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#1 THE ORIGAMI CALENDAR CHALLENGE – MAD MUSHROOMDSC05938This origami project brought to mind the very first time mushrooms were introduced to my life. Bear in mind that while my mother was a great cook, I never ate a mushroom until I was in my very late teens when I ate in a Chinese restaurant with high school chums.  But I was introduced to mushrooms much earlier, thanks to Walt Disney’s Fantasia.fantasia-chinese-dance

So when I finished folding my mushroom, I added a few Disney touches to it.DSC05940

Somehow, he ended up looking more mad than Oriental. But he also resembles the mushroom photo posted last October that I posted on these pages.shrooms3 ©

I actually shot this photo in my backyard under the big maple tree.


I did pretty good with this one … actually, I got them all except the last one.

Answers — fireextinguisherengineeringschooldishonorabledischargeindustrialstrengthprairieschoonerinformationsuperhighway


DSC05947 I have decided to stop posting any puzzle with details so small that you wouldn’t be able to see them clearly. Sometimes I have to use my magnifying lens to see them myself.

In lieu of the puzzle, I’m adding a few photos of Mlle. Renee, who like all kids in the world can get an entire day of play out of a cardboard box. I was encouraged to do this by the keepers of the Saint Louis Zoo, who regularly give large boxes to their charges as a special treat. Only I don’t spray perfume/spices on the boxes. I guess the scent of the mailman on them is enough stimulation for her .

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You couldn’t ask for a more perfect morning … and the temps all day never got out of the 60s! Guess it was Mom Nature’s way of saying, “Sorry about the rotten summer this year.”

So Mlle. Renee and I went on a long, long walk around the hood. We also learned the Blondie, her old Lab friend she always stopped to visit on our walks had moved on to the great kennel in the sky the week before last. Blondie had been 16-years old, but Renee couldn’t understand why she did come out to visit today.

Back home I found more strange things growing in the yard.


For some reason, the photos remind me of the Chinese Dance for the Nutcracker segment of the original Fantasia.

Hopefully we can expect more of the same tomorrow. Though the weather wizards say the morning temps could be in the 40s. Guess I better pull out a blanket tonight.



Remember the Nutcracker Suite sequence of Fantasia with all the ballerina flowers waltzing and skating all around the place? Well, guess what!  The flowers are doing it live in my front flower beds.

Our weather wasn’t perfect for starting this particular flower … the Nigella or Love In The Mist plant. They are self sowing and germinate best when planted in early spring when it’s cool. Spring this year was rather hot, and I had to hand coddle the plants to get them to grow this far. So far, on the white one has started blooming. But other plants are starting to bud, and I’m hoping for a mix of pink and blue pastel ballerinas to join the join the white ones for a never-ending waltz across their delicate fern like greenery.


Today’s post was inspired by Walt Disney’s FANTASIA. It was a photo I took recently while visiting MoBot … the Missouri Botanical Garden for those not acquainted with local vocal shorthand.  I call it THE PROCESSION OF THE MIRLITONS. OK, so what in the hell is a mirliton?  By definition it is a toy musical instrument with a nasal tone produced by a vibrating membrane. In other words … a kazoo!  So here’s the picture …

 You probably should also know that for a time when I was in a sci-fi mood I was calling the photo INVASION OF FLORIPODS and MARCH OF THE FLOROIDS.

But back to the FANTASIA inspiration.  There are two … the obvious is the Nutcracker Suite with its multitude of floral references and one of the dances is even titled Dance Of The Mirlitons in some of the scores.  The other is the Ava Maria section. Most people don’t even remember this segment because it’s the segue from A Night On Bald Mountain that closes the film.

BTW, if you’re lucky enough to have a Blu-ray player, check out the Blu-ray edition of Fantasia which was released last year. It’s visually fantastic! It also has a version of the film with commentary that gives you an in-depth look at this classic film.