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WORD PRESS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: NIGHTTIME

What nocturnal photos do you like taking? Whether it’s a starry sky, a street lamp, or the shadows cast by your cat, share them with us. Your shot can be outdoors or indoors, blurry or crisp, overexposed or ominously dark. As every owl (and night owl) knows, nighttime is when the real action starts.

 For more information, go here!

Personally, I seldom go out with my camera at night. And when I do, it’s to take pictures of weather, snow covered trees or the moon.Moon

This was my shot of the last SUPER MOON OF THE SUMMER. Photographing the moon involves a lot of guess work, luck, and a lot of throwaway photos. Also any haze in the sky … even though you can’t see it … will give you a photo of the moon lacking detail.

THROWBACK THURSDAY … or old pix that get my goat!

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BILL, BILLY, BOB AND DAD – CIRCA 1940

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY!

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THUD … !!!

THAT THUD YOU JUST HEARD WAS EITHER FALL FALLING OR SUMMER DEPARTING AND SLAMING THE DOOR! 

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And to celebrate, the West Walnut Manor trees started littering the lawns.

Actually, I was expecting this.

Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights showed up in grocery stores last week!

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My favorite fall treat!

September 22 – 9:29 p.m. CDT

And all things considered, it was a pretty good summer around here!

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL VISITORS

Tomorrow the first day of Fall will arrive at 10:29 P.M./EDT, and I was just thinking that I hadn’t seen a butterfly around the garden all summer. Then a flock of three showed up in the back gardens of West Walnut Manor!SundayVisitors1

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SundayVisitors5They all appear to be male Monarchs. Could it be that these butterflies are not only free, but also gay? That could explain the dwindling numbers in the Monarch migrations. But it sure is great to see them flutter by on their way south again.

But with so many monarchs hanging around, I knew that there had to be a few commoners, serfs, toadies and peons in the area. And sure enough, I this is what I found in the lower end of the flower bed …Commoners1

… a common and smaller American Painted Lady or Thistle butterfly and a bunch of worker bees busy at work.

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By the way, does anyone know the name of the pink flowers that my mother planted behind what was then or vegetable garden some fifty years ago. The butterflies and bees really are attracted to them.

 

WORD PRESS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: ENDURANCE

Share a photo of what endurance means to you — maybe it’s your beat-up, well-traveled running shoes, the oldest structure in your town, the vista you earned climbing that mountain, a photo of your wedding ring, or your dog, tongue lolling, running full-out.  

For more information go here!


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At the very top of Art Hill in Forest Park there appears to be what I consider to be a living example of ENDURANCE.  To maintain its position at the top of the hill, it looks like this tall pine tree has grown an extra hand at its base to actually grip the soil that holds it there. In other words, a tree shouting I WILL SURVIVE in spite of being located in the middle of tornado alley!

SHOPPING FOR BIRTHDAY CARDS

No one really enjoys growing old, and even worse older. I know I’m getting older every morning when I look in the mirror and discover all the new sags, bags and wrinkles that seemingly have appeared overnight. But while shopping in the local supermarket today I discover a birthday card I would even consider sending to myself.
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VINTAGE sounds way better than OLD FART!

WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS – THE WHAT’S IT BLOSSOM!

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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!!!

 

FAMILY TRIP TO THE ZOO – PART TWO

ZooPicnic2014  It’s time for me to continue my visit to the Saint Louis Zoo and the ZOO PARENTS PICNIC OF 2014 with my own family. I arrived from the north entrance, so my first stop was to the INSECTORIUM. I had planned on visiting there in August right before the heat wave hit us. But it really was too hot to venture out into the broiling sun and into  the park back then.  Friday, however, was jacket wearing weather and I briskly walked down to the insectorium and big, bad bug that guards its door.

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There are more than 300,000 species of beetles, and I have no idea which one posed for this sculpture. A good guess would be one of several possible species of rhino beetles. The insectorium has a double set of  sliding doors that keep the outside bugs from becoming inside bugs. And if you have and aversion to big, hairy bugs … move quickly past the next photo.Tarantula

And this one, too!

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Outside this building there was a big sign advertising …MantidMania

Inside this was the only example I could find.PrayingMantis

Hopefully, you can see him in the picture.

 

Then next exhibit was a wall-sized display featuring the insects of the south west.RedBackedDarklingBeetleI passed on putting my eye up the eye-hole of the skull of the long departed bovine just to see what the Red Backed Darkling Beetle looked like. You never know what can jump out of the eye-socket of a long dead cow.

With that I moved on to the friendlier insects that live in the butterfly dome.HSBH2

The decor was a lot nicer, too.  And so were the butterflies!BWR2

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And my favorite … THE OWL EYED BUTTERFLY!  This extra-large sized butterfly appears to have the eye of an owl on the underside of its wings, and when flying it looks like an owl which scares anything that would prey on it.  I’ve simulated this by putting two pictures of the undersides together to give you an idea how this looks.

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Here’s the full-sized photo of one side.

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Here’s a butterfly eating a special butterfly fruit salad …ButterflyFruitCocktail

Just about this time, my cell phone rang telling me that the rest of my family who had entered from the south entrance of the zoo were now waiting for me outside.ClimbingCousins

And you know what kids do when they meet a giant beetle on which they can climb!  Featuring great-nephew and niece Jake and Nichole.

COME BACK TOMORROW FOR PART THREE – OUR JOURNEY ALONG THE RIVER’S EDGE.

 

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