All posts filed under: Fieldnotes

Art Days 01: Egyptian Archaeology

Recently, my family and I had the opportunity to see the underwater archaeological exhibit, Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds. The exhibit, which is self-paced, featured a number of artifacts recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean, off the coast of the Nile Delta, in a city comparable to the mythology of Atlantis. This stele is an example of one of the treasures recovered and holds a rich history behind those hieroglyphs which reveals that this lost city, Heracleion, was a major port in Ancient Egypt, both for trade, for taxes, and as a religious center. The exhibit had an optional film (1 hour) which was a wonderful overview of the excavation process by Franck Goddio and his team in Aboukir Bay, Egypt. One of my favorite pieces from the collection was this statue: Nudity, or partial nudity, seemed to be a unifying factor amongst multiple statues in the exhibit, showing the exemplary idealization of the feminine form, but what I found particularly fascinating about this statue is the artistic mastery of depicting sheer fabric out …

0:365 Photography Challenge

An Instagram friend of mine has been taking daily photos for forever it seems. Instagram is such an awesome way to discover new and exciting photography. Some of my own favorites include travel photographers, nature photographers, and foodies. Back in my high school days, I took a semester-long course in photography and worked in a dark room, develop my own film, etc., and an interest was born. Lewis Hine and his labor photography has always been a favorite of mine, amongst other b&w artists of the period. I’ve never had a high-quality camera though. Throwaways, then a basic single-click and no preview screen. Then my first (and only) digital camera. For a few years, that allowed me to capture some everyday moments, but it was never portable enough for random moments. Sadly, it finally died on me this spring (constantly shuts down despite fresh batteries). There is a happy ending however. As an early birthday gift, my husband got me my first smartphone and it has a camera. Hurrah! So, with an Instagram account, and …

On Entomology, and Biophilia by Christopher Marley

Part of me always wanted to be an entomologist, except for the whole collecting bugs bit of it. Every time I think of pushing pins into a butterfly’s body, I just shrink back in horror.  Maybe that’s just urban myth or maybe it’s not even done that way anymore.  Regardless, that’s sort of why I admire insects from a distance. There’s something extraordinarily beautiful to me about a well-placed arrangement of insects that it becomes an art form. Recently, I had the opportunity of visiting the City Museum in St. Louis which has a display of an “Entomologist’s Room” that I was fortunate enough to get to visit and take a few photos of, although it’s difficult to capture displays accurately through glass cases. As in much of the permanent exhibits at the City Museum, I suspect that this is someone’s private collection which is being displayed and it’s interesting to note the various species and types of insects on display which extends into other animal types as well like sea shells, birds and even fossils …

Brain Health & Disease Prevention

June may be Brain Awareness Month but your health is too important to put off. This weekend I was reading an article about early testing for Alzheimer’s Disease and I learned that the brain is like a grape — if you leave it out to dry, you’ll wind up with a raisin (analogy from the article). I don’t know about you, but even though I like raisins, I don’t want my brain ending up like one. As romantic as the tortured artist image is, I think I’ll do my best work with a fully functional brain, thank you very much. And I have reason to be concerned, too. Alzheimer’s and dementia run in the family, along with a cocktail mix of other mental illnesses. My genetics are a bit like Russian roulette: if each potential illness was a bullet placed in the 6-barrel chamber, and if n is the odds that I don’t end up developing one later in life when the ‘trigger’ is pulled, well, the odds are definitely not in my favor. So what do I do?

Hummingbird Visits Our Backyard

Our neighbor has what her children call a “wild bird sanctuary” and yesterday morning I happened to look outside the study window and this is what I saw. I found a hummingbird nest in the maple tree in our yard. It's about the size of a thimble. God is amazing and nature is beautiful! — Midwest Maven (@midwest_maven) June 1, 2014

La diada de Sant Jordi

La diada de Sant Jordi (23 Apr) is St. George’s Day, and April 23rd is also declared by UNESCO as the International Day of the Book, in honor of the traditional birthdays of Miguel de Cervantes (Gregorian calendar) and William Shakespeare. In 2014, Americans are celebrating La diada de Sant Jordi on April 28th, because of when Easter falls on the calendar this year. Who is St. George? St. George was a Christian martyr and military saint who is the basis for the legend of ‘St. George and the Dragon’.  As the legend goes, a dragon plagued a town in Libya called Silene, and after offerings of sheep failed to appease the dragon, the citizens drew lots and the lot fell to the King’s daughter to be sacrificed to the dragon. Although the king pled for her life, it was to no avail. St. George happened to be riding by and making the sign of the cross, he charged the dragon and subdued it. He promised to slay the dragon if the people of Silene would …