Category Archives: Kansas City

What Does The Fox Say?

After watching this mother fox diligently tend to her young, I think she says “I’m exhausted!”

On and off for many years in the Spring, red foxes have made a den in the rocky ledges of friends’ rural backyard in the Kansas City. This year, there are two adults and six kits. A fox family consists of a male and female adult, plus their offspring, although sometimes a female from the previous litter will help. The gender of the second adult in this family wasn’t clear. The kits (also known as pups or cubs) may be about three weeks old in these photographs, taken April 5, 2014. They are gray and roundish, but are quickly turning red like their parents. Last year when I saw young foxes in early May, they already looked like smaller versions of the adults.

The foxes are very active in this rural neighborhood, and my friend Pat has seen all sorts of behavior, including adults carrying prey, burying it in leaves and then retrieving it; carrying tiny kits in their mouths; nursing the kits; and grooming behavior. Earlier, one of the adult foxes spent about two hours screaming as he ran around the area, possibly as a way to announce his territory. The screaming was so loud that neighbors called out of concern that something terrible was happening, Pat said.
About Foxes.

Click on a photograph to see a full-size version and begin a slideshow with descriptions.

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Filed under Animals, Kansas, Kansas City

Leawood Arti Gras Annual Art Show


Art, music and lively conversation  transformed the space into “Arti Gras” in the community room of Leawood City Hall, where I’ve taken yoga classes.

In the slideshow below are photographs from the  opening night gala on Feb. 21, 2014.   It was Leawood’s third Juried Art Show.  The opening night art show featured a Mardi Gras theme in decor and food.  The Dixieland Jazz Band “12th Street Revue” and magician Barry Nelson entertained the crowd. Another gallery featured children’s art. The Leawood Foundation presented the show, with the support of the Leawood Arts Council.

I went with my friend Lynn, a talented photographer.  There were many great artworks in the show I didn’t include in the slide show, partly because of reflections on the glass, but you can see all of the artworks if you click on the link under the slideshow.

Next year, plan to to attend so you can  enjoy the work in person. I’m thinking of entering some of my photographs for the 2015 show.  Watch this space to see whether I follow through with my plan…Lynn will give me a nudge or three, as will Sharon, a photographer friend who was at the show, too. I hope they also enter!

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To see the artworks in the show, click on Arti Gras 2014 Art Gallery.

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Filed under Art, Kansas, Kansas City, Life, Photography

The Tektites at The Riot Room

The members of The Tektites played their first show on Friday, February 7, 2014, at The Riot Room in Kansas City, Missouri. Enjoy!

The Riot Room, Kansas City’s premiere Live Music Venue and Beer Emporium. Follow The Tektites on Facebook.

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Filed under Kansas, Kansas City, Music

Don’t Be a Silly Goose! Fly South for the Winter!

Whose idea was it to spend winter here?

Recently, I was walking Loki, the family dog, when I saw a flock of Canada Geese (a gaggle ?) on a frozen pond in my Kansas City area neighborhood. It was a beautiful sight. The low afternoon sun cast a golden glow onto the melting water, reflecting the geese and the yellow foliage of grass and cat tails. If you didn’t look too closely, you wouldn’t see the goose poop scattered artistically across the frozen surface. I took the dog home and returned with my camera. The geese don’t like paparazzi, so they headed to the opposite side of the pond.

These geese like the neighborhood.  After a heavy snow, I saw the geese gathered on a golf course, taking advantage of a lack of golfers.

About Canada Geese.

This golf gallery is a gaggle of geese gawking on a golf green (now white with snow.)

This golf gallery is a gaggle of geese gawking on a golf green (now white with snow.)

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Filed under Animals, Biology, Bird-watching, Birds, Humor, Kansas City, Natural History, Photography

You May Now Photograph The Bride

A bride and groom and their attendants pose for a photograph at the overlook at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which has a great view of Union Station and downtown Kansas City.

A bride and groom and their attendants pose for a photograph at the overlook at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which has a great view of Union Station and downtown Kansas City. The four pylons of Bartle Hall are on the left of the skyline.

I love photographing brides, whether they are relatives, friends or strangers. When I saw the beautiful wedding photographs from around the world in “There Goes the Bride!” by Terri and James Vance, I was inspired to look through my photographs of bridal parties. I’ve posted a few of my favorites here. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take many photographs at my children’s weddings. Too busy! I also apologize to anyone whose view I may have blocked when I was trying to grab the perfect wedding shot. I lose my head when I see a bride.

A bride and groom relax on a bench along the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand.

A bride and groom relax on a bench along the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Bride in Melbourne

A wedding party gathers for photographs in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.

This bride laughs as she stops her wind-blown veil with her foot.  She's on her way to a park in Christchurch to get her photograph taken.

This bride laughs as she stops her wind-blown veil with her foot. She’s on her way to a park in Christchurch, New Zealand, to get her photograph taken.

Here's an elegant newlywed pair heading for their limousine after their wintertime wedding ceremony.

Here’s an elegant newlywed pair heading for their limousine after their wintertime wedding ceremony in the Kansas City area.

An English Cocker Spaniel walks down a garden path with her newlywed owners after their garden wedding near Ithaca, New York.

An English Cocker Spaniel walks down a garden path with her newlywed owners after their garden wedding near Ithaca, New York.

A bride and groom walk on a beach in St. John, Virgin Islands, which is a favorite for destination weddings.

A bride and groom walk on a beach in St. John, Virgin Islands, which is a favorite for destination weddings.

Newlyweds walk under a pergola at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Kansas City, a popular spot for weddings.

Newlyweds walk under a pergola at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Kansas City, a popular spot for weddings.

Every guest seems to have a camera to capture the bride and groom as they walk down the rose-strewn aisle in this Napa Valley, California, wedding.

Every guest seems to have a camera to capture the bride and groom as they walk down the rose-strewn aisle in this Napa Valley, California, wedding.

Bridal parties appear regularly at the Nelson-Museum of Art in Kansas City.  I saw at least two bridal groups swarming the shuttlecocks on this day.

Bridal parties appear regularly at the Nelson-Museum of Art in Kansas City. I saw at least two bridal groups swarming the shuttlecocks on this day.

Brides and grooms love to get their photographs taken in front of one of the shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.  A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph. They weren’t the only wedding party there that day being photographed in front of a shuttlecock. There are four of these shuttlecock sculptures at the museum, designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

Brides and grooms love to get their photographs taken in front of one of the shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph. They weren’t the only wedding party there that day being photographed in front of a shuttlecock. There are four of these shuttlecock sculptures at the museum, designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

UPDATE: My husband took this photo on Signal Hill, Cape Town, South Africa, which we visited in January 2013. Photographing brides must be contagious!

My husband took this photo while I was looking elsewhere and didn't see this bride and groom.  I think my husband might have been bitten briefly by the bride photo bug.  Here, a bride and groom consult with their photographer on Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa.  Signal Hill provides a spectacular view of Table Bay and the city of Cape Town and makes a lovely spot for a wedding photo.

My husband took this photo while I was looking elsewhere and didn’t see this bride and groom. I think my husband might have been bitten briefly by the bride photo bug. Here, a bride and groom consult with their photographer on Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa. Signal Hill provides a spectacular view of Table Bay and the city of Cape Town and makes a lovely spot for a wedding photo.

To see larger versions of these photographs, click on the thumbnails below.

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Filed under Kansas City, Photography

Kansas City Street Scene

I love this view of one section of Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, juxtaposed between an unrelated mural on the left and the Denny’s sign on the right. I took this photo from my car window while stopped at a red light in June 2012. We were on our way to a wedding reception in the nearby Crossroads District of Kansas City. The Kauffman Center offers two performance venues.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, is an artwork in itself. This photo only shows the west shell (wing) of the building, but the east shell looks similar. Shell seems like the right word for the wings, because the building does have a creature-like appearance. I thought of an armadillo when I first saw it. When my husband stopped at a red light as we drove near it on our way to a wedding reception in June, I quickly took the photo. Sometimes, long red lights are a good thing! My friend Jan and I had recently driven past the Center when she visited from Los Angeles, so Jan, here’s another view!

The two wings (Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall) are designed for the needs of opera, dance and musical performances. The Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet perform in the Center.

The Kauffman Center opened in September 2011, and a month later, friends invited my husband and me to a performance of “Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis” in the glorious Kauffman Center. It’s time we went back!

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Website.

Wikipedia on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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Filed under Kansas City, Photography

Hit a Home Run!

"Just like Stan Musial I'm an all star, widely considered to be one of the all time greatest snugglers of all time. I've compiled 3,630 purrs (the most in a career spent with only one team) 475 home runs for watching sporting events with my family, and was named the Most Valuable Pussycat by all my roommates."

Michelle Cour, volunteer at Wayside Waifs, interviews Stan, one of the new stars at the shelter.  Stan is looking for a grand slam into your home! Details on choosing Stan for your team are at the bottom of this post.

Stan the Man here! Just like Stan Musial I’m an all star, widely considered to be one of the all time greatest snugglers of all time. I’ve compiled 3,630 purrs (the most in a career spent with only one team) 475 home runs for watching sporting events with my family, and was named the Most Valuable Pussycat by all my roommates, I’d still be living there but the landlord in our new place allows only two pets and the dogs got to stay. I lived with only one family my whole life and I’m sad I had to go, but I just know I’ll find another family just as terrific. If you’re looking for a Hall of Fame Feline Friend, I’m your man!

You may have noticed I have only one eye. Kind of makes me look kind of rakish, like a pirate, I’m thinking Johnny Depp. Boy, is he hot! I hear the ladies really go for him. They go for me too! I have lots of fans here in the staff and volunteers at Wayside. I’m a people person and love to hang out with you, but do okay with small dogs. I lived with two small dogs for many years but I’m not good with big dogs as I’d been attacked by them in my past. Please don’t take me if you have a big dog. I’m very afraid. I shouldn’t go outside. I can’t defend myself well because I can’t see what’s coming on one side.

Inside I do great! I love to climb and my favorite place to perch is high up on the furniture. I respond well to my name, so please don’t change it when we go home. I’ve lost my people, my home and my dog brothers, so my name is all I have left that’s familiar and comfortable. I need something to hold on to, please. I’ve lived with a family the last 8 years so I’m having a little trouble adjusting to shelter life. I’m a bit shy and not as outgoing and friendly as I’d be with people I know and love. When we go home, I might go hide under a bed or in a closet until I feel comfortable joining the family. I’m affectionate and want to be buddies, but I’ll need a bit of time to adjust.

My family says I enjoy running water so if I can please have a kitty fountain or stick my head under the sink when you’re brushing your teeth or doing dishes sometimes, I’d like that. I have great hygiene habits and never have a litter box issue if you keep it clean for me. I eat dry food but shouldn’t have only dry food as it’s hard on my tummy. I need some wet food too. Thank you so much for honoring my requests. And don’t forget in these tough economic times, I’m a bargain, just $25 for a lifetime of friendship and affection. Such a deal I have for you!

I’m looking forward to joining your team and being your MVP. I’ll be at batting practice faithfully learning to swat my toy mice way, way out there… going going gone! Holy cow! See you around the ball park.

Stan

Stan can be found at Wayside Waifs, Inc., Kansas City’s largest no-kill shelter.  Wayside Waifs,  an independent, not-for-profit humane society and animal welfare organization established in 1944, is located at 3901 Martha Truman Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 64137.  The telephone number is 816-761-8151.  The website is Wayside Waifs.

Here’s a link to Sebastian The Sensitive Soul’s blog post about Bandit, another great cat in need of a home. He will steal your heart.  Bandit was fun to photograph!  Bandit.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Kansas City, Pets

Dining Under the Bridge

Tables are beautifully set under the historic 12th Street Bridge for the Food Now Fund-raiser in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 27, 2011.

My multi-talented friend Chris B. invited me and several others to the second annual foodNow local food experience under the 12th Street Bridge in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Missouri, on August 27, 2011. I had no idea what foodNow was, but who wouldn’t want to eat an elegant dinner under an old bridge in one of Kansas City’s most historic areas?  Chefs from many Kansas City restaurants prepared a three-course dinner from produce from the area. The event was a fund-raiser for Beans and Greens –  Nourishing Neighborhoods with Local Produce ,  Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition  and Get Growing KC.

"Haunted Houses" attract thrill-seekers in the fall near the 12th Street Bridge.

The tables were set on the original cobblestone street where farmers brought their produce for sale.  I’m glad I was wearing flat shoes. Some women wearing more fashionable footwear were a little wobbly on the cobblestones.  Nearby the bridge are old warehouses, which now have a new life hosting “haunted houses” that attract thrill-seekers every fall.  Also in the area is Kemper Arena and the site of the American Royal.   Each table had a different menu.  Chef Michael Turner of the Classic Cup prepared the delicious dinner for my table.  There was a silent and a live auction. Unfortunately, my table was far from the auctioneer.  An old bridge may be charming, but the acoustics were not that great.  I could hear my table-mates, though, and that made for a very fascinating evening.

The 12th Street Bridge was built in 1915 and is now undergoing a major rehabilitation. The West Bottoms (official name Central Industrial District) is an industrial area immediately to the west of downtown Kansas City, Missouri at the confluence of the Missouri River and the Kansas River. The area is one of the oldest areas of the city and is home to Kansas City’s early agricultural markets.

Originally called the “French Bottoms,” French trappers and Kansas Indians traded here centuries ago. French Bottoms sounds a lot more appealing, doesn’t it?  Steamships traveling upstream on the Missouri river offloaded their goods at the Bottoms to provision those immigrating west and for trade with Mexico over the Santa Fe Trail. The advent of the railroad increased the importance of the area.   Major floods have engulfed the area (1903, 1951 and 1993), which have diminished the area’s commercial and residential importance.  You could say river affluence has lessened the area’s influence.

Les Dames d'Escoffier International (Heart of America Chapter) sponsored the silent and live auction of cooking and food-related items.

Tiny lights illuminate the tables under the 12th Street Bridge in the West Bottoms of Kansas City for the foodNow dinner.

Check out these links:
foodNow.
About the West Bottoms. Official West Bottoms Site.

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Filed under Agriculture, Commerce, Food, Kansas City

316 Pet Adoptions in Three Days!

So many happy people and happy animals at the Adoptathon at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri!  Now, we absolutely, positively need to find a home for Virginia!

Ask Me About Virginia Button button

Most cats and kittens at Wayside Waifs find a home within a week or two of being made available for adoption, but Virginia hasn’t found a family yet.  Life at Wayside Waifs is pretty plush, but it doesn’t take the place of a “furr-ever” home.  Here’s what I wrote about Virginia previously.   “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus…”

In the top photograph, Grace (left) stops to gossip with Virginia (on the chair) about the newest feline residents at Wayside Waifs. In the bottom photograph, Virginia waits at the door, hoping her "fur-ever" family will finally appear.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Dogs, Kansas City, Life, Pets

Rizzie and Polly Paddlefoot — the Polydactyl Cats

 

Rizzie is a polydactyl cat, available for adoption at Wayside Waifs, a Kansas City no-kill animal shelter. She has an extra toe on each of her front paws, giving them a mitten appearance. Her extra toes are not very noticeable unless you look closely. Sailors favored cats with extra toes because they were thought to be more nimble, better able to climb and excellent hunters of rats on the ship.

The first time I ever saw six-toed cats was on a visit to the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. More than fifty cats roam the Hemingway estate, about half of them with six toes on each front paw, all descendants from Hemingway’s first six-toed cat. Cats normally have five toes on each front paw and four on each back paw. There are many variations of polydactylism in cats, which you can read about in the link below. The record is 28 total toes! Normal is eighteen.

Rizzie's front paw shows the mitten shape of a polydactyl cat -- a cat with an extra toe.

A ship’s captain gave a six-toed cat to Hemingway, who became one of the more famous lovers of polydactyl cats. After Hemingway died in 1961, his former home in Key West became a museum and a home for his cats. Because of his love for these animals, “Hemingway cat”, or simply “Hemingway”, is a slang term used to describe polydactyls. There are also official breeds of polydactyl cats, including the American Polydactyl Cat and the Maine Coon Polydactyl.  Polydactyl cats are very common in the Cardigan area of Wales, where they are known as “Cardi-Cats.”

According to Wikipedia, polydactylism  seems to be most commonly found in cats along the East Coast of the United States and in South West England.  The most common variety of the trait spread widely as a result of cats carried on ships originating in Boston.  (The polydactyl cats must have gotten a weekend pass and fraternized with the local cats…)  Sailors valued polydactyl cats for their superior climbing skills and for their extraordinary abilities to hunt shipboard rats.  Some sailors also considered them to be extremely good luck when at sea.

Anne Boleyn was reputed to have a sixth finger, but detractors may have created that rumor, because polydactylism was supposed to be a trait of witches. But the only thing witch-like about polydactyl cats is that they will bewitch you!

About Polydactyl Cats.

Hemingway House cats.

Wayside Waifs.

Click here to go to Live Cam of Hemingway cats.

Polly Paddlefoot has an extra toe on each of her front paws, which are not very noticeable unless she stands. A lucky family took Polly Paddlefoot to a new home. Polydactyl cats bring good luck!

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Filed under Cats, History, Kansas City, Life, Nature, Pets, Photography, Science