Volunteers, Conscripts, and Gifts from Friends – My Small Garden – Tomatoes, Pumpkins, Rosemary, Basil, and Cicadas!

I am not an industrious fellow, I am sad to say, but in short bursts can sometimes manage something substantial. My small garden was prompted by gifts, from friends and from the soil. It is true I cleaned out a small rocky patch to begin a compost heap, with a view to a garden, but I don’t think anything would have gone into the soil if my friends David and Elena had not sent me home with half a flat of tomato plants. You will notice that there are no tomato cages or fences. This is so because though there is risk of unsupported vines and vegetarian predators, I did not want to invest too, too much till I figure out how serious I am ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I really like the look and feel of the 6 foot bamboo branches (by far the least expensive option at Home Depot), which I cut in half to use as stakes and connected to the tomatoes with jute twine.

Regarding other gifts, the rosemary was also a generous gift from the same couple who let me divide two nearly conjoined plants of theirs to bring home. My goodness, my little car smelled amazing on the drive home. I intend to try to capture that moment in a haiku, but despite trying have not managed as yet ๐Ÿ™‚ Though it is a chain and perhaps looked down upon, I confess my love for rosemary first arrived by way of the Macaroni Grill. Their amazing bread (and later a sausage dish) made me say, “Hello! What’s this?” It was definitely love at first bite.

The other gift was by way of three huge volunteer plants which I am really hoping are from the pumpkins I cut up last autumn to make soup and pies, which I documented in this video. That would really bring that story full circle.

In addition to these gifted plants and volunteers, I also “conscripted” some plants from the Home Depot, some bell peppers and some basil. The later I planted in a planter on loan which was once part of an art deco building. Finally, as if to complete my day of gardening, when I went to out to water this morning, during the night, a cicada had crawled up on to the basil, which is on a 2 foot pillar, and used one of its leaves to accomplish its amazing transformation. I am continually amazed by these creatures.

Below, roughly in an order corresponding to this little ramble of prose, are some images.

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Powell Square Building Demolition – Downtown St. Louis – Reprint from neildas.com

There was a brief time this year when I was blogging exclusively at neildas.com. I quickly realized, though, that because of being outside of the WordPress world exposure to my posts went way down. So, now I am blogging here again and mirroring there. I soon hope to put up more galleries of photos there, photos which I have either already sold or think worth hanging on a wall. Perhaps it will also become a new space for contests and the like.

Below are pictures from one post which appeared exclusively there and which I want to repost here. It documents the last days of an iconic building in downtown St. Louis which I had photographed several times and had become a sort of gallery for graffiti artists. Here is one of my favorite shots I took of some graffiti. This winter the gallery came down.

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The Storks of Bevo Mill, with Contrail – St. Louis

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I must confess that I never paid much attention to the Bevo Mill in South St. Louis until I was tasked to photograph it. It is funny how often when one takes the time to look at something, one actually sees things. I was delighted to “see” the pair of storks on the roof, placed there for luck, according to the Bevo Mill web site. First created as a dining room for August A. Busch, Sr. of Anheuser Busch fame, it later became a restaurant and now is open for limited public events and private parties.

So was it ever actually a mill? Alas, the answer is “no,” but still it is a striking building:

Complete in 1916 for the then-incredible sum of $250,000, the Bevo boasts quite a few unique architectural points of interest. The windmill is 60 feet in diameter and revolves on a 24 inch shaft extending through a marble bearing. Originally, the blades were wooden and propelled by wind. In 1954, the blades were damaged by a fierce wind, striking the tower. They were replaced by aluminum blades and are now electronically operated. The exterior of the building is finished with specially selected stones of all colors, shapes and textures, personally gathered by Mr. Busch from Grantโ€™s Farm, and set in stucco.