COLUMBIA — A big moon, barbecue and boisterous children frolicking at Stephens Lake Park are just a few of this weeks best photos.
Between hot summer temperatures, squirrel hunting, reptile shows and pet play dates raising money for animal advocacy, there was no shortage of events that got Columbia residents outside and active. Some students not splashing in pools celebrated graduating from the Summer Expeditions program through Columbia Public Schools. Other mid-Missouri locals set out for Lonnie Ray's, a Harrisburg spot that's been serving barbecue for almost 10 years.
The perigee moon shines above the Burr Oak Tree in McBaine Saturday in this photo by Unho Yi. The perigee moon, also a supermoon, happens once a year when the moon aligns with the sun and earth and is closest to the earth in its orbit. On Saturday, it was 14 percent larger than when the moon is at its farthest distance from the Earth. Columbia residents tweeted photos of the moon and discuss its pros and cons. The next time a perigee moon this big will appear will be in August 2014.
This photo by Sini Stephan shows Boone, a mastiff, left, touching noses with Nibbler, a dachshund-Yorkie mix, during the Columbia Pet Expo Unleashed event on Saturday the Columbia Canine Sports Center. The gathering was an opportunity for pet product vendors and local animal shelters to meet up with pet enthusiasts to raise money for the animal advocacy organization No Kill Columbia.
Alec Montie, 14, rests while he spends a morning squirrel hunting in Mark Twain National Forest on Saturday, June 15, in this photo by Sini Stephan. Although Montie has hunted since he was a child, it was his first time squirrel hunting. The squirrel hunting event was sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conversation as a way to encourage children to get outside.
In this photo by Megan Donohue, Ethan Meyers shows off his pet alligator, Wya. Meyers uses his pets to educate the public in a reptile and amphibian program, Natural Wonders. During the show, which he has done for 12 years, Meyers handles exotic animals while explaining their backgrounds and answering questions. He has performed for high schools, scout troops, parties and community events.
Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher speaks to Summer Expeditions program graduates Friday at Columbia College in this photo by Quint Smith. The program is four weeks long and lets fourth- through sixth-graders learn about core content areas — math, science, social studies and language arts — and other subjects. Students also learn about what it is like to go to college and can even be eligible for Columbia College scholarships in the future.
In this photo by Unho Yi, Mike Whiteley pours barbecue sauce over pork ribs after pulling the meat from the smoker. Whitely smokes 150 pounds of pork a day on average at his barbecue joint called Lonnie Ray's. Next year, the Harrisburg restaurant will be 10 years old. Whiteley started the business with his friend Brandon Millikan.
Duncan Johnson, left, and his twin brother, Dakota Johnson, both 3, played in the fountains Tuesday at Stephens Lake Park in this photo by Megan Donohue. Temperatures approached 90 degrees on Tuesday, so Columbia residents spent the hot summer day at public pools and parks, building sandcastles and swimming with friends.
Supervising editor is Ben Kupiszewski.