Albrecht Nature Playscape

Sequoia Pinecone

Today, we visited the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape. Located in Forest Park, this 17-acre natural playground feature nine different environments, allowing visitors to connect with nature, through multiple facets. Located on the backside of Government Hill, near the World’s Fair Pavilion, its two years of development culminated in the Playscape’s grand opening just before we returned to town. This free destination includes sand play areas, willow tunnels, stump steppers, boulders, rocks and much more. Today is a hot one, so water features were a big hit with the kids. Water must be hand pumped by the children. One particular watering hole had not only water, but also mud. Thoughtful moms had the foresight to bring a change of clothes. The Playscape cascades down one side of Government Hill, with paths connecting the different areas. Its opening was delayed due to Covid, but this only gave many of the plantings more time to establish themselves. Although, the Playscape opened to the public last week, work on it is still ongoing. A flatbed truck full of young trees was being unloaded as we toured the grounds. The Playscape is a joint venture between the City of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever, a charity dedicated to the improvement of the park and of which Anne is a member. Unrelated to the Playscape, the photo with this post shows Anne holding a Sequoia pinecone. Mighty trees come from a small beginning.

Almost, But Not Quite

Tommy Edman

The Cardinals had sort of a fussy game on Sunday. It rained in the first inning, but that didn’t stop play. The Reds managed to score during this period of wetness and went on to score in the second and third innings. After three the Redbirds were down seven to nothing. Thing’s kind of quieted down until the Cardinals came roaring back and scored seven runs in one inning to tie up the game, but Saint Louis couldn’t close the deal and allowed one more Cincinnati run that gave them the lead again and eventually the game. This loss made for five in a row, leaving the Cardinals in a terrible slump. People were kind of fried after sitting in the hot sun all afternoon. Forty days in the desert meant that I didn’t get sunburned. I didn’t have to cook dinner, because we ordered pizza instead. Joanie joined us then. This morning, we went to the zoo. Bathing elephants were probably the highlight of our visit. For lunch we hit Blueberry Hill and then CRAB departed town.

Bath Time

Little Blue Heron & Muskrats

Yesterday, we went back to Forest Park to walk again and for the second day in a row we flushed a Little Blue Heron from beneath a bridge, a bridge not far from where we had seen it the day before. This time it only flew a little bit away and I was able to get its picture. Not long afterwards we saw not one, but two muskrats swimming along in the river. First one and then the other, each with a wad of vegetation in its mouth, paddled beneath us as we were standing on the old Victorian wrought iron bridge, a bridge that predates the founding of Forest Park. Just a little bit away from the bridge they each disappeared into a hole in the river bank. I’m guessing that they are mates and that they are building a nest there to raise little muskrats. Call it muskrat love.

The Missouri Republicans have been on full display with their awfulness as of late. Yesterday, Josh Hawley, our junior senator showed how truly awful he really is by being the sole senator to vote against the COVID-19 Hate Crimes bill. I guess he loves hate, Ninety-four senators voted for the bill and only Hawley voted against it. Why he could not have just abstained like the five other senators that didn’t vote for bill is a mystery to me. I guess he wanted to standout. As bad as Hawley is, Missouri might be electing an even worse senator for our other seat in 2022. The current senator, Roy Blunt, has announced his retirement and has set off a race within the GOP to replace him. The lead candidate seems to be Eric Greitens our disgraced former governor who was force out of office by his own party for numerous wrong doings, including allegedly taking pornographic photos of his girl friend while she was tied up, in the basement of his family’s home. Greitens has been busy kissing the trumpster fire ass as of late, so he looks like the lead candidate. But Greitens isn’t the only sweetheart vying for this senate seat. Remember Mark McCloskey, the gun wielding St. Louis attorney who threatened peaceful Black Lives Matter marchers last year? He too is talking about throwing his hat into the ring. What a pair those two make and if one of them gets elected then what a peach of a pair of senators will Missouri then have.

Little Herons

Little Green Heron

Yesterday, we walked in Forest Park. No owls, but we did see two new birds, at least new for this season. Pictured is a Little Green Heron that Anne snapped. This is the first time this year that we’ve seen one in the park. They are pretty common in Forest Park. It’s good to see that they’ve come back. We also saw a Little Blue Heron, which is pretty rare in the park. I’ve only ever seen one in the park two other times. It got flushed from under a bridge, when a noisy dump truck rumbled over the bridge and it and an egret flew away before we could get a good picture of it. Anne got seventeen species for the day.