Mink! and Beaver!

I saw a mink crossing the road in Forest Park this morning! Which reminded me that yesterday we saw a beaver. I have seen his cuttings on occasion but never himself. Long live the mink and the beaver.

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Forest Park, cold wet Sunday





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A few centuries too late

I was in New York last weekend, first at a conference at a hotel in Times Square and then for a couple days on the Upper East side near the museums. Both places a world away from my daily reality in St. Louis. Times Square with all the lights day and night and noise and so many people on the sidewalk with umbrellas you need to be careful not to get poked in the face.

The Upper East side another world again; much quieter, but with so many stores full of clothing and jewelry that draw merit not from materials but from names- reminded me of a sentence from Thoreau “a man is wealthy in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to leave alone.” At the time I paraphrased it for myself- I am wealthy in proportion to those things I can live without, which is most of the stuff on the Upper East side.  It was a nice place to stay though, in the same hotel where I  had a postage-stamp-sized room last time when there for a meeting at Mt. Sinai up the street. This time the room was a lovely big one with








lots of sunlight and windows. It was my home for a couple days while I went to the Frick and the Metropolitan. I was particularly taken this time with Ancient Egypt. Imagining the people thousands of years ago observing nature so closely and representing birds, snakes, cats, turtles, dogs in reverent detail in their hieroglyphs and art. The observation, time and effort all of it took, it touched something in me and drew me in until I’d been there most of the day and had only a couple hours to take in the American painters. Maybe a part of me mourns the fact that everything changes so fast in these times, as I know they must, but I have ever thought I must’ve been born a few centuries too late.



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This morning I saw a mature bald eagle in the park, sitting in a tree across from Jefferson Lake, which is stocked with trout in winter and catfish in summer. Also while walking to office saw THOUSANDS, chevron after chevron, of snow geese heading back north.

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Full moon, Jan. 31, 2018

They say it was a blue moon + blood moon + super moon. Whatever it was, sure was bright.


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IMG_5680Mary Isabelle and Eastern Witch Hazel

Morning Frost


Owl pellet, looked like rabbit IMG_5684






Beech grove IMG_5691

Beech bud IMG_5686

Glade IMG_5693

Celandine poppy IMG_5694




Harbinger of Spring, aka Erigenia bulbosa, salt-and-pepper IMG_5696

Dutchman’s breeches aka Dicentra cucullaria IMG_5698

Sassafrass IMG_5700

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Witch hazel

The witch hazel we planted in the back yard is just beginning to bloom:


And we hear the pair of Great Horned Owls duetting in our back yard almost every night, their romantic interlude before they begin raising more young soon. And the robins make their robin sounds starting about 4:30 now, and the male goldfinches are beginning to get their color, turning from a dark olive-green to a lighter shade with yellow in it. Tomorrow a walk in the woods I think, to see what is coming up underneath the leaves.

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