Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Explore St Louis-The Old Courthouse

In this post I will give you a pictorial review of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis Missouri. 


History of Old Courthouse

First I'd like to give you a very brief history of the Old Courthouse.  In 1816 land was donated for a courthouse in St.  Louis.  This land is just west of the St. Louis riverfront.  A federal style brick courthouse was first built on the site in 1828.  By the mid 1830's St. Louis had already outgrown this courthouse.  In 1839 construction began on the current courthouse which incorporated the original courthouse as part of the east wing.  Other revisions have been made to the courthouse over the years and the courts remained in the building until 1930.  In 1935 the courthouse became a National Monument and today it hosts many visitors.   The view below is from the southwest.



Important Events at Old Courthouse

There have been many important decisions made and events happening at the Old Courthouse.
Two of the most well known include:

  • 1847 and 1850  Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom.
  • 1872  Virginia Minor sued for the right to vote.
Both of these cases ended up going to the Supreme Court and lost.  But they are both considered to be key  turning points in history.

Prior to the Civil war slaves were sold on the courthouse steps. See the plaque below along with  two photos depicting the Dred Scott case.




Photographing the Old Courthouse

I was able to go down to the Old Courthouse on two different occasions in September and was able to photograph the Old Courthouse from different angles.  The photo below shows the courthouse in a distance as I was walking through the park just west of the courthouse.
In 1965 the opening of the Gateway Arch changed the landscape of downtown St. Louis.  Since that time a popular photo of the Old Courthouse is one where it is framed by the arch as you see in the photo below.
On my second visit during September to photograph down by the arch and courthouse we arrived before sunrise and were able to get some photographs in the early morning light.

Zazzle Items from my Photographs





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Monday, October 8, 2018

The Robin Revue: Watching Our Baby Robins Hatch

Oh what a show I enjoyed this Spring! I enjoyed an up close and personal seat to a family of baby robins being born. As a nature and animal lover I was in awe of two industrious robins persevering in a city neighborhood to expand their family on my front porch. I usually write reviews on Review This!, but thought this was a revue all could enjoy.


Day 1 What Is On The Porch Light?


As I drove into the driveway I noticed something hanging on the front porch light. Hmmm. The something looked like straw. Upon further investigation I determined the something was dried lawn clippings and a few pieces of string. Hmmm. The light bulb had not quite shown brightly yet.

The light bulb began to glow a wee bit brighter when hours later I drove down the driveway and noticed quite a bit of activity on the porch light; I saw a bird flying to the porch light with a mouthful of string. When I returned hours later I discovered a nicely built nest on top of the porch light. (It took awhile for the light bulb to burn brightly, some days are like that!)


I wasn't sure this would be the best place for a nest - but what do I know. I love all animals, but admit I know little about birds. At this point I wasn't sure what type of birds had built the nest as I had not gotten a good look at the nest. Although the nest looks lopsided and perhaps flimsy the nest was actually anchored around the point of the top of the porch light.

 Mom And Dad Robin Continue Nest Building


The nest became a very popular hangout for Mom and Dad Robin. I had identified the birds as robins and they must have been doing a little internal nest housekeeping with the amount of activity to and from the nest from the trees nearby. I was still questioning if this was a great place for a nest. I tried to look at the location from the robins' point of view. Yes, the nest was high off the ground and well, that was about all I could come up with ...  I thought about not turning the light on at night or what would happen if the light was accidentally turned on? I thought about the UPS deliveries, the dog walkers, the dog who lives in the home of the nest! The porch light did not seem like a great location, but of course I was vested in keeping this nest safe.

As the robins did housekeeping in the nest I found both robins quite nonchalant about the location and the bustling activity in and out the door. I was warned robins could dive bomb you if you are too close to the nest, but these two robins were pretty laid back. Until.... the eggs were laid.

We've Got Robin Eggs


Disclaimer: The photos are not always are not always the best quality as the porch light is 8 feet high and I had to get on a step ladder and then blindly hold out the camera over the top of the nest while trying not to fall off the ladder! 

One egg and Two Newborn Robins


And then there were 3 baby robins. Okay, not exactly the cutest little fuzzballs!



But growing fast!


Starting to get feathers!


Dad Robin Is An Excellent Guard


As Mom robin tended to her duties on the nest it was clear Dad Robin was not going to allow anyone near the nests. He was either in a tree about 50 feet away chirping or on this bush 10 feet away standing guard. If you opened the front door or he saw you approach the front door from the interior through the storm glass he would start shrieking and start dive bombing the door. (Dive bombing bird = not good photos!) I was so curious to see the robins, but did not want to disturb their newborn family or stress the birds. 



Taking photos of the bird nest became a two person challenge. If both birds were gone I would very very quickly try to take a photo.

The Family Of Three Robins Grows


Since I could not see what image I was taking it was always a surprise when I checked the photos.


I can't believe how quick the baby robins grew. The average baby robin takes two weeks to reach the size of their parents. The nest was quickly becoming a tight fit for the three babies.


The babies would hold their heads up and cheep cheep waiting for mom to return.


By ten days old the feathers had grown and it was difficult to find the babies in the nest with all the feathers.



I don't know if there is a runt of the litter in the bird world, but one little robin always seemed to be buried in the nest while two of the babies were adept at sticking their heads up above the nest.


Day 12 brought a nest full of what appeared to be very mature robins. By this time the family had become very territorial of the robins and anxiously checked all day to make sure they were safe. However due to their size it was clear leaving the nest was in the imminent future.

Time To Say Goodbye!


Right on schedule Day 13 brought the departure of the baby robins. I did not want to disturb the robins as we anxiously awaited lift off so did not take any photos. My family kept their distance to nervously watch the departure. It was more of a kerplunk then lift off. Thankfully the exit was a safe kerplunk into the fluffy tree and then the babies and parents flew to the tree about 50 feet away.

Whew! I was definitely vested in this little ole family and was relieved it was a successful journey from egg to exit.
Collage of the birth of baby robins.


All that was left was the nest as a reminder of our time together! As if on cue after the babies exit the nest fell off the porch light on Day 14. 






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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Explore St Louis-The Gateway Arch

Gateway to the West
I have lived in the St. Louis area for most of my life and I never get tired of telling people about my home town.  There are so many wonderful landmarks in the area and over the next few months I hope to share several of them with the Review This readers through my photographs. 

Reviewing The Gateway Arch

The most well known landmark in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch.  The arch was built during my high school years and I still remember hearing about the construction.  The arch was built as a monument to the "Westward Expansion" of the United States.


Construction on the arch began on February 12, 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965.  It was located on the site of the founding of St. Louis on the west bank of the Mississippi river.  The arch stands at 630 feet tall.  It has a museum below the arch that tells of the history of the area and the westward expansion.

I have been to the top of the arch several times and it is always thrilling (and a bit scary) to ride the jerky little elevator to the top and then look out over St. Louis through the little windows.
See small windows at top of Arch
Over the years the arch has become the iconic symbol of St. Louis.  Whenever I travel whether by plane or car and I am returning home when I see the arch it brings a smile to my face.

Photographing the Arch

Over the years the arch has been photographed over and over.  It is always a challenge for a photographer to get a unique photo of the arch.  It has been photographed from every angle and most July 4th's you will see wonderful photographs of fireworks framed by the arch.  They are set off on a barge in the river and people gather on the arch grounds to watch the spectacle.  

In early September my husband and I went to a Cardinal ballgame one afternoon and before the game we walked the several blocks over to the arch grounds to photograph the arch.  It was a beautiful sunny day with some fluffy clouds in the sky.  The two photographs above are ones that I took that morning.  The first photograph was taken from the top of the steps of the Old Courthouse just across the street from the arch grounds.

That trip got me excited to take more photos of the arch and I decided I would love to capture it in the early morning light just before sunrise.  A couple of weeks later my friend and I got up early and took a drive downtown.  Here are a few of the photographs I got that morning.



Once the sun came up it was too bright to photograph the arch from the front.  I had heard that they had added a reflecting pond during a recent renovation of the arch grounds so we took a walk to look for the best angle to capture the arch and it's reflection.  Here is my favorite shot.


My Arch Photos on Zazzle

Here is a poster I made on Zazzle the includes several of my St. Louis photos.  You can find more of my work by clicking on the link below the poster or going to www.zazzle.com/mbgphoto.

St Louis Landmarks Poster
by mbgphoto 
I also have several other items showing the arch on Zazzle.



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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Reviewing Lighthouses near Eastham on Cape Cod

Nauset Lighthouse

The iconic lighthouse above is seen on the package of Cape Cod potato chips and has become a symbol of Cape Cod.

Nauset Lighthouse

Nauset lighthouse was originally one of the twin towers in Chatham which were built in 1808. When erosion claimed these lights they were replaced by metal ones in 1877.  In 1923 one of the Chatham lights was restored and moved to Nauset.  The beacon on the light has been fully restored and is used as a private navigation aid.  The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is a very popular tourist attraction and although it is privately owned you can get private tours in the summer.  I was able to walk the grounds and photograph it from several angles.  I love the bright red and white colors on the lighthouse.



If you think this lighthouse looks familiar, it may be because you have seen it on the package of Cape Cod potato chips.


   

Three Sisters Lighthouses

Just a short walking distance away from the Nauset lighthouse you will find the restored Three Sisters lighthouses which originally were located on the Eastham coast.  The original buildings fell into the sea around 1890.  They were restored in the early 1900's.  Two of the three lighthouses were at one time summer cottages.  They are now located in Cape Cod National Seashore.

View of Sea near Nauset Lighthouse

Zazzle Products from my Photos

I have taken many photographs in the past few years since I became enthused about lighthouses and in my quest to find a way to share them with others I came across Zazzle.  This print on demand site is a great place for me to put my photos on products that can then be purchased.  Here is one of my photos on a metal print from Zazzle.  Click on the link to discover other lighthouse gifts on Zazzle.



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Friday, August 31, 2018

Reviewing & Photographing The Tupelo Automobile Museum in Mississippi

Visiting The Tupelo Automobile Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi


1929 Cord L-29 - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1929 Cord L-29 - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by ©Sylvestermouse
When my husband first suggested we jump off the gorgeous Natchez Trace Parkway to visit a car museum, my thoughts were not pleasant, but I did agree to make the stop.  To my surprise, what we found was a completely different kind of beauty.  I thoroughly enjoyed touring the Tupelo Automobile Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi.

It is a different kind of museum than what I normally prefer, but the relics made it well worth my while.   The museum is 12,000 square feet, but it was an easy walking tour thanks to the way the cars are lined up in rows.

I was fascinated by the older cars!  The Tupelo Automobile Museum has over 100 antique cars on display.  Some have been restored, out of necessity, while others appear to have just been well maintained by their owners.  

I especially loved the way the museum was laid out in chronological order.  From the entrance of the museum, we started our tour walking straight ahead with the oldest cars.  However, you could turn left and start with the race cars and take the route backwards to see the newest cars first.

Oh, and lest I forget to tell you, the museum is air-conditioned.  A huge improvement over an outdoor car show.

Reviewing & Photographing The Tupelo Automobile Museum in Tupelo Mississippi
Exterior of the Tupelo Automobile Museum
Sadly, the Tupelo Automobile Museum Closed Down in 2019
Please enjoy the photos from the past!

Photos of The Tupelo Automobile Museum


1904 Reo - Tupelo Automobile Museum - photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1904 Reo
The exterior of the building doesn't begin to reflect or represent what you will see inside!

This collection of cars was originally a private collection owned by Frank Spain.  Mr. Spain decided to build the museum and share his collection with the world.  He had bigger plans for the museum that included a coffee shop for women and possibly a restaurant, but he died before he was able to add them.  I do think having a coffee shop for women, who are often less intrigued by cars than men, was a wonderful idea.  I would have welcomed a break for a sandwich and coke myself and then return to the museum to see what I might have missed on our first pass.

I took lots of pictures at The Tupelo Automobile Museum.  There are audio boxes by the cars that tell some of the history of the cars and interesting facts.  Honestly, I was more interested in looking than listening.  Of course, I was with my own historical scholar and I would much rather hear what he was saying than the recorded voice.



1904 Model D

Unlike the Reo in the photo above, the Model D (below) provided covering for all of it's passengers.  However, the feature that got my attention here was that basket on the side.  This was a fun exercise for my imagination as I considered what would have been stored in that basket.  Perhaps a picnic (food always comes to mind), but then I thought what about the ladies parasols or the gentleman's hats.  Would they really make a provision for parasols or hats?  Why not!  Comfort was obviously a factor.  And, either way, I love the creative covered storage area. 

1904 Model D - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1904 Model D - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

1908 Columbus Firestone

1908 Columbus Firestone - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1908 Firestone Columbus - Side View
1908 Columbus Firestone - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1908 Columbus Firestone - Front View

I was fascinated by the 1908 Columbus Firestone. It is the first time I have ever seen this car. 



I couldn't help but note, if I only saw it from the side, I would have assumed it was a horse drawn carriage. Expensive, yes. Self-propelled automotive? Nope, I wouldn't have recognized that immediately.


1915 Trumbull

The 1915 Trumbull was notable for a totally different reason. It may not be obvious in the photo, but those seats were tiny!  A stark reminder of how much smaller people were in the early 1900's.  

From side to side, I doubt the seat is as wide as a Ferris wheel seat.  There is no question there is less leg room than a Ferris wheel seat.
1915 Trumbull - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1915 Trumbull

1912 Carter Car

This is one you would not want to miss!  At first, it did not grab my eye.  However, once I heard the history of the Carter Car - 4 Door, Model R, I was mystified by this car.  This is 1 of 6 known to exist! 

1912 Carter Car - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1912 Carter Car - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

 

The 1917 Pierce Arrow

The Pierce Arrow design appealed to me greatly.  I hated to move on past it.  What a difference a few years can make when truly creative geniuses are at work.  

Needless to say, I have expensive tastes.  The 1917 Pierce Arrow originally sold for $6,500.  Compare that to the 1915 Trumbull (shown above) that originally sold for $425.  Yes, I am still laughing, but I would love to own a Pierce Arrow, even today.  But, I would only sit in it in an enclosed garage.  I would never want the sun to touch that beauty and definitely not the rain!


1917 Pierce Arrow - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
1917 Pierce Arrow - Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse


1923 Brewster


Take a look at the interior of the 1923 Brewster.  The front seat was leather, while the back seats were cloth.  The window between the driver and passengers could only be opened by a passenger, thus the reason for the "speaking tube" intercom.


1923 Brewster - Photo by Sylvestermouse
1923 Brewster - Photo by Sylvestermouse
1923 Brewster - Photo by Sylvestermouse
Brewster - Photo by Sylvestermouse



1927 Ford Model T

When we reached the Ford Model T, I felt I was in more familiar territory, simply because I have heard of a Model T before.  I have never ridden in one and it is considerably older than I am.  Yet, it looks like it is in a lot better condition.

Ford Model T - Photo by Sylvestermouse
Ford Model T - Photo by Sylvestermouse

Clearly with over 100 cars, I can't show you all of them.  If you like the cars featured in this article, you should definitely visit the Tupelo Automobile Museum.  There are dozens more that are just as beautiful and just as interesting as the ones I have shared.  You will note that I focused on cars from the first quarter of the century, but there are decades of cars that followed and are on display in the museum.



Inside the Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Sylvestermouse
Inside the Tupelo Automobile Museum - Photo by Sylvestermouse


The Gift Shop in the Tupelo Automobile Museum

For those of you who really are not interested in looking at the cars, or who have seen all you wish to see long before your partner has, there is a huge gift shop.  It is beautifully arranged and full of wonderful gift or souvenir items.



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