The noisy things in our lives get our attention, and sometimes that’s good. After all, the squeaky wheel needs the grease! But when we find ourselves overwhelmed by life’s demands, it is in the quiet things where we can find solace. Forest Park, in spite of its location in the center of human activity, offers many quiet rooms where peace and joy can be found. Today I wondered through two of those rooms and carefully examined the furniture. Here is what I thought about.Read More
Don’t look at me, I didn’t do it. That darn swamp was low water when I got there! Which is odd, considering how much rain we have been having. I stood on the edge of it in my muck boots and watched the dragonflies hover low over the duckweed, flitting back-and-forth. A tiny frog skipped across the water to get away from me as I was lurking in the tall reeds and cattails along the edge of the murky waters, my eyes itching from nature’s fecundity. A red winged blackbird bird swoopedRead More
Today I was the lone free ranger, riding my faithful steed up hills and down, through puddles (we had another bodacious storm last night) and all around the park, averaging 12.4 mph for an hour and fifteen minute ride. My maximum speed was 34 mph, and I met some new people along the way. According to my Strava app, I set a couple of personal records but only burned 499 calories. Sigh. Well, it’s a start.Read More
Today, a new day in the city of the French King and we, a small sampling of the avifauna obsessed citizens of this region, rendezvoused at 08:15 in front of the Forest Park Visitor Center just in time to be handed binoculars and process on the First Saturday of the Month Bird Walk.Read More
Tonight we were thinking the unthinkable (I don’t know how such a thing could possibly happen, but it certainly seemed to do just that. I took the spouse with me to aid in my adventures and whom should we see, in the crowded confines of the park, but Mark, the friendly neighborhood owlologist embarking on his nightly search for Forest Park’s own super predator, Charles the great horned owl.Read More
Still working on those dance photos, all 2000 of them! So once more it was late when I transported myself to the park. Really late. Almost the next day. Sometimes I feel I am over there so much that I meet myself leaving as I am arriving.Read More
I don’t think we have had three straight days this spring without some rain. The Father of Waters has put on a lot of weight, and is starting to throw that weight around a bit more than we humans care for, too. Today, it rained cats and dogs. I saw them fall, howling and hissing on the roof of my studio, and scratching at my window. I was working on sorting dance print orders, helping shooters in my studio and generally taking care of business and working overtime, so that when I reachedRead More
Standing next to the Dwight Davis tennis Center the scent of fresh cut grass is heavy in the air. It’s a good smell, and a light breeze is cooling me, the birds are absolutely ecstatic about the end of the day and a few people are on the tennis courts bopping balls back-and-forth in a not very definitive fashion.Read More
I hope you didn’t miss the African Arts Festival. There was a lot of great food, African Art, various artifacts and lots of books! I bought a book about dads for my grandsons (who have a fabulous dad) and the author signed it for me. Oh the people I met! All of them interesting and unique. It makes me want to sing their names as a song! We’ll lay down a beat with steel brush on snare and disc,Read More
I parked my car on Government Drive, before I get to the Wells traffic circle, get out, open up my camera bag, and a mosquito settles on my nose. I love St. Louis in the summertime!
My plant identifier (Siri, whom I use to email myself notes as I walk, transcribes this word as “addenda fire”) tells me this is Korean Mint (“Karin meant” in Siri Speak) so naturally I break off a leaf and pinch it to smell the oils. It has a strong, pungent odor that is not unpleasant, but not particularly minty.Read More
Tonight was Owl Prowl night with the one and only Mark Glenshaw (AKA the Owl Man). I’m not certain Owl Man is the best name for Mark, even though he does look a bit owlish, but he seems fine with it, so who am I to say otherwise? I got to the park almost an hour early and parked near the General before wandering through the Deer Lake swamp and savanna. Mallards flew fast and low across deer lake as I walked past it, but they always fly fast, it’s a duck thing.Read More
Walking around the history museum late in the day certainly seemed like a good idea; except for the gnats. Gnats were everywhere. They buzzed my ears and my eyes. I kept swatting them away, but then their cousins would show up to join the fun. They weren’t quite so bad when they were just crawling down my neck, or flying in circles around my head, but when they flew into myRead More
Take a dozen photographers, toss in 4 or 5 models, add lights and cameras and pour into a great location (such as the Grand Basin at Forest Park), and I can guarantee a good time will be had by all. Yours Truly was the organizer of the event, and along with Sargent First Class (Ret.) A. G. ShawRead More
While there are many wonderful acres of savanna, woods, water, garden and lawn in Forest Park, I would estimate that about 10% of the land area there is impermeable. Buildings, parking lots, tennis and racketball courts, the bicycle paths and sidewalks, plus 11 to 12 miles of streets, not counting the half mile of Forest Park Parkway or the 2 miles and three major interchanges of I64,Read More
I am on my bicycle again today, in spite of the 53 degree temperature this morning. I ride through the park to my studio to work on photos before heading home for lunch and a few more miles of riding. It’s along the prairie boardwalks north of the Steinberg rink that I alarm the black crowned night heron, who in turn startles me with a sudden takeoff from under the boardwalk a few feet from where I am photographing water lilies and false indigo. I find him closer to the skating rink, slowly stalking the edge of the waters, eager to introduce himself to some unwary citizenRead More
It is, in fact, a beautiful day in the neighborhood, as Fred would say. The temperature is in the low 60s, the sun is shining brightly, and at 8 o’clock I’m off for a bicycle ride around America’s premier urban park. Near the picnic grounds along Wells Drive just past the traffic circle at Government Drive, I spy a young cheerful looking young man spraying herbicide in one of the rock line and water channels in the park. I stop to get a photo, but he is a little bit reluctant to talk to me.Read More
It’s Sunday evening and I’m out with my buddy Shaw, but only for an hour as he is eager to see totally unrealistic fight scenes and hundreds of people get killed in the latest John Wick film. So we haunt the Hampton traffic circle by the zoo and photograph the allium planted there before getting some closeup photos of the Albert Paley Cor-Ten steel sculpture entitledRead More
It was a lazy Saturday and though work seemed to go really s l o w, the day was rushing past. It was late in the afternoon when I packed wife and dog into the car and drove to Jefferson lake to prowl for photos.
Rigby, the mostly noble and protective hound, proceeded to race excitedly around trees and water and anything else he could find. I intervened as he was dragging my wife into the lake, and told him in no uncertain terms that he was not to get mama wet. Still,Read More
It’s late in the day and I am feeling lazy, so a sit by the dock of a bay (more or less) is just what I have in mind. I load up the truck with cameras and wife and head to the park to hang in the Grand Basin. As I watch the day slip away, I entertain myself with a bit of people watching. Folks on their phones. Graduates and their families, a bit of animal life both heavenly and mundane, tributes to the sun and a reflection on the presence of the observer on the observed.
My back is killing me and I need to limber up, so onto Roamiette, my trusty bicycle I hop and take off for Forest Park. Flying down Kraft Avenue toward the park I am able to hit 33.5 MPH, but in the park itself I am not able to get beyond 29 MPH. It could be because of the wind, which seems to be coming from whichever direction I am headed, or it could be because I’m a bit out of shape from my diet of strawberry ice cream and chocolate chips.
So I race around the park, huffing and puffingRead More