A Walk in the Park

Anne and I couldn’t muster the initiative to go bicycling today, so instead we drove over to Forest Park and then walked around in it. We parked at the history museum and then walked up to the art museum via the Grand Basin. On the way, we saw a Bald eagle who was overlooking the Grand Basin. He patiently posed for us. We huffed and puffed up Art Hill and entered the art museum. I made a beeline for an exhibit that I had been wanting to see, since I first read about it, last October, in the New York Times. Photographer Nicholas Nixon has compiled 40 photographs over 40 years of the four Brown sisters. This show debuted at a gallery in NYC, but is now on display here in Saint Louis. I’ve sampled the first and the last photos in his series, which don’t do justice to the originals, but it was the best that I could do. Starting in 1975, with from left to right, Heather (age 23), Mimi (15), Bebe (25) and Laurie (21), Mr. Nixon photographed them every year for now forty years, in 2014. He is married to the oldest, Bebe. The parallels between his family and my own, with my own two sisters-in-laws makes this show especially poignant for me. Checkout this link to the NY Times review, where all of the pictures are faithfully rendered. The progression through the years is amazing. On the way back we encountered the two stilt-walkers who were obviously glad to be photographed. The Bald eagle was still sitting in its tree too.

Janes, Planes and Automobiles

We started our day in the Riverlands Conservation Area.  Things started there rather inauspiciously.  The ice and the swans were gone, two of the big winter draws and we weren’t to sure about the Bald Eagles either.  We tried driving to the confluence, but there was water running over the road.  Even though Jane was wearing her Tevas, we couldn’t coax her into being a pathfinder for us.

We did eventually get to see some Bald Eagles.  The picture above shows a pair of them.  One of them is playing with a newly caught fish for lunch.  It was Friday, so it must be fish.  We also saw pelicans and Great Blue Herons.

When you are on vacation, the last thing that you want is for work to intrude, but this wasn’t so bad.  Jane spotted a  Hornet flying over and when I finally got a picture of it, it was in the sun.  Still, I think that it made a neat shot.

Our next stop was lunch at Fast Eddie’s Bon Air.  To put it plain and simple this is a biker bar and not the cyclist variety.  It being a weekday and still only lunch, things were still pretty tame.  I don’t think that I have enough Harley-Wear to be there after dark.

After lunch we started working our way down the east side of the Mississippi, also know as Illinois.  We first stopped at the Mel-Price Lock and Dam.  It was there that Jane saw this not so little critter, pictured below.  With its webbed feet and flat tail it is definitely a beaver.  It seemed a little disoriented.  Maybe the recent flooding has created that.

At first we were not sure what it was.  It was sitting at the base of the visitor’s centers section of the flood wall.  It only seemed to sense us when I moved a little bit up wind. This encounter offered the opportunity to get many photos.  I chose this photo, because it showed the beaver’s feet.  I got other shots that show the beaver’s tail plainly.

Our next stop south was the Lewis and Clark Museum near Hartford.  It adequately color commentary covers the expedition.  Some of display’s statements raise questions, that were never answered.

Pictured below are Anne and Jane in an old fire truck on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.  This bridge was also part of the Mother Road, Route 66.  Walking across the bridge gave us a good gauge of the extent of the flooding.

After the Chain of Rocks, we drove downtown and stopped at the Arch.  We toured the grounds and then headed home.  On the way home we stopped at the City Garden.  You could tell that this garden was designed for the warmer months.  Most of the fountains were still not operating yet.

Jane had said that her favorite Saint Patrick’s dining experience were reubens. Anne fixed reubens for dinner.  Yummy!  Michigan State won their bracket.  Life does not get much better than this.