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For this week’s photo challenge, share with us a photo that expresses something  fresh.  (For more information go HERE!)

Well, spring has sprung, and the sprouts have sprouted. Soon we’ll be seeing FRESH daffodils in the winter barren soil.FRESH



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.



SPRING!  For this week’s challenge, share a photo which describes what spring means to you. It can be a flower in bloom (or a field of them!), a May Day celebration, or even some kids enjoying the sun after a long winter indoors. MableMapleIsReady



Since I have two maple trees in my yard, my first sign of spring is the formation of seeds on the tree branches … even before the first leaves begin to sprout. Some people call them whirlybirds or twirlers because of the way the mature dried seeds spin to the ground looking for a place to sprout and give birth to yet another maple seedling. I have other names for them, most of which are unprintable. They litter the lawn, the walks, the drive and clog the guttering around the house. My electric mower now acts like a vacuum to sweep up the twirlers covering the ground. I’ll have to find someone to clean the guttering, since acrophobia keeps me from climbing ladders. On the plus side, when the hundred year plus tall maple that shaded the back lawn and house during the summer was attacked by beetles that tunneled into the heart of the tree and made it unsafe several years ago, two new seedlings popped up to replace it. They’re now on their way to becoming tall shade trees.

This year, the negative aspects of the twirlers were diminished a couple of days ago when high winds and heavy hail and rain storms knocked the majority of the twirlers from the tree branches before they matured.SPRING

And while dandelions and henbit are considered edible harbingers of spring to many …

AllByMyself… they’re just weeds on my nuisance kill list.







IT’S BACK! Spring that is … but not until 11:57 CDST this morning.

Yes, spring will officially start today at 11:57 am in the Central Time Zone. But it would probably be best if you kept your winter clothing handy for a few more days … or possibly weeks. I’m playing the part of a skeptic this year.

THE ORCHID-A-DAY for the first day of spring: DSC09306

Taken at the M.B.G. 2014 Orchid Show

But the big spring question of the day is … DID THE SWALLOWS RETURN TO SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO YESTERDAY?


It has long been legend that each spring on the Feast of Saint Joseph, (March 19) the swallows that nest in the nooks and crannies of the old mission of San Juan (which dates back to the 1700s) return to the old mission from their winter nesting grounds in Argentina. They don’t spend the summer, and some will travel as far north as the Arctic Circle before heading back to winter in Argentina.

So, did they show up?Swallows Return

The faithful say that they did. But realists conceded that the number of birds has been decreasing each year. The reason … too many humans building too many structures that replace the old buildings where the birds used to build their mud nests. So, folks, if you want to keep your legends working, quit using brooms to knock down those ugly globs of mud they keep building on your homes and other buildings.

THE ORIGAMI BIRD OF THE DAY PROJECT: And what else could I fold for  today besides a swallow?



Depending on the spot in the yard, the accumulation is somewhere between nine and eleven inches ten hours into the snow storm.WestWalnutManor-Frosted

West Walnut Manor Totally FrostedReneeInTheSnow

The flakes were falling so thick the camera couldn’t focus on Mlle. Renee.AlasPoorTulips

Alas, poor tulips!OrigamiSpring

ORIGAMI SPRING – the only spring in sight in the midst of the continuing snow fall.

The official weather station at STL Lambert International Airport reported an 8.5-inch snow fall as of 4:00 pm. 3/25/13. Many individuals in the metro area reported snow of 12-inches or more. I stuck my yardstick at the side of the front steps and got …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ok, the wind  sort of did cause the snow to drift a bit there. And the tip of the yardstick was broken off about an inch and a half. And there was no way I was going to walk out into the yard to get a true measurement, because I didn’t want to get my new snow boots wet. Based on the accumulation on the back deck, I would estimate a nine to ten inch snowfall here. That was at four pm. and the snow fall is expected to continue through the night into Monday midday.

Midnight Update: Getting ready for bed, and I thought I’d update my Sunday post. As of the News@Ten, the official NOAA snowfall amount for Metro STL for Sunday, March 24 was 12.2-inches. It is also still snowing as you can see from this shot from the back deck.AndTheSnow Continues

And from the handle of the shovel, you’ll not that I did clean the snow from in front of the door to the sunporch. That’s so Renee can get in and out of the house without tramping through a snowbank. Since this snow was a widow-maker … very heavy and filled with water … I only removed enough for a Renee-sized path. Besides, it will all be covered again by morning. As for the 2012  Summer Drought, take that you drought!

Monday 4:00 pm update – Total official two day accumulation is now at 12.6″ – the highest snowfall since 1982. Some individual areas have recorded unofficial highs up to 20″.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

In a new post created for this challenge, share a picture that says FUTURE TENSE.PromiseOfSpringToCome


Promise of SPRING to come.