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Make Way for Ducklings!

A mother duck leads her ducklings through Deanna Rose Children's  Farmstead to a pond.

A mother duck leads her ducklings through Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead to a pond.

I love to visit the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, even without children in tow. I try to go a couple of times a summer, but this year I didn’t go until mid-July and at almost noon. It was hot and sunny. I was soon drooping until I spotted a mother duck with her ducklings following close behind her. I knew she was heading to the swan pond so I followed her, snapping photos as quickly as I could. She was fast! I wish I would have captured at least one of the ducklings jumping into the pond, but they were too fast for me to focus.

If you click on the photo collage, you’ll get a larger view.

About the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.

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Let Us Remember

Catherine Sherman:

I’m repeating this post from 2012 about Memorial Day.

Originally posted on Catherine Sherman:

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and his family spent summers in a cottage near the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, in Washington, D.C. Although the cottage and grounds were a refuge from the heat of downtown three miles south, the nearby cemetery was a constant reminder of the daily carnage of the war. The cemetery, next to the Armed Forces Retirement Home, is one of only two national cemeteries administered by the Department of the Army, the other being Arlington National Cemetery. The national cemetery is adjacent to the historic Rock Creek Cemetery and to the Soldiers’ Home.

On this Memorial Day weekend in the United States, as we enjoy three days usually spent in some pleasant activity with family and friends, I wanted to spend a few moments thinking about the reason for the holiday.  Holiday seems too festive of a term for a day…

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More Than a Million Snow Geese at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Catherine Sherman:

More than a million snow geese visit Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in March 2014 in northwest Missouri. Click on the post to see more photos of snow geese, trumpeter swans, ducks, bald eagles and a muskrat.

Originally posted on Bees, Birds and Butterflies:

The snow geese filled the sky as they left the water.

The snow geese filled the sky as they left the water.

My friend Lynn and I visited Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refugeon March 18, 2014, to see the more than million snow geese on their annual spring migration north to Canada and Alaska.

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refugeisin northwestern Missouri,established in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt,as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.The refuge is 7,350 acres (30km2) along the eastern edge of the Missouri Riverfloodplain south of Mound City, Missouri,in Holt County, Missouri. Massive flocks of ducks and geese congregate at Squaw Creek occur during spring and fall migrationsas part of the Central Flyway.As many as 475 bald eagleshave been sighted on the refuge in the winter. The refuge annually celebrates the eagle visits with “Eagle Days” celebrations. In March 2014, almost 1.2 million snow geese were counted.
Official Website of…

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The Rising Body Count (via planetjan)

You absolutely must read this disturbing, yet hilarious blog post by my friend Planetjan. The video is beyond hilarious. Very clever, too. Love that British humor, a brilliant combination of erudition, wit, wisdom and slap-stickism.

The Rising Body Count I’m afraid blogging has taken a back seat to crowd control.  Yes, I started the year with eight additional students. Those eight extra students might as well be 20.  Forget Octo-mom.  I’m Octo-Teacher! I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the she … Read More

via planetjan

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In Search Of….Narrated by Leonard Nimoy

I loved this series, narrated by Leonard Nimoy from 1976 to 1982.  Note the disclaimer in the beginning, including the words “theories and conjecture. ” As many of us shiver this very cold winter, we can think back to some very cold winters in the 1970s when we were warned of a coming Ice Age. 

An update.   Baffin Island Midge Study – debunked for a 3rd time – nearby weather station shows no warming

Here’s my post on a dig of Ice Age mammals, which I visited in the mid-1970s. Hey, I’m not above giving my old posts a plug! The Natural Trap.

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Happy Anniversary, Shuttlecocks!

Wedding parties often arrive on the front lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of art to be photographed in front of the shuttlecocks.  In fact, I don't think you're officially married in Kansas CIty until you make this ritual visit with your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Wedding parties often arrive on the south lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to be photographed in front of the shuttlecocks. In fact, I don’t think you’re officially married in Kansas City until you make this ritual visit with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you elope, better show up here, too.

Fifteen years ago, four giant shuttlecocks landed on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.   Designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, the shuttlecocks received a mixed reception when they were first installed, but now they’ve become Kansas City icons.  They add a whimsical touch to the classical exterior of the Nelson-Atkins.  The contemporary glass Bloch Building (and it does look like glass blocks) addition to the east further lightens the mood.   The Bloch contains the museum’s contemporary and African collections nad provide access to the outdoor sculpture garden, which features the works of many artists, including Henry Moore.

The shuttlecocks make a lot of friends.

The shuttlecocks are always ready to pose. Here’s my friend Jan from California in her first visit to the Nelson-Atkins. Check out her blog by left clicking on this photo. (But only after you’ve checked out all of my photos!)

Bridal parties swarm around the shuttlecocks for wedding photos, impromptu soccer games arise among the sculptures, picnickers settle near them.   In the beginning, many people thought (and wished) the shuttlecocks were a temporary exhibition, but Kansas Citians aren’t letting go now.

Inside the Bloch are smaller Claes Oldenburg sculptures, (small is a relative term) including a large orange vinyl light switch that slumps from the wall.  A docent told me that Oldenburg’s first wife did the actual construction.  I need to find out more about her!

A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph.

Another wedding! Maybe you didn’t believe me when I said you weren’t married unless you stood in front of a shuttlecock…..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.

You can see the back of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which from this perspective looks small compared with the giant shuttlecock.

Here’s the south side of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which from this perspective looks small compared with the giant shuttlecock.

Everyone enjoys the shuttlecocks.

Everyone enjoys the shuttlecocks.

Climbing on the shuttlecocks isn't allowed, but some people can't resist. It's better than the monkey bars! I've read that a motion detector is tripped when people climb on, and a voice on a PA system will warn art lovers to stand clear. I've never heard this warning, though.

A shuttlecock adorns the front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in this dramatic night view.

A shuttlecock adorns the front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in this dramatic night view.

Shuttlecock in winter.

This shuttlecock looks lonely in winter.

Shuttlecock winter scene.

A young visitor surveys the south lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum with one of Rodin’s The Thinker and two shuttlecocks in the view.

ABOUT CLAES OLDENBURG AND COOSJE VAN BRUGGEN

(From http://nelson-atkins.org) Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen are artists/collaborators and husband and wife. In the 1960s, Oldenburg became one of America’s famous Pop artists. He is also known for creating the first soft sculptures made of fabric, many of which were foodstuffs—slices of cake, ice cream cones and hamburgers that are staples of daily life in America. As his repertoire grew, Oldenburg created typewriters, electric fans and toilets. The Museum’s Switches Sketch (1964) and Soft Saxophone, Scale B (1992) are classic examples of Oldenburg’s soft sculptures of familiar objects.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen’s first collaboration was in 1976, when the sculptures Trowel I (1971–1976) in Otterlo, The Netherlands, and Trowel II (1976) in Purchase, New York, were commissioned. The artists married in 1977 and have since executed more than 40 large-scale sculptures worldwide. Whimsical works like the soft sculptures are based on everyday objects from popular culture. By making ordinary objects the focus of their art rather than depicting more traditional, heroic and commemorative subjects, they challenged conventions and reinvigorated the history of sculpture.

Created on a monumental scale, works such as Clothespin (1976) in Philadelphia; Spoonbridge and Cherry (1988) at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Typewriter Eraser, Scale X (1999) at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and Shuttlecocks (1994) at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art continue to delight and surprise visitors.

Oldenburg was born in 1929 in Stockholm, Sweden. Van Bruggen was born in 1942 in Groningen, The Netherlands. She died in 2009.

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

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