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The other day I was walking through Forest Park when I noticed a swamp!Swamp

Now I knew that Forest Park’s 1,371 acres contained three museums, a zoo, a couple of golf courses, playing fields, a forest  and a multitude of lakes, streams, ponds, fountains, waterfalls, cascades and a Grand Basin, but I had never heard about a swamp. Well, unlike California, because of all the rain we’ve been having we have more water laying around than the ground can suck up. The swamp was formed by the rain that fell on the verdant hilly golf course you see in the background of the photo. While I didn’t see any gators in the swamp, I wouldn’t get too close.


The French Heritage Of Saint Louis Was Showing Saturday Afternoon


There are some times that Saint Louis looks just like a scene in a French park … or romance novel.


Possibility. Opportunity. Potential. As another year gets underway, let’s celebrate the new. (For more information, go here!)

My NEW photograph is one I took a week or so ago as 2014 began to dwindle away into another winter day. It was a photograph of Roxy Paine’s 56 foot tall stainless steel sculpture of a barren tree (Placebo) standing on a hillside next to the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art. I’ve seen the work every time I’ve visited the museum and photographed it uncounted times more. But this winter afternoon as the sun was beginning to set I saw the work in a new way.New

Except for the evergreen trees that stood to either side, it was as barren as the other trees in the surrounding forest. But it stood there gleaming in the fading winter sun offering hope of warmer times to come. Like I said, I had photographed it many times before. But every time before it had always been from a different point of view that showed the work standing alone. This was the first time I had photographed it as part of the forest that shared its hillside.  It made a big difference.

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!