One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)
Doug and I and our friend, Pat, took advantage of another hot and sunny Saturday to return to Ouabache State Park for a repeat of last week's mini-vacation. (By the way, I joined them in climbing the fire tower this time. Piece of cake!)
We set up our chairs in the same spot where we had spent the day last Saturday. After a picnic lunch, we settled down to read and enjoy the peacefulness of the setting.
Last week, we had our little area all to ourselves. This week, the lakeside bench located near us seemed to be an attraction that drew others. One couple that came to spend some time on that bench had their two dogs with them. When the woman walked away for a few minutes, the dogs both took up a watch, waiting anxiously for her return.
The beep made by my digital camera as it focused, caused the little one with the beard to look my way. Nothing was going to distract that other one from his watchfulness, though.
I've never seen a beard like this on a dog before. It rivals those on the faces of some of our Amish neighbors.
It rained this afternoon. That might not sound newsworthy, but we were over seven inches behind in rainfall for this year. We'd had barely an inch of rain since the first of May.
Our back yard during heavy rain
Our front yard during the same heavy rain
Today's rain came down in sheets, with a wind strong enough to blow it sideways at times. When it was done, our rain gauge registered 2.25 inches which had fallen in less than 45 minutes.
Two of our Norway pines were partially dead from a drought we had two years ago. We were dreading the possibility that this year's drought could finish them off. Today's rain may not save them, but it will definitely help.
We often take rain for granted, not fully appreciating it until we have been without it for too long. Believe me, we appreciated it today. Thank you, God.
Doug and I were taking our customary walk in the cemetery across the road from our house this morning, when he commented that he didn't really have any projects planned for today. So I suggested a mini-vacation.
We have taken mini-vacations before, where we just pack some snacks and drinks in a cooler, grab a favorite book, load some camping chairs in the minivan, and head for some relaxing place where we can have a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon of reading in the great outdoors.
Today, we were joined by our friend, Pat. When we told Pat we were thinking about going to Ouabache (pronounced "Wabash") State Park, she was thrilled. She had fond memories of going there with family when she was young and climbing the 100-foot (30 m) fire tower.
So that was the first place we went when we reached the park. Pat and Doug both climbed to the top. As we've already established on this blog, my mama didn't raise no fools; so I kept my feet firmly planted on solid ground. Besides, someone had to take the pictures. Right? Of course right.
Doug and Pat, about halfway up on their climb to the top
A closer look shows their undaunted spirit.
The thrill of victory
After the two adventurers had enjoyed their triumphal climb to the top of the old fire tower, we looked for a good spot to set up our chairs and spend the rest of the afternoon.
We found this lovely shaded spot on the shore of the lake.
There was a very pleasant breeze blowing across the water, which helped to make the 90-degree temperature bearable. Looking up from our reading from time to time, we could enjoy the sights of others enjoying the day in canoes or on paddle boats.
This group intrigued us because they were Amish, but they weren't quite like the Amish among whom we live. The girls were wearing Hawaiian Leis around their necks. And the guys' hats were...well...not exactly traditional Amish attire.
I rest my case.
The other thing that kept distracting us from our books was the loud rattling cry of multiple Belted Kingfishers. The calls of these birds were all around us, but it was next to impossible to look up quickly enough to see one. Finally, one landed in a tree a great distance from us; and I was able to capture a few images with a 20x zoom.
After the Kingfisher left his branch in the tree, I took the following picture of the tree, without any zoom, to show you how far he was from where we were sitting. He had been on the curved bare branch in the middle of that distant tree.
You've seen video of our great-nephew, 10-year-old Carson, playing piano. Well, he also dances. We attended his dance recital on Saturday, and following are video clips of his two performances. (Carson is third from left at the start of the first video.)
We had a very dry month of May, but a much-needed shower moved through the area on Saturday. As the sun emerged after the rain, a rainbow appeared in a low arc in the eastern sky. It seemed unusual to see a rainbow so low to the horizon.
It's difficult to see, but the bottom layer of the rainbow is a beautiful shade of purple.
We attended the latest piano recital of our 10-year-old great-nephew, Carson, a week or so ago. Here is just a short clip from his performance. (Sorry about all the sneezing you'll hear. Someone must have had allergies.)