Missouri Milky Way viewing

When I was a child, growing up in the Ozark Mountains on a ranch, Milky Way gazing was an old friend that returned each summer.

Technically, it’s spring through early winter for us but the summer is when you’d be up Late and looking right overhead…naturally, lying on your back in a pasture!

The woods obscure skylarking so, you climbed a hilltop with either a glade or open pastureland.

In autumn, as it is now, you can see it sort of overhead to setting, running Northerly to Southerly.

The past several nights have been exceptionally well so, I go stand outside before bed and just gawk.

I don’t have a star trails or astro-friendly camera. This is literally what my camera captured just now for you!

Nyah-nyah, you can’t see what I can see

Here’s a site that gives more specific but layman’s terms information.

Take me to the river

Regular readers already saw this from earlier today, as I panted in the early afternoon heat and humidity after an interview.

I walked an half-mile in pumps to take this, you ungrateful shits.

-the new readers, obviously, my regular 3 readers are the best, etc., etc.

Then, I turned around and took this of the railroad next to the river coz if it’s 2 things Midwesternerss love, it’s our FINE assortment of waterways and railways.

I hiked back to my car and ate my packed (in a cooler) salad.

I then googled the nearest Target, as I had some things to pick up, anyway.

Dr. Google took me to  the world’s saddest Target. Their ‘pantry’ section was minuscule. They don’t even sell any given brand of sauerkraut. I realise, this may cornfuddle some Flatlanders but in MISSOURI, by crackin,’ you have a staple of Teutonic tasties! Let me clarify: MY Target isn’t one of those new Greatland/ Super ones. I’m used to a now subpar Target. Hell, I like it that way. Keeps out the snobs and the roughians are afraid of socialists, so it’s uppity hillcats where I go!

-where was I?

Sad. Maybe there’s another one a bit farther away? I get the feeling that there is not.

The Super-Valmart on your way in from the east and regular Valmart next to Target-land is the way it plays in Jeff City. This town doesn’t like Commies.

At any rate, I headed the sportwagon back to near-ish STL.

But I had to stop and see what was up with these Osage Trail, Lewis and Clark and Clark’s Hill historic warning buoys!

-he keeps trying to warn us but do we listen???

I stopped a farmer on a tractor – you realise this is 100% true?

Shit, man, he was smoking a pipe and driving a tractor down the road? Himses my kinda peoples.

He told me:

Ignoring his Wisdom, I parked and started up the trail in my comfy sandals (slides). It’s only a mile trip, granted fairly steep one way and worse, just as steep but without ‘brakes’ on the return.

Safety first! I locked the car –unlike me and took my keys, leaving everything else behind. In 38C. Alone. Steep.

When I got to the top, I found this couple who’d been trapped in Amber since the 1980s:

FINE! I stole this from the publicity site for the…site.

Only maybe 1/3 of the way up, after sliding and sliding in 2 inches deep muck and nearly ‘breaking both arms and both legs’ as Mammy’d say, I decided it wasn’t worth getting hurt too badly to pull myself out and without WATER and in an interview dress and WAHHHHHHH.

FINE! The farmer who lives on the road was right.

As a booby-prize, here’s another farmer washing his rig whilst I filled my tank on the way home.

MHM Missouri History Museum (and more Forest Park free stuff)

We had a family outing to St. Louis’ Forest Park. The park itself is well worth book-length history lessons and many fabulous stories have come from its years! What I’ll say here is that Missourians vote to pay higher taxes so that our public (and any visitors) can luxuriate in culture…for free. It’s one of the reasons families tour St. Louis. -get here but your day trips can be at no additional charge — of course, there are many things that cost money but the cultural stuff? Free. Even The Muny* offers free seats.

Yesterday, we went to the Missouri History Museum (amongst other things).

• A Walk in 1875 St. Louis (site and ‘trailer’)

State of Deception (pdf to download & read)

• The 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward (site and ‘trailer’)


* The Muny is a for-real theatre; however, it’s basically the greatest hits of theatre and very often musicals. Hey, they sell. If you cannot afford tickets, don’t pay anything. Jeez. What does it take to make you happy, free seats? If you want to go crazy and get the most expensive tickets, they’re $581 for the entire season. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

These are Forest Park highlights, which is by no means the full listing. There are too many to put on one calendar, so you’ll have to go to individual specialties. For example, they didn’t even list the Shakespeare Festival (again, free), which we have yearly during summer. It’s called In The Park.

‘Butterfly plant’ (butterfly milkweed), Missouri native

There used to be laws regarding cutting and transplanting this native. I don’t know if they’re still at risk but ours are wild. When we bushhog, we leave them alone. In other words, as Ozarkers always do: we are conservationists, whether that means defending or culling.

They’re a joyous sight on their own but particularly when covered–as they normally are–with butterflies! Yet again, my Doolittle skills are strong:

Here’s Missouri Conservation’s easy to read landscaping flyer for making a happy butterfly (and honey bee!) environment.

If I’m not mistaken, St. Francis liked dogs

Having lost my way, -literally Bobby and I decided to pay a visit to the Black Madonna Shrine and Grotto.

The Flickr Album of all 8 photos & 1 video, if you’re feeling wintry Ozarks Nativity-y.

While there are several Walks and Shrines, in honour to the Blessed Mother and Her Son, we took the Nativity walk and then the Mother’s Sanctuary, with pool. Bobby dipped in for a blessing but opted out of the Cure.

You can see the water coming from the Grotto–amazingly like Lourdes but smaller, uglier and far less trampled with absolutely no commercialism. -particularly in the less than 30 second video at above link

Little Ireland and more than you’d ever want to know about local clan pride … And a mention to Brother Matthew.

On our way back, we stopped at the outdoors Chapel, where Bobby promptly dropped a steaming load. ‘Good thing Francis liked the little animals, you disastrous Five-Year-Old.’

Yes, I had shitbags to pick it up.

Bit hard to see but this is a Bluff you can see through trees on the road to the Shrine. It’s at the bottom of the valley. This is a branch off the Meramec River. I forget the name but it’s along Lynch Road.


You turn LEFT here. If you head straight, it’s the Brothers’ Infirmary. The famous Brother Matthew lived down this road. My mother often sought his counsel when I was young. I’d hang out in his artist studio, looking at the propped up paintings til they were finished.