Winter lawn, far below

Yesterday I took my nephew to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial here in St. Louis, home of the Gateway Arch, or as it's more commonly called, "The Arch". It has been a few years since I've done this, so was looking forward to having a look around.


The 4-minute ride up in the small, rotating tram cars is no thrill ride but part of the experience, and at 630 ft. (192m) tall you get a great view from the top.

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You see the city through the west windows, and the river through the east, but I seem to always end up spending the most time looking down.


The walls of The Arch are sloped outward (it's made of triangular sections), so it's easy to see the grounds below:


I've never visited in winter before, and there were very few people having their photos taken in front of the arch, or wandering the park grounds below. Single-digit (F) windchill makes people hurry along for some reason.


(Excuse the blurry photos -- lots of smears on the windows from little hands -- and probably faces too.)

The thing that really grabbed my attention was the lawn:


Such a mix of colors, but why are they in those patterns? So splotchy!


I can imagine that they need to reseed (or more likely re-sod) every couple of years or so due to crowd traffic, but I'd expect that to result in geometric patches of different colors, not this organic petri-dish look.

These patches were not really visible when we were back on the ground, but I have to admit that we were focused more on getting back to the car than investigating different types of turf grasses with the cold, cold wind in our faces.


I wonder if these same patches would show up if I took a photo in the summer? They'd probably be much harder to see, but I bet they're still there.


They're planning on renovating the arch grounds over the next couple of years, so I wonder what it will be like on my next visit?

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Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (December 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM)  

I still remember how I excited I was the first time I saw the Arch. That was in 1986, my first and only time in St Louis. I'd love to ride to the top!

Maywyn Studio  – (December 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM)  

Nice pics. You notice the lawn, always the gardener. lol

scottweberpdx  – (December 31, 2013 at 8:39 AM)  

It's always amazing how different things look from above...how patterns emerge.

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