or the NO PARKING SIGNS, or the FIREPLUGS along the streets. There wasn’t an empty parking space on any of the streets through the park. And did I feel upset when I saw the Park Rangers slapping PARKING TICKETS on any of the cars illegally park. HELL NO! Stupidity pays a lot of the city’s bills.And as soon as one of the returns to the car and drives off … some other fool will fill the spot.

Anyway, I’m late in posting my daily origami butterfly. Basically because I couldn’t get an internet connection for the past three hours. Probably, another foolish driver hit just another utility pole and brought down the cable again. That’s the problem with living in a city that’s been around for 250 years. It will be years before they get around to burying the utility wires.




And since it is already a half hour into July 16, that’s all I have to write.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Share a photo of what “relic” means to you — it could be your still-running 1979 Honda Accord Hatchback, a historic building in your town, or an old, rusted farm implement poking up through the long grass in a field.


Apotheosis of St. Louis

Most people think this statue that stands at the top of Art Hill in front of the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art is the same statue  of Louis IX Saint and King of France that stood at the DeBaliviere entrance of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (aka. The Saint Louis World’s Fair). It isn’t, it’s a copy. The original statue created by sculptor Charles Henry Niehaus was made of plaster, horse hair and paint like most of the exhibition buildings that had been built for the Fair. Two years after the fair grounds had been demolished except for two structures, the  Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company decided to commemorate their very successful fair with a bronze replica of the statue. Niehaus supposedly wanted too much money to cast his work in bronze, so the LPEC awarded the project to W. R. Hodges, a local artist. Until the Gateway Arch was constructed, this statue was the most photographed site in the city. I still photograph it several times each year. The photo shown here is my latest and current favorite.



For some unknown reason, our daily rains failed to show up for FRIDAY 13! Instead, Renee and I woke up to rediscover a heavenly blue sky and sunny day you can only find in the Wicket City on the best of all possible days. And while I could have stayed home and mowed the lawn again, I said NO WAY! Today was my day for day tripping! So I slathered on my sun screen … (yes, I had a small basal cell growth removed from my cheek this winter) …  and headed for my corner MetroBus stop.


DSC09963The first thing I discovered was birthday cake celebrating the 150th Birthday of the City of Saint Louis.  As you might have figured out, this one was sponsored by the Saint Louis Shakespeare Festival n’ Forest Park. Every spring the Shakespeare Festival stages one of Shakespeare’s plays in a natural amphitheatre on the side of Art Hill.


This year they are staging TWO plays. Henry IV and Henry V on alternating evenings. And yes, admission is free … but you can leave a monetary donation if you are so inclined.

For those of you who need to brush up on your Shakespeare, they do supply a plot outline and character list billboard.DSC09964

Feel free to brush up by clicking twice on the photo.

Naturally the stage is positioned in a small forest of tall trees.DSC09968

For seating you have the option to rent chairs, spread your blankets and pillows on the ground, or bring your own favorite chairs.DSC09966

Notice that some early arrivals have already staked out their blanket and chair places.  Refreshments are available from a multitude of vendor tents at the top of the hill. And there is a long line of Port-a-potties for nature calls. Prior to the start of the play, buskers, minstrels, jugglers and magicians stroll through the audience. It’s a real fun night! Especially when it doesn’t rain.

Tomorrow, Part Two – I Talk To The Animals!



Wednesday, I posted this photo as my WORDLESS WEDNESDAY PHOTO along with one cryptic word LOST.



Actually, you probably would have had to click on the photo twice to make it largest before you would see that over the river and through the woods … in a little clearing under some shady trees, there is an elderly gentlemen sitting on a  bench and lost to the world. I also do that on my frequent walks through Forest Park. It has great places where you and just sit back and just communicate with the world around you. Here are some of my favorite spots.BrooksStreams

For total reflection … the park is filled with a complete set of waterways … ponds, streams, lakes, waterfalls and fountains! And they all come with convenient benches.


And if you choose to just lose yourself and talk to the Roos or other animal species, the Zoo also supplies convenient benches. But be careful, because they look back at you.


And if you bring a blanket, I know a grassy field where you can spread it out to just lie back and watch the popcorn clouds float by overhead.


And if you linger too long at just losing yourself, you’ll end up viewing a sky full of twilight silhouettes. Oh what an eyeful!

The Art Of Losing Yourself is not recommended on rainy days.





Well at least for now, May has actually been acting like spring! The sun has been shining brightly, the air has warmed up and the bright yellow dandelions are fast turning into fairy puffs. FairyPuffs

And here’s how I spent my weekend!


Well, I went to my last Met Opera Live in HD of the season. Actually, it wasn’t the last broadcast of the season. The last opera is being broadcast next week Saturday, but I just saw it a couple of years ago and I’m not ready for a repeat performance yet. Anyway, I convinced  Mlle. Renee to get out of bed early so I could get up and get going. I jumped on the Metro Bus and headed for the Art Museum in Forest Park. Unfortunately, when I got to the park I discovered that my local bus was being rerouted around the park. That’s what happens on May 1. Because of the congestion caused by people going into the park with cars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer season the Metro System runs the Forest Park Trolley into the park that stops at all the tourist attractions people want to see. I didn’t want to wait for the next trolley so I walked into the park to the Art Museum. UpArtHill

This meant that I had to walk up ART HILL to get there. Trust me, it is actually easier to walk down ART Hill …DownArtHill

… than it is to walk up.  But, you do get a great photo opportunity  of the  STATUE OF SAINT LOUIS on the walk up.




I know that while the name of the sculpture is The Apotheosis of Saint Louis, his horse remains an unknown, nameless beast of burden.

The name of the opera I was seeing  was COSI FAN TUTTE by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.Cosi_fan_tutte_-_first_performance

Actual the whole title is Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti, which translates Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers. It was an opera buffa that was written in 1790 and it has some rather out-dated views on women being fickle when it comes to matters of love and relationships. I suppose this was the comedy rage back in 1790. It really doesn’t fly these days. So while the music was fantastic and the performances by the cast were some of the best this season, the storyline was a hard sell. It’s also one of Mozart’s lesser performed works.cosi_1209-s-jpg


It was also four hours long, and the elderly gentleman in front of me was snoring rather loudly during the second act.

After the opera I walked through the galleries trying to find a new sculpture piece that recently went on display at the museum. It was a red clay stature of the Corn Maiden by the Mississippian Native Americans  that populated this area about one to two thousand years ago. I didn’t find it.

But I did find this Pre-Columbian Mexican work.PreColumbian

And this tiny four-inch tall work from a Mesopotamian tomb from 1000 to 2000 B.C.Mesopotamian Carving 2000-1000 BC

And then there was this TORSO OF AN ATHLETE …TorsoThe sculpture was nice, but I got a big kick out of reading the descriptive blurb posted next to it.

Roman, Imperial Period
TORSO OF AN ATHLETE, 1st-2nd Century marble

Museum Purchase 6, 1937

The physique of this torso is almost too good to be true, chiseled pectoral muscles, the faint impression of washboard abdominal muscles, and an exaggerated furrow between the hip and abdomen. We see the integration of realism and the ideal in the musculature, flesh, and bone structure. For example, the furrow along the hip and abdomen leading to the genitals is an artistic interpretation of the actual anatomical structure. For the Greeks, the nude male body was one of the highest forms of beauty. For a man to achieve such a physique, he had to participate in athletics at the gymnasium, where both athletic and important civic events were held. A sculpture such as this represents not only physical, athletic, and military excellence but also desirability and possibly immortality. 


Some curator was really impressed with that torso!

And walking back down hill, I was able to see …Metal Tree

The Aluminum Tree -

Did you know that they rub bowling ball polish around the base of the tree to keep stray dogs from watering it?


One Duck a Swimming



Honoring the American Federation Of Musicians … really?

SUNDAY … I rested. Actually, I did try to pull some weeds out of the front beds,  but it didn’t agree with my spring allergies. So I spent the rest of the day inside.



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