Friday, June 29, 2018

Ferguson: History I Don't See

History mural, Ferguson, Missouri. June 2018.



On the corner of North Florissant and Airport/Hereford, there is a US Bank. The bank has a mural on its side depicting Ferguson history.


History mural, Ferguson, Missouri. June 2018.


Who's not there?


History mural, Ferguson, Missouri. June 2018.


We've got to stop being so blind.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

St. Louis: Luchadora!


Luchadora play, Theatre Nuevo, Mustard Seed Theater, St. Louis, Missouri. June 2018.


June 2018


When I saw the promo for the play, Luchadora, it was a must-go-see for me.  A connection between my current home in Ferguson and my most recent home in El Paso, by way of my new guilty pleasure, lucha libre.

Luchadora play, Theatre Nuevo, Mustard Seed Theater, St. Louis, Missouri. June 2018.




It is high praise, indeed, for me to tell you that the play kept my attention for both of the 45-minute acts.

The main theme is the self-empowerment of girls and women both today and in the Vietnam War era. Where girls and women literally fight, albeit incognito, for their places at the grown-up table of the world.

It's a personal story that a grandmother tells her granddaughter, the former a secret luchadora and the latter, a hopes-to-be boxer.

It's about keeping secrets from family members who keep you back and from the larger society that would keep you boxed in.

The Spartan set design was clever and effective. Granddaughter and grandmother, in today's time, sat in an upstairs alcove. Grandmother's story played out on center stage. A bridge between the modern-day alcove and a large staircase was a platform for real-time play action and as a mechanism for "unseen" characters to reveal their thoughts or the contents of their letters.


Luchadora play, Theatre Nuevo, Mustard Seed Theater, St. Louis, Missouri. June 2018.


The Mustard Seed Theater, within Fontbonne University, is petite. Very comfortable seats! And they are roomy. Plus each row is sufficiently higher than the one below it to assure all attendees a fine line of sight onto the stage.

Ticket prices are not inexpensive. Fortunately, it appears that plays are accessible to most for at least one performance of each play, when attendees can pay what they can afford if they also bring a canned good for donation to a food pantry.







Thursday, May 10, 2018

Missouri: Arrow Rock Camping, Part 3: A Fuller History



Never Been Beat by Artist Joe Don Brave, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.


The Arrow Rock State Historic Site's Visitor Center is very, very attractive. It is a space easy to miss, abutting the village, but tucked behind trees and a boardwalk. There's an expansive parking lot accessible from the rural highway that serves both the village and the state park.


Joe Don Brave exhibit, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.


Given the diminutive size of Arrow Rock and its rural setting, it surprised and pleased me to see the permanent exhibit called Slavery, Racism, Violence: Justice and the Constitution -- the African-American experience in the Boone's Lick from Emancipation (1865) to the beginning of the Civil Rights Era.



History exhibit, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.


For healing to occur in our society, it is imperative for us to look at our shared history, to gaze on it, to see it and to see the women, men, and children - our ancestors - who lived it.


History exhibit, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.

The exhibit impressed me with its straightforwardness in presenting facts and the effect of slavery and post-slavery times on residents, both black and white.


History exhibit, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.


History exhibit, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.


History exhibit, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.



History exhibit, Arrow Rock Historic Site Visitor Center, Missouri. May 2018.

The visitor center featured a beautifully-lit room of art work by Joe Don Brave, an artist of Osage and Cherokee heritage.







Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Missouri: Spring Love

My sister and I sat outside on a sunny, warm afternoon.

Suddenly, a dark lumpy shape buzzed past me. Whoa, big fella! Let me get out of the way for you! Another body zoomed past.

I jumped.

However, neither had any interest in me or my sister.

These rotund carpenter bees had other fish to fry today.

Carpenter bees, Missouri. May 2018.

Carpenter bees, Missouri. May 2018.

Carpenter bees, Missouri. May 2018.

In the first photo above, the male did connect briefly with the female. Then they parted and the male began to hover near the female, waiting for her to take flight again, which is what he particularly enjoys seeing happen.  My video of same below:




From wikipedia, re: mating behavior:
Males require female activity, specifically flight, in mating. Occasionally before mating, the couple will face each other and hover for a few minutes. When the male contacts the female, he mounts her back and attempts to push his abdomen under hers. Copulation occurs at this instant, and it is almost always followed by more mating attempts. If, during copulation, the female lands, the couple will disengage and the male will hover waiting for the female to take flight again;however, although the males almost always disengage and pause copulation when the female lands, there have been instances recorded in which the males will hold on to the female with all six legs and flap his wings in an attempt to lift her back into the air.


Someone else got a video of a liaison in another state:



In this video, the male seems to be OK with hanging on while the female walks along the surface.


Spring love. Reminds me of that time in New Mexico. February, it was. Sex Amidst the Gravel.





Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Missouri: Arrow Rock Camping, Part 2: Additions to the Carcass Gallery


I experienced a moral dilemma about my photo of this racoon, freshly killed on the road. The original photo was very, very graphic, and it prompted me to think what I wanted to achieve by sharing it or even keeping it at all.

Because I'm not entirely sure why I collect this gallery of animal carcasses to begin with, I didn't have a clear answer to the question of why I would censor one of the photos.

I do know that one reason I capture these pictures is because it is an act of seeing an individual that used to be alive, but which is now dead. So the way I edited the racoon picture is in that spirit.  I can look at that small hand, for instance, and touch the leathery palm, in a way. I can see the animal as a whole and not get lost in its entrails. 

Dead racoon, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.


There is something odd about a carrion eater like this vulture being dead. Do vultures eat dead vultures?

Dead vulture, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.

Dead vulture, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.


My cumulative carcass collection below:

We Stop For Carcasses




Monday, May 7, 2018

Missouri: Arrow Rock Camping, Part 1: Cold Coffee and Some Walks


Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.


I'm a bit of a camping Goldilocks, perhaps, in that I don't want to camp when it's too cold and I don't want to camp when it's too hot.

The first weekend in May was a splendiferous time for my first Missouri camping foray this year.

I chose Arrow Rock State Park.  I've been there before. I like that the state park is tucked up against the village of Arrow Rock, and it's pleasant to poke around town.

Cold coffee fixings, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.


To keep things super easy for me, I decided not to cook a damn thing. Not even coffee. Whoa, wait a minute! Not that I'd do without coffee, for God's sake! Nope, I'd bring my favorite instant coffee, some sweetener, a flavored creamer, and shake it all up in cold water each morning. Damn good stuff.

Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.


When I arrived at the campground, I nabbed the second to the last available campsite. Hoo-wee, that was lucky! The Audubon Society was hosting a weekend birding event, so I got there in the nick of time. I saw a lot of big-rig camera gear. Impressive.

I took several walks over the weekend.

Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.


One of the coolest things I saw was this tree being consumed by beaver bites.

Beaver teeth markings, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.

Beaver teeth markings, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.

Beaver teeth markings, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.

Beaver teeth markings, Arrow Rock State Park, Missouri. May 2018.


I had the thought to record morning birdsong at my campsite and see about adding that to a slide show for my youtube channel. Below is my result:





Saturday, May 5, 2018

Ferguson: Northern Lights Christmas


Northern Lights Christmas Market, Ferguson, Missouri. November 2017.



On the Sunday following Thanksgiving, Ferguson holds its Northern Lights Christmas Market and Parade. This is also when one can buy tickets to the Ferguson Christmas Home Tour.

Northern Lights Christmas Parade, Ferguson, Missouri. November 2017.


After a nature-infused weekend with family members in the Ozarks Scenic Riverways here and here, I hied home early Sunday so I could grab tickets for me and my mom for the Christmas Home Tour and also to see the parade that night!


Northern Lights Christmas Parade, Ferguson, Missouri. November 2017.


Northern Lights Christmas Parade, Ferguson, Missouri. November 2017.

Northern Lights Christmas Parade, Ferguson, Missouri. November 2017.


One of several videos here, a children's dance troupe:



And, as always, I swoon over drums:




But I was besotted with this crazy-creative moving train table, operated at the Christmas Market by one of Santa's helpers!