Thursday, September 16, 2021


The State of Washington has a complex inland water system with Puget Sound and its many branches. There is an extensive state-run ferry system to get people and cars where they need to go. This picture of a departure from downtown Seattle was taken last night while we had dinner on the waterfront.             

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


This is a travel day for us. Our original plan would have put us in Vienna right about now but Covid travel restrictions in Europe made that impractical. So, change of plans. We're off to Seattle today where we have friends, there is lots to see and do and photograph, and it's cool and moist (which St. Louis is not). This picture was taken a few years ago looking up at the Space Needle from the Dale Chihuly glass museum and garden.          

Monday, September 13, 2021


Sometimes words cannot encompass an experience that appears before you. It is only possible to open the eyes and become part of what is happening.

We are traveling tomorrow. Mrs. C and I will be away for 10 days with a significant change of scene. I think we'll have a preview.            

Sunday, September 12, 2021


From certain angles the flags we saw yesterday seem go on and on. It is fitting to honor those who gave their lives for all of us, although we may disagree with their commanders' intentions. What saddens and frightens me is how many of our countrymen are willing to violate what I thought the flag stood for and create a de facto dictatorship of the minority.            

Saturday, September 11, 2021


There is an event on Art Hill this week called Flags of Valor, More than 7,000 American flags have been planted in orderly military rows, one for each  member of the armed forces who died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. It is overwhelming and this shows only a small part. A lot of people were there on a sunny Friday afternoon. 

No American who was old enough at the time can forget where they were when they heard the news. I don't.          

Friday, September 10, 2021


A wide view of some of the flood wall at Paint Louis. The Mississippi lies a short distance behind. This is freshly painted - you can see one of the artists in the left background - but I have no idea what it means. Not the first time that has happened to me with a painting. I just like the color and scope of the scene.          

Thursday, September 9, 2021


A large section of the Paint Louis mural wall. The times we live in may be the inspiration for the work. 

The artist dangling from the ladder at the far right makes me queasy. It was interesting to see how ladder design has changes for improved safety.             

Wednesday, September 8, 2021


Back to Paint Louis. I may need to use pictures from there until we arrive in Seattle next week. (We were going to arrive in Prague today but that went down the drain.) Lots of colorful things to look at so no problem.

The wall faces roughly west so on a sunny day it becomes brilliant in late afternoon light. Of course, dramatic shadows, too.               

Tuesday, September 7, 2021


Back at the Japanese Festival. The show these sumo wrestlers put on is always a big hit. Perhaps it is in part due to their inhuman scale but their speed, flexibility and strength is awesome. One of them demonstrated doing sitting splits with the legs almost straight out to the sides. It's an entry level requirement. And the whole thing is over in a matter of seconds - all you have to do is throw your opponent to the ground or push him out of the ring.

It's interesting that neither of these champions is Japanese (although the one in the background is). The one in front is Egyptian and the other is American.          

Monday, September 6, 2021


I went back to the Japanese Festival at the botanical garden yesterday. The weather was better but it was impossibly crowded; I lasted two hours before I had enough. At one point I sat on a bench, picked up the camera with the telephoto and tried to take sniper shots. This one worked. Is her costume based on an anime character? That's beyond my experience even though I've been to Japan a few times and have plans to return.           

Sunday, September 5, 2021


There is a big Japanese festival at our big botanical garden over Labor Day weekend. It rained until mid-afternoon, when I went over for a while. A lot of the activities were canceled due to the weather or soggy grounds. The ever-popular sumo demonstration was in an amphitheater with a covered stage. Got some pretty good shots.

Sunday's forecast is good. I plan to go back to the garden in the morning and then return to Paint Louis in the afternoon.                 

Saturday, September 4, 2021


Paint Louis, which takes place here over Labor Day weekend, is a big international gathering of graffiti artists, taggers, DJs and hip-hoppers. It's arguably the largest single graffiti event in the world, covering a 2 mile / 3.2 km stretch of the Mississippi River floodwall south of the Arch, all sanctioned by the city. The result is considered the longest mural in existence by the Guinness Book of World Records. 

I went for a look late yesterday afternoon and things were just getting started. It's supposed to rain most of today and I don't know how it will affect the schedule. I'll be back when the weather permits.                

Friday, September 3, 2021


Part of the mechanism that moves the wheels on the Big Boy locomotive. I have no idea how it actually works. There is a big water tank and boiler, formerly powered by coal and now by diesel fuel. That creates steam which makes something or other turn, which in turn is connected to a series of levers and wheels. That's as far as I go with the concept.                 

Thursday, September 2, 2021


I confess that I didn't work very hard on this theme so I dipped into some old archives. The common meaning of this phrase refers to something that is obvious but unnoticed but I took it literally. I wonder if the horse thinks she smells good,          


The Big Boy locomotive didn't travel alone. Several other cars trailed behind, including a modern engine for some extra push. The companion cars didn't seem to have a purpose other than to show off the primary colors of the Union Pacific railroad. Why or how would you experience the UP? Private rail companies don't carry passengers in this country.              

Wednesday, September 1, 2021


As the massive Big Boy locomotive left St. Louis it made a stop Monday morning in the suburb of Kirkwood, a town big enough to have an Amtrak station. There was quite a crowd but I squeezed my way to the front, looking for a clear shot. The backlighting was terrible but this will do. 

As the train pulled to a stop right in front of me it let go a mighty blast of its whistle. Ow! The sound meter on my phone said it was 113 db but I bet the reading would have been higher if the phone hadn't been tucked into a holster. Half a minute of that can cause ear damage according to some web page I found (so it must be true). I haven't experienced the like since maybe the last Led Zeppelin concert I attended.