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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fabulously Free - World Bird Sanctuary

Saint Louis is home to many free and cheap attractions and we're all about making sure the tourists aren't the only visitors by having discounts for our residents.  This is a series that will last as long as I can find cool free stuff to do in the STL area.  Recommendations are welcome!

*Warning - this post is picture heavy!*

The long Labor Day weekend brought fun and lots of family into our life. On Saturday Liam spent the day with Grandma and Grandpa Denny and two of his cousins, Rose and Evan. They had hot dogs, went swimming, and had Ted Drewes.  It was a last weekend of summer type of day.

On Sunday, we all met up with the Bartnick clan and headed over to the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park.
Rory is the bird and Sophie is the falconer.
There are birds, art, a hiking trail, and more birds.
The sign leaves out all the other types of birds. Silly sign.
The animal hospital is at the entrance to the outdoor exhibits and you can look through a window to see the animals in recovery.  On the porch of the hospital are painting of different birds and bird houses for sale.
4 of the paintings on the porch.
Bird Houses for sale
The variety of birds is amazing from endangered to the every day - I didn't note all the types as I took their pictures, so hope you enjoy their majesty without knowing what they are.

The kiddo's had a good time running, trying to mimic bird calls, and just enjoying being together.

Even Claire got in on the excitement
They were gobbling at the turkeys trying to get a response.

The "Eagle's Nest"
There was an representation of an eagle's nest for the kids to learn from and to play in.
The only disappointment we had was because Rory loves feathers so we thought we could collect her some for her collection on this trip. We found out when we got there that they don't allow you to take any feathers out of the sanctuary because it is illegal to own feathers from endangered birds.

After our walk through the outdoor area, we headed to a picnic bench and broke out our mobile feast.

Once we refueled, we headed over to their nature center to check out the snakes, a couple birds that need to be inside, and a collection of bones and furs to learn from.
This little owl had one eye and was so sweet.

They have some amazing sights at the Sanctuary and I'm sure we'll never forget our trip there.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Challenge Accepted

My friend Janna - who is awesomely insightful - put a challenge out there and I am going to accept it.

I love to learn and when I'm not in school I tend to read only for fun - which means fiction - and forget to pick up books for other reasons.  If I'm working on a project, I will read non-fiction, but then it's for a project, not just for general knowledge.

So I am accepting Janna's challenge and I check four books in three topic areas out of the library to read to expand my knowledge.

My first topic is gardening.  Our house has multiple garden beds and some very random plants planted in some very random places in our yard.  I have spent my life avoiding gardening. I'm a ginger - burns easily - with asthma - allergic to all pollen and cut grass.  Not a great combo for spending loads of time outside working in a garden.  However, with this house comes the responsibility to take care of the lawn and decide whether to keep the gardens, redo them or remove them.  In order to do that I have to learn something about gardening. So I picked up two books:
copyright Lauren Clancy 2014
This handy little book is right up my alley. It's not a "For Dummies" book, but it breaks it down into easy, manageable sections. And it will help us decide what to do with the patio in the front yard that is uneven and has very odd retaining walls.

copy right Lauren Clancy 2014

 The Culpeper's Color Herbal will, I hope, help me learn different herbs and what they look like. I know I have mint by the back steps, but am unsure if there are any other herbs growing back there. I'd rather know before I rip up the garden and start over.

The next topic is yarn crafting. :) I have made it known I am a knitter and crocheter. I love the work, but have never taken the time to really learn the different kinds of yarn and all their very distinct personalities.  I'm hoping that The Book of Yarn will help with that.
copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
Lastly, I am working on my spirituality and my relationship with my higher power.  I have always been drawn to paganism and have done some studying on the subject, but I walked away from it for various reason that I don't feel are applicable any more. I am now going to start afresh and see if the pull is just because I walked away or if it fits better this time around.
copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
I urge you to take up your own challenge this school year. Learn something new, just because.