Monday, April 30, 2018

Madeleine Monday - Yoga For Kids

On a few Saturday mornings in the spring and summer, the Gateway Arch Foundation puts on a program for children in Kiener Plaza. We took Ellie down last weekend. One of the big features was yoga for children. We got her a kid-size mat and she loved it. After returning home, we found that there are a lot of children's yoga videos on YouTube. She spent much of the afternoon watching and imitating. Namaste!          

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dragon Dance

Sometimes photobloggers find themselves in the desert and sometimes in a lush orchard. I'm just now getting into pix from the Chinese cultural festival at the botanical garden a week ago. Red is obviously an important color. Love the hi-top Cons on the woman in the first picture. The dragon looks like it is reaching desperately for a piece of candy.       

Saturday, April 28, 2018


Spring in the Missouri Botanical Garden. The structure in the center is the tomb of Henry Shaw, who founded the place. I''m backed up on editing the pix from the Chinese cultural festival that took place on the day I shot this.     

Friday, April 27, 2018

Some People Were Happy

Nothing like a street full of sloppy bubbles to brighten your mood. I wonder what makes this so attractive. I'm sure it reminds people of fun times in childhood, but children are instantly attracted to bubbles without a reference point. My granddaughters sure are.     

Thursday, April 26, 2018


There was a stage at the end of the color run where a crowd gathered. Thumping rock music blasted from huge speakers and an MC whipped up the stained runners. Staff passed around packets of the colored powder and every 15 minutes, on cue, people hurled it into the air. I wonder if the Environmental Protection Agency was okay with this.       

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Does this look happy to you? I dunno, maybe more like grim. There are aspects of the Color Run that are more like a forced march through Crazyville than the Ode to Joy.        

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Or other solid, blunt tone of your choice. I've played with the saturation and contrast in these for effect. People seem to be having fun doing this. Still, I don't quite get it, which may be to say that I would never dream of doing this even if my knees were up to it. It's not Holi, but you can't object to a spectacular break from bland daily existence.    

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fun For The Whole Family

There were a lot of children at The Color Run. Not much of a problem about keeping up - many more adults were walking than running (not the case in other years I shot this). The kids like the bright hues and towards the end, a pair of giant soap bubble machines. It looked like heavy, wet snow and created ankle-deep goop on the pavement.

I wondered about what was going into the children's and adults' eyes and lungs. The company's web site says it's cornstarch, baking soda, and FD&C dyes, going on to mention it is free of heavy metals. Whew, what a relief.            

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Color Run

The Color Run is a traveling show that goes around the country putting on these 5k events in which people voluntarily dash through dense clouds of tinted powder, get it all over themselves and think it's fun. White tee shirts preferred. Time is a little short right now and I will explain more with additional posts.            

Friday, April 20, 2018

Really Bad Radio

I found this in the parking lot of Pere Marquette Lodge. There was a wedding and reception there on Saturday. Anyone could have been invited.

AM radio is in decline in the US. The sound quality has become really bad because of interference from mobile phones around the same radio frequencies. That means it is cheap to get a license outside of the biggest markets.

Never heard of KQQZ so I looked it up. Bi-state means Missouri and Illinois. From what's on its web site it seems appalling. Country music is fine, if that's what you like. (I've been to the Grand Ole Opry twice. Once I played fiddle on the wings of the stage during intermission but that's a long story.)   But from the looks of the car and the web site, well, say no more.

There is so much to shoot here this weekend. The Color Run is early Saturday morning, if I get my rear out on time. Saturday and Sunday bring both Earth Day in Forest Park and Chinese Culture Days at the botanical garden. My right index finger may need physical therapy by next week.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

It's Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature

Americans and probably Canadians of a certain age will immediately recognize the TV ad that made this phrase an earworm 40 years ago. The idea and image, like any icon, has many interpretations. This one was outside of Pere Marquette Lodge. It's not up my alley. Mom looks like she is exhausted from holding her giant mutant bunny.        

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us

You know the reference. Me, Mrs.C, Emily and Ellie on our 44th anniversary at Pere Marquette Lodge. We wouldn't have needed help to keep us occupied if the weather hadn't been so rotten. Spring seems to be poking its nose in this week.     

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

It Doesn't Look Significant, But It Is

That little spit of land is the confluence, the point where the Missouri (mid-ground) and Mississippi (foreground) Rivers meet. There is an awful lot of water passing through. You can drive almost to the junction and walk out to that tip unless the rivers are in flood.

The pictures were taken from the top level of the Confluence Tower in bad weather. It's the site of yesterday's picture with Ellie. The deck is 150 feet / 46 meters off the ground. Wish there had been more to see.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Madeleine Monday

One of the stops on our weekend mini-trip was the Confluence Tower. It is an a somewhat desolate spot on the Illinois side of the Mississippi, overlooking the juncture of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The visitor's center has one of the "birthday cakes" left over from the 250th anniversary of St.Louis' founding a few years ago. The words on the base refer to the drainage area of the two rivers and their many tributaries. I can just hear the cry going up: "We're number four! We're number four!"

Madeleine is allowed to choose her own clothing within certain loose parameters. On Saturday she was going for the spots look, including her Nepalese leopard hat. She wants to take dance lessons.    

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pere Marquette Lodge

Pere Marquette was a French Jesuit explorer who founded the first European settlements in Michigan and explored much of the upper Mississippi. He's a big name in this region.We spent the night at Pere Marquette Lodge, about an hour northwest of our home. It is just across the road from the Illinois river. Children, more than serious adult players, love the giant chess set.       

Saturday, April 14, 2018


It's an old observation that spring is a time of renewal, the season when the earth starts another cycle. Something like that is happening in our home: it is Mrs.C and my 44th anniversary. Two people from about as different backgrounds as Americans could have, a farm in Kansas and an apartment in New York, have held together a long time. We are looking forward to many more years together.

The two of us, our daughter and our granddaughter, are taking a quick weekend trip to Pere Marquette Lodge in Illinois, on a bluff overlooking the Illinois and Missouri rivers. Photos starting tomorrow.        

Friday, April 13, 2018

Almost Like Being In Japan

Except that I could read the signs. We've been to Japan a few times and the only characters that stuck in my head are the words men and women (as in restrooms), entrance and exit, Tokyo and Kyoto, and oddly, the symbol for the possessive because it looks like the Western @ sign. The Japanese garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden is large and gorgeous, particularly on a cloudy early-spring day.         

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Signs Of Spring

Finally. It got up to 76 F / 24 C yesterday. (I, of course, was encased in an office building.) These pix are from the botanical garden on Sunday. Above, the first buds of the cherry tree blossoms, and below, a robin finding plenty to munch. Listen to today's background music here.      

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

4,000th Post

Amazing but true. As some people say, I ought to have my head examined.

The Missouri Botanical Garden's web site said that the cherry blossoms were in full bloom last weekend. Um, not nearly, although some stuff was coming up. If, like me, English was your favorite subject in high school, you couldn't help but think of the e e cummings' poem we all loved so much:

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan          whistles

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Pizza Head

A new mural on the restaurant strip of South Grand Boulevard.

Tomorrow will be this endeavor's 4,000th post.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Madeleine Monday (Baby It's Cold Outside)

The area of the baseball stadium we were in Saturday has an indoor food area and lounge called the Redbird Club. Anyone can be a member of this club who is willing to pay something extra for a ticket. (Groucho Marx: I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.) Anyway, given the low temperatures, I'm glad we ponied up. In fact, we hid out there for much of the game, watching the action on TV screens.

Major League baseball frequently has giveaways for people attending a game. All the tchotchkes have corporate sponsors. This one had bobble heads (insanely popular here) of former Cardinal greats riding in little Ford convertibles. You got one at random on entry. Ellie was quite satisfied with Lou Brock and his clone and had to share her thoughts with her mother.     

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Commercial District

One of the discouraging things about professional sports (worldwide, I assume) is the intense commercialization. Fans cannot escape marketing at every turn. It is annoying, distracting from the game. Some is just a logo, some is simply absurd. It's hard to see with low contrast, but the middle of the Coca Cola ad has the slogan "taste the feeling." Are they slipping LSD into the beverage?

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Freezer Ball

The family went to the Cardinals game today, the second home game of the new season. It was bloody cold, 37 F / 2 or 3 C. An announcement on the scoreboard said that it was the lowest temperature at the start of a day game here in 39 years. Cardinals first baseman Jose Martinez played with a balaclava, something I've never seen before.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Strange People

One  of the things I like about Artica people is that they are unafraid to be different. They don't do it to shock, just to be expressive. And a nicer bunch of people you will never meet.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Totems On The Go

The dictionary built into my computer defines totem as a natural object or animal that is believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and that is adopted by it as an emblem. My friends from Artica seem to apply the definition loosely. I like the concept, though. The little devices and the parade shake up the people who see them.                

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tiny Totem Parade To The Tick Tock Tavern

It's that time of year again when our friends at Artica start to gear up for the season. They generally pick a dank, cold Saturday on the cusp of winter and spring, assembling in the southeast corner of Tower Grove Park. They dress in whatever appeals to them from mild to wild and march down Grand Boulevard with these, well, tiny totems, some of which can be seen here. (More to come.)

The route proceeds down Grand past restaurants and shops. The marchers engage the patrons and any passer-by, creating some pretty strong boggle. It is a busy street and I wonder if the sight of the parade is a hazard to traffic. The route eventually winds around to a locally famous bar. We'll see more of the festivities over the next couple of days.  

Monday, April 2, 2018

April Is The Cruelest Month

So said St. Louis native T. S. Elliott in the opening line of his monumental poem, The Waste Land. This city hasn't seen snow on Easter since 1940. It was in the forecast yesterday but what we got was ice, rice grain-sized particles covering everything. This is the scene just outside of chez Crowe late yesterday afternoon. The daffodils have been defeated, while my daughter's and wife's cars became encased.