Sunday, January 14, 2018

Missouri Winter Wildlife In Our Back Yard - 1/14/2018

We love sitting at our dining table and watching all the wildlife in our back yard. Sigrid keeps the bird feeders full and has an apple flavored mineral block for the deer.

There are an amazing number of birds to watch because we have Fleming Park in our back yard and are only a few hundred yards from Blue Springs Lake. Fleming Park is huge with over 7,800 acres of area and two large lakes with over 1,700 acres of water.

Here are a few photos taken over the last two days. I am not a bird expert so I don't know the names of all the birds but they are fun to watch.  These are just the winter birds in Missouri.  In the spring, we will have some additional species to photo.

Of course, we have lots of deer.  Beautify animals but they like our shrubs better than the dead grasses this time of year.

A Barred Owl

White Tail Doe

A male Cardinal

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Female Cardinal

A 8 or 9 point buck.  They are fairly rare to see and are loners most of the year.

Monday, December 11, 2017

KC Country Club Plaza Christmas Lights - 11/28/2017

After having dinner with a friend on the Plaza, we took the opportunity to drive around the Plaza and enjoy the holiday lighting.  The lights are turned on each Thanksgiving evening by local celebrities and the crowds attending have number as high as 250,000 people.  This tradition got started back in 1925 with one single string of lights.

I first took photos of the lights in 1966 using an old 35mm camera, a tripod, light meter, and Kodachrome slide film.  As I recall, it took 8 seconds of exposure time for each photo.  Since I had my Canon 5D Mark III with me for dinner, I decided to take a few photos of the lights.  I didn't have a tripod but that wasn't a problem given the capabilities of the camera.  All the new photos are handheld using HDR.

I have included a few of the newly taken photos and the ones from 1966 in this post.  It is interesting to compare the buildings and the decorations with the 51 year gap in time.  Many of the same "core" buildings from 1966 are still in place on the Plaza.  They have been surrounded by modern office buildings, hotels, and condos.

For years, the lights were almost all white.  I found that boring although I am sure they were easier to maintain using the same color.  In the last few years, I have noticed a return to more colored lights.  You can still see the many colors in the 1966 photos as well as large candles and street light decor.  They don't have as much "extra" decorating now.

The 2017 photos are first up followed by the 1966 slides.

The remaining photos are from 1966.

One of the many fountains on the Plaza and in Kansas City.  KC is known as the city of fountains.

I can't believe that I waited 51 years to take new photos on the Plaza.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Children's Mercy Hospital Car Show - 11/25/2017

My friend, Brian Rollet and his wife hosted a charity event for Children's Mercy Hospital on a beautiful late November Saturday in the Lowes parking lot in Liberty, Missouri.  Thanks to the great weather, plenty of car owners showed up for the event.  The KC Corvette Club was there in force and I am a Corvette lover having owned three in the past.

The event was to collect new toys or money to buy toys for the kids at Children's Mercy Hospital so they can have a nice Christmas.

The car below is a really nice Chevrolet Monte Carlo that has over 400,000 miles on it.  the owners drive it on the streets all the time.

The car's old 8 track cassette player still works.

The is my friend's Dodge Dart Swinger loaded with toys.  After the show, it will take a caravan of cars to get all toys to the hospital.

Brian's car is loaded with more then just toys.

Brian and his wife, the organizers of the show.

This gets my heart pounding....a new Chevrolet Corvette.

A work of art.

Love the body color paint on the valve covers and other engine bay parts.

A pair of oldies but goodies.

Not your grandpa's car anymore.

Digital dash instruments with a tall shifter.

Another of my all time favorite cars.....the Chevrolet Chevelle.

There were too many cars at the show to photo them all.  We are so glad the show was such a success.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Spectacular Evening Clouds - 11/17/2017

Sigrid and I were enjoying a nice evening on our patio a couple of weeks ago when I notice some unusual cloud formations. They almost looked like the smoke left over from a fireworks display. Check out the photo in a larger size to see all the interesting details.

Friday, October 6, 2017

John's 70th Birthday - 9/25/2017

We had to memorialize my major milestone of reaching 70 years of age by not only a party but also a blog posting.  The blog is actually a great way to share the photos of the special day with family and friends.

We had lunch at Jack Stack of my favorites.  We then went to the house for cake, ice cream, and pies.  My favorite dessert is cherry pie so I had that in addition to the traditional cake.  We had requested no gifts but, of course, I got some anyway.

We are wrapping up a big year for special events and anniversaries.  We just moved into our new house in May.  This year is the 20th anniversary of our first date, Sigrid's 60th birthday, and my 70th.

Here are the photos.  I did not take many of them since I was busy opening the presents I wasn't supposed to get.  Scott and Sigrid both tried their hand at using the "big" camera and did well.

We had 15 people join us for lunch at Jack Stack BBQ.

Our good friend, Edel DeMaria, and her sister from Germany, Waltraud, study the menu with Sigrid.  Waltraud was here to visit Edel and to attend the wedding of Edel's daughter, Mechelene DeMaria.  Waltraud does not speak English so Edel and Sigrid helped her during the stay.

Granddaughter Emily Coleman and daughter Deb Duehren.

Chris Duehren (red shirt), Scott Browning, and brother Jim.

A better photo of Jim Browning

Sister in-law Sondra Browning and Edel DeMaria.

Roger Williams and daughter Linda Williams.

Our friend from our apartment stay, Halide Smith, and Jim.

Sigrid and me.

Hanging out at the house before the cake.  Grandson Tanner Coleman is on the right end of the couch.

Chris and Deb.

Roger and Linda.

Linda and Edel.

Jim and others.

Edel and Waltraud...sisters.



Opening cards and gifts.

A spinning and flaming candle gift from Halide.

Two cherry and one apple is great.

Not too hard to blow out two candles.  I love the numerical candles.  We had a bad experience on my 50th when we had 50 candles....things almost got out of hand.



Jim and me.

Emily, me, and Tanner

Deb, me, and Linda

Scott and me.

The first large group to entertain in the new home which is way smaller than the last one.

It was a truly great day and I enjoyed it very much.