Peafowl

Three Creek Fram

Peacocks and peahens—these are the birds known as peafowl, members of the pheasant family. Although most people call them all “peacocks,” the word really only refers to the male bird. Just like among chickens, where the male is called a rooster or cock and the female is called a hen, male peafowl are peacocks, female peafowl are peahens, and babies are peachicks! There are two peafowl species: Indian or blue peafowl and green peafowl. Most people are familiar with the Indian peafowl, since that is the kind found in many zoos and parks.

Eyes Have It

Three Creek Fram

This Peacock’s feathers seem to be looking back at him in a mysterious way. I have a photo of this bird showing all of his feathers but I thought this was a little more interesting. While busy showing off his feathers, he let me get in close.

You do not see many Peacocks around and if you find one he probably does not have his feathers extended so I was lucky to find this guy.

Click on the photo for more options and to see more peafowl.

Dogwood Canyon

Dogwood

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a one-of-a-kind experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers of all ages. Covering 10,000 acres of pristine Ozark Mountain landscape, the park has miles of crystal-clear trout streams, dozens of cascading waterfalls, ancient burial caves, unique hand-built bridges and bottomless, blue-green pools. And, they actually have Dogwood trees there.

Tate

I was visiting Bellefontaine Cemetery in North St. Louis I photographed this sphinx in front of a mausoleum. It was not until I processed the photo that I realized that it was kind of creepy looking.

This Egyptian-style mausoleum was built in 1907 by Frank Tate (1860-1934), who at the time controlled most of the theater property in St. Louis. He also owned theaters in Chicago and New York. The tomb’s façade appears formidable, with thick, sloping walls and a large post and lintel doorway. The entrance is guarded by a very masculine-looking pair of bearded sphinxes, perhaps in the likeness of Mr. Tate.

Historic Bellefontaine Cemetery, founded in St. Louis in 1849 as a non-sectarian community cemetery “open to all regardless of religious affiliations,” contains nearly 400 acres of lush landscaping and architecturally-acclaimed monuments, mausoleums and memorial features that can be seen in a self-guided scenic tour of the cemetery’s historical monuments and lots.

Lafayette Park

Lone duck in the park. Lafayette Park was set aside from the St. Louis Common in 1836 and dedicated in 1851 as one of the first public parks, and by far the largest of its era, in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. It is considered by many historians to be the oldest urban park west of the Mississippi.

At 30 acres Lafayette Park is one of the larger parks in the city even though it is still dwarfed by Forest Park which is about 46 times larger.

Stairway

Compton Reservoir Park is a little park on the side the city reservoir. In the park is a 19th century water tower and a statue commemorating German newspapermen. This is one of an umber of stairways leading up to the reservoir with some spring color behind it.

This is a photo processed in Topaz Impression making it look like a van Gogh painting. The color was boosted with Aurora HDR.

Compton Hill Reservoir Park

The water tower, built as superstructure for Stand Pipe No. 3 in 1899 after a Romanesque design by Harvey Ellis, is a South Saint Louis landmark. The tower quickly became a favorite spot from which to view the City, and remains so today with limited public hours for the public to tour and climb to the top. The structure consists of a stone base, with a brick shaft that rises 179 feet with a total of 198 steps.

The statue is called: The Naked Truth. The monument honors three great German newspaper editors of the St. Louis Westliche Post; Carl Schurz, Dr. Emil Preetorius and Carl Danzier. The revealing statue is quite naturally a symbol of truth and the torches symbolize the enlightenment of the German and American alliances. The German immigrants quickly became abolitionists, joining with other anti-slavery groups to form the Republican Party. The inscription at the rear is in both German and American language. The statue was unveiled in May of 1914.

The park can be found on Grand Ave., just south of Interstate 44.

For a larger version click on the photo.

Dusk in St. Louis

The sun has set behind downtown St. Louis and the lighting system for the Arch has just turned on. 100 years ago the Mississippi River levee would have been lined with riverboats and the area in front of me would have been packed with warehouses. Freight trains were already replacing river trade and trucks were making headway. Within a few years decisions on what to do with the declining area were being made and 10 years later designs for a new park would be in the works.

Click on the the photo for a larger version and more photos.

Night Lights

Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch had stood unlighted for over 35 years, when Randy Burkett Lighting Design was commissioned to provide a design that would successfully reveal and celebrate the world renowned monument. It was an extreme technical and artistic challenge.

At the outset of the project, it was dictated  by the National Park Service that this design illuminate the 205m high stainless steel monument with a lighting system that would be virtually invisible by day, responsive to the site’s archeological concerns, absent of reflected glare to surrounding highways, and sensitive to one of the nation’s busiest bird migratory flyways.

Out of 3 ½ years of design formulation, presentations, computer analysis, and full scale on-site mockups, an innovative short-arc xenon lighting system was determined to be the best solution. Using precision reflector optics and managing individual luminaire light distributions with lenses and automated louvers, a beautifully sculpted form was realized. All equipment was concealed below grade in four light “pits” covered by a custom designed, narrow-profile grating material. A laser detecting atmospheric monitor was incorporated into the control systems to provide automatic shut-off of the lighting during weather conducive to disorienting light scatter.

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