What You See Is…?

When scientists began to take a closer look at the natural world all around them, they did not always agree on what they saw. They did not always accurately understand what they saw. They often jumped to conclusions, especially if they were still influenced by the belief in spontaneous generation. The old, traditional belief that living things could come from non-living things-–still held by many––caused some especially heated debates.

130px-Jan_Baptist_van_Helmont_portraitIn 1620 Dr. Jan Baptista van Delmont wrote and published a paper to prove that living things DID come from non-living things. Based on what he, personally, had seen, he wrote a recipe for making mice! (Why anyone would want to make mice, I don’t know, I guess he wasn’t concerned with that.)

According to Dr. van Delmont, if you put a piece of sweaty, smelly underwear in an open mouth jar and added some wheat, in twenty-one days full-grown mice would emerge. This was considered scientific observation at that time; not quite the way Maria Sybilla Merian handled her observations of the transformations of caterpillars into butterflies and moths. She studied the caterpillars carefully, documenting with notes and paintings all of the changes that occurred. In fact, she thoroughly documented the entire life cycle…proving that caterpillars did not just ooze up out of the ground, but came from eggs that the butterflies and moths laid. Her method of research is still used today.

150px-Jan_Baptist_van_Helmontmouseies 3


While I’ve been geocaching for years both all over the US and in other countries, I have just recently discovered earchcaching. An earthcache is a natural geologic formation, so nothing is hidden at these sites. Instead, to get credit for finding one of these, you must answer some questions about it. I have now reached the Bronze level in finding earthcaches, which means I have found a total of three, but found in at least two states. A mere neophyte!

Small spring babbling its way out of the cave.

Small spring babbling its way out of the cave.

Cave at Sequiota Park, Springfield, MO.

Cave at Sequiota Park, Springfield, MO.

The tallest sand dune in Florida is on an island.

The tallest sand dune in Florida is on an island.



A library visit in Arlington Heights, Illinois, provided me with something new to try… Zentangles! It’s a form of meditation and art, I suppose. I just enjoy creating them. There are a few “rules” and named patterns. Some I like; some I don’t like——par for the course it seems. I’m learning, starting with pen and ink with a little pencil shading.

Priyaa: Another Great Little Restaurant in St. Louis

Priyaa Indian Cuisine at 1910 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights, MO. If you like Indian food, this is a MUST. I ordered Masala Dosa with no idea of what it was. The waitress’ comment was “Wow!” My reaction was uh oh, what’s wrong? Nothing wrong, it was just the most authentic Indian dish ordered at our table and it surprised her! It was absolutely scrumptious!

large crepe is bigger than the plate

Masala Dosa — Nearly three times longer than the plate!

Hidden Gem Vegan Cafe in St. Louis

Sweetart at 2203 South 39th Street is a great place to stop and spend awhile. It is a cafe, bakeshop, and art studio. cbabibayoc is the artist whose work is displayed on the walls. And 8×10 prints of his work are also for sale. Once discovered, you will want to go back! (www.cbabibayoc.com) (www.sweetartstl.com)

Image of cafe storefront

Vegan food and great art.

Large painting in the cafe.

I really like this painting in the cafe.

Paintings hung on one wall of cafe.

Paintings to enjoy while eating.