Close Encounters Sunset


Close Encounters Sunset

Anne and I fixed dinner tonight. The main course was steaks. As sides there was corn-on-the-cob and asparagus. The asparagus was roasted, after it had been drizzled with olive oil, parmesan cheese and spices. The asparagus turned out really well and this is now my new go to recipe for that vegetable. Anne made a mushroom sauce to put over the steak, which was tasty and I was fortunate that she did, because the steaks ended up being a little over done. The electric stove broils a lot faster than our gas one. Dessert was the diner’s pièce de résistance. Anne made a rhubarb and strawberry crisp. While we finished all of the rest of dinner, we still have plenty of crisp left to enjoy tomorrow.

During dinner prep, I chanced to lookout on the lake and saw a flotilla of almost fifty cormorants swimming close to shore, right in front of the cabin. I snapped some pics of them, but we’ll have to wait and see if any of them turnout well enough to show. Cormorants are not particularly photogenic birds, IMHO. It has been an exceptionally still and windless day. The calm before the storm. There was some wind, but it was an east wind, which is always blocked by the trees here and on the beach results in an offshore breeze. When I walked the beach this morning I was initially greeted by the audible and steady hum of insects that were still in the woods and the beach grass, but they stayed there and I was able to walk the beach in peace. Later, Anne joined me and we did the circuit again.

This sunset photo is from the other day. Tonight’s sunset is masked behind a uniform and thick grey blanket of clouds. This photo reminded me of the cloud formation in the climax scene of the Spielberg movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Looking at this photo, with the sun peaking through its circular base, you can almost see the mothership poking through to reveal itself.

Boats on Parade


The Saginaw in the Soo Locks

Bubs, Anne and I trooped down to Portage this morning, to watch some of the lake boats lock through. Six down bound boats had just passed the cabin and we figured that we could catch some of them there. This chasing of lake boats from the cabin was once a thing, back in the day, when cars were slower and people faster. We caught the last two boats in the chain. The pictured Saginaw being the last of the six. In the lock’s observation platform Bubs was able to regale the tourists with tales of her childhood, when she could cross the lock gates that are now walled off to all. We watched the tug Missouri lock-up. She was on her way up to rendezvous with a down bound salty. Interestingly, she shared the lock with a river tug and her barge. The river tug was called the Sir Kolb and is ported in Jeff City, MO. When the Saginaw blew her departure horn a little boy asked, “Who farted?”

After boats, we decamped to Karl’s, the restaurant on Portage next to the putt-putt golf course. A few years ago, Karl’s had acquired Superior Coast Winery, then just another store down Portage. Now that acquisition has been expanded to include Superior Coast Brewery. Anne and I each ordered one of their ciders, raspberry and blackberry. Their colors were almost identical, but their flavors were distinctive. I ordered a soup and sandwich combo, a half Reuben sandwich and a special of the day, a cup of Reuben soup. It was a great combination.

The big deal in town today was not the boats, but a basketball tournament down on Portage. The games were 3-on-3 half-court. I later learned that there were age categories and that teams qualified based upon the age of their eldest player. Add on all of that that no fouls were being called, I think that we could have competed. Bubs could have fiercely beat the other team with her Staff-of-Power.

After all of this, we still made it back to the beach, through the rain, again. On my first walk down the beach, I flushed an eagle from the shoreline trees. It came back, but I was still unable to get a decent photo of it. Tonight’s evening sky was spectacular. Actually, the whole day was a pretty good photo-op. It is amazing what a little sun and blue sky can do to improve ones life outlook.

Never Count the Ducklings


Never Count the Ducklings

Anne and I, in a fit of domesticity, labored mightily in the kitchen this morning. We first worked together to make banana bread, which turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I expect that it will serve well as breakfast fare, in the days to come. On the other dish, Anne did most of the heavy lifting, but I helped. That dish was a kale salad that we took to Charles and Dashi’s 4th of July picnic. The kale is really just a parmesan crisp delivery system. This is an annual event that the entire beach participates in. Harry was of course the life of the party. Harry, Bubs, we all had a good time at the party. Anne and I toured the new lighthouse, which is even more fantastic on the inside than it is on the out. We climbed all the way to its top. FYI, there are 12 baby mergansers in the photo.

Double Arch


Anne at Double Arch

We wanted to join the Team Kaldi’s ride this morning, but it left the De Mun shop at eight and we were still in bed at that time. So, we launched when we were good and ready, did a turn of Forest Park, which was marginally less crowded today, than it was yesterday and ended up at Kaldi’s for a little something. Call it second breakfast or call it an early lunch, just don’t call me late to the table. The sparrows on the patio were fierce. Anne had a Chai tea on ice and I had a regular latté. We shared a chocolate croissant from Companion and a Blueberry scone with Key Lime icing, sort of a Missouri Compromise. When we were on our way home, we crossed paths with the team ride at St. Mary’s. They were returning to Kaldi’s and we shouted our excuses, as feeble as they might be, as we passed each other. 

Taste of Maplewood


We moseyed over to Maplewood today, for a little something and participated in the Taste of Maplewood. Anne of course was the belle of the ball there and I got to meet a lot of people that she knows from school. We didn’t eat a whole lot. I had a Spanish fried rice dish and Anne had ceviche. Then we each had a little something for dessert. The MRH-HS Rhythm and Blues Band serenaded us.

A Flamboyance of Flamingos


Flamingo

I went to the zoo this week, the first that I’ve been there, since before London and it was a real zoo, with millions of screaming children running all about. It has warmed up and most of the animals are now out. This includes the flamingos, who winter in the old building that was once used for the sea lion show. The sea lions have a new facility, so they don’t use it any more. The flamingos are not on display in this building, but you can glimpse them through the windows. More importantly, they can see you too and it gets them pretty agitated, so I don’t like to do it often. This week, they were reinstalled in their summer quarters in the zoo’s central lake. While observing them, I overheard two women discuss how they were moved from their winter to summer quarters. Apparently, one keeper per bird, holds the bird with arms outstretched, one hand holding the neck and the other the legs. They try to keep the birds perfectly straight. I guess that this helps to subdue them for the quarter-mile hike.

I had lunch today with the Perma-Bear. We met at the Sugarfire Smokehouse in Olivette, which is really helping to put Saint Louis on the map as a kingpin in the barbecue biz. We caught up with each other on old times. I got to tell him about my travels and I was surprised with his news of the lengthy list of people who have left the company. I guess that I got out at a good time.