LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY Girls Weekend Getaway

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August 7, 2015

Recently my daughter and I  enjoyed a weekend in Louisville, Ky.  Louisville is a pretty city with friendly Louisvillians  and a wide choice of  things to see and do for  entertainment.    But, the first thing you should  know is that  Louisville is not  pronounced “”Louisville”.   The proper pronunciation is LOO-A-VUL.

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Looavul is probably best known for the  Churchill Downs/ Kentucky Derby and the Bourbon Trail which consists of  10 distilleries.   We visited  neither.

We chose  instead to see the  Kentucky Slugger  Museum and Factory for our 1st  Looavul  adventure.

In 1884,   J. F. Hellerich’s woodworking shop  made the first Louisville Slugger  .   Originally  it  would take  30 minutes for a  bat to be crafted.  With today’s automation  it only takes about 3 minutes.  The  impressive 120 foot bat  that leans outside of the Museum and Factory was placed there in 1995.  It’s made of  carbon steel and hand painted. Weighing  68,000 pounds, it is hollow and is the exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth’s bat.

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We learned everything we needed to know how a bat is crafted  from the tree to the final finish. Very enjoyable tour.

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By the way,  if you don’t need a bat, perhaps  you need an Official Louisville Slugger Rocker or  Louisville Slugger bike?   Don’t forget to also check out the  museum ‘s  display regarding   Topps baseball ( and more) collectible cards.  Then  say hello to  a few of the great baseball legends who are  available for photos.

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That’s me and Bath Ruth  after he slammed one of the building.

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The  beautiful and historic Cave Hill cemetery also welcome tourists.  We took a brief drive through Cave Hill   to pay respects to Coronal Sanders, founder of  Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.

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Then  onward  for a  tram tour  through  Mega Caverns.  It  was a chilly and unusually interesting limestone  cave that  was mined  from 1930 – 1970’s with a dual purpose to be used as a fall out  shelter,  if needed,  during the days of the Cold War.    The cave  is about 100 acres in size and is now  classified as the largest building in Kenucky.  The underground  is privately owned.   It is used for business, storage, recycling, tourism with a zip line, ropes course,  mountain bike park,  and an annual  holiday light display.   

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Uniquely, there is a company in Louisville called Cuddle Clones.   Their web sight is most intriguing,  explaining how they can make a stuffed replica or figurine of your pet.   Cuddle Clones has made look-a-likes  for dogs, cats, guinea  pigs,  birds  and a horse,  just to name a few.  Plus  the owner donates a portion of  each sale to pet causes all over the world.   Please check out her web sight:     http://www.cuddleclones.com/about-cuddle-clones.html

You have to love the ingenuity!

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Lastly, we  enjoyed a stroll through  ” Old Louisville” – a beautiful  neighborhood known for its  historical and  stately Victorian homes.  There are several walking and driving tours to help guide the way.   The first  house  pictured is the Conrad-Caldwell House that was built in 1893.  Tours  are available.

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The  wonderful  carving is of the local lamp lighter from days  gone by.

Hope you enjoyed this brief tour of  Looavul !

Thanks for traveling with us!

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A SHOWDOWN at the BIRD BATH and SHOW OFFS

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August 2015

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My backyard has  built in entertainment.  Such as  the morning  I witnessed the  showdown  between the bossy  Blue Jay and the stubborn  Grackle.  Then reinforcements  had to be called in……

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And success !   The Grackle  moved on to neutral territory to await his turn for bath time.

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Juvenile Cardinal in all her glory.

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Juvenile Eurasian Sparrow needs a napkin.

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This Red-Bellied Woodpecker visits my suet cage every morning.

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Breakfast captured!

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Offspring of the Red Tailed Hawks that nested in my  pine this summer.   At this stage they were as big as their parents but would still cry  to be fed.

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Always love the  little Hummingbirds.   This is the male wearing his finest red scarf.

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The beauty of summer

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Time to fly…

Thanks for reading!

LANTERN FESTIVAL 2015 at Missouri Botanical Gardens

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August 1, 2015

The Lantern Festival at  the Missouri Botanical Gardens ends  this August 30, 2015 so time is running out if you have  been procrastinating!   Twenty-two  beautiful  and colorfully  lit displays  crafted with  silk, wire and porcelain  are featured.  A few samplings  are:

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The elephants  are incredible, especially when you take a moment and imagine just how many pieces of porcelain make up the display.  The close up photo ( double click on it for a  real close up ) shows off the cups , saucers, spoons, etc  crafted to create the  elephant’s bodies.

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A path way of cherry blossoms and dandelions.

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Lovable  Panda  Bears

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Modeled  after a Stupas  Pagoda  in China, this display  is built with over 300,000 pieces of plates, bowls, spoons, tea cups, ladles and wine cups.

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Lastly, my favorite,  Bird Land.

Thanks for reading!

A Whimsical Pair of Killdeer

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July 9, 2015

On my recent trip to Indiana, late  one afternoon, I pulled into  an empty parking lot to look at my map.  Immediately I was distracted by 2 killdeer that began running  all around my car in a seemingly frantic state.     Killdeer usually display a  “broken wing”  act to keep an  intruder away from their nest.  But the broken wing act never happened – they just kept  circling my car  and watching me.

As I pulled out my camera  and  started snapping photos,  one of the birds came and briefly say down under a very small  bush in the rocks:

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I was amazed how quickly  the bird  became camouflaged with  the scenery.

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While the second killdeer is still circling me, the first bird got back up off the rocks to, again,  join the pacing.

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That’s when I finally saw what all of the commotion was about:

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I happened to have parked right beside their nest of  4  speckled eggs.

Not the most comfortable  place for a nest, nor  private , as I imagine  this parking lot is busy during the day. But curiously I Googled ” Killdeer”  and discovered  this  location choice is somewhat typical of these birds and  they  seem to tolerate the busy locations and the humans in them as well.     I also learned  their  babies  take twice as long to hatch, but are born with feathers and their eyes open and can run about almost immediately.

For more interesting information  on killdeer and darling photos of baby killdeer :

http://www.birdwatching.com/stories/killdeer.html

Thanks for reading!

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