Blog Archives

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

DSC00260

A MENACING GIANT PRAYING MANTIS

DSC00262

A GIANT MONARCH BUTTERFLY ATOP A HYDRANGIA BLOSSOM


DSC00264

A SOMEWHAT UPSIDE DOWN LOOKING FLOWER

DSC00266

A SQUIRREL AND A BLUEBIRD EYEING THE BIRD FEEDER

DSC00268

A BLOOMING CACTUS?

DSC00251

A VERY UGLY BUG THAT WAS REAL!!!

DSC00270

AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

DSC00265

AND A REAL SPATHIPHYLLUM TO CLOSE!

DSC00271

Drop by and see the show yourself.

ONE OF THE MANY GREAT SIGHTS OF SAINT LOUIS!

THE DELAYED DELIVERY OF MY HENRY SHAW BIRTHDAY PARTY VISIT

Ok, I promised to provide coverage of my visit to The Missouri Botanical Garden for the celebration of Henry Shaw’s birthday.

640px-1909_-_Henry_Shaw_-_portrait_in_nightcap_-_MoBOT_GPN_1982-0180

I don’t think he would have been upset, since it was his 214th celebration. Anyway, it was an almost spring-like day that showed up at the end of July. So my friend Bill and I decided to meet for lunch and then head down to Mr. Shaw’s Garden Party.

DSC00233

Lunch was the Taco Salad I had been craving for the past several weeks, and I was half way through it before I realized they had failed to put the salsa on it. My bad!

Anyway, once we got to the garden our first stop was the CORPSE FLOWER.

DSC00234

It’s not a very attractive looking plant, and it rarely if ever blooms. And when it does bloom, you’ll understand how it got the name Corpse Flower. I actually smells like a rotting corpse. Lucky us, it didn’t bloom until the week after our visit.

Our next stop was the historic Museum/Library Building.DSC00245

The building is only open to the public on special occasions. It’s main feature is the fresco ceilings.DSC00246

DSC00247

Sadly, the Saint Louis weather has affecting the aging plaster in the last several years.

Henry Shaw built his garden around his country home.DSCF0698

 

And that was the next stop on our tour.ShawCountryHome

And I was able to get a photo of the kitchen …DSC00248

And the breakfast room that overlooks his herb garden.DSC00249

The dining room, bedrooms, parlor and office were filled with visitors which made photography impossible.

A visit to the garden is like stepping back in time to a Saint Louis of yesteryear, and you almost expect to see Mr. Shaw strolling around his garden.DSCF0697

Tomorrow, I’ll take you on our special visit through the Garden’s Climatron.DSC00271

 

 

 

 

31 DOC – Ornamental Butterflies … Day 24

Today, I took a break from folding an origami butterfly, and took the opportunity to enjoy the cool July weather that returned overnight. I went trekking and used my camera to capture images of butterflies I spied on my trek around town. 

FIRST LAWN ORNAMENTS I DISCOVERED IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD …DSC00229

DSC00230

They both have a center fan segment that catches the wind of twirls. The wind also rotates the butterflies to keep in the direction of the moving wind.

On a somewhat grander scale there was this giant Monarch Butterfly and Blossem made from a multitude of Lego blocks.Monarch

It was part of a special exhibit in the Missouri Botanical Garden in the Climatron which is a multi-level tropical greenhouse encased in a giant geodesic dome. I’ll cover more of my  TREK to the Garden in tomorrow’s and Saturday’s posts. In other words, that means I took a lot of photographs that I have to go through before I can post them. By the way, have you ever seen of CORPSE FLOWER? You will in one of my next posts.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS – PRICKLY STAYCATION

PricklyStaycation

THE ROAD TO MADAGASCAR!

DSC05472Yesterday, my longtime friend Bill and I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s 2013 Orchid Show which was themed MADAGASCAR. Madagascar is a tropical island country in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, and many artifacts from that country were displayed among the exhibit of orchids. Enough for words, check the pictures. You can enlarge any picture by clicking on it.

DSC05455 DSC05439 DSC05441 DSC05442 DSC05451 DSC05458 DSC05463 DSC05450 DSC05459 DSC05467  DSC05461 DSC05470

DSC05453

DSC05460It was really a fantastic exhibit!

DSC05473

BEYOND The Photo Challenge Post

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This is the photo I used for this week’s photo challenge which was supposed to represent my idea of BEYOND. It has always been one of my favorite photos. And I took it a couple of years ago, when I revisited the Missouri Botanical Garden for the first time since I was a kid. During those early visits I was with my parents and I went where they wanted to go and saw what they wanted to see. On my own, I was able to concentrate on the things that interested me. And one of these things was the Fountain Angel by Raffaello Romanelli.

According to the MOBOT guide: Water flows from ewers in the angel’s hands and originally spouted from four dogs’ heads at the base.The figure may represent Persephone, queen of the underworld, guarded by the dog Cerberus. Originally the sculpture stood in front of a marble column with overhead basin at the Skinker Avenue entrance to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (The Saint Louis World’s Fair). At the close of the fair the statue  moved from location to location into the park where unfortunately it became the target for vandals. Then it was put into storage until 1975, when it was restore and reinstalled next to Henry Shaw’s Tower Grove House in the Garden.

Since this was after my childhood visits to the Garden, the statue was something totally new to me.Fountain Angel

 

THE OTHER CONTENDERS: Before I committed to using The Fountain Angel for the BEYOND challenge, I had considered three other photos.

1 – Beyond The Looking Glass DarklyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a photo I took of myself in the Modern Art Galleries of the Saint Louis Art Museum. It was my reflection in a ginormous sheet of black glass or lucite. I don’t know what it was supposed to represent, but I though of Lewis Carroll’s strange adventures of Alice.

2 – The Light At The Top Of The Stairs
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another photo taken at SLAM (Saint Louis Art Museum) on the ascending West Staircase from the classic Chinese/Japanese/Indian Galleries and going BEYOND to the world of Modern Art. I also had considered a descending version with an arched picture window view of the outside parkland.

3 – Beyond Today To YesterdayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is an image taken in the historic Free Flight Aviary at the Saint Louis Zoo. I shot it through a porthole in a stained grass panel. It captures a recreation of the Cypress Wetlands in the Mississippi Valley of yesteryear. The Aviary was the largest free flight bird-cage ever built. LPE01293It was built by the US Government for the Saint Louis World’s Fair of 1904. When the fair closed, the Smithsonian planned to disassemble it and then reassemble it in Washington, DC. The people of Saint Louis shouted FOWL, and the government relented and sold the structure to the city for $3,500. And so, it’s still stands here for all to see 110-years later.  For FREE, too!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, which of my four choices most says BEYOND to you?

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: BEYOND

In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture which means BEYOND to you!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had four photos that I felt expressed BEYOND to me. I kept studying for a while, and I kept being drawn back to this one. It’s  a photo of 19th century sculpture of an angel that flanks the Henry Shaw mansion in the Missouri Botanical Garden. The photo was taken on a sunny summer afternoon, but I thought the play of shadows from the trees and the highlights supplied by the afternoon sun gave the sculpture an etherial, other worldly quality … a  mysterious step beyond the world in which we live. The gardens are a great place for just sitting around and just reflecting.

VIEWING HINT: Click on the photo to enlarge the image and check out the base of the statue to really go BEYOND.

CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL … LIGHTS OUT FOR THE GRAND FINALE!

 Thankfully, there  are a lot of benches around the MOBOT grounds for  foot-weary visitor who have completed the 2.5 mile trek around the grounds viewing all 26 lantern creations. The break was also necessary because we’re still in the midst of summer days, and the MAGIC can’t start until the sun has set which in garden time is about 8 pm. Also those in the know didn’t start showing up until shortly before eight. We had decided we  weren’t going to repeat the entire  trek around the garden, and we were just going to revisit a few of our favorites we wanted to see illuminated. Don’t forget you can enlarge any picture by clicking on it.

 

It was a great presentation and I encourage all who can to visit it — it will run up until August 19. Dining from 5:30 – 8:00 in the Sassafras Cafe/Visiter’s Center and from 6:00 – 10:00 at the The Lantern Festival Food Court in the Linnean Plaza.

 

CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL – ACT TWO

 If you’ll remember, yesterday’s post left us resting on a Victorian bench in Mr. Shaw’s front yard drinking Ice Mountain Water and catching cool breezes before starting on the second half of our trek through the second half of the Chinese Lantern Festival.

We begin with GODDESS BLESSING BUDDHA …

And move on to THE FIRST EMPEROR’S QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY

Next up is an illustration of a fable about the creation of the Milky Way THE DOUBLE SEVENTH FESTIVAL — cowherd boy marries weaver girl without asking mom who is the Goddess. Goddess gets pissed and brings girl back to heaven. Boy keeps looking for her  so mom creates a wide river  (aka. The Milky Way) to keep them apart. But one night a year … the seventh night of the seventh moon … all the magpies on earth fly up to heaven to form a bridge so the two lovers can be united.

From heaven we encounter THE FLYING APSARAS 

The next stop is THE FOUR FACED BUDDHA … even though you can only see three.

THE BUTTERFLY LOVERS illustrates the century old Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet …

Next is a gigantic panoramic lantern NINE DRAGON MURAL 

THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE 

THE COLORFUL FLOWER … leads us to the Garden’s official Chinese Garden …

  And JIANG TAI GONG FISHING 

Then on to the BLISSFUL WEDDING that reminds me of a Chinese Small World.

Which brings us to the last lantern … QILIN which is a rare creature made up of many animal forms both real and mythical. The lantern Qilin is made up of many recycled glass bottles.

But this trek isn’t over yet … come back for the GRAND FINALE when the sun sets and the lanterns light up!

THE CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL – ACT ONE

 Well, since it took me two days to get through the 150 pictures I took during my four hour visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Chinese Lantern Festival on Thursday … this post will not only a day late, but also be sent in two parts on two days.

The Lantern Festival is this summer’s featured attraction at the Garden, and on Thursday through Sunday is has special evening hours (6 to 10) where you can view the lanterns in both daylight … and once the sun sets with their own inner illumination. Oh, and by the way, these are not your ordinary hardware store lanterns, these are the same kind of massive illuminations that were created by Chinese artisans for the Summer Olympics in Beijing four-years ago.

You get an idea of what to expect when you drive into the Garden’s parking lot and come face to face with this block long dragon. (Note: you can view any photo  in a large size by clicking by clicking on it … and still larger by clicking on it a second time.)

DRAGON EMBRACING THE PILLERS  The Garden’s central fountain features a large dragon surrounded by four fish like dragons …

… at each corner of the reflecting pool.

LOTUS FLOWERS and LOTUS PONDS

The Garden’s Central Axis features a face off between two PORCELAIN DRAGONS 

Both dragons are made from porcelain plates, bowls, cups and saucers … about 45,000 to create each dragon.

This SAIL BOAT was made from reclaimed plastic bottles.

And if you follow the MOONLIGHT PATHWAY 

You’ll discover the PANDA’S PARADISE!

Who doesn’t like cute little pandas?

But even better than pandas, we noticed Mr. Shaw himself offering us a chance to sit down and take a break. In case you didn’t know, this is Mr. Shaw’s garden. He built it around his home, and when he was done enjoying it he left it to the people of Saint Louis to enjoy forever.

And what better place to take a break — the second half of our trek continues tomorrow.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 323 other followers