Como Park Zoo

Half of the population of the Twin Cities was at St. Paul’s Como Park Zoo the day we visited. ¬†Gorgeous late summer day that was bright, clear and dry with a high only in the 80s. (in contrast to our triple-digit temps in Arkansas.)

Tortoise slogs uphill
Mother to child: "Honey, look at the big turtle!" Child to mother (with eye roll): "It's a tortoise, mom."
Zoo visitors see polar bear swimming
Visitors crowd around the glass to see one of the Como Park Zoo's two polar bears take a dip.
Zoo patrons viewing gorillas
Only glass separates fellow primates at the Como Park Zoo.
Sleeping lioness
In the jungle -- the urban jungle -- the lion(ess) sleeps today.
Como giraffe
High and mighty in St. Paul.

Interstate skies.

It’s hard to beat the scenery while driving around the U.S. with the top down.

I-40 near Alma, Ark.
Skyscape heading west on I-40 near Alma, Ark.
Evening star southern SD
Evening star lights up the sunset in southern South Dakota along I-29.
Moonrise over southern South Dakota
Moonrise over southern South Dakota heading south on I-29.

In Aunt Betty’s Garden

Aunt Betty in Minnesota has a terrific garden. ¬†Beautifully balanced between shade and sun, all surrounded by that lush, deep green northern grass that southern lawns can’t grow. It is a lovely refuge from everything stressful.

Garden butterfly
Butterfly in Betty's garden.
White hydrangea, backlit
"Pure" is the only word that describes the light shining through this white hydrangea.
Orange flowers
These orange flowers stood out among the green in the shade garden.
Grandpa Ott morning glory closeup
The rich violet velvet of this Grandpa Ott morning glory trumpet, contrasted with its white throat, makes it seem to radiate its own light in the morning.
Orb spider
This slender orb spider rests in its web strung between black-eyed susans.
Hosta leaf
A hosta leaf captures a shadow in the afternoon light of a late summer day.

Everywhere a sign.

Flying is miraculous. How those mammoth metal tubes stay in the air is still amazing. However, traveling by car allows one to see so much more. The two-seater, rag-top trip to the upper Midwest produced a bevy of signs. Alas, the we missed capturing most interesting one, south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which read: “Private dirt pile. No trespassing.”

Others from our trip:

Terrible's casino sign in Iowa
"I'm Terrible, and I have a casino."
Pay Machine sign
Is it a command or a benefit? Parking lot sign at Stillwater, Minn.
Night crawlers and pet care. Home business diversification in Hudson, Wisc.
Dump truck with sign
Obviously written for people who have work-related target fixation. Spotted somewhere in Iowa.
Pony Express Motel sign
Classic mid-century-ish motel sign in St. Joseph, Mo.
Sinclair sign
The dinosaur is not extinct. Sinclair lives on.