Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pic Today 3/31/12








DEEP IN THE WOODS

. . . where the sun's light falls least,
and Spring brings green the last,

I found dark paths and
moss covered stumps,
and dark tangled branches.

I found a strange rock,
and wondered if elves live here.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Pic Today 3/30/12












AIM FOR THE DROP ZONE

Chute packed.
Buckled up.
Helmet on.
Double checked.

Time to climb on,
and reach jump altitude.
5,500-feet.

This is why we do it.
To free fall,
and soar like a bird.

Guide the chute,
and aim for the drop zone.

This is fantastic!
(Let's go again.)



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pic Today 3/29/12








PACK YOUR OWN

Any skydiver will tell you . . .
it's best to pack your own chute.

After all, your life is in your own hands . . .
the folding, untangling and packing.
You want to know it's been packed right,
and tight.

Ready to take off now.
Ready to jump, to free-fall,
to fly like a bird.
And land to jump again!

(To be continued.)




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pic Today 3/28/12







THE 844 CAME ROLLING
THROUGH TOWN

The crowds started gathering late this afternoon.
Families, photographers, train enthusiasts of all ages,
got in position, to catch a glimpse of
Union Pacific's Steam Locomotive No. 844,
scheduled to come through Kirkwood today.

The train is en route from Cheyenne, Wyoming
to Marion, Arkansas pulling a special
150th Anniversary Commemorative Civil War Troop Train
with 300 civil war historians on their journey
to the Battle of Shiloh Reenactment.

No. 844 is the last steam locomotive
delivered to the Union Pacific Railroad (in 1944),
and is unique, as the only locomotive never retired!

"The loudest sound I've ever heard" is how I describe
the steam whistle as it blasted by me,
standing by the tracks . . .
standing way too close to the tracks!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pic Today 3/27/12





S U C C E S S

Finally.
Morel mushrooms.
Found on an afternoon hike.

(My little sponge-like fungi friends!)

The rain. The warm days.
The spores couldn't take it anymore.
Voila!
Morels standing at attention.

Just five.
Enough for some saute├ęd pasta,
with olive oil, lemon juice, capers.
A spring time gourmet delight.

I noticed a small snail had already
begun its morel snack.
(See him?)

I also discovered a yellow wild flower
about to open . . . .



Monday, March 26, 2012

Pic Today 3/26/12










MAKING LIME MORTAR

Ruins of a lime kiln, in Rockwoods Reservtion, Missouri,
show how lime mortar was made in the 1850's.
The lime was used to make cement and mortar
for area homes and buildings.

This kiln was producing lime in 1856,
and required two ingredients plentiful in the state:
limestone (from nearby bluffs) and
fuel (firewood from surrounding woods.)

It was common for early settlers to establish
rock quarries and lime kilns, as they settled
and built towns along Missouri's rivers.

Kilns were operated 24-hours a day,
reaching temperatures of 800˚,
which transformed limestone rock
into powdered quick lime,
the essential ingredient for cement.

Powdered lime was also used to "sweeten"
farm fields to increase crop productivity.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pic Today 3/25/12






MOTHER AND SON AUTHORS
ATTRACT RECORD CROWD

Best selling author, Ann Lamott,
introduced her co-author and son, Sam Lamott,
with readings from Some Assembly Required:
A Journal of My Son's First Son,
at a 600+ crowd of loyal Lamott book followers
Saturday night, at the St. Louis County Library.

This book -- her 13th -- is already receiving
critical acclaim and rave reviews.
In Some Assembly Required,
Ann Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter
of her own life: grandmotherhood!

I count Ann Lamott as one of my favorite authors,
with rare wit, humor and grace.
Her earlier work, Grace Eventually,
helped change my perspective on spirituality,
while making me laugh along the way.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening.




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pic Today 3/24/12












WILD ABOUT SPRING

Between rain storms,
I'm out in the spring woods,
hunting for morel mushrooms.
(Haven't found any. Not yet.)

But I'm learning all about the edible greens,
the bounty of the early Spring forest . . .
in fact, a conservation agent taught me
80% of wild spring greens are edible.

Delicious watercress . . . garlic scapes . . .
dandelion greens . . . sorrel . . . milkweed . . .
wild lettuce . . . black walnuts.

Did you know beautiful 3-leaf trillium
is both edible and medicinal . . . and
that reindeer lichen can be substituted for flour?

I'm just wild about Spring!

(P.S. Good idea to carry along a plant ID book.)