Sunday, February 28, 2021



Bellfontaine Cemetery is The Lou's answer to Père Lachaise and Montmartre, except for the discrimination. This is (or at least was) the Protestant cemetery. The rest can go elsewhere, s.v.p.  It is quite beautiful, though, and has few visitors.

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, the vile right wing radio demagogue, died on February 17 in Palm Beach, Florida, and was buried here last Wednesday. He was from Cape Girardeau, a river town two hours south. He probably had family in this area. His cousin, Stephen, was a highly respected federal judge in STL. 

In any event, one of the staff helped me locate it, obviously freshly dug. No monument yet (I'll have to go back for that). I expected many visitors but I had the place to myself at 9 AM. Later, I saw a huge Cadillac Escalade with dual Trump Pence stickers in the back window at the site. And that was all.

This blog advertises the occasional rant but I just don't want the bile in my throat. It's deeply ironic, though, that Rush shares the same graveyard with Tennessee Williams and William S. Burroughs.             

Saturday, February 27, 2021


I'm not sure why I'm using this picture. I just like it. Sculptural, nice light. Out of service water fountain on the Arch grounds.   

TODAY'S CHALLENGE ASSIGNMENT: Rush Limbaugh, a name at least all Americans know, was buried Wednesday in St. Louis. He was from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, about two  hours drive south of here, and lived much of his recent life in Florida. He was interred here in Bellefontaine Cemetery, our swankiest necropolis. I'm sure I won't be the only person who wants a look but I'd like to get some images of the site. Hope it is accessible to the public.                     

Friday, February 26, 2021


Not me, particularly. I mean, I've had a membership at the town's fitness center but it's always such drudgery and there's enough damage to my spine and dominant shoulder already. But walking is fine. I can walk all day, especially if it's in, say, New York or Paris.

But some people really want to get that tone back. I heard on the news yesterday that one-third of Israel is fully vaccinated and those people can go back to the gym with the proper health credential. They can probably only show off like this in the shower room, though.         

Thursday, February 25, 2021


Haven't had the local totem on for a while. This was taken last weekend when there was still snow on the ground, composed with certain photographic tricks, er, techniques.            

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


This picture was taken about noon yesterday at the top of Art Hill in Forest Park (called that because the art museum is, um, at the top of it). The body of water is known as the Grand Basin. The temperature was about 60 F / 15.5 C, way different from what I mentioned a week ago. You can see that there is still a thin veneer of ice except around the fountains. And they remained on during the coldest weather.            

Tuesday, February 23, 2021



The continuing puzzle about when we will get out of this and there will be something fresh to shoot. I depend to a great extent on public events for material and there ain't any. This figure from the complex Milles Fountain,, could be scratching his head, but could be putting a conch shell to his ear, listening for signals the rest of us cannot hear.

I'd like a signal. There is no place in this benighted state for 70+, immunosupressed me to get a vaccination. Not that there are many better places.           

Monday, February 22, 2021


Ellie's first snowgirl. I provided technical advice but she did all the work herself. We didn't have any charcoal so she used Ritz crackers for the eyes, mouth and buttons (her idea). Some critters got the carrot nose pretty quickly but none of them touched the crackers. They know the difference between natural and processed food.  

And happy birthday to my grandson Atlas Henry Crowe in Michigan, who is two today. Big, strong and smart.       

Sunday, February 21, 2021


This picture was taken from the top of the steps that lead down from the base of the Arch to the Mississippi. Carefully check the bottom horizontal layer of snow. Looks like a proposal to me. I hope it doesn't portend an icy relationship. Well, there is a saying: cold hands, warm heart.

Note that almost all the ice has disappeared from the river in a day or two. It's supposed to be a few degrees above freezing and rainy today so all of this will turn to slop. Can spring be far behind? (Hint: Yes, it can.)          

Saturday, February 20, 2021


Forest Part has a system of streams and lakes. In nice weather you can rent a paddle boat and explore the branches. The waters are almost completely frozen over today, a rare event. Our year-round resident ducks have congregated by the one clear spot. Heaven knows what they find there.  

The temperature will rise a bit above freezing today and much higher over the coming days.The ice will soon be  gone.            

Friday, February 19, 2021


The Mississippi was running clear until a few days ago. Now look at the difference. Of course, it's much colder not that much farther north but the system of locks and dams starts just upstream from here. The grade is so flat from here to the Gulf that there are no more to the south. Much of the ice may come from the Missouri River, which doesn't have locks anywhere close.

I've read that the Mississippi sometimes froze solid in the 19th Century. People and horses walked between Missouri and Illinois. Average winters are warmer now, of  course, but I think the locks and dams prevent the really cold northern stuff from reaching us.                   

Thursday, February 18, 2021


So when we do, we have to make something of it. Forest Park, of course.        

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


The view from my front porch late Monday evening. Much of the US got wapped Sunday night and Monday. We didn't come out too badly, all things considered.The light here is from a street light off to camera right and the slash is a tree branch. It was -6 F / -21 C when we got up Tuesday morning but the house is well sealed. This doesn't happen here often but it's not unknown.                              

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Something else unusual from the Climatron. Looks a little scary to me, like something poisonous or a creature that would bud and swell and sprawl until it had devoured everything in sight. The unfocused leaf on the right could be its henchman.

We got our first serious snow of the winter yesterday. The picture below was taken from my front porch at noon with a temperature of 3 F / -16 C. The snow continued all afternoon and into the evening. Other places had it worse. Texas was about completely shut down. It snowed in Houston, for heaven's sake. That's like asphalt melting from a heat wave in Fairbanks.


Monday, February 15, 2021


Things I know about plants: both Canada and the New York City Parks Department use the maple leaf as an emblem. There is a Monty Python sketch called "How to Recognize Different Types of Trees From Quite a Long Way Away." Gin comes from juniper berries. Evergreens are about the same color year round. I could live without asparagus. And a few other things.

One of my legal colleagues identified the plant in yesterday's post as fireweed (news to me) using a phone app called PlantSnap. I downloaded it and it's amazing, able to identify flora even from photographs. We will put it to use during our virtual walk around the Climatron. What makes this variety untrue it didn't say.                 

Sunday, February 14, 2021


Somewhere between red Valentine hearts and that Rolling Stones logo with the big curved red tongue, this salacious plant was found yesterday at the botanical garden. I have no idea what it is. I'm more interested in imagery than botany.

It's bitterly cold here by our standards. (Again, no jokes from residents of Frostbite Falls, etc.). There are only a handful of things to do indoors but a new opportunity came around. The Climatron at the botanical garden, that amazing, big, multi-climate geodesic dome, has been reopened on a limited basis. Mrs. C and I took a stroll through yesterday. Since my cupboard is otherwise bare, it looks like days of plants in this space. I promise it will be worth a look.                   

Saturday, February 13, 2021


This is the typical look of midwinter around here. Dull skies, dull ground, rare snow. Cold but not terrible. This scene in the Japanese garden, however, is a lot more attractive than the usual humdrum urban/suburban landscape.

As I got up Saturday morning it was 3 F / -16 C. The oracles say that we are in for bitter cold temperatures and a fair amount of snow Sunday and Monday. We'll see, as 45 liked to say.           

Friday, February 12, 2021


The back of a bench in the botanical garden near the home of Henry Shaw, its founder and benefactor. You try getting a wild bird to sit on your forefinger. But it's all pretty Belle Epoque decor, well suited to its surroundings. Might not feel so good on your back, though.                 

Thursday, February 11, 2021


Getting to the point where I have to start digging around in the archives for something to post. This was found last summer in Forest Park. We came across three or four of them; it would be pretty hard to collect the whole set. It has a feelgood vibe but I don't do Twitter so I don't know what the hashtags are about.             

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


A shuttered nightclub in midtown with a shattered city flag. The name is an acronym that I think dates from World War II. The last three letters stand for "beyond any recognition."

I am so out of material. This is the coldest week of the winter here so far. Now, no comments from you people in Canada or Minnesota or Scandinavia or wherever. We're just sitting here in the middle of the country, neither north or south. By the weekend the forecast is for -8 F / -22 C. I get more and more cold intolerant as I grow older. Maybe I can hook up my camera to a periscope out of the top of my car.             

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


We went back to the small. exquisite Pulitzer Arts Foundation on Saturday. It was the next-to-last day of the show about American artist, Terry Adkins, someone we had not known. The architecture of the place commands as much attention as the work on display.

These  horns closely resemble dungchen, massive horns used in Tibetan Buddhist practice. Adkins and his colleagues sometimes performed on them - it must have been quite an experience. There was to be a demonstration during the exhibition but it was canceled due to the pandemic.   

Monday, February 8, 2021


It's an old meme in this country that children set up a lemonade stand in front of their homes during the summer, trying to make a few pennies offering refreshment to passers-by. 

Not my granddaughter, who declares that she is going to be an artist when she grows up. She set up a stand in the dead of winter, selling her drawings, made to order, in front of our house. Ellie offered delivery to your car window, asking only $5. She later modified the sign to "$5 or less." She was surprisingly successful, in large part because Mrs. C called some of our neighbors who dote on her, giving them a heads up.

Quite the little entrepreneur. Our daughter, whose views are, shall we say, quite à gauche, raised an eyebrow.        

Sunday, February 7, 2021


You have to be 48 inches / 122 cm tall to go out on the ropes and zip line course and our tyke just makes it. Children 12 and younger need an adult to accompany them. No surprise that Ellie made a beeline for the ticket counter. Mom wasn't so crazy about being a few meters in the air, harness or not. The kid would gladly have swung from the rafters.

She's been active lately and I have a few choices for a Madeleine Monday tomorrow.          

Saturday, February 6, 2021


Going through some other recent folders until I can get back out on the street.  Besides  the aquarium, Union Station has a ropes course/zip line/aerial challenge feature.It's scary but perfectly safe. People are suspended  in a strong harness, shown here, connected by a heavy cable to an overhead track. You couldn't fall if you tried. All comers are welcome, even if you are not as lithe as the daring young man on the flying trapeze.                                                

Friday, February 5, 2021


This pic was taken on the same day as the last few posts, some distance north at the old river town of Grafton, Illinois. Long ago there was a booming boat building industry. Times and technology change. The big hit came from the Great Flood of 1993. We flew out of STL at the height of it and it looked like there was a sixth great lake around the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers. 

Part of Grafton is along the riverside and part up the bluffs. The low lying parts were inundated while the section on the hills survived. The population went from something over 1,000 to 600. There is no need for a lighthouse on the river. The pushboats' GPS navigation systems are all that's needed. The lighthouse is just a symbol of return.          

Thursday, February 4, 2021


I wanted to post a picture of an unusual design feature of the Chain of Rocks Bridge but I'm going to have  to go back and find a better viewpoint. For now, we have this marker on the eastern side in Illinois. Route 66, made most famous by St. Louisan Chuck Berry, is no longer an official U.S. highway designation. But as the song had it

Well it goes from St Louis, Joplin, Missouri
Oklahoma City looks ooh, so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstow, San Bernadino    

The original route ran within a moderate walk of my home.. Now it's something to remember and perhaps make a buck off.       

Wednesday, February 3, 2021


This is the Illinois entrance to the old Chain of Rocks Bridge I've discussed lately. Hard to believe that this narrow strip, as part of Route 66, was once the major auto and truck crossing on the central Mississippi. After it went out of business, so to speak, there was talk of demolishing it. The reason it was not razed is that the price of scrap metal was so low it wasn't worth the bother. Now it's managed by the National Park Service and you can walk, run, bike or skate across.             

Tuesday, February 2, 2021


"Castles in the air" is an English expression that means dreams, hopes, or plans that are impossible, unrealistic. We don't have any of that around here, except occasionally about our Missouri state government. (OMG! 😖) We do, however, have a couple of small castles in the water. No half-witted medieval lord would build something so impractical.

Actually, they are disused water pumping stations in the Mississippi. (For some reason, we now get our water out of the Missouri although it has a lot more mud.) The background is the northern tip of the City of St. Louis proper. The outline of the city limits looks like a teardrop, which has some poetry. Anyway, the rapids you see in the background are part of the chain of rocks mentioned in Sunday's post.                   

Monday, February 1, 2021


It's February 1 and the City Daily Photo community marks another theme day. Denton and I chose smile for today, a commodity that's been in short supply for too much of the last year. These charming ladies allowed me to take their photo at our Mardi Gras parade some years ago. Genuine warmth on a cold winter day.

Remember that the March 1 theme is mirror(s). Get creative. Denton and I need to decide on the themes for at least the following three months. We will put a notice on the Facebook page and the portal.