The MoBots

On Sunday, we took the day off from biking.  I know that it sounds pedestrian, but we walked instead.  Not having to deal with the bicycles let us get out of the house earlier than normal.  We walked in Tower Grove Park and then went out to breakfast at the City Diner.  After breakfast we went to the Gardens.  Not a particularly active day, but we were out and about for five hours.  Anne and I both agree that we like our Gardens.  They always look great, we never have to do a lick of work in them and they are available for our personal use on any pleasant day.  It is even better than having a friend with a boat, you don’t have to suck up to the Gardens to have a good time.

I call the first photo with this post, Victorian Water Lily Pads from another Planet.  Anne took this picture using her iPhone.  Apple and Microsoft just can’t see anything the same way.  When our iPhone pictures are imported to our PC they end up being inverted.  Normally this is a major pain, because you have to rotate each picture, but on this occasion the inverted image, combined with the reflected viewpoint of the picture, led to an interesting shot.

The second photo shows the artwork inside the dome that sits atop the wooden arbor, or chardak, that is a central feature of the Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Ottoman Garden.  This garden is a relatively new addition to the botanical gardens.  It is a small, quarter acre, walled garden that attempts to capture the look and feel of a 16th century Middle Eastern garden.  I say attempts, because there are no surviving examples of this class of gardening to copy. 

The fact that Istanbul and Saint Louis are at about the same latitude, makes this garden too hot to enjoy during the day in the summertime.  Like its Arabian Night’s prototype was, this garden is best enjoyed on a summer’s evening or in our case an Indian summer day’s morning.  The Ottoman Garden is tucked away behind the Linnean House conservatory, whose claim to fame is that of being the oldest continuously operating greenhouse, west of the Mississippi.

The last photo shows a Monarch Butterfly on Zinnias.  I like it because it is so colorful.  Speaking of colors, it seemed that almost every winning college football team had a representative fan at the gardens, showing off their school’s colors.  There were plenty of Mizzou fans there.  I saw a Ohio State fan too.  Maybe because we were looking for them, but maybe there are really that many of them, but we saw a lot of Michigan State fans at the gardens on Sunday.

The Pumpkin That Took Over

I guess that it has been a while since when I’ve last mowed the backyard.  Anne took the first picture with this post and sent it to me at work.  She thought that it was a hoot.  Our neighbor’s pumpkin plant had jumped the fence and sent out this huge creeper.  On closer investigation, I took the second picture that shows the fruit of this plant.  We don’t know if it is the only pumpkin or not.  If it is we’ll let our neighbor’s have it.  They are good neighbors.  It there is more than one pumpkin maybe we can both have one.

Dan called and I spoke with him about school.  He registered this week and started his classes at CalArts.  His registration was a bit different then what I have experienced.  All the teachers set up tables and all the students lined up at the different tables to enroll.  Some of the teachers just rubber stamped Dan’s enrollment request, while other asked him some questions first.  He got all the classes that he wanted.  Here is the course list:

  • As It Happens
  • Arts by the Numbers
  • Keeping It Real
  • Visiting Artist Forum
  • MFA 1 Critique

Dan described what each class is about.  The following is my imperfect recollection of what he said.  Art by the Numbers has to do with the relationship between numbers and art.  According to Dan the class does not involve painting ponies by the numbers kits from Wal-Mart though.  Keeping it Real is being taught by a visiting professor, Harry Dodge.  Here is a New York Times article about him.  The Visiting Artist Forum and the MFA Critique are both seminars.

Friday evening we dropped Dave off at the airport on our way out-of-town.  He is flying to Washington DC.  He starts his internship this next week.  Anne and I continued on to Columbia, MO, to ride this year’s MS-150.  We checked into the hotel and then headed out to the fairgrounds for a Friday night pre-ride supper.  Our congressman, Rus Carnahan and his wife stopped by the Team Kaldi’s.  I was confused at first, Columbia is at least a hundred miles outside of his district, then he spoke.  He is the chairman of the House MS committee.  I wish that I was smiling though.