Sunday, September 19, 2010

Missouri Botanical Garden - one of my favorite places

Last weekend, we had company visiting from out of town. As I always do when I have out-of-town visitors, I took them to the Missouri Botanical Garden. And why wouldn't I? Within walking distance of our house, it is one of my favorite places not only in St. Louis, but one of my favorite places, period. I didn't take many photos this trip, but I did get kind of fixated on dragonflies in the lily pond facing the Climatron. Here are a few of the shots. As always, click for larger view:
Pond with Dale Chihuly glass orbs
Black lily pond, which faces the Climatron at one end and a beautiful little glassed-in pavilion at the other.

Tropical water lily with dragonfly
Dragonfly perched on a tropical water lily

Waterlilies and dragonfly

Dragonfly and fallen comrade
Dragonfly with what I think is the ecto-skeleton of one of his comrades.

Dragonfly arc

Elsewhere in the Garden:
MOBOT Chinese Garden
The peaceful and meditative Chinese Garden. One of my favorite spots.

green bud with spider web
Green bud festooned with a spider web

scarlet coneflower
Scarlet-red coneflower

If you are ever in St. Louis...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ode to the Lake

Last weekend, our extraordinary friends and neighbors, Jan and Connor, lent us their newly purchased lake house for the weekend. It is at Lake of the Ozarks, a sprawling resort area in central Missouri. Lake of the Ozarks was created when the Osage River was dammed, resulting in a large reservoir. Over the years, it has been heavily developed, with many high-end hotels, upscale homes and condominium complexes springing up. But that is not the Lake of the Ozarks we experienced.
Jan and Connor's lake house is a charming little cottage with red sideboards, butter-colored shutters and window boxes full of flowers. It sits on a sleepy cove with neighbors who are mostly year-round residents. From the deck, the sun glinting off the lake's surface looks like a million paparazzi's flash bulbs. The water is warm, the sun is hot and the occupants of the occasional boat wandering into our little corner of the Lake wave hello. Birds rustle busily in the trees overhead, and at night insects play their buzzing song.

Screen door view

morning coffee on the deck 
A million papparazzi

The view overhead

Within walking distance is the Bagnell Dam strip. Full of arcades, tourist shops and ice cream stands, it is a throwback to an earlier era. My husband Michael, who spent his summers on the Lake many years ago, was astounded by how little it had changed. At night, it is a spectacle of neon lights, garish signs and strange, giant statues of Indian chiefs and lumberjacks. I couldn't wait to snap some photos. Click for a larger view:
Bumper cars and skee ball
Bumper cars and Skee ball

Glowing man
Glowing man

50cents baseball 50 cent baseball

Dogpatch Dogpatch Arcade

Zamperla Zamperla

Yellow horse

Your weight and horoscope Your weight and horoscope

Rebel Arcade Rebel Arcade

Thanks, Jan and Connor. We can't wait to go back.