Archive | September, 2013

Travel Destinations

29 Sep

Japan….African safari. I have never been to either place. Does anyone have comments or suggestions about these destinations?


First Fall Walk in Missouri

22 Sep


I recently purchased a Fitbit, a pedometer and program for the computer, which logs how many steps I take each day. This is my effort to stay more active, because I really hate the gym. We had a gorgeous day in St. Louis for the first day of fall, cool air and hot sun. I drove with my dog Burnie to Queeny Park in west St. Louis County to try out the hiking trails. I chose Hawk Ridge Trail, the long one that runs around the perimeter of the park. It is an interesting combination of hills, flatland, prairie, and forest with a path that is partially paved and partially rock. It runs for 4.4 miles, and yesterday I logged more than 16,000 steps, earning a new 15,000 step badge. YAY!

Near the start we passed this small lake/large pond with a lot of green stuff growing in the water by the shore. In the distance there was a kids’ fair with blow up jumping activities. Climbing a steep hill we came across this red fire hydrant handily placed in front of the DOG Museum.


New varieties of flowers were on display.

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Across the path from the flowers was bare field where they were starting anew with prairie grass growth.


To the northeast is a more forested section of the park. This mighty sycamore was standing as a sentinel.


Then we hit the crude rocky path with many ups and downs. It reminded me of the exertion I had to maintain when hiking in the Dolomites this past summer. The mountain bikers like this section of the park.

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One very tall oak tree.


Then we were back in the high grasslands on Hawk Ridge Trail

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An old farmhouse.


A restored Missouri prairie grassland.


Before we came home I drove by two of the religious institutions in West County. Here is the Hindu Temple of St. Louis, and below it the Mosque. St. Louis is a large city with a diverse population. I have attended services in both of these religious communities, where I have felt welcomed.

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It’s Modern, Isn’t It?

9 Sep

It's Modern, Isn't It?

I recently took a swing through the new wing of the St. Louis Art Museum. Of course, I brought my Nikon with me. It was a great opportunity to take some interesting shots. Here is the entrance to the new wing.


This tapestry is made entirely of the metal wrappings on the tops of bottles.

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Yes, well….I don’t know what this Playboy Bunny is doing there, but she is part of the exhibit.


These unrelated artworks seem similar to me.


This reminds me of the Patsy Cline song “I Fall to Pieces”.


Doesn’t this look like an emoticon of surprise?


This a an adventure in texture and shape.


Very severe. And German. I don’t know why “blood” is inscribed backwards.


A study in symmetry.


While I was in Europe I got into the habit of photographing my reflection and I’ve continued the habit back at home.


The new restaurant.


Yoko Ono’s wishing tree. I added my wish to the bunch.



Some Local Photography

1 Sep

Some Local Photography

The Central St. Louis Public Library (downtown)

I returned from my big European trip about six weeks ago. I was only home a few days when the upper respiratory tract illness I contracted while hiking in the Dolomites returned with renewed fury and landed in my chest. I was quite sick, probably viral pneumonia. I wanted to use an antibiotic only as a last resort, so I went to our local Salt Room. I love it. You lie in a lounge chair in a room where the walls, ceiling, and floor are all Himalayan salt. The lights are dimmed. Soft music plays, and salt air is blown into the room. It is the most wonderful relaxing experience and it does wonders for the respiratory tract. It helped me beat this on my own.

This preface explains why I haven’t been posting on this blog anymore. I finished the account of my trip to Europe, and now I am back teaching voice at the university. There is not as much time available. However, last weekend I took my first photography outing since my return to the USA. I decided to visit the downtown public library in St. Louis. It has had a recent renovation and I wanted to see it. The St. Louis Public Library was the site of my very first job out of college. I worked as assistant music librarian for a year. Last weekend was my first visit since I left the position in 1971. Forty years gives you a whole new perspective. Look at some of my photos and see what you think…..


The Entrance Hall

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The Main Room


Here is the newly renovated area. This used to be seven levels of musty old “Stacks”, the volumes kept in back that were not in public view. I used to go back there to retrieve scores for the reviewer of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch when he had to review local symphony concerts. All of those old books have been moved to another building opening this space for an atrium, a coffee shop, conference rooms, tech support and computers. What a facelift. There is also a new auditorium which was closed that day.


The lovely old marble floors.


Staircase to the lower level where I used to work.


This is the old music room which now houses the young adult section.

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Stained glass window over the staircase to the upper level.

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Looking back down into the Main Entrance Hall.


Something not to be forgotten: “The public school and the library render possible a perpetual education in the community.”