Monday, April 15, 2024


What do you do after a half century, when the joints are getting creaky? We went to brunch at our favorite French restaurant. The staff got wind of the occasion and gave us the most exquisite chocolate mousse at the end of our meal.

So now, briefly, back in the routine. I might as well mention it at this point: our daughter, Ellie's mother, died just before the end of the year after, as they say, a long illness. We waited to have the memorial service until winter weather and Easter had passed. It took place on Saturday and was quite beautiful. Family and friends came from coast to coast. Now, life continues for the rest of us. But Carolyn and i wanted to do something to mark our occasion. We arrive in Madrid on Sunday.                      

Sunday, April 14, 2024


A long time ago - everything is a long time ago now -  I was in my middle year of law school. It was St. Patrick's Day and I had only change in my pocket. My roommate and I decided we could not sit at home despite our lack of funds. There was a bar near the university that had cheap beer and pinball machines. It was crushingly crowded and I was literally pushed into the other person in this picture. I grew up in an apartment in New York. She grew up on a farm in Kansas. We were married 50 years ago today. It worked. It really did.

And the adventures we have had. Some people want to sit on a beach in Cancun or buy trophies in luxury shops. Not us. We went to Tibet, here at Everest base camp at 5,200 meters / 17,000 feet. And Tierra del Fuego and Fairbanks and Bangkok and Alice Springs and Cairo. And Paris, over and over again. Wow, did I luck out. She's the best.                

Thursday, April 11, 2024


The sky was getting dark early Monday afternoon (I have not edited the color of the sky in this photo). Granddaughter Ellie, clutching her beloved cloth lambie, stared at the sky with rapture. When totality arrived she let out a whoop. She may remember the day for the rest of her life.

I need to take a break from the blog for a few days to attend to some family matters.                 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


The truck stop where we pulled in for eclipse viewing. One after another, drivers of big tractor-trailers pulled in to watch the show. Several more arrived after I took the top picture. As soon as totality passed they were back on the road. The western view had the necessary emblems - McDonald's, the American flag and British Petroleum.               

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


We scouted traffic online before heading out yesterday morning. Traffic on the Interstate running south from St. Louis appeared to be in gridlock. We decided to head east into Illinois, stopping at a large truck stop parking lot about 55 miles / 88 km away. Plenty of room. I set up the tripod and got lots of ordinary photos of the moon gradually covering the sun.

Just after I took this shot the plate that connects the camera to tripod's ball head decided to come loose. It was the critical moment. I couldn't get it tightened fast enough to get the eclipse filter off the lens for totality. No images of it at all. So I put the camera aside and just looked. I saw the diamond ring effect. The sky was less black than seven years ago, more like sapphire. The wind calmed considerably but the temperature didn't seem to drop that much. Instead of making images, I had the experience.

Most important of all, my granddaughter, Ellie, was spellbound. It was the most fascinating experience of her young life.                     

Monday, April 8, 2024


It is a privilege to see a total eclipse once in a lifetime; we have two in our part of the world in seven years, This picture was taken in 2017. Our family plans to drive about an hour and a half southeast of St. Louis today to get close to the center of totality. The forecast looks good but there are no guarantees. Report tomorrow.                         

Sunday, April 7, 2024


Nothing wrong with phone cameras these days. Under the right circumstances you can get some very good images. Most of us have heard the saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. Nevertheless, I'd rather have my Fujifilm at my side.

Getting everything ready for the eclipse run tomorrow. The weather looks great. St. Louis will get 98-99% totality but not good enough. We will drive about an hour and a half southeast, where totality will last four minutes. Got my -20 stop solar lens filter. Hope we can find a space.                 

Saturday, April 6, 2024


[in Just-]

By e e cummings
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

Friday, April 5, 2024



Spring is looking pretty good here so far. Tulip beds are all over Tower Grove Park. One area contains fake ruins with a pond and fountain. It is a popular place for individual, family and wedding photography. I was sitting on a bench at some distance with a long lens and couldn't resist this.             

Thursday, April 4, 2024


You might think this sculpture at Laumeier was rather obvious - a well-ventilated cabin in the woods, open to every kind of olfactory experience. Those of us with a young person in the household hooked on the book and TV series A Series of Unfortunate Events (like me), might immediately think of the Lucky Smells Saw Mill. You would have to read the explanation, , to find out that it's about dogs. Yeah, I get it, but you would never guess on your own.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024


Doe, a deer, a female deer?. Not exactly. The photo doesn't show anything for scale, but this is a fiberglass piece in Laumeier Sculpture Park, 12 feet / 3.6 meters high. I'm tall, but I could walk under the belly. It is another invention of Tony Tasset, the sculptor who created the eye in Sunday's post.  Good thing it's a herbivore. Except it's fake.              

Tuesday, April 2, 2024


Back at Laumeier Sculpture Park with Ellie's school field trip. What might be going through their heads? The statue is more-or-less classical, with propeller blades or oars or thick cricket bats sprouting from odd locations. The boy on the right just wants a selfie. Ellie, to the left, looks like she has had all she wants. The next boy is far more interested in his phone (sigh). Appreciation takes time. I'll keep working on our kid.             

Monday, April 1, 2024


A tiny bit of the mighty Washington University Medical Center and School of Medicine, including Barnes Jewish Hospital. I've gone in for repairs now and then. It is one of America's top tier medical schools and research facilities and just huge, covering (my best guess) 20 city blocks. And it's never finished. There is constant construction and expansion every time I drive by.

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