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Camera Play in Forest Park

16 Jun

Camera Play in Forest Park

With six days to go till take off, I decided to spend a while working the new camera today. I returned to Forest Park stopping at two sites. The first was a place I loved to visit as a small girl. I always loved the waterfall. It had fallen into disrepair, but was cleaned up and renovated in 2002. A short drive brought me to the Missouri History Museum with its new wing.

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A statue of Thomas Jefferson gazes northward in the Atrium.

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Arches and lights at the Missouri History Museum.

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Thomas Jefferson again.

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Lucky Lindy’s plane that flew over the Atlantic. I’m glad I’ll be traveling SwissAir.

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One Day…Two Hikes. #2

8 Jun

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The evening is the best time to visit the zoo, because the animals are not hiding away from the heat of the midday sun. Many of them are having dinner like this cute but elegant elephant. I hiked around our wonderful free zoo for an hour and a half this evening. Many people were out on a Friday to hear a free concert presented by the lake. I wanted to take photos and I did.  My only regret was that I left my zoom lens at home. I fell in love with this beautiful creature. I got lucky with other animals as well. The St. Louis Zoo has had a big makeover and the presentation of the animals in natural habitats is wonderful to see.

A seal showing off for the crowd.

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Orangutans at dinner.

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A young gorilla, or maybe it’s a chimpanzee.

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A snowy egret.

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I don’t know the name of this animal, but I fortunately caught a mother and baby moment.

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Two species observing each other.

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The Bactrian camel.

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King of the Forest.

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Prairie dogs are adorable.

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So are the penguins.

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The St. Louis Zoo has a railroad which transports visitors to all sections of the park.

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The black rhino. (There are two animals in this photo. Can you find the other one?)

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Hippos going for a swim.

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If you are ever in St. Louis, make sure to visit the world famous (free) St. Louis Zoo.

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One Day…Two Hikes. #1

8 Jun

One Day...Two Hikes. #1

Doing a hiking vacation demands that you prepare by hiking as much as possible most days of the week. I don’t work on Fridays in the summer, and I took advantage of that free time to put in some miles and practice with my new Nikon camera. In the morning I took Burnie to a local park, Laumeier Sculpture Park. It has both paved paths and wooded paths, so you have your choice. We walked both. Various odd sculptures dot the landscape in this park. Honestly, there are some that I don’t like (the giant eyeball). Some are interesting, but my favorite in the park is The Big Red Thing (my title). It is monstrous and sits atop a rise, so that you can see it from many vantage points. It is at this place several years back that there used to be a very elemental New Year’s Eve celebration called Fire and Ice. A two-story edifice of wood was constructed on the top of said hill. It was then filled with bales of hay and huge blocks of ice. At night crowds gathered around waiting for them to set the bales on fire. Then the whole thing went up in flames while the ice melted creating waterfalls and streams into the surrounding field. It felt like a true New Year’s celebration, very connected to the Earth. I was disappointed when they discontinued it, probably due to safety issues. I will never forget the time we experienced it. It is something that stays in your memory. Anyway….Burnie and I had a pleasant walk around the park, and contemplated the sculptures that we passed. Here are a few…

Near the entrance we could see The Big Red Thing in the distance.

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Then we passed the Dancing Blobs (my title).

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Getting closer to The Big Red Thing. Picture something this size at night going up in flames with water cascading down from it.

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The Gordion Knot (my title).

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The Bubble People (my title).

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The Leaf Pagoda (my title).

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The Ocean Salvage Centipede (my title).

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Mini Indian Mounds (my title).

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I did not attempt these steps with a dog on a leash. I actually want to hike in the Dolomites, not stay at home on crutches.

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Travel photography just got real.

5 Jun

Travel photography just got real.

Camera novice. That’s me. I have never owned and used anything but the simplest of cameras: Brownie, 35mm, point and shoot. Yesterday I took a leap and bought my first ever DSLR camera. The Nikon D3100. It’s on the low end in the world of DSLR cameras, but it’s an upgrade to me from my current point and shoot. I’m going to do some fast learning and practice over the next couple of weeks to get comfortable with this new camera. I plan to keep it in automatic mode for now, but later on I can take a photography class and discover the fine points of mastery. Zoom lenses were discounted heavily if I purchased one at the time I got the camera, so I did that too. I am hoping that the zoom lens will get me some great mountainscapes in the Dolomites.

What a difference a day makes!

4 Jun

Yesterday it looked as if winter was returning to Europe, but temperatures are on the rise today.

  •                                          Yesterday                       Today
  • St. Louis, MO                72-54                          78-63
  • Zurich                             50-42                            66-47
  • Konstanz                        47-41                            70-45
  • Luzern                             50-42                            64-46
  • Bolzano                          70-51                             81-54
  • Colfosco                         46-40                            52-43
  • Ortisei                             59-43                            66-45
  • Cortina                           59-41                             66-44
  • Venice                             72-57                              75-59
  • Salzburg                         44-42                            56-48
  • Munich                            46-44                            59-46

Konstanz, Germany gets the prize for a 23 degree increase in temperature in one day, but every city is experiencing higher temperatures today. Summer is saved. I will not have to take my winter wardrobe with me after all.

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MOBOT Camera Hike

2 Jun

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MOBOT stands for Missouri Botanical Garden, which is located in my hometown St. Louis. It is one of the city’s finest assets, and as a resident I get in for half price ($4). My hike today was partially a hike workout, but more of a finger workout as I went a little crazy snapping photos and exercising my “camera eye”.

The Rose Garden was a bit shabby after the terrible storms which came through Friday evening. A tornado in the area. The sirens went off four times that night. The fence around the rose garden is a work of art in itself since Dale Chihuly came and planted some of his unique glass-blown art.

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There are many paths and themes in this spacious city garden. One of my favorites is the English woodland garden.

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The diamond among all the jewels in the garden is the Japanese Garden. It circles a small lake which is stocked with koi, which visitors love to feed from the bridge. In any season the Japanese Garden is a delight for the eye. No matter where you stand, you are treated to a beautiful view. Here are a few I captured today.

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That turtle practically posed for the camera. My daughter called me and I sat by the lake for a long time talking with her and enjoying the peaceful setting on a calm and overcast day. A single orange koi was leaping from the water, frolicking in his own unique fish-y way.

 

Enjoy a few more scenes from other sections of the garden including the Chinese Garden.

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There are fountains and streams throughout the Missouri Botanical Garden. Here are a couple of fountains to refresh the spirit.

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Don’t worry about Burnie. I took him for a 50-minute hike this morning on the trail.

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Not A Hat Person…

1 Jun

Not A Hat Person...

No, I’m not a hat person, but I broke down and bought a hiking hat because it was recommended by the hiking company. The hat is light as a feather and bright white. It has an SPF rating of 50 to keep the sun’s damaging UV rays off of me when I’m hiking at higher altitudes. Another REI purchase. With this trip I am definitely contributing to REI’s profit margin for this year.

Test: Take Two

26 May

Driving back from my hiking spot today I passed my Alma Mater, that is Washington University in St. Louis. I stopped to take some photos of the school where I spent seven years of my young adult life. Bachelor’s Degree-4 years, secretary in the On-Campus Housing Office-2 years, and Master’s Degree, one more full year. I don’t get over that way very often, and I am always startled by the vast growth that takes place on that campus. It is a very wealthy private university and has always prided itself on its nickname: the Harvard of the Midwest.
Here is the main administrative building Brookings Hall which sits atop a hill looking out over Forest Park (where I hiked today, another post).

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The last photo is Blewett Hall, which houses the music department. Yep, my main hangout for five years.

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This Is A Test!

26 May

Spring obligations are almost over. When my third and final studio recital is complete this Thursday, I will start checking off all of the things that must be done, items that must be acquired, bills that must be paid before I board that plane in June flying over the ocean to Zurich, Switzerland.
Today I visited the Apple Store to get some one to one assistance on my ipad. I am used to using iphoto on my MacBook Pro to import photos to my wordpress blog. There is no iphoto app on my ipad. There is a photo app but I have not yet used it to send photos to my blog. There has to be a first time. Today I took a couple of photos at the Apple Store. I am going to attempt to retrieve them and post them on “Rosemarie in Europe 2013” using my ipad. If you read this post and it includes two photos, you will know that I was successful.
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