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Chiggers!

I should have taken this advice about how to avoid chiggers. I’m covered with chigger bites after working in the neighborhood butterfly garden. I haven’t seen any butterflies lately, but I know that the chiggers have found a home there.

Catherine Sherman

 
This is a chigger, enlarged about 1,500 times. Chiggers are red until they are engorged, when they turn yellow. They feed on our dissolved skin cells, not blood. (Photo — Dr. W. Calvin Webourn, the Ohio State Acarology Laboratory.)

Since I’m still scratching like crazy, I decided to get serious about avoiding more chigger bites.  (See my post, “Berry Picking by Moonlight” for an impractical approach.) If you’re wondering whether there are chiggers in your area, there probably aren’t. If you’ve been in nature, you’d already know! 

HOW TO AVOID GETTING CHIGGER BITES:
Wear Insect Repellent.
Wear long pants and long sleeves (which is so much fun when it’s 95 degrees!)
Wipe off your skin with a rough towel when you come inside.
Take a warm shower or bath with soap after coming indoors.
Wash your clothes and used towels in hot water and detergent to kill any chiggers hanging…

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Historic South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is one of the most beautiful cities in the country.

Happy Day!

Here is a view from beneath the cables of the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina. The Arthur Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River opened in July 2005. This eight-lane, cable stayed bridge with two diamond-shaped towers allows clearance for ocean freighters to access the port of Charleston, South Carolina. The bridge connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. It is the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.


A small dog on a walk enjoys the brightly colored houses line East Bay Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Thirteen historic houses make up Rainbow Row. Built in the 18th century, the Rainbow Row houses represent the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States.


A black bicycle is color coordinated with the white clapboard house with black shutters on Meeting Street south of Broad…

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Glass Labyrinth

Visitors to the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park make their way slowly through the Glass Labyrinth. The labyrinth is one of the many sculptures and art pieces on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Visitors to the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park make their way slowly through the Glass Labyrinth. The labyrinth is one of the many sculptures and art pieces on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Glass Labyrinth Instructions, History and Details.

Glass Labyrinth Instructions, History and Details.

It was a beautiful day, the first day of September (humid, but you can’t escape that in Kansas City), perfect to explore the 22-acre Donald Hall J. Sculpture Park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. One of the art installations on the museum’s vast lawn is the Glass Labyrinth, designed by Kansas City native Robert Morris. Installed in 2013, the labyrinth is a 7-foot-tall triangular sculpture consisting of one-inch thick glass plate walls topped with bronze.

Neither of us had ever explored it before. We watched another person seemingly lost inside trying to make her way out. We stood at the entrance a while, deciding whether we wanted to be trapped inside, too.

Pat enters the Glass Labyrinth.

Pat entered first. I documented her trek with my camera. Would she ever return? Then I followed in her footsteps.  She was hurrying ahead to help the trapped woman. I could see them both, but couldn’t reach them.

I love to read everything but instructions, so I entered the glass labyrinth without knowing that you are to make your way to the center of the labyrinth and then retrace your steps to the entrance, which is also the exit. I did read that you need to move slowly, because it’s very easy to bump into a wall when you think it’s an opening. The glass is amazingly clean and clear. It helps to hold out your hand ahead of you. It was very warm inside the labyrinth, and it doesn’t take much to give you a feeling of panic at being trapped. After I reached what seemed to be the middle, I continued on (since I hadn’t fully read the instructions), finding dead ends. I turned around and walked back the way I came, thinking I had cheated by giving up, when I had actually taken the only path to get out. There was the entrance/exit! I was out!  Soon afterward, Pat led out the trapped woman. Freedom! I confess I felt a little dizzy.

Kansas City native Robert Morris designed this Glass Labyrinth, which is in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City native Robert Morris designed this Glass Labyrinth, which is in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

I'm in the center of the Glass Labyrinth at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. You can see a bit of my reflection.

I’m in the center of the Glass Labyrinth at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. You can see a bit of my reflection.

Robert Morris Visits His Glass Labyrinth for the First Time: A Slideshow and Article.

Click here to read about the Sculpture Park.

Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park

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Sue, The Tyrannosaurus Rex

Sue in the Main Hall

Sue, the Tyrannosaurus rex, in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois.

When I visit Chicago, Illinois, I like to visit my old friend Sue, the Tyrannosaurus rex. In early April, my husband and I got re-acquainted with Sue when we were in the city for a wedding.  We braved unseasonably cold weather, high wind (well, it is Chicago, the Windy City) and some snow and ice to see the old gal.  She looks pretty good for 67 million years old, although she does admit to some cosmetic help.

When I was refreshing my memory about Sue’s many attributes and history, I was thrilled to read that the T rex mural on the wall behind Sue is by John Gurche, a University of Kansas graduate. I’d met John Gurche years ago while I was at KU and am always happy to discover one of his works. I bought his dinosaur stamps, and of course I never used them on an envelope. (What would happen to the U.S. Postal Service is all of the stamp collectors suddenly used all of their stamps as postage!)  Gurche’s work is featured in museums and in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian and the Boston Globe. He was named one of the 2013-14 Distinguished Alumni of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, the highest honor from the College.

I’m not sure when I’ll see Sue again, so I will get my next fossil fix at the KU Museum of Natural History.  And one of these days I’ll post my story about a dinosaur dig I went to in Wyoming near Newcastle.

About Sue, the Tyrannosaurus rex.

 

 

Dinosaur Stamps

John Gurche’s U.S. Postage Dinosaur Stamps.

About John Gurche.

 

 

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I’m a Tasmaniac

In honor of Australia Day, I’m reposting this post about my trip to Tasmania in 2009.

Catherine Sherman

Sheep graze near the ocean in Tasmania.  You can see the mountains in the distance.

I’m envious.  Janelle of “What Makes Me Laugh” won a trip to Australia for herself and her husband by writing an essay about Jurlique products, based in Adelaide.   Her niece told her: Get your butt to Australia before my college year abroad ends (or something like that…)  So with only a few months to spare, Janelle figured out a free way to get to Australia by the deadline.

St. Columba Falls tumbles 295 feet into a dense rainforest of tree ferns, myrtle and sassafras, not far from apple orchards and meadows where dairy cattle graze.

I’ve wanted to go to Australia for thirty years, but I just made my first trip there in January — and it wasn’t free.  I tried the contest method  (the 25th caller will win a chance to be in the drawing), but can you believe it, no one drew my name!  Janelle really did it the smart way, literally. (The link to how she did it is at the bottom.)

One week of her trip will be spent driving around Tasmania, which is one of Australia’s states.  I’m…

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Hearts Hearts Hearts Personalized Valentine Card

I didn’t mean to reblog this post here, but now that it’s here, I’ll let it stay…

It's a Beautiful World!

You can personalize this “hearty” card with any name or relationship! Keep in touch with Zazzle custom greeting cards. Customize all parts of this folded card – inside and out, front and back – for free!

5″ x 7″ (portrait).
Printed on ultra-heavyweight (120 lb.) card stock with a gloss finish.
Each card comes with a white envelope.
No minimum order.
Available in Note Card size

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Official Spokesman for “Talk Like a Pirate Day”

A tattered Jolly Roger flag blows in the wind on a "pirate" ship call "Pirata" off the Coast of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.

A tattered Jolly Roger flag blows in the wind on a “pirate” ship call “Pirata” off the Coast of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.

Arrgh! It’s Talk Like Pirate Day.

Catherine Sherman

The Club Women of Napa County placed this memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson on Mt. St. Helena near the site of a cabin where Stevenson honeymooned with his new bride, Fanny.  It's a two-mile round trip hike from the parking lot. The Club Women of Napa County placed this memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson on Mt. St. Helena near the site of a cabin where Stevenson honeymooned with his new bride, Fanny. It’s a two-mile round trip hike from the parking lot.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is a California state park, located in Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties. The park offers a 5-mile hike to the summit of Mount Saint Helena from which much of the Bay Area can be seen.  I didn't make it to the top. Not in my shoes. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is a California state park, located in Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties. The park offers a 5-mile hike to the summit of Mount Saint Helena from which much of the Bay Area can be seen. I didn’t make it to the top. Not in my shoes.

Nineteenth century writer Robert Louis Stevenson has done as much as anyone for popularizing Pirate Lingo so, of course, he’s my choice for spokesman for “Talk Like a Pirate Day” on September 19. There’s a lot of pirate talk and bravado in Stevenson’s book, “Treasure Island.”

Stevenson was from Scotland, but he traveled widely and spent some time in…

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