Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pic Today 6/30/10




HOMEGROWN BOUNTY AT FARMERS MARKETS

The fresh taste of summer
is at your local farmers market.
Now's the time to stock up
with home grown produce
at the peak of freshness . . .
tomatoes and peaches at their prime,
just-picked corn, squash, peppers,
green beans, okra, cukes, potatoes
and amazing local melons!

This is how food is supposed to taste!
(No excuse for shopping in grocery chain stores.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pic Today 6/29/10


GREEN BEANS GROWING ON TREES?

No, but it sure looks like it!

It's just a Catalpa tree,
with long slender seed pods now forming.

Catalpas are popular ornamental
shade trees in the Midwest,
with gigantic heart-shaped leaves
and inedible "bean" pods.

The Catalpa is sometimes called
the "cigar tree."


Monday, June 28, 2010

Pic Today 6/28/10





A GAY TIME AT TOWER GROVE PARK

Gays, lesbians, friends & supporters
turned out this past weekend for
the St. Louis PrideFest
parade and fair in Tower Grove Park.

This fun and colorful event
celebrates its 30th year in St. Louis.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pic Today 6/27/10




ONE WEEK TO GO

Seven fireworks shopping days
until the 4th of July!

Interestingly, fireworks are illegal
in St. Louis and St. Louis County.
But travel any highway beyond county lines,
and you'll find fireworks tents at every exit.

Missouri is one of 20 states where
fireworks sales are permitted.
Just take care to find a safe, legal
spot to "light the fuse."

Most fireworks are made in China,
which makes for loosely translated names
for their fireworks . . .
like "Tonga Exotica", "Blue Me Up",
"Enchanted Flowerbox Destroyer",
and "Girl's Best Friend" (? ? ?).


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pic Today 6/26/10



HOMEGROWN PEACHES ARE HERE

First pick homegrown peaches
have been harvested,
and delivered to area farmers markets.
Go get some . . .

They're ripe.
They're juicy.
They're fragrant.
They're HERE.

Enjoy our bumper crop this year!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pic Today 6/25/10


FINAL TALLY AT THE U.S. CENSUS

1,000 census workers (in St. Louis County alone)
have turned in their tally books
and completed follow-up census visits this week.

Approximately 2/3rds of census forms were
completed and returned by mail.
To get an accurate population count,
the remaining households had to be
visited door-to-door for in-person interviews.
(A huge task!)

But the work is now complete . . .
except for the lonely office workers
who must verify and enter all the data.
(Here, in the Crestwood office,
census binders cover the floor,
wall to wall.)




Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pic Today 6/24/10


BE KIND TO BEES
They may just be our best friends on earth.

Bee populations continue to decrease,
and we're still scrambling for solutions.
One thing for sure:
We are totally dependent on bees to pollinate our crops.

Albert Einstein observed "if the bee disappeared
off the surface of the globe, then man would have
only 3 to 4 years left to live. No more bees, no more
pollination, no more plants and crops, no more
animals, no more food, no more man."

We can help.
We can assist the honeybee and natural bee
populations in our home environments . . .

1. Plant nectar-rich flowers with long blooming cycles.
Bees are attracted to purple, blue and yellow flowers.
2. Practice organic gardening and limit the use of
pesticides for cosmetic purposes.
3. Leave a wild place in your yard for bee habitat.
(Partial dead tree, branches or burrow.)
4. Let some veggies and flowers bolt.
Let a few plants in your garden "go to seed."
This helps bees stock up and survive colder months.
5. Be nice to bees (no need to swat 'em or be afraid.)

Bzzzzz, bzzzz.
(Translation: Thank you!)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pic Today 6/23/10


OLD DOORS, NEW KNOBS

Antique door knobs,
Soulard neighborhood.
St. Louis.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pic Today 6/22/10



ALONG THE SHORELINE

Scenes from the riverbank.
Meramec River
Near Cuba, Missouri

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pic Today 6/21/10



SCENES ALONG THE MERAMEC
Cuba, Missouri

Floating the upper Meramec River.
Cool clear waters on a hot summer day.
Canoes, rafts and rainbow trout.




Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pic Today 6/20/10


THE SHAPE OF BALES TO COME

Cutting and storing hay is the mainstay
of most large farming operations.
And for the past 40 years,
round bales are the preferred and economical
"unit of measure."

These round giants are rolled into shape
but hardly toted by hand
like the smaller rectangular bales
that predominated hay fields in the past.

Round bales can reach a ton in weight,
while rectangular bales are 50-60 pounds
and can still be managed by hand
(popular in feed lots and hayrides.)

Throughout the summer and autumn,
it's common to see grass and hay fields
strewn with these rolled wheels of hay.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pic Today 6/19/10



STEEL MAGNOLIAS

. . . and roses, and dahlias,
and chrysanthemums.

This is the hand hammered art
of Bill Bracket in Cole Camp, Missouri.
He fashions giant flowers out of
cold pressed steel, and sells them at
art fairs across the state.

These 4-foot high steel pieces can be placed
indoors or outdoors (in the garden, of course).
Once outdoors, the steel does rust and weather,
but the effect is very pleasing.

His "steel flower" sculptures are very affordable
and one of a kind.
(Learn more at www.oak-n-iron.com.)
660-668-3266




Friday, June 18, 2010

Pic Today 6/18/10


NOT ALL PIT BULLS ARE MEANIES

Meet Izzy.
(She's the one with the wet nose.)
A sweet, lovable 7-week old PIT BULL.

Like they say . . .
pit bulls are as sweet as the home they're raised in.
Loyal, loving, great disposition, and
especially kind to children.

What a sweetie!
(Valerie's kinda cute, too.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pic Today 6/17/10


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Beauty:
Purple Coneflower, a hardy perennial
whose range is primarily Missouri & Illinois.

Beast:
Japanese Green Beetle, singularly the most
destructive intruder insect for the home gardener.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pic Today 6/16/10





PLAY WITH THE MASTERS
(or just for fun!)

. . . at the new St. Louis Chess Club
4657 Maryland Avenue
(Central West End).

Novice, beginner or master,
this 3-story club is elegant all the way.
You can play, watch or learn at regular
seminars, tournaments and lectures.
Or lessons if you're just starting out.

Dues are a modest $12 a month.

Check mate!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pic Today 6/15/10


REAL TOMATOES HAVE ARRIVED
(Finally!)

Good news:
Home grown tomatoes are here.

There's no substitute for a ripe tomato
picked fresh from a home garden
(or locally grown.)

They're best served warm (never refrigerated), on a BLT . . .
with mozzarella, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar . . .
or just out of your hand. Yum!
(No excuse buying them in the grocery store
this time of the year.)
Head to your favorite farmers market.
They've arrived.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pic Today 6/14/10



MY FRIEND, DAX

A truly original creative "free spirit",
Dax views his house as "his canvas."
Each room is a never-ending work of art.

(Note the "Craftsman tool chest" furniture suite.)



Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pic Today 6/13/10




GRAND CENTER'S GOING TO THE DOGS

City dogs (and their owners) have a new place to play
in the Grand Center neighborhood.
There's "green space" reserved for pooches,
on Grand (between Olive and Lindell),
fenced off and free to all.

Just bring your dog(s), lawn chairs and
waste bags to clean up after your pet.
Once inside, dogs can run free, sniff other dogs
and enjoy the Grand Center neighborhood.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pic Today 6/12/10



FIREWORKS IN THE TREE TOPS

One of the few blooming trees this time of year
is the Golden Rain Tree
(sometimes called the Pride of India).

A popular shade tree, which thrives
in all kinds of soil, this medium sized tree
has bursts of yellow flower spikes
which always remind me of 4th of July fireworks.

When you see a Golden Rain Tree this month,
squint your eyes . . . and imagine a sky
full of bursting floral shells
in the night sky.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Pic Today 6/11/10


RARE LITTLE RASPBERRY GEMS

Now is the season for black raspberries,
although you won't find them in most
grocery stores. These fragile little berries
are worth the search in farmers markets, and
not easily confused with blackberries which
are three times their size.

Black raspberries are easily cultivated in
home gardens, but must be picked one berry
at a time. Their flavor is delicate and more complex
than the larger red raspberry variety.

American indians and settlers alike
dyed blankets and clothing a deep purple
in boiled black raspberry juice. (So watch out,
don't get these juicy berries on your clothes.)

Black raspberries are very high in anti oxidants,
and are currently being studied at Ohio State University
as a potential "anti cancer" drug.

Good things do indeed come in small packages!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pic Today 6/10/10



DAY LILY DAYS

Day lilies are a popular border flower,
abundant and in bloom these sunny June days.
Popular hybrid colors are oranges and yellow.

No wonder how this tall, grassy flower
earned its name . . .
day lilies open at sunrise, wither at sunset,
each flower replaced by another
on the same stem the next day.

Day lilies are sometimes used in cuisine,
especially Chinese dishes: Buddha's Delight,
Moo Shu Pork and Day Lily Soup.




Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pic Today 6/9/10



WORTHWHILE STOPS ON GRANT'S TRAIL

Biking along Grant's Trail
offers scenic views and opportunities
to stop and explore . . .
like letting the Clydesdales come say hi
or visiting Grant's Cabin.

(Did Ulysses S. Grant choose to
paint his residence the exact same color
as the surrounding foliage?)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pic Today 6/8/10



DAIRY BARN

Cattle Country
Labadie, Missouri

(The barns are black & white,
just like the cows.)





Monday, June 7, 2010

Pic Today 6/7/10




MISSOURI RIVER BOTTOMLANDS THREATENED

AmerenUE recently acquired 1100+ acres
of farmland in the Missouri River Bottoms
(near Labadie, Missouri)
for a landfill to store coal combustion waste.

This important floodplain watershed
is linked directly to the health of our rivers.
(Most of our drinking water comes from
the Missouri River!)

This landfill combustion waste contains
harmful toxins (mercury, arsenic, lead, selenium.)
Current zoning laws do not permit storage of
hazardous waste in our floodplain.
Waste and landfills do NOT belong in a floodplain!

Stay in touch with LEO (Labadie Environmental Organization).
WWW.LEOMO.INFO
You can help protect a valuable Missouri resource!





Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pic Today 6/6/10



ST. PETERFEST WEEKEND

Ferris wheel, ring toss, funnel cakes,
tilt-a-whirl, bands on stage,
hot dogs, cold beer, warm summer nights,
fun and games for kids of all ages.
Huge success for Kirkwood's
fun fair at St. Peter's School & Church.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pic Today 6/5/10



LOSING A CLASSIC

St. Louis is losing a great radio station,
a unique format, and some great programming.
Farewell CLASSIC 99 KFUO,
our only classical music FM station.

Owned by the Missouri Lutheran church,
the station has been sold and will discontinue
its classical music programming
(last broadcast day, July 6).
A new format will be "Christian music."

Along with countless other listeners,
this blogger will miss his
weekly morning "radio fix"
with Tom Sudholt
(seen here, in the studio, with guests
from the St. Louis Beacon newspaper.)

We will miss you Classic 99 KFUO.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pic Today 6/4/10




BEAUTIFUL CORNICE WORK
IN THE CITY

Restoring original cornice work
can be its own reward
when it's done with care and talent.
Just look at the the corner offices
of UIC Contracting & Design
(corner of Tower Grove & McRee Avenues.)

Curtis Ridgeway, president, discovered this
original design work under layers of mortar
and paint, and added a beautiful paint job.

Bravo!
(Well worth the effort.)