Thursday, August 30, 2007

Anticipating Autumn

September, the days shorten, school is back and the promise of Autumn's nip is in the air. We load up into the car and take first the Winfield Ferry to Brussels Island, passing century old farmsteads, then hopping onto the Brussels Ferry to Grafton for our annual apple picking. The trip to Eckert's Orchard is half the fun. A wagon ride to the orchard, photo op's of apple picking and one or two juicy samples we are ready for "act two" of this annual pilgrimage, the Fin Inn, which our youngest nephew dubbed "The place we go to see the live fish and eat the dead fish." The Fin Inn features room length fish aquariums that hold species indigenous to the Mississippi: intimidating Alligator Snappers and sizable Cat Fish swim about the tanks for your viewing. I guess my our nephew had it right.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer and the Drive-in

Clark 54 drive-in, the old summer standby -- the "all American" Drive-in theatre.

My husband and I dated in the late 1970's when the St. Louis area was home to several (now dark) drive-ins. 1950's nostalgia reigned during this time, the movie American Graffitti followed by American Hot Wax and television shows Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley drove the nostalgic trend. From the 1958 peak of 5000 drive-ins less than 500 remain today.

Our favorite is located in Summer Hill, Illinois. This gem of days-gone-by sets atop a hill surrounded by woods. The consessions are cheap and the facilities clean and sanitary.
Locate a drive-in near you

Monday, July 2, 2007

Tauern Mountains of Austria

Our daughter is in a study-abroad progam in Austria, I will do my travel via the web...this is an excerpt from
The picture-perfect parish church of Heiligenblut in Carinthia. Its characteristic tower and the dramatic Tauern mountains in the background made this church famous. Heiligenblut is one of the two access routes to the "Gro├čglockner Hochalpenstra├če" in the National Park Hohe Tauern. This road is one of the highest mountain streets in the World and leads to Austria's highest mountain and its glacier. The alternative route starts in the South of Salzburg province.

Painting with Light: A photo exhibit

Photojournalism I exhibit.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thawing out

Spring was here...and then it left. Much of the country experienced historical lows, freezing fragile buds and devastating apple and peach orchards, strawberry crops and vineyards. In my own yard the dogwood's fresh pink blossoms froze, the Azeala's were nipped before the first bud could bloom, the variegated hosta froze and turned to mush, the tender new leafs on my tulip poplars froze, their light green reverting back to a winters brown. Finally, today the St. Louis metro area is warming up into the 60s and my thoughts go to gardening.

Number one on my wish list this year is the new Blushing Bride Hydrangea -- an 'Endless Summer' variety that blooms throughout the season on both new and old stems. The mop-heads range from 4-8" across and mature to blue or pink, depending on soil pH. St. Louis is in the northern most planting zone for this beauty. I plan to group several together for a moon garden effect. The glow of white blooms at night will lend a romantic feel to the nightscape.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A new home for Paco

Left between the glass doors at an Illinois animal shelter on New Years Eve: freezing, malnutritioned and flea infested this little guy has melted the hearts of those that have rescued him. Paco is now placed in a quiet loving home, his new family, a fellow senior. The two have bonded quickly and enjoy the other's company.

Before buying a new puppy, look at those that need rescue, contact your community's animal shelters and search online for stray rescue groups such as

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Okay Phil, which corner did you say Spring is around?

This Afternoon... Blustery...Snow. Blowing and drifting snow. Additional snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 3 to 5 inches. Temperature falling into the lower 20s by late afternoon. North wind around 20 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

After a mild start this winter, the last true month of winter is putting on a good show.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Phil Says Spring is Right Around the Corner!

Phil's official forecast as read 2/2/07 at 7:28 a.m. at Gobbler's Knob:
El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.
Global warming has caused a great debate.This mild winter makes it seem just great.
On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.Will we have winter or will we have spring?
On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.I predict that early spring is on the way.

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather predicting groundhog, is held up by his handlers Ben Hughes, left, and John Griffith, right, as a large crowd looks on in Punxsutawney, Pa., Friday, Feb. 2, 2007. Phil did not see his shadow on Friday which, according to German folklore, means folks can expect an early spring instead of six more weeks of winter. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)