Let the Sunshine In

Let the sunshine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine

It has been cold, rainy, snowy and altogether rather cloudy for quite a few days here in Saint Louis.  That is until Monday.  On Monday the sun finally came out.  I took advantage of this break in the clouds and headed to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  I wanted to collect some blog fodder.

The lot looked full when I got there, but I got a parking space.  Most of the people were there to see the holiday display.  Think model trains and poinsettia.  I skipped this and headed to the Climatron.  There is nothing like stepping out of a Saint Louis winter’s day and immediately into a tropical rainforest.  Your glasses fog up immediately, but they quickly clear, not so the camera.  Eventually I gave up and went to the Temperate House and was able to start taking pictures.  I took the picture of the African Daisy there.  I eventually worked myself back to the Climatron and was able to do some tropical photography.  After a couple of hours, I headed for home.

After lunch I went for a ride in the Park.  It was warmer than Saturday’s ride, but just as windy.  I stopped by Owl Hill to pay my respects to Charles and Sarah.  Afterwards, I was trying to photograph a flicker when a mounted policeman came by.  He wanted to know what I was looking for and seemed a little disappointed when I told him that it was a bird.  He said that his horse was acting a little skittish and thought that it might be smelling a coyote.  He had seen one the day before, he added.  I told him about the owls and gave him directions, but then his radio squawked and he rode off at a canter.

I tooled around for a bit, all the while clocking my miles.  Once I had made my goal (fifteen miles) I turned into the wind and headed for home.  Clawing my way upwind, I passed another Saint Louis Police tableau.  Two squad cars had stopped in the middle of the road, with their lights flashing, in answer to a 911 call.  The caller’s passenger side window had been smashed in and something had been stolen. 

I think that the policemen’s demonstrative response was in part motivated by the Monday paper’s front page article about the rash of car break-ins this year.  The Park was called out as one of four problem neighborhoods.  To add insult to injury, the article quotes a woman, who had come to the Park to bicycle.  Returning to her vehicle after riding she finds a window caved-in and the interior vandalized.  She complained that the responding patrolman had said, “What do you expect, driving a fancy car like that?”  She was driving a Chevy Suburban.

Most of the Park’s attractions have parking lots, but all of them rely upon on street parking for overflow parking.  The Park’s streets curve and snake around.  Patrolling lines of parked cars along them is a difficult job.  The city street sweeper doesn’t come through the Park very often.  The dozen piles of broken auto glass scattered about the Park testify to this problem.  Near the curb they sit undisturbed, glistening in the winter sunlight.  Few people would notice them, except a bicyclist.

Monday night, Anne and I went out to dinner with friends from work.  We went to the Square One Brewery, just off of Lafayette Square.  Clockwise, from the right we have, Don, Dan and Mary, Anne and I and Erin.  Everybody seemed to have a good time.  Well, at least nobody got up and left the table early.  😉

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