Orchids

One of the most popular flower shows that our local Botanical Gardens showcases each year is the orchid show. This past year was the first time I (Lil Sis here) had actually gone to view the flowers and, Holy Guacamole, was there some serious orchids there. 

I have to applaud the Gardens here because they try very hard to showcase the orchids is as natural of a way that they can. They go to great lengths to inform and educate the viewers on how these plants grow in their native habitats. Did you know there were some orchid species that only grow in Madagascar? Yea, I didn’t either. 

Big Sis took numerous photos at the show and I wanted to show you 2 of my favorites. There are many more and I’ll be posting more soon but as a quick preview here you go.

 

Orchid 2

 

 

Flower trio cropped & adjusted

Dreamy Yellow Butterfly

Earlier this week Big Sis and I made a trek down to the Shaw Nature Reserve, located in Gray Summit, Missouri. Every Fall the monarchs fly through on their trek South but, unfortunately, there has been a steady decrease in their numbers in recent years. 😦

The ranger we spoke to told us that they had been afraid that the monarchs had dwindled to the point of nothing but thankfully, they had started to see them the weekend before. Excited, we headed out to the prairie sections of the reserve to see what we could find. Sadly, we found very few monarchs. We spotted some but just 5 years ago their numbers were in the thousands flying through but we saw less than 50 this time, and we were walking for over 4 hours. I fear that this may be the last year that we see any.

However, we took 100’s of photos. Yes, I said 100’s and we’ve been pouring through them all week. We’ve been experimenting with a new look to the photos and we’re really excited to share them!

What do you think of this dreamy yellow butterfly?

Here we've played with the color a little.

Here we’ve played with the color a little.

 

Here we've only cropped him.

Here we’ve only cropped him.

 

Which photo do you prefer? Let us know!

 

 

Apple Orchards, Fried Chicken and Eckert’s Farms

Today, I picked my own apples for the first time at Eckert’s Farms and I loved it. Yay me!

But walking through the rows and rows of apple trees, I realized how refreshing it was to actually see where my food comes from. It’s funny how quickly we’ve grown accustomed to having everything we need right in a centralized setting with no clue as to who picked it, what farm it’s from or what it actually takes to grow it. We need to understand how hard it is to grow that apple or orange. But that’s just me. Personally, getting out in the sun, walking around the trees, watching the insects and birds, and really seeing what it takes to get my food made was a huge stress reliever. Plus it gave me some color. Go me.

The orchard we went to, Eckert’s Farms, is a local establishment that’s been around over 100 years. It has a grocery section, restaurant, garden center and various farm sections that you can pick from throughout the year. Come Christmas I am seriously thinking about buying one of their fresh Christmas trees.

But since this was our first trip there we stopped for lunch at their restaurant before heading out to the orchards. I highly recommend their pressure cooked fried chicken, it was moist, the skin was crisp and oh my word was that chicken breast delicious! The sides included mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and green beans. Fabulous! Sis and I chose to get all white meat which cost a dollar more but well worth it to us.

They also have a frozen custard stand on site but since we had already staggered out of the restaurant full, we’ll have to try that next time. Oh the horror of having to find an excuse to go back! 😉

Here’s just a few of the photos I took. I’m a newbie to the IPhone. so fair warning.

Geese gourds? Looks like it to me.

Geese gourds? Looks like it to me.

Uh, is Charlie Brown in there?

Uh, is Charlie Brown in there?

Pumpkin Truck

Love the truck!

Mixed pumpkins

Mixed pumpkins

Come sit a spell...

Come sit a spell…

Happy First Day of Fall!

Whew! It’s fall already. Today is D-Day, or should I say F-Day? We’ve moved into the Fall season finally. Which means we’re staring down the barrel of the last week of September and sliding on into October pretty fast. It amazes me how quickly a year goes by now that I’m an adult. As a kid it seemed to take forever and fall was just the beginning of a school season for me. My how things change…

But I just love this season! It’s time for pumpkins, ghouls, new fall fashions and all things that go bump in the night, especially if those bumps belong to some studio executives passing out from the realization that we audiences want better films than those sequels they keep pouring down our throats.

*Ahem* Just saying.

In honor of the first day of Fall, I took a few pictures of some of the small pumpkins and gourds that we picked up the other day. The gourds remind me of gourd bird houses that I saw growing up. Every Fall the family would pile in the car and head up to the Smoky Mountains for a ride through the Parkway. It was only about 45 minutes away from our house and it was such a magical ride when the leaves turned.

Here’s to happy families and great Fall memories.

Tiger Striped Pumpkins

Gourds

What Fall memories do you have?

It’s Friday! Come meet our Grasshopper.

I woke up to a gray, drizzly and slightly chilly morning. I’m from the South and grew up in an area filled with lots of sunshine, so the level of cloudiness that envelops St. Louis sometimes gets to me but I rallied and headed to take the dogs out. But what do I spy just as I round the side of the building?

This cutie pie.

grasshopper on the hose

 

 

He was sitting on our hose, content as could be until he spied me looking at him. This was the only picture we managed to get before he jumped over the fence and out of sight. Bummer.

But on a positive note, at least he wasn’t as big as the dark brown/black grasshoppers that can be found in Alabama. I remember as a child, my parents taking me to visit a family cemetery in rural Calhoun County. The cemetery was overgrown and very old, and I remember getting out of the car and wandering around looking at the old tombstones. But I had wandered pretty far from the car and the grass was over knee high in many areas when I noticed the first big guy. He was sitting on a wrought iron fence that enclosed a family plot and then I noticed another, then another, and another…

Just thinking about it gives me the shivers. These grasshoppers were longer than my index finger and that cemetery was infested with em. My parents had grown up in the area and was use to them, but I hadn’t been and I wanted back in the car. So I high tailed it back over to it and dove in. I can still hear their laughter in my ears as I ducked and weaved around the plots while simultaneously trying not to walk on any of them, even though the ground was crawling with em.

*Sigh* They never let me live that down.

So Happy Friday everyone and here’s to a nice and pleasant weekend with no big scary grasshoppers. 😉

 

Water Lily Heaven

Water Lilies are some of my favorite flowers and I think they are sometimes overlooked in nature. They come in a variety of colors, a pretty pleasing feast for the eyes. 🙂

 

Lavender Water lily

 

 

Water lily 1

 

 

water lily

 

 

 

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The Butterfly House

I don’t know about you but where I live, here in St. Louis, the weather is like diaper surprise, ya never know whatcha gonna get and you could pass out from the fumes. But since it was cloudy and slightly chilly today, we figured it might be a good day to head indoors to take some pictures. So if you’re in St. Louis and love gardens and nature but don’t want to be out in the elements, head over to the Butterfly House. It houses a collection of butterflies from around the world. They grow these cute little guys themselves and it’s so relaxing to walk through the indoor gardens with tropical butterflies fluttering around you. Try it. I dare you not to relieve some stress while you’re there! 😉

And as a bonus, as a division of the Missouri Botanical Gardens which, if you’re already a Garden member, the price of admission is already included in your membership. YAY! Good deeds AND included admission? I’m there. Also, they acknowledge other garden memberships from around the world, so check yours before you come.

I highly recommend you visit if you have a chance. It’s located in one of our numerous parks and it’s great for families. Check out their website for more information.

In honor of the Butterfly House, here are some of the photos we took.

Enjoy!

Bee on yellow bush

Butterfly

Little Butterfly 2

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