St. Louis, Missouri with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck had part of a day in St. Louis.   What should we do?   We drove downtown and parked across from Busch Stadium.

Busch Stadium

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team plays here.

St. Louis Cardinal at bat

The Cardinals have won many World Series of Baseball and the fans are very loyal.   Then we heard fireworks.   A man on the street said that means someone hit a home run.   Well, what are ducks and moms to do?   We bought tickets, went into the stadium, found our seats and then bought hot dogs.   For a last minute idea, we had pretty good seats.

Watching the baseball game

This was an exciting game.   The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburg Pirates 7-0.   Lots of action in this game and the crowd was happy and cheering as their favorite hometown team continued to score.   The game ended and as we left our seats, we noticed the cardinal on the end of each row of seats.

A cardinal on each row of seats

Isn’t that great?  We like this stadium.   We did need to take a quick look at the Cardinals store inside the stadium.

Store inside Busch Stadium

Here we are perched on a can by the doors.   Outside more fans were celebrating.

Cardinals Nation. Across from Busch Stadium

Across the street from Busch Stadium, Cardinals Nation was feeding and refreshing many fans. The weather was warm with the sun shining through the beautiful blue sky.   What could we do next that would not seem like a let down after that great game?   The sidewalk had the answer.

St. Louis has an arch

St. Louis has The Gateway Arch, the world’s tallest arch, located on the banks of the Mississippi River.  The Gateway Arch opened June 1967.   This, the tallest monument in the United States, is dedicated to “the American people” and a tribute to the westward expansion of the United States.   Our moms have been here before and they loved this area.

The Arch

That is a big arch!  The Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall, compared to the Washington Monument at 555 feet.   The arch has a stainless steel skin and glimmers in the sunshine.   Before we ducks joined the family our moms went inside the arch to the observation area.   There is a tram in each leg of the arch to go to the top.   With 8 cylindrical 5 seat compartments with a small window in each compartment, 40 humans ascend at a time from each side.   The cars, or compartments, swing like Ferris wheel cars, half Ferris wheel and half elevator, it takes 4 minutes to arrive at the top.   At the top observation area each side has 16 windows, 7″ x 27″ (180 mm x 690 mm).  Through these small windows, you can see up to 30 miles (48 km) into Missouri and southern Illinois.   We did not go inside the arch this time.  Near the arch, we saw Harry.

Harry the horse and his carriage

Harry pulls this carriage.   We wanted to ride in Harry’s carriage.  We are riding with the Mississippi next to us.

Mississippi River and bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois.

That bridge over the Mississippi River goes to southern Illinois.  This is graffiti wall.

Graffiti wall. We love it!

We enjoyed the pictures painted here.   We must like artful graffiti.   After a ride along the river and through part of downtown St. Louis, Harry, who likes apples, carrots and peppermint candy, took us to our car.   We were asked not to feed Harry as he is not done working for the day.   If he gets fed, even a snack, he wants to go back to the barn.   So we petted Harry, paid and tipped our driver and left our carriage.   Our car was parked across from  White Castle hamburger restaurant.   Naturally we went to White Castle for a light dinner.

White Castle hamburgers. Arch in background

Looking through the window of White Castle, we liked seeing the Gateway Arch.   We enjoyed our time in St. Louis.

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Soapy Smith Duck Visits Florida

We all love Florida.   Soapy and his mom visited Florida in July 2017.   Long before Hurricane Irma made landfall.   Soapy here to tell about our trip.   We visited friends from mom’s high school days.   We got a flight from Denver and flew to Tampa, Florida.

Soapy is in Tampa Florida

They knew I was coming, so the whole gang was there.

My new Florida friends

We had such a good time.   The first full day we went to the beach at Clearwater, Florida.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

I just love the beach.   When mom was really young (before kindergarten) she used to spend lots of time on the beaches of Florida.   She was in Clearwater, but doesn’t remember.   I’ll certainly remember this great beach.   Another day we went to St. Petersburg Beach and loved the area called Madeira Beach.

Madeira Beach. By St. Petersburg Beach

When we got back to Colorado we learned that mom used to stay on Madeira Beach.   We loved this beach so much that we came back here another day.

Madeira Beach

While in Madeira Beach, mom found many sand dollars.

Soapy and mom found this sand dollar.

This one was my favorite.   Too soon it was time for our vacation to end.

Sad to say goodby to Tampa

One last look at the aquarium in Tampa airport.

Aquarium in airport

We plan to return to Florida again.   But since Hurricane Irma hit, we will wait awhile.   But when Florida is ready for tourists again, we hope to be there.   We love Florida and I want to see mom’s friends again.   They are so nice to me.   Mom talked to them right after the hurricane.   They had to evacuate their apartment in Tampa, but they were safe.

Dinosaurs at the Denver Zoo with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Ducks, let’s go to the zoo!   Some of our favorite words.   But what is this?   Dinosaurs at the zoo?   Aren’t they extinct?   Let’s look around here.   This is Coelophysis.

Coelophysis dinosaur

Coelophysis is the earliest dinosaur known to have a wishbone (or furcular), a feature once believed to be unique to birds.

Coelophysis dinosaur

They were social animals, living and hunting in groups.  When you go to the zoo, be prepared.   These dinosaurs move their heads and make a ferocious sound.   You might be startled at first, we were.   Next we saw Carnotaurus.

Carnotaurus dinosaur

This dinosaur may have had something in common with the modern day Komodo dragon; highly flexible jaws that allowed it to swallow large chunks of flesh whole.  But, please, not to swallow ducks…

Moving along, Edmontonia dinosaur was a sight to see.

Edmontonia dinosaur

This dinosaur would have been a poor choice of prey for a predator due to the bony lumps, or osteoderms, that dotted its already rough hide.   It is theorized that Edmontonia had a highly developed sense of smell, thanks to extensive nasal passages within the skull.

Diabloceratops was the most unusual dinosaur we saw.

Diabloceratops dinosaur

Diabloceratops is estimated to have tipped the scales at roughly 4,000 pounds, the same weight as a modern Indian rhinoceros.   In addition, like the rhino, it was an herbivore despite its dangerous looking horns.  About 79 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, Diabloceratops lived in Utah.   Hey, that is less than 300 miles from where we live.

But look at these baby diabloceratops.

Baby diabloceratops dinosaur

Aren’t they so cute?  The last dinosaur we saw was Iguanodon.

Iguanodon dinosaur

We learned that Iguanodon is one of three dinosaurs used as inspiration for Godzilla?   The other two were T Rex and Stegosaurus.   About 125 million years ago Iguanodon roamed around what is now Belgium in Europe.

There are more dinosaurs for you to discover at the Denver Zoo.   But don’t wait too long.   After October 31, 2017 the dinosaurs will once again become extinct.   While we were at the zoo, we stopped to visit a few of our favorite animals.   Mom just loves tigers.

Tiger

We like them also.   The okapi is always interesting to us.

Okapi

The okapi is a relative of giraffes and lives deep in the equatorial rain forests of Africa.  Okapi can eat up to 65 pounds of leaves a day.  That’s a lot of leaves!  We love that the okapi only has some stripes.  That makes him very unusual and favorite of ours.  Of course, no trip to the zoo would be complete with seeing the majestic lion.

Lion

And here is the fastest land animal on earth, the cheetah.  The cheetah can sprint up to 70 miles per hour.

Cheetah

Look at those eyes.  The sign said the black “tear marks” along the side of a cheetah’s nose may help reduce glare, just like the black grease some football players smear under their eyes.   Is the cheetah a trend setter? Perhaps.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival 2017

Two weeks ago, Labor Day Weekend in the United States, we went to the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival   Even though Labor Day marks the official end of summer, we love this festival.   First we headed to the Farmer’s Market.

Yum

Don’t these vegetables look enticing?   And, there is more.

Cheerful flowers

The flowers are beautiful.   Pappardelles, The Fine Art of Pasta, had many types of pasta available.

So many types of pasta

Makes us hungry just looking at them.   Next we saw the Big Taste Grill, a truck by Johnsonville.

Big Taste Grill by Johnsonville

This is the world’s largest touring grill.   It weighs 53,000 pounds, is 65 feet long and 6 feet wide. It can cook 750 Brats at a time, or 2,500 Brats per hour.   440,000 BTU’s are heat by propane fuel.   Since 1995 the Big Taste Grill has been raising money for charities.   The profits from this weekend are aiding victims of Hurricane Harvey that severely damaged Houston, Texas and surrounding areas.   We ducks are on the stairs, ready for Brats.   Festivals are great for kids to play.

Play area for small humans

Oh, sometimes we wish we were human.   Next we sampled ice cream.

Interesting place and delicious ice cream

We love ice cream.   What are these kids doing?

Bumper Balls

It looks like so much fun.   They can bump into each other.   Of course, it is called bumper balls. End of summer means all gardens have too many huge zucchinis.   What to do with them…  Decorate zucchinis.

Zucchini

Then race the decorated zucchinis.   You buy a zucchini and the decorations are there for you to decorate.   Wheels first.   After the zucchinis are decorated, let’s race.

And the race begins

Such fun.   Next to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art we spotted this statue.

Near Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Just not sure how to describe it, but it certainly got our attention.   OK moms, let’s eat.   We love the Dushanbe Teahouse, also known as the Boulder Teahouse.

Let’s go in

This was a gift from Dushanbe, Boulder’s sister city in Tajikistan.   The teahouse is serene, located on the banks of the Boulder Creek and surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Flowers everywhere

While eating, you hardly hear any of the activities of the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival.   We ordered a Cuban sandwich and Indonesian Noodles with chicken.

Our lunch

So very tasty.   Since this is a tea house, we ordered a display tea.   This is Jasmine Bouquet, a hand tied green tea around yellow chrysanthemum and jasmine buds.

Jasmine Bouquet, a display tea

With the glass of hot water, we received the tea ball.   Drop the tea into the hot water, and soon it will sink to the bottom of the glass.   It was interesting to watch the tea ball open and the buds come into view.

Tea with buds coming into view

The display was fascinating and the tea tasted very nice.   We do like green tea, so we were very happy.   We also go to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse when there is no festival.   Isn’t the inside beautiful?

Indoor pool with Seven Beauties

When inside, don’t forget to look up.

Ceiling. Made by hand, no power tools.

We really enjoy visiting this tea house.  When in Boulder, Colorado, we hope you visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.   And don’t miss the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival the first weekend of September.

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck Visit Roadside Attractions Near Canon City, Colorado

I, Zeb the Duck and Soapy Smith Duck, with our moms and a friend, drove southwest about 100 miles from Denver.   Visiting friends in Canon City was our purpose, but we want you to see some of what we found along the highway.   This old prison was along the side of the road.

Prospect Heights Jail 1906

Rather small.   Compare to what we saw a few miles down the road.

Supermax Prison, Colorado

This photo from Wikipedia is a federal prison in Colorado.   Often referred to SuperMax, it is believed to have the highest security of any U.S. prison.   It houses our most dangerous male prisoners.   Next we saw this giant chair.

Large rocking chair

The sign said it is 21 feet tall, 14 feet wide and weighs 9,100 pounds.   In 1990, when it was built, it was the world’s largest rocking chair.   That record no longer belongs to this chair.   The historic Apple Shed has closed, so we could not get closer to the chair.

Large rocking chair

We had to look through a fence.  We then pulled off the road at Col. Leo S. Boston War Memorial Park.

Col Leo S. Boston War Memorial Park

There are Vietnam era helicopters and jets here.    We stopped to see the Penny Project.

Penny Project

The big steel letters were made by students in the Canon City High School metal shop.   Attached to the letters are pennies.   The letters spelling “IN GOD WE TRUST” are covered with 58,272 glued on pennies, one for each American killed in the war.   Most of these pennies were minted during 1965-1971, the war’s deadliest years.

Covered with 58,272 pennies

There are plans to expand this War Memorial Park.  Our next, and last stop, was to see Herkimer, the World’s Largest Beetle.

Herkimer, The World’s Largest Beetle

Herkimer was built in the mid 1950’s and is a monster sized West Indian Hercules Beetle.   Herkimer’s purpose is to advertise the May Museum of the Tropics.

May Museum of the Tropics

The May Museum contains many preserved unusual and rare insects.   As you drive the roads of the United States watch for unusual things.   We learn of most items from http://www.RoadsideAmerica.com   You may find this site interesting also.   Please tell us if you know of other interesting roadside art.

Dogs in the Pubic Swimming Pool

We can’t believe it!   Dogs are in the swimming pool near us.

Young boy and dog in falling water

This swimming pool and park are near our house.   Usually we see many children in the pool, but today dogs are welcome here.   Our public school began classes on Thursday.   Friday was the last day for regular season swimming in the pool.   Saturday, the pool was open to humans and their dogs.   Dogs were allowed in the pool with a human, for two hours.

Lots of dogs in here

And many dogs enjoyed the pool.   We ducks did not go into the pool, but we did look through the fence.

Dogs of various sizes

See the dogs of all sizes and colors.   And they are going in the pool.   This fellow loves swimming with a frisbee.

Swimming with a pink frisbee

Maybe this dog needed a little persuasion to go in the water.

Hold me dad

He seems very happy with his human.   These two love to swim.

Born to swim

Maybe they were here last year.   When the two hours were finished, the dogs and families left the pool.

No problems when it is time to leave.

We saw many wet, happy dogs today.   Now the pool has been cleaned, drained and covered, waiting for next summer.

Solar Eclipse Today, August 21, 2017

Today is the much anticipated total solar eclipse across much of the United States.   In Denver we will have 92% of the sun blocked by the moon.   Many humans from Colorado are going to Casper, Wyoming and Lincoln, Nebraska to experience the total eclipse.   Our humans decided to stay home and view our 92% eclipse.   We ducks are ready.

Colorado Traveling Ducks ready to watch solar eclipse

While looking at the sun we are to wear special glasses.   If we don’t wear these glasses we risk permanent eye damage and even blindness.   When looking through these glasses, everything is black.   Except, looking at the sun, a yellow circle is visible.   It is really interesting to experiment with these glasses.   Our largest relative, Big Duck from Grand Lake, Colorado thought he was ready to watch the eclipse.

Big Duck cannot watch with normal sunglasses.

But, he is not ready.   Ordinary sun glasses do not offer enough eye protection.   We will watch the moon gradually cover most of the sun from our backyard.   We have invited a few human friends to join us and we will have food in crockpots to make the watching fun and more social. Also, to commemorate the total solar eclipse, the United States Post Office has issued a special postage stamp.   When the temperature is cooler, below 84.2 degrees F, or 29 degrees C, you see the total eclipse.  It was too hot outside when we took these photos, so this total eclipse was retaken at night, when it was cooler.

Postage stamp shows total solar eclipse

Warm the stamp, usually by putting your thumb on it, the picture changes from a solar eclipse to an image of the moon.

Postage stamp photo turns to image of moon

On the back of these sheet of stamps you can see the path of the total eclipse across the United States.

Path of total eclipse across the United States, August 21, 2017

The change occurs because of thermochromic ink.   This ink was developed and produced by Cromatic Technologies, Inc in nearby Colorado Springs, Colorado.   The ink is used for fun.   And we think that this stamp is fun.   It has been used by Coors Brewery, a local beer company. Coors has merger with Miller Brewery, so not so local now.   Cans of Coors Light use this ink to have the mountains on the can turn blue when the beer is cold.   In Denver the moon begins covering the sun, the beginning of the eclipse at 10:23 a.m., peak coverage at 11:47 a.m., and the moon has cleared the sun at 1:14 p.m.   If you live in the United States, we hope you have your eclipse glasses and watch the eclipse.   Of course, we do not want a cloudy sky.