Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pic Today 7/31/10



PICKIN' UP PAW PAWS

. . . "putting 'em in your pocket"
(as the folk song goes.)

The paw paw is native to Missouri's
shady, rich bottomlands,
where it forms a dense undergrowth
along well drained river banks and hillsides.
The trees are often bunched together in a thicket
as their root systems are connected in one colony.

Paw paw fruits are highly prized and quite delicious,
but must be picked quickly when the fruits
turn from green to golden brown.
The shelf life of the ripe fruit is almost non-existent,
for it falls to the ground and starts fermenting instantly.
The fruit tastes of bananas and mangos
and is well worth the search in early fall.

Look for them now when paw paws are green and forming,
so you know where to search come September.

See you then
"way down yonder in the paw paw patch."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pic Today 7/30/10




LEAFY SHADOWS

Soft tree shadows
stenciled on the ground,
leaves dancing in the breeze.
(Almost as beautiful as the trees above.)

They say
Monet saw shapes and shadows
in his final years (cataracts!),
less color, less detail.

Must have been very soft and beautiful,
like his paintings.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pic Today 7/29/10




COOLING IT
ON A WARM SUMMER DAY
ON FOREST PARK WATERS

Since the opening of Forest Park in 1876,
boating has been a popular pastime.
Since then the lake at the Boathouse has been
extended to provide more room for boating.

A financial panic in 1893 gave the city another reason
to expand the lake, providing work for 6,000
unemployed St. Louisans. The current restoration
of Forest Park has added new boating lagoons as well as
an island devoted to wildlife conservation.
Now boaters can pedal into the restored
Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill.
There's a new year-round boathouse facility, too,
including a restaurant, bar and patio area.

Ahoy there, Matey!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pic Today 7/28/10


SOME DOORWAYS
ARE BEST SUITED
FOR TALL, SKINNY PEOPLE!

It's not uncommon to find these
tall, narrow "shotgun" doorways
in older homes (in the south and midwest),
which were popular following the Civil War.
Their height was visually accentuated
by ascending steps and an arched transom above.

This 125-year old house is located
in the Soulard area of St. Louis.




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pic Today 7/27/10




WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS
ABOUT HEIRLOOM TOMATOES?

The simple answer is "flavor."

Of the 40 or so heirloom tomatoes
still being grown today,
"taste" is still the #1 reason
gardeners grow them.
Plus, each one is more beautiful
than the next -- with colors ranging
from rainbow yellow-and-red to dark purple.

This variety is the classic Brandywine heirloom tomato
which dates back to 1885 and was named after
the Brandywine Creek in Amish country, Pennsylvania.

Pick 'em ripe and warm (from the summer sun)
and eat them with basil and balsamic vinegar.
Nothing better!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pic Today 7/26/10




MOBIL CUPCAKE VAN
TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS

Move over Good Humor Man,
never mind late night gyros or
meatball subs out of a truck . . .
there's a brand new "eats van"
serving sweet snacks around St. Louis.

Sarah's Cakes & Catering is operating
a MOBIL CUPCAKE VAN,
offering truly delicious, handmade cupcakes
with real butter cream icing!
And here's the best part:
Late night pricing is only $1.00 each.

Look for Sarah's Cake Stop van around town,
and on Thursday nights following the free concerts
at Kirkwood Station Plaza.

(What a sweet "night cap!")

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pic Today 7/25/10


MORNING GLORIES
ON RIVER CABIN STEPS

Morning glories soaking up
early morning sun
at river cabin,
Cuba, Missouri.

(Honey bees were hauling away
pollen by the legs full.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pic Today 7/24/10




KIRKWOOD
PUBLIC LIBRARY
TRANSFORMED

Kirkwood's Public Library has reopened
at its original location
(Taylor at Jefferson)
after an 18-month renovation and expansion,
70 years after its original construction.

With more than twice the capacity for books, CDs,
reference and new computer services section,
the new library keeps the neighborhood feel
from its quaint, comfy original building
to its modern technology and practical design.

Nice re-do for that Kirkwood
small town feel!






Friday, July 23, 2010

Pic Today 7/23/10



SUMMER EVENING CONCERT
AT STATION PLAZA

Free concerts are the fare
Thursday evenings in Kirkwood,
down by the station.

Last night was especially enjoyable
thanks to Erin Bode and her jazz musicians.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pic Today 7/22/10




HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

Urban gardening has never been more popular.
Containers, raised beds, square foot gardens,
vacant lots . . . families and neighbors
are planting vegetables, herbs & flowers
and enjoying the bounty of their efforts.

What a great way to teach kids
about home grown food
and eating healthy.

All you need is seeds, sun and a little TLC.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pic Today 7/21/10



THESE LITTLE PEACHES
ARE
"OUT OF THIS WORLD"

Maybe that's why this variety
is called
"SATURN."

These tiny Saturn peaches are hardly a mouthful.
Too small to slice, just right for snacking.
They're sweet, full of big peach flavor
and saucer shaped
just like the planet, Saturn.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pic Today 7/20/10




SUMMER CLOUD SCAPES

Stormy weather creates
magnificent cloud formations
(along with thunderstorms,
downpours and hail.)

Do you know your
cirrus and stratus from your cummulus?

(Just avoid those funnel shaped clouds!)


Monday, July 19, 2010

Pic Today 7/19/10


PICK A NAME,
ANY NAME.

The times they are a changin'
(especially when it comes to picking names.)

Since the 1950s, some names have endured
year after year...until recently.
Top choices (for men), according to BabyCentersm,
have always included Michael, Matthew & Robert.
But in recent years, name choices are changing
dramatically.

TOP BOY'S NAMES, 1950

John
James
Robert
William
Michael
Matthew

TOP BOY'S NAMES, 2010

Ethan
Jacob
Noah
Logan
Aiden
Liam

My, aren't parents getting adventurous?




Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pic Today 7/18/





1949 Chevrolet Coupe Deluxe
All Original

The best part of this story
is not the mileage (28,000),
or the engine (still running),
or exterior (original paint),
or interior (like new),
or those stainless rear fender "gravel guards",
it's the owner
and how she lets her son (shown here)
still take it out for a spin.

She was given this Chevy
upon her graduation in 1949.
She's taken good care of it (understatement!),
and averages about 8 miles per week,
so far!




Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pic Today 7/17/10




KEEPING THE RAILS
SMOOTH AND FLAT

Maintenance equipment doesn't get
much bigger that this railway "scarfer."
This monster moves about 1-mile an hour,
digs down deep to clean and sift the ballast (gravel)
and reset the rails and ties, and rake it clean
so our passenger and freight trains
run true and fast.

Removing the dirt, mud and dust from old gravel
ensures good drainage,
as rain is the culprit in making rails crooked
and out of alignment.

For hundred-ton rail cars,
it's like a new pair of shoes!

(You could hear this huge scarfer coming
a mile away, as it approached Kirkwood.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pic Today 7/16/10




BUMPER STICKERS
WORTH OUR BUMPERS!

There ARE bumper stickers
worth a spot on our bumpers,
but they're few and far between.

Most bumper messages are mundane:
ads (boring) . . . religious (ugh) . . .
political (double ugh) . . . or just fun.
Occasionally, some are laugh-out-loud
memorable!
LIKE THESE.

My all time favorite:
"What if the Hokey Pokey IS what
it's all about?"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pic Today 7/15/10




HAVE YOU SEEN THIS
RED FLOWERING SHRUB BEFORE?

Not since the new millennium.
No you haven't.

Meet the newest variety of
CRAPE MYRTLE,
called Red Dynamite,
which was propagated and sold
for the first time in the year 2000.
It is the first Crape Myrtle shrub
with a true red flower.

It blooms all summer long, is drought tolerant,
disease resistant and does well in our heat.
You can't help but notice it's bright red flowers,
in bloom right now, all over town.

Brighten up a sunny spot with this red beauty!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pic Today 7/14/10



SUMMER SHADOWS

Two homes in the afternoon sun.

Warm light on red brick.
Cool shades of green wood.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pic Today 7/13/10




THE TROUBLE WITH TATTOOS

. . . they don't wash off!

There's a certain permanence with each decision
to add tattoos to our skin
(no matter how discreet or public their location.)

Take this tattoo, for instance . . .
the chemical molecular symbol of tryptamine
(the powerful hallucinogenic drug in psilocybin mushrooms.)
Tryptamine is revered, and in some cases considered
almost sacred, by some indigenous cultures
and dedicated drug chemists
(and in this case, our young enthusiast.)

Stuck with this "druggie tattoo" for life, you wonder?
Not necessarily.
Adding an oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) atom
to the molecule (and the tattoo) converts
tryptamine to serotonin (non hallucinogenic)
a universal neurotransmitter building block in all of us.
An easy fix at the tattoo artist studio.

Problem solved!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pic Today 7/12/10




CITY SKY SCAPES
Contemporary Art Museum &
Pulitzer Gallery
Washington Avenue, Grand Center District

Come walk into and around
Richard Serra's torqued spiral sculpture,
"Joe" (2000),
named for the late Joseph Pulitzer, Jr.,
one of the earliest supporters of Serra's work.
(Watch out - it will make you dizzy!)

125 tons. How did they get it in there?


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pic Today 7/11/10




STYLUS/A PROJECT BY ANN HAMILTON
Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

3716 Washington Avenue
Grand Center Neighborhood
Exhibit open Wednesdays & Saturdays
Free to the public

A major installation at the Pulitzer is now open
and well worth experiencing.
A multi-media exploration of the senses!
When you sign in, touch, move or speak,
a piano responds with music and tones.
Come see (and hear) 5,000 Mexican jumping beans
dancing on a steel table before you.

Don't miss this fabulous gallery exhibition.
annhamilton.pulitzerarts.org

"Hearing is how we touch at a distance."
-- Ann Hamilton