Sundays with Terry: The Flint Hills

In celebration of Labor Day Terry, Casey and I visited the Flint Hills. Following the “America’s By-Ways” route from Callaway, Ks. to Council Grove, we spent a day surrounded by evidences of a simpler way of life: small towns, coffee shops and two lane highways.

DSC_0076

The grasslands, rolling hills and unassuming waterways are lovely, if not dramatic.

DSC_0086

Abandoned houses seem just a little bit more exotic in the Flint Hills than when we see them in our own community.

DSC_0050

Death comes as surely as anywhere else.

IMG_2925 (4)

Advertisements

Kauffman Garden’s Smallest Critters

It is a glorious season at Kauffman Gardens.  The fall flowers are in full bloom or blooming.  The air is cool.

IMG_3013

It is a busy time of year in the garden.  Not only are visitors spread throughout the garden, the insects are everywhere. they seem to thrive in the cooler weather.  In their ways, the insects are as fascinating as the garden that attracts them.

Monarch butterflies are in abundance, with their brilliant orange and black wings and spotted bodies.

IMG_3056

While incredibly destructive in large numbers, this grasshopper was all alone, enjoying the banquet that surrounded him.

IMG_3021

This wings of this moth were so pale in color they seem to have disappeared from the page.  However, the photograph reflects, its yellow body matched the flowers that surrounded it.

IMG_3032

Not as vibrant as its neighbors, this moth is a sharp contrast to the colors of the vibrant pink and green.

IMG_3034

The bees everywhere were busy as they darted from flower to flower.  None of the insects paid the slightest attention to each other or the human visitors.  All of them worked hard as though their own survival–and the beauty of the garden–depend on their work.  Probably they do.

IMG_3038

Hope you find a bit of nature to enjoy and explore.  Happy weekend.

The Green Tractor: John Deere

John Deere mailboxLong before Jason Aldean’s hit single “My Big Green Tractor”, farmer’s had a love affair with John Deere.  John Deere has it all.  Founded in 1868, Deere & Company has grown for over 175 years while continually expanding its products, its markets and its core values.  It serves farmers, ranchers, landowners, home owners,  and builders in the U.S. and throughout the world by providing a broad range of high quality products, large and small.  A worldwide leader in agricultural and building machinery, it has roots deep in the community. Simultaneously, it looks to the future by continuing to provide innovative products for its customers.

ALL BUSINESS IS LOCAL–  Wow.  I love it.  With world headquarters in Moline, Illinois, Deere manufactures products throughout the U.S. at plants in Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota and California. It’s marketing, design and distribution sites are even more extensive.  In addition, it manufactures its products in Canada, Central and South America, Europe, USA FlagAsia and Africa.  The Deere philosophy espouses conducting business and manufacturing operations at home in the U.S., as wells as in the nations it serves.

WORKING THE LAND-PROTECTING THE PLANET–  John Deere’s long-standing commitment to safeguarding the environment is reflected in its goal to reduce its carbon footprint in its physical plant and in its product lines.  It has adopted 2018 Enterprise Eco-Efficiency Goals.  Deere’s goals include reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and its water consumption by 15% between 2012-2018 and recycling 75% of its waste by 2013.   Deere introduces its first diesel-electric hybrid wheel loader in 2013.

DSC_0113

EMPLOYEES ARE A TOP PRIORITY– Deere also recognizes the value of its employees.  Deere offers base pay, bonuses, stock options and other long-term cash awards. Consistent with its recognition as “among the best places to work”, it encourages employees to continue their educations.  In a partnership between John Deere, its deals, and select community colleges, Deere’s C & F Tech initiative offers job training through a two-year associate degree focused on an Ag & Turf Technician program and a Diesel Technology program.

Deere’s Supplier Code of Conduct requires suppliers to comply with restrictions on child labor, prohibits forced labor, supports diversity and equal opportunity, requires treatment of all workers with respect and dignity, and protects the right of workers to report concerns without fear of retaliation.

9,500 Deere employees are represented by the American Auto Workers.

DEERE’S PHILANTHROPIC COMMITMENT

Deere’s philanthropic activities include support for education, for the development of sustainable food supplies and economic growth, and community enrichment. These activities also include efforts alleviating hunger, while advancing education and supporting community development.

DSC_0055

John Deere:  A best buy!

Where In The World Is Sophia? The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Observing life through Sophia’s 3-year-old perspective is quite an experience.  This is one of my favorite pictures of her, because she seems so “in the moment” even though you can only see her feet.  For those unfamiliar with the Nelson, the last photo of her clearly reveals her location!

IMG_2905 (1)

Sophia loves to dance.  Constantly in motion, she seemed inspired by the  Rozelle Court fountain, as she did the fountains throughout the area.

IMG_2898

Lovers of art themselves, mom and dad ensured that Sophia actually toured at least the Nelson’s main gallery area.

IMG_2893

Here is Sophia standing beside–instead of hiding behind–the Nelson’s famous shuttlecock.

IMG_2899

Our visit was soon over, but we hop Sophia treasures her memories of Kansas City and family as we treasure her.

Where In The World Is Sophia? Sheila Kemper Dietrich Park

During one of Sophia’s infrequent trips to the U.S. from her home in the Netherlands, Terry and I wanted to share with her some of our favorite places.

Sheila Kemper Dietrich Park is one of my favorite Kansas City parks for children.  There is plenty to amuse any 3-year-old.   The park has:

A Sea Monster

DSC_0008

A pirate ship

DSC_0007

A chance to “steer” the ship

DSC_0005Cartoon characters

DSC_0010

And much more.  Great fun for the young and young at heart.

The challenge: my pickup for today

The challenge: my pickup for today

Last week I challenged my friends and family to pick up at least one piece of trash a day. I took the kids for a walk this morning around our neighborhood. I picked up this plastic spoon and rusted nail from the sidewalk. Have you picked up a piece of trash today?