Monday, August 31, 2009

Gateway Arch: The Quarter

The US reissued new twenty-five cent pieces over the last decade, five per year, one for each state in order of admission into the Union.  This is Missouri's coin depicting the Louis and Clark Expedition returning to St. Louis, the Missouri River and, never mind the anachronism, our beloved Arch. 

In a separate program, during 2009 the Mint is issuing quarters for the District of Columbia and the 5 territories: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.  Be on the lookout.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Huntington WV

What does it mean to paint, "ANGELA I LOVE YOU!" on the side of a dumpster?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright: Fallingwater

Heading home now after a week in Hanover PA, we made reservations early in the week and toured Fallingwater, in southwestern PA, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home situated in a place of unparalleled beauty. 

We knew we were going to need a complete change of pace and outlook after finishing our work in Hanover.  

The tour includes most of the living spaces built for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh and completed in 1939.  The family story, and the story behind planning and construction of their weekend retreat, is an interesting chapter in American retail history.

It was pouring rain in buckets as I took the picture. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hanover PA: Bea's Garden

Bea loved to garden.  I dedicate this picture to her memory.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hanover PA: Farm Buildings

The barn you saw on Monday is behind this house. The barn pictured today is across the road. This is a classic Pennsylvania cattle farm from another century.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hanover PA: Rock Pile

Emptying the garage, we discovered a box of rocks that Bea had brought home from some trip. Then we found another, and another, and another.

Where should all these rocks go?

Ed spend the better part of a morning creating this beautiful mountain.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hanover PA: Categories

Sissors, darning balls, fans, jack knives, teapots, dish towels, costume jewelry, buttons...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lancaster County PA

At the northern limit of its commercial range here in south- eastern PA, tobacco is grown by Amish and Mennonite farmers in Lancaster County, adding significantly to the economy. This is the season for cutting and loading leaves or whole plants onto wagons, drawing them to racks to sun cure or hanging them in sheds to air cure.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hanover PA

This barn is just outside of Hanover PA, where we are until Friday.
We have traveled here because Ed's mother died back in May, and we are helping his brother work on dissolution of the family home. Their mom was 95 and living on her own.
If you have done this work, then you know that it is both a demanding and a rewarding task. It takes time to look at the accumulation of 3 generations. This family saved a lot of stuff. Just like my family. Maybe just like your family.
Do your kids a favor and get rid of some stuff. Now. End of lecture.
Hanover is between Gettysburg and Lancaster County and a few miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The houses and farms can be 200 to 250 years old.
This farm is less than a mile from a burgeoning commercial development of big box stores. In the background are the foothills of the Pigeon Hills, named for passenger pigeons, once possibly the most numerous bird on earth, now extinct.
Lots of other interesting things about this area and our trip, to be continued for the rest of the week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sideling Hill Road Cut

We have driven from southeastern Missouri to Pennsylvania in two days.

On the last leg of the trip, driving across far northern Maryland on I 68, across the dramatic folding of the Appalachian Mountains, we found this huge road cut.

Here are multiple layers of sedimentation laid down 330-345 million years ago, covered by many later layers, hardened into sedimentary rock, folded, eroded, and now, lucky for us, revealed in this huge road cut.

Here's a good site for an explanation of this place:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fishing for Catfish

Under the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge at Cape Girardeau I met this retired postal worker and Vietnam veteran thoroughly enjoying the day.

By the way, for many wonderful pictures of the building and opening of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, go here:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Giant City State Park

Joli and I went exploring. Giant City State Park in southern Illinois is a real gem. The Giant City Trail winds through Makanda Sandstone blocks separated by time and weather forming alleys, encouraging moss and exploration.

The park owes its lodge and trail development to the Civilian Conservation Corps who worked here from 1933 to 1942, sending $25 of their $30 monthly earnings home to families. Their skill with local materials and sensitivity to the natural environment while making paths, culverts, bridges, roads, regenerated forests have made this a special place.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

American Wind Symphony Orchestra

The riverfront setting outside the great cement wall that protects downtown Cape
Girardeau became a concert hall for over a thousand people yesterday evening when the American Wind Symphony Orchestra came to town. Cape is the last stop of the season for AWSO, which started out in June way east on Lake Erie, then swung up north on Lake Huron, south on Lake Michigan, through the Illinois Canal and River, and into the Mississippi.

Founder and conductor Robert Austin Boudreau has been at this job he loves for 52 years, working with young people, traveling internationally, commissioning new works, and bringing American and international music to lake- and river-sides in America and Europe every summer.

This address will take you to the AWSO website:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Floating Drydock

If you are familiar with canals, you can see the similarities between this type of drydock and any canal lock that raises or lowers boats over varied terrain. This drydock will be sunk out of the way leaving the boat afloat when the job is done. The boat is small as towboats go.

We're back in Cape Girardeau for the week. My husband's work brings us here for about a week every month. Cape is 114 miles south of St. Louis, right on the Mississippi.

I find river life interesting. Also in this area, natural areas within an easy drive in both Missouri and across the river in Illinois are plentiful and varied. Lots to do here.

Also, if you are thinking of relocating, they sell earthquake insurance here. The New Madrid Fault is right here and there were huge quakes in 1811-12 that relocated the river.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright: Dana-Thomas House

And while we were in Springfield seeing the biggest pumpkin at the Illinois State Fair, we had to visit the Dana-Thomas House, an early Frank Lloyd Wright home.

Built 1902-04, when most people in cities were still living in various styles of Victorian homes, this Prairie-style home has never been unoccupied and so is in fine shape.

After Susan Dana's tenure, a small local publishing business owned by a family named Thomas, who changed almost nothing and kept nearly all the Wright- designed furniture, lighting and glass, occupied the house from 1944 right up until the State of Illinois bought it in 1981.

The State of Illinois invested considerable money in restoration, and today this is a magnificent and fascinating example of the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The tours last more than an hour, and we got to walk through almost every inch of the house. I'd take another tour because there is so much to see that it is hard to take it all in at one visit.

No cameras allowed inside. This shot is of the walled courtyard. The street sides are equally interesting.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Biggest Pumpkin at the Illinois State Fair

That's a penny I placed on the pumpkin so we could have something to give an idea of scale.

This monster weighs #452. If you look closely you can see that it is sitting cradled on the sling that carried it gingerly into the building. I wish I could have seen them set it into place. That was no ordinary Bobcat.

The other entrants are big. This guy is really big.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shaw's Garden

genetic code + elements + warmth + light + time = almost too much beauty to comprehend

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shaw's Garden

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shaw's Garden

Thursday evenings in summer the garden is open with the promise of a lovely time of day and subdued and slanted light, relaxed people including lots of children, balloons and face painting, lots of strolling, wine and beer free for the tasting, the open restaurant and patio dining, and dragon flies dipping water, cruising and alighting on tall things.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

St. Louis: tiles

The arts are also highly valued.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

St. Louis: tiles

Science and astronomy are represented in this beautiful tile picture on Henry Shaw School.

Monday, August 10, 2009

St. Louis: tiles

This is the second of a four-part series of tiles on the Henry Shaw School on Columbia Ave. in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis.
Mathematics is the subject of this design.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

St. Louis: tiles

This week features a series of four designs, two each on either street end of the front of the [ -shaped Henry Shaw School on Columbia Avenue. The tiles illustrate four areas of education: history (today's), science, the arts and mathematics.
Built in 1907, this may be a William Ittner school although I believe the architect is uncertain.
If anyone has more information on these tile designs, or on the practice of illustrating the areas of education with symbols, I would like to hear from you. Thanks.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bourbeuse River

The temp was 100 degrees in St. Louis. We were canoeing on the Bourbeuse, 65 miles west, in the northeast corner of the Ozarks, and had a lovely day on this wild and beautiful river. See Ed's blog for more details.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gateway Arch

early morning light in August

Thursday, August 6, 2009

St. Louis: tiles

Carpe Diem, indeed!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

St. Louis: tiles

Terra cotta on the Seventh District Police Station's Mounted Patrol Division stable on South Grand at Magnolia.

Monday, August 3, 2009

St. Louis: around town

Demo Man works near the corner of Manchester, Choteau and Vandeven -ter. He presides over a collection of materials saved from demolition sites. I love his heart.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

St. Louis: tiles

Moolah Temple ...the place to start my collection of ceramic tiles on buildings in the city.

Anyone who has spent an hour here knows that red brick was the exterior building material of choice for many years. Builders added tiles, usually sparingly, as ornamentation on many older public buildings and businesses. The tiles added interest to a brick facade by use of design and color.

Builders also used shiny glazed bricks, especially green, and terra cotta of different shades, and they added additional interest with unusually shaped entranceways and roof lines.

Who were these tile artisans? We shall find out.

As the project develops look for me to create a separate blogger site with a link from this page.