Still Life

Hi everyone,

We sat out late last night, watching the birds settle down in the hackberry trees and listening to bullfrogs down at the water’s edge. Our neighbor’s cat came to visit and to get her neck rubbed. Another cat showed up out of the shadows, black but for a white apron, took a drink from the pool and faded away back into the shadows. We’d never seen that one before.

I took some pictures in the dark and got some interesting results. Here’s one I called Still Life.

Making way for something

Hi everyone,

Forty-five years ago I began buying the five houses along the north side of E. Grand Street as they came on the market. Their back yards butted up against the south border of my firm, Glenstone Block Company, which faced on Glenstone, one of the busiest streets in Springfield. I wanted the properties in case I might need room to expand the block storage yard some day. In this old picture, the block plant is not shown and the houses are hidden by the trees.

Glenstone Block Company, Springfield, Missouri

In the meantime, our property manager kept the houses rented. Glenstone Block Company (1945-2008) is no more and the 80-year-old houses are no longer attractive on today’s market. I’m in the process of having them removed to open up a large tract of land suitable for something new. Ideas are under consideration. Hopefully, something will be finalized by the end of the year or early in 2023.

Fairy lights in the hackberries

Hi everyone

Yesterday evening SANDY and I attended a memorial in Phelps Grove Park for Springfield’s Missing Women. STACY MCCALL (18), SUZIE STREETER (19), and Suzie’s mother, SHERILL LEVITT (47), disappeared thirty years ago on the night the girls graduated from Kickapoo High School. Sandy read their names as they walked up to receive their diplomas. Hours later, they were gone. and the case has never been solved. Last night instead of watching television, we went outside and sat in the dark.

Fireflies were out, the first we’ve seen this year. They weren’t down low. They were high up in the hackberry trees, all the way to the tops, like fairy lights winking off and on, a sight we’ve not witnessed before. On my phone, I played a toad song I recorded earlier in the day when I rescued the toad from the pool trap. It sat for a time where I set it down, then hopped off and sang us a song. Right away we had a chorus of four toads around the pool singing back to us.

It was a good night for thinking.

Young dragon

Hi everyone,

Yesterday afternoon, SANDY and I spent some time on chaise lounges on the patio facing Goose Lake. First time this year. As we watched the water and talked, I felt a tiny tickle on the back of one hand. Holding it up, I discovered a young praying mantis crawling around on me. It took several tries before I finally got a picture of it, pool work under my nails and all.

Even at this delicate stage of life, it’s already a hunter that will bag a fly or an aphid or another young mantis. Before long it will reach adulthood, big enough to take on a hummingbird if the chance comes along. Quite a dragon in the insect world. But yesterday afternoon, tromping around my finger, it provided entertainment, just another act presented by Goose Lake.