Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Feelin' Groovy

Last week, we decided to go to the St. Louis Botanical Gardens. Of course you know we learned a lot about botany that day but there was so much more too!

On the way out of the subdivision, Jade yelled, "Slow down!" I followed up with "you move too fast...gotta make the morning last...just kickin' round the cobblestone...looking for love and feelin' groovy". That became our song for the day, as well as good discussion material. We talked about music styles and how there are different time periods associated with different types of music.

Later, we saw some balloons over a car dealership. One was a small blimp. We discussed the shape, the name, the Hindenburg, and then Matthew began to compare/contrast it to airplanes. We talked about which is probably cheaper to make, which is considered safer, etc.

A little further down the road, we saw my old roller skating rink. It's been abandoned for years now but the bright blue building is still there. That got us remembering about our recent roller skating escapade and Matthew said he was still very excited to try skating again and take Rose too. We then talked about wood floors vs concrete floors and inline skates vs old style. Matthew wished they had skates for beginners with 4 wheels on both sides - 'a good combo of both kinds of skates!' We then did some brainstorming about why they don't make skates that way - maybe it's harder to do the corners in them or maybe they're too heavy, etc.

Matthew spotted a good sized tree and said he guessed that would be a good climbing tree. We made a list of what he thought were requirements to be labeled as such. 1. Branches that are close to the ground but very thick 2. A nice thick tree 3. Good foothold spaces

As we came up to some construction, Rose asked what they were doing to the overpass. I said they were grading it. Matthew asked what that was and I explained how grading helps water flow across the bridge and drainage and soil retention.

We passed a humongous quarry. I heard Rose say very seriously in the back seat, "I bet that's a GREAT place to find dinosaur bones!" Matthew then proceeded to tell her that they weren't excavating because they were using big machines and if they were looking for dinosaur bones, they'd have to be much more careful and use smaller tools. They talked about archaeology for a while.

A while later, Rose asked me what the Yield sign means. Matthew said, "It means that the car behind you can go around you if he wants to go faster." So I explained 'yield' to them and gave a few practical examples (other than for road signs).

We also drove past some big old style water towers and Matthew asked me how they worked. I gave the basics and said we could look up more info when we got home.

At this point, I found that we were a little lost and I had to stop writing down our conversations. All these topics (and more) just on the way there! I could have easily popped in a DVD and let them zone out so I could call a friend on the phone but I didn't. Though we do have a DVD player in the van, I don't use it frequently, usually only coming home from a long day (if it's a long drive to the city and back) or on road trips.

But our day at the Botanical Gardens was just beginning. We went specifically on this day because the St. Louis Herb Society was having their annual Herb Days fund raiser. They brought herblings (my term) to sell to the public. We got a nice assortment of stuff I use regularly and then headed into the Gardens themselves.

If you've never been to the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, put that down on your list of things to do when you come visit me. :) They were just gorgeous and since the nature of the place is seasonal, you'll never see the same things twice. Here are some great pictures from our fun day (if you click on the pictures, they'll enlarge so you can see details).

We especially loved the Japanese Garden with the huge lake in the middle

Jade found that the holes in the bridge were *just* the right size for her to see the ducks and fish below.

Some of our favorite flowers...
A double daffodil

Gregii Tulip

I love the gradation in this flower bed with the same flowers. I wonder if the sun/moisture level caused it?

They were putting up some new art pieces in the Gardens on this day and we watched them work on the main piece all day. When we came in, they were trying to put it in place and having trouble because their machine wasn't large enough - it kept tipping over. By the time we left, they had brought in the big guns and were finally getting the job completed. The art pieces were made of stones and mirrors and little pits of all kinds of things. I assume it was relating to Earth Day and that they used recycled materials. The kids loved playing on them and the pieces really were amazing to look at!

Matthew was especially interested in seeing the hedge maze because his latest Harry Potter book contained one. But a worker told us that they'd just replanted it and it wasn't very tall. The kids still had fun with it though. It was a bit easier than intended but just *perfect* for Jade's height. ;)

A parting shot of the gang

And a parting thought. This was on a series of wrought iron signs but I especially liked this one. It seems appropo for me. :)

1 comment:

Jen E said...

Sounds like an awesome day!!!!