Tag Archives: animals

A Swan Friend

Decades ago, when we went to visit one of my Aunts, we would take a walk after lunch. Often we ended up at the park and watched the swans. It was an elegant chance of pace from watching the ducks in my hometown.

Meeting them in the park. Finding them in a storybook — I had a copy of “The Ugly Duckling”. Even small girls in tiny Midwestern villages meet the animals.

Perhaps it is these very degrees of separation which encourage the imagination. White — clean and pure. Does that make them kind? Gentle? They glide across water with few ripples. Does that make them quiet? Sneaky? A few drops of information can fuel daydreams.

A colorfully dressed lady shares the puzzle with her swan friend.

Can you create a story from the picture?

Bears at Home

“Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, climb the stairs.”

At our school, among my friends, this was the start of a jump rope rhyme.

Bears have been featured as toys for a few generations, more than a century. Soft bears to cuddle come in all sizes. Carved wooden bears to march and roam across the floor — mixed in with the building blocks. They are an animal featured in stories from traditional Goldilocks to the popular family called Bearenstein.

This puzzle of the Bear family at home features objects from several different past decades. (And also occupied time during these stay-at-home days.)

Which things have you used? Do you recognize?

Bear Pair

Some things are better in pairs. Shoes. Mittens. Cookies.

Bears? Yikes! One thing worse than looking out your window and seeing a bear — seeing a pair.

However, a few bears are good to see in pairs. The duo which appears on the Missouri State Seal — and state flag — come to mind. They also are the inspiration for this charming park bench.

Don’t dispair if the pair of bears is a work of art.

However — if they are wearing fur and lumbering toward you on all fours — exit — stage left, right, or center.

Once in a Blue …

Two full moons this October. Watch the sky next week for the second one.

Stay alert for the short people in costumes out begging for treats by the light of the moon.

But the real question of this blog — have you seen a blue moose?

My brother and I were on vacation. This was the road trip on which I would finally “set foot in” the 49th and 50th states. The plan, actually not formulated until the turn of the century, already had at least thirty accomplished by then. So I set out to include one, two, or three “new” states on each vacation. And in the very last one–soon after crossing the border– we found…

I never said it was an “alive” moose. But isn’t he a jaunty greeter? Exactly the sort of moose I feel safe walking up to and giving a pat on the nose.

Enjoy the blue moon! And the blue moose!

Wet Celebration

Americans enjoy a good birthday party. We get to sing. Yes, laughter often follows. A birthday spanking equaled the number of years celebrated plus “one to grown on”. Little children (and sometimes big ones) play games. Cards and gifts are usually involved. And food — don’t forget the food!

Cake has become traditional. Often it’s served with a side of ice cream.

Our family didn’t get grand on the birthday celebrations. But I do remember a few. One time my brother wanted a three-tier cake. By using round cake pans of two sizes, plus putting a pottery bowl to use as a cake pan — my mother filled the order. Oh — and red frosting — that particular cake had red frosting.

Several decades later– I happened upon another birthday celebration.

This one was at the Georgia Aquarium, in honor of one of the California sea otters. He didn’t get a red, three tiered cake. Or my personal favorite — angel food.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Otter! May all your days be splashed full of fun!

Home, Sweet Home

Walking in the door after an absence is a special feeling. Depending on the length and reason for going– coming home varies in sweetness.

Certain trips I wanted to extend and it wasn’t until near my home that I pulled by thoughts from recent past to present and future. Other times I’ve been eager to return almost as soon as I walked out the door — think medical appointments.

Every trip home makes the hive sweeter. These small residents at Missouri Botanical Garden savor spring, summer, and fall blossoms.

Journey Prep

Things to do before you leave your home.

Well — preparations vary by age and species.

As an adult human, I need to consider the length of time away, mode of travel, and my companions. Often it involves packing extra clothes in a bag, my laptop, and a bag of drinks and snacks.

When I was a child, my preparation for a trip was simple. Follow mother’s directions. I’m sure it varied by age — did I have my “blanket” on that first trip? We planned clothes and did laundry close to departure when I was older.

Pets have it easy. Eat and potty when given a chance. Sleep or look out the window on a road trip.

Wildlife: eat, follow the group.

This Monarch butterfly is feasting before flying on the annual migration.

Patient Example

My friends and acquaintances are in agreement. This year, 2020, is one they do not want to repeat — ever!

A great many changes have been forced on us. A few are simple — use the bank drive-thru. Some are more complicated — make appointment, wear mask, wait outside at the beauty parlor. We hope some are temporary — limits on size of indoor groups. Others will be long-term — wear mask in public.

Change is difficult. It requires a person to be patient — with themselves and also the people around them. Perhaps you are in a position where you need to explain the new rules – again — and again — and again. You expect you will mumble them in your sleep they are carving such a deep path in your brain.

Be patient. Let the good things come your way. Consider this fine fellow — I don’t usually think of bears as patient — waiting for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — to come swimming upstream.

No Limping Zone

I’m being watched. Not by a human.

Okay, I see her now. Time to straighten up. Peer through the fence.

By the way, this is a poor location to limp and lag behind in your antelope costume.

The stalking and pouncing you enjoy watching in your house cat — she’s an expert — on a grand scale.


Did I do it right? Is it done? Can I do it again?

Mom — watch this!   Mom — it worked!

Parents, especially mothers, should be able to relate to all of the above phrases. When we had a toddler in the house it was easy to lose count of the number of times I heard — Me do it!

And he did. Sometimes. Part-way. With odd results.

Mom. Mom! Watch this!

Why do I suspect the designer of this sculpture was a parent?

I wonder if he had “help” with this portion.