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Jul 2001 / the ordinary eye :: email this story to a friend

The Wild Kingdom of St. Louis Lawns
By Cathi Caby

[Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge them.]


Stumpy (no, that's not its real name) is the much loved tree stump that highlights a stretch of Big Bend Boulevard as you make your way through the lovely city of Ballwin, MO.

In a former life, Stumpy was a tree, but I guess his owner could not depart from his lower half, so he/she decided to "dress" him for all occasions, including major holidays. I hear that the 4th of July look is a popular number, where Stumpy on occasion will imitate Uncle Sam or the beloved firecracker. Just remember he's not real, so don't try to light him.


Ass, donkey, BURRO! There are so many names for this lovely creature. I am particularly fond of the little concrete guys that decorate the yards of Affton, MO.

I was on a mission to find a rather large ass with a happy disposition (who isn't?), but to no avail, I encountered about ten of these little guys in a two-mile radius. Apparently there is a popular ass, five-feet in height, just smiling away in someone's yard. I will find you one of these days! For those of you who know what I am talking about, this will make all the sense in the world.


Frick and Frack are two very large wooden people that are mounted for display on this fence in South City. I was reminiscing about my childhood, while driving near my great aunt's old house, and I somehow stumbled upon them. Without further ado, I immediately slammed on the breaks, hopped out and, well, the rest is history.

I don't know if they have any meaning, any sort of special powers, or simply are the remains of a crime scene, but they are a sight to behold.


You will notice this lovely home as you are driving down Bates in lovely South City, MO. All I can say is, "Wow!"

I drove by this mess while searching for another friendly tip that did not pan out. I had to turn around so that I could try to figure out what the hell the theme was and... I was too overwhelmed to figure it out.


Buddha, Buddha, Buuuudddhhaaa. This house is another treasure of Affton, MO.

I stumbled upon this one while searching for that "happy ass." It is a tad bit on the tasteful side of lawn decoration, but I was intrigued and had to capture it on film. I am going to take a stab in the dark here and say that they have a lifetime subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.


There's nothing better than a lawn jockey that likes to fish.

Just shy of the corner of Hampton and Gravois are several tucked-away neighborhoods that are unfortunate to enough to live near this busy intersection. Something was calling me: I took a detour and ran into this little guy.


No, this horse does not talk. He doesn't even walk or make a mess in the yard. (I bet the cowboy who tied him to the tree is as pleased as a pig in mud.)

Ed is a life-size, plastic horse that decorates a yard in Maryland Heights on your way to the MHAA baseball fields. I noticed Ed on my way to the popular fields when my husband shouted, "Hey, look at that horse!" The first time you see Ed, you may suffer from whiplash, but just remember that he is not real!


If you frequent the intersection of Arsenal and McCausland, then you are familiar with this picture. When I was asked to do shoot this project, this was the first house that came to mind.

I think that this cow has been there for as long as I can remember. She is a wooden number that has been attached to the fence of this fine home. Ahhh, you gotta love this city.

Cathi Caby is a St. Louis native who resides in the lovely Soulard area with her two crazy cats, lunatic for a pup and loving husband, Doug. She works for the St. Louis based AVALA Marketing Group so that she can support her active interest in photography. In her off-time she enjoys a nice pint of Guinness, great music and a good game of pool.

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