Save a baby tree today

I wrote this last summer. Again this year everything is brown and crunchy due to drought. Some of the young boulevard trees are dying due to a lack of water. Anyone with water and a hose or a bucket can and should save a tree.

ash tree

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. This summer reminds me of the summer of 1988 and we did survive. The tree in the picture was planted in the fall of 87. It is in front of the apartment we lived in. I am not sure how we survived the heat without air-conditioning but we did. We lived on the second floor and didn’t get much sleep that summer.

The summer of 88 was hot and dry and the tree wilted but survived because we watered it. I hope it survives the emerald ash borer but even if it doesn’t it was worth saving and has provided years of shade and housing for squirrels, birds, insects, and whatever else lives in trees.

The tree was one of many planted on the same block to replace the elm trees that were destroyed by Dutch elm disease.

Close ups from my garden

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I had to replace my phone. I broke my old phone. It was repairable but I didn’t want to spend close to $300 dollars on a phone that is almost four years old.

Changing phones is a hassle but easier than it used to be. Mostly nothing works on a new phone until I find all the passwords and start signing into apps. After that it is a matter of disabling the annoying features.

There was a bright spot though. The camera in the phone works well. I used to take some close-ups of flowers in my garden.

Close-up pictures taken with a Samsung S22 phone.

The picture on the top is the center of a purple coneflower, the red flower is a begonia and the pink is a type of amaryllis.

The cameras in mobile phones just keep getting better. It almost makes up for having to change over to a new phone.


Scorched Metro area

It is friday . . wheeeee

The Twin Cities metro area is in a moderate drought. It was worse last year. Where there used to be lawns everything is brown and crunchy. The lilac bushes are starting to shrivel after days of scorching temperatures and little rain. The hostas have burnt leaves and something got at the lillies. They are tall brown stalks with tattered brown leafs.

Last week at the farmers market I noticed that there weren’t many cabbages. I talked to one grower who was selling “miniature” cabbages. They were about the size of a grapefruit.  She said that she wanted to grow larger cabbages but that there wasn’t enough water. Her cabbages were not intentional.

minni cabbage
mini cabbage

Supermoon super fun

It is Friday ad Fridays are for fun. A supermoon is when the moon is closest to the earth. It looks large on the horizon. We had a super moon a couple of days ago. There were photos of it taken by amateurs and pros. Silhouetted objects with the moon in the background are a very popular way to show the buck moon this year.

I tend to not do what everyone else is doing especially when it comes to photography. There are standard pictures taken in all the right places and all at the same angle. I like to be creative and original.  Here are a few of the super moon photos I have taken over the years.

Super moon
Wabasha street bridge
Moon and grass
blood moon
moon over downtown

The pictures are a few of my favorites. In the interest of transparency, I will say that I did take each and every one of these pictures but the pictures of the moon were not taken at the same time as the pictures around St. Paul.


Bang and boom, gunshot or fireworks?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. For the most part, we had some nice weather over the July 4th weekend.

If you belong to any of the neighborhood groups on Nextdoor or Facebook you will find neighbors discussing explosions and . . . did you hear gunshots? or is that fireworks?

We don’t have public fireworks or July 4th celebrations here in St. Paul and fireworks are illegal in Minnesota but the explosions were constant on July 4th. The law isn’t enforced, I am not sure that it can be. I don’t think people are even aware of the law.

Earlier in the day, we learned that July 4th parade-goers were shot to death while attending a July 4th parade in Illinois. Seven people were slaughtered and many others were injured.

In Minneapolis, there were simultaneous fireworks and gunshots on July 4th and a lot of pandemonium.

There were times on the 4th when I was playing “fireworks or gunshots ?” but I kept it to myself.

America is about freedom not about safety and that is what people celebrate on July 4th.

shoots flaming balls into the air


See Sparky the sea lion

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. As a St. Paul native, my memories of Sparky the sea lion go way back. I remember visiting Como Park as a small child with my parents and grandparents and watching the Sparky show. The Sparky I saw likely went to that great ocean in the sky long ago but there have been many Sparkys since.

In honor of Sparky, there are statues painted by various artists scattered here and there throughout St. Paul. I have found a few of them downtown. They are colorful and fun to photograph. The three I have pictured are in front of the Children’s museum the Minnesota Science museum and in Landmark Plaza.

Sparky statues
Sparky statues in downtown St. Paul