A Superior Sunset

A Superior Sunset

Perfect beach day! It was very Goldilocks out, not too hot, not too cold. There was plenty of sunshine and NO rain. Harry hung the second hooked rug above the fireplace and everyone is pleased with it. Anne had sown a sleeve and inserted a dowel into it, making putting it up quite easy. On our first day here, I had distributed the decorative chair pillows as I saw fit. It’s been two-weeks now and there have been no complaints. So, either I did it right or it doesn’t matter anymore. While walking the beach, we spotted the merganser babies. We haven’t seen them in a week. They are down to eight now, but are much bigger than before. Anne learned where the bald eagle nest is on Cedar Point. We’ll be heading over there this week, to check it out. The big news is that the northern lights are forecasted to be visible tonight. A freak solar flare is bombarding the Earth’s ionosphere, making it likely that we’ll see something. Anne and I will drive over to Naomikong to maximize our viewing experience. Nestled in the Hiawatha National Forest, along the shore of Lake Superior, I have the perfect dark skies observation site already picked out. As of writing, the skies are cloudless. It’s not too cold and there is still a bit of a breeze to keep the bugs away. Wish us luck!

My Favorite Photos of 2016

As the year 2016 winds down a there is an air of foreboding towards the new year. On this new year’s eve though, I choose not to look forward, but to look back over the past year and to only look for the beauty and happiness that was there. I’ve chosen a dozen photos here that I liked and that captured some of the good things that I have seen this past year. Here is a synopsis of the photos:

  • A brown pelican is caught swallowing a skate off of Pacific Grove, CA
  • A pair of surfers as seen looking down from the pier in Monterey
  • Me swimming in Lake Superior at sunset and yes it was cold
  • White fluffy clouds over Lake Superior on a beautifully warm beach day
  • Quebec City ferries crisscrossing the Saint Lawrence River
  • Women’s Category 1 crit race line-up at Lafayette Square in Saint Louis
  • Yosemite’s Half Dome shot in the black and white style of Ansel Adams
  • Boaters on ‘The Lake’ in Central Park, New York City at sundown
  • A honey bee on a cone flower at the botanical gardens, Saint Louis
  • Historic Alley Springs Mill, which is located is rural Missouri 
  • White Trumpet Pitcher Plant at the botanical gardens, Saint Louis
  • Snapping Turtle by the bike path in Forest Park, Saint Louis

I chose these pictures with an emphasis on nature and outdoors activities. I also selected these twelve photos as a representative cross-section of the places that I’ve been to over the last year and the different things that I saw there that were both beautiful and interesting. Enjoy! We will see you on the flip side and have a happy New Year! I mean, how bad could it really be? Yeah that bad.

The Riverlands

No Black Friday sales for us. Although, I did snag a pretty good deal on an oil change. Call me sentimental that way. No, we avoided the crush of the malls in favor of becoming attuned to nature today. Anne and I trekked up to the Riverlands, our favorite neighborhood bird sanctuary. At first, it looked like we might have to go home empty-handed, but then we spied the pictured quartet of pelicans. We were circling around to the designer bird blind on the backside of Heron Pond, when we found the swans. There were easily a hundred of them. They were sitting out in some farmer’s cornfield, among the stubble, just sleeping or munching on the remains of this year’s corn crop. They like to forage in the surrounding cornfields during the day, but then return to the Riverlands before nightfall. They were quite content being there, at least until some mourners arrived to pay their respects at a small nearby rural cemetery. It wasn’t the mourners themselves that riled the swans, but their Great Dane. First in ones and twos, but soon with gathering numbers the swans took flight and scattered further afield, away from the dog. We never did make it to the Wash U architecture school designed bird blind, but we’ve seen it before. The big news of the day wasn’t the birds though. We discovered another wildlife refuge, Cora Island, which is part of the Big Muddy refuge. That’s right, Cora Island is on the Missouri River, while the neighboring Riverlands is on the Mississippi and in-between them both is Ted Jones State Park. Which is on both rivers, because it is at the confluence of these two mighty rivers. From the parking lot, we walked to Cora Island, but couldn’t cross over to it. The water is rather high right now, but we’ll come back again and explore this place some more later.