Snow in July?


Snow in July?

Snow in July?

The polar vortex has made this last week, the traditionally hottest week of the year here in Sweat Louis downright pleasant. I can only wonder how cold it is up north, while it is so nice down here. Usually, when it is impossibly hot here in the Lou, the cabin’s weather is down right pleasant. This midsummer arctic blast has been a nice change of pace. Unfortunately, all good things eventually come to an end and forecasts say that this next week will see a return to our normally hot, hot weather, but not until the polar vortex left a freak dusting of snow here in Saint Louis, in July. Yes, it got that cold one night. No, not really, this white stuff isn’t frozen water, but cottonwood seeds on a neighbor’s lawn.

Green Heron on the Boardwalk


Green Heron on the Boardwalk

Green Heron on the Boardwalk

The secret of good avian photography is getting close to the subject and then being able to hang there long enough to get a decent shot. I was fortunate with this photo that I was able to get within fifty feet of the heron. In a rush I fired off three shots, of which only the last was any good. Still, a pretty good photo, if I do say so myself. Kudos to the highly cooperative talent, a couple on bikes came rumbling through just scant seconds later.

Forest Park Directrix


Tucked away on the northern edge of Forest Park’s central ball fields is a short red granite marker that commemorates a nineteenth century meteorological station that was once in this location. I posted about it in 2010, but since then I had lost track of its location. Today, I relocated it. I mean, I found it again. I did not move it. Finding this marker was my going into mission for today’s bike ride. Every bike ride should have a mission. The marker is pictures above. Below are the inscriptions on the marker’s four faces:

  • 80.073 feet above City Directrix, Forest Park Meteorological Station, 1890
  • 492.783 feet above mean Tide Gulf of Mexico
  • Latitude 38° 38’ 24”.03
  • Longitude 90° 16’ 28”.32

In 1890, a police substation building was built at this location. The following year, in 1891, a meteorological observatory was established in the tower of this building. Also in 1891, the Park Commissioner placed this red granite stone outside the building, on which is inscribed the exact position and elevation of the point on which it stands. The police no longer occupied the substation after 1894, when a larger mounted police station was built elsewhere in the park. The building was then used for housing park employees. The weather station in the tower continued to operate until at least 1896. The building itself was torn down sometime around 1960, but the granite marker remained.