Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pictures from the Reservoir...Again

Last Wednesday, my friend, Pat, joined me for a walk at the reservoir. I've shown you several pictures from the reservoir, but not many of the reservoir. So I'm including a picture of Pat on the path to give you just a glimpse of what our walking path looks like.

Pat at the Reservoir

In recent years, the reservoir has become a sanctuary for several Canada geese that have been injured and can no longer fly. Somehow, they find their way into the relative security of this place. I say "relative security" because there are predators, such as coyotes, who frequent the place. But, overall, the wounded geese enjoy a comfortable existence. The reservoir is closed to the public during the winter, but employees bring grain to help sustain the geese during the cold months.

Occasionally, a flock of healthy geese come to the reservoir for a time, and the injured geese usually seem to enjoy the company.

Several geese were on hand on the day of our walk.

Most of the milkweed flowers have begun to dry up by now, but we found one full of buds that had not yet opened, except for one tiny flower.

Milkweed flower buds

The last time I had walked at the reservoir, I had seen a pair of Northern Mockingbirds flitting in and out of the trees. I hadn't been able to get a decent shot of them that day, but I was watching for them on this walk, hoping for a better opportunity.

Seeing a flash of white landing in a tree near where I had seen the mockingbirds, I took a chance that it was one of the birds I was watching for and snapped a photo. When I looked at it later, though, it appeared to be a juvenile; and I couldn't be sure it was a Northern Mockingbird. I include the picture here, though, because I liked it.

Possibly a Northern Mockingbird juvenile.

This next picture was taken this past Saturday, as Doug and I were driving by the reservoir at sunset. We stopped so I could get a quick sunset photo.

Sunset at the reservoir.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Connecting with Family

My dad's mother died when Dad was only 13 months old. Some time after that, his father left Dad in the care of his maternal grandparents and moved to Oklahoma. He remarried and started a new family in Oklahoma. Out of that marriage were born two sisters, Lena and Lola, half-sisters of my father.

Although she has always lived several states away from us, Lena has maintained a relationship with Dad and his family over the years. In the years since my father's death in 1986, Lena, who now lives in California, has come to visit Doug and me a few times, usually planning her trip around her genealogy work and the annual family reunion. The last time she was here was in 2008, when she was 85. She was to have hip surgery when she returned home from that visit, and we weren't sure she'd ever be able to make the trip again.

Well, she has. She's suffered some serious health issues this year, which have weakened her. So, this time, her son, Steve, accompanied her on the flight from California. They are here for only a few days this time and are staying in a motel near the small town where the reunion is held. It's more centrally located and allows more opportunities for contact with family members in that area.

Doug and I weren't going to make it to the reunion on Sunday, so we went out with Lena and Steve for lunch on Friday and had a wonderful visit. I'd never met my cousin, Steve, before; so that was an added bonus.

Aunt Lena, age 90, enjoying one of the rocking chairs at Cracker Barrel.

She's a very energetic senior citizen and stays active. This was the first time I'd known her to make the trip to Indiana without her laptop computer. She probably would have brought it this time, too, if Steve hadn't brought his.

Lena's son, my cousin, Steve

"What's with the closed eyes?" you're saying. Beats me. A good photographer would have spotted that and re-taken the shots...or would have shot additional photos to be sure the eyes were open in at least some of them.

Me, Aunt Lena, and Doug

Aunt Lena and Steve inside the restaurant.

Steve has retired from a career in nuclear weapons design and is now working with Phil Joy, a friend of his who is a professional house mover. (The two of them also race cars, but that's another story.) Anyway, Steve was telling us about some of the more interesting house-moving jobs they've done, and I thought you might enjoy seeing a video of one of them.

The first video is a news clip of less than two minutes in length, but in it you can hear a little more about the house that was being moved. The second clip is just over four minutes in length. It has no dialogue but includes photos and video of the house in its prime, in its decline, and during its move.

This move occurred in 2007. As I understand it, the goal was to turn the house into a bed and breakfast, but I haven't been able to find any current pictures to show it in its restored state.

Update:  Aunt Lena died on October 24, 2019, at the age of 96.

Friday, July 26, 2013


On Monday, we visited Doug's brother for a belated birthday celebration. Dennis' birthday had been on Sunday, but we weren't able to get together until Monday. On our way home that afternoon, we drove by a small community airport and were surprised to see a B-17 Bomber sitting on the tarmac.

The aircraft was on display at this local airport, compliments of the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. 

Rides in the B-17 were being offered for $425 in the back or $850 in the nose. That was just a wee bit out of our price range.

My husband is an airplane junky. Maybe it's because his dad served on an aircraft carrier in World War II. I don't know. But, if he's in the house and hears an airplane going over, he'll run outside to try to get a look at it and identify it if he can.

I'm sure he'd have loved to go for a ride on this B-17. Fortunately for our budget, my airplane junky husband is also a tightwad.

For more information on the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force or on this particular B-17, click here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pony Among Draft Horses

I posted a picture of this little pony among a pasture of draft horses a few weeks ago. We just find it fascinating how he bonds with his much larger pasture-mates. He's usually right in among them, rather than drifting off by himself. Sometimes we even see all the horses trotting across the field with Little Guy in the lead, as if he's the one they all look to for leadership.

There are a couple of other ponies on this Amish farm, but they are kept in a separate pasture. Doug thought maybe Little Guy was a stud and that they were keeping him from the pony mares. Could be. There's not much risk that he's going to sire a foal with one of these Belgian mares.

Recently, though, we've seen a pony mare and her foal in the same pasture with Little Guy and the Belgians. The pony foal and Little Guy seem to enjoy chasing each other around the pasture. I'll try for photos of that soon.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Few More from the Reservoir

This set of photos is still from my walk at the reservoir on July 12.

This isn't a great shot of a Killdeer, but they're so fleet of foot and flight that I was pleased to get it.

A female Red-winged Blackbird

The same female Red-winged Blackbird

I don't know what it is, but isn't it pretty?

A Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

This close-up shows that he was apparently dining on a smaller insect with transparent wings.

A group of horses was being driven back to the barn on an Amish farm.

A milkweed flower in the morning sunlight.

This wraps up the photos from my walk of the 12th. Guess I'd better get out there again. But next time, I'll use some insect repellent.

Friday, July 19, 2013

More Photos from the Reservoir

Sharing some more photos from my walk at the reservoir on Friday, July 12:

Milkweed Flower (I like the way the leaves make it look like a bouquet.)

Trumpet Vine Flower

Queen Anne's Lace with Red Center Flower

Pale Green Butterfly

Pale Brown Butterfly or Moth

White Cabbage Butterfly

Bumblebee on Chicory Flower

Bee on St. John's Wart

I'll have more photos from that walk coming up soon. It was a profitable day, from a photographic standpoint, in spite of the insect bites that are still itching.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Even Thistles Can Be Pretty

I walked at the reservoir last Friday, and it took me an hour and 40 minutes to complete the walk, almost double my usual time, because I stopped so often to take photographs. I probably can't count that walk as exercise.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these photos because the price I paid for them was insect bites all over my body, especially on my legs. Apparently, stopping frequently and stepping into the grass next to the trail was taken as a dinner invitation by many of the resident bugs.

Today's post is devoted to thistles...not exactly a favorite weed, but one with it's own beauty nonetheless.

As you may have anticipated, there will be more posts from that walk. Hopefully, by the time I've finished posting the pictures from that day, the itching will have stopped.

Monday, July 15, 2013

More of Kay's Photo Finds at Ouabache

Here are some more of the things that Kay found for me to photograph on our afternoon at Ouabache State Park last Thursday. Doesn't she have a good eye?

A bee on a cluster of white flowers.

Red leaves amid greenery at the edge of the lake.

Green Berries

Red Berries

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly (Thanks to Steve for the ID.)

A Cluster of Mushrooms

I think Kay is going to have to become a regular part of our days away, don't you?

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Day at Ouabache with Friends

Yesterday, we met friends, Dave and Kay, for breakfast at a local restaurant. In the course of the conversation, they asked what we had planned for the rest of the day. We told them that we were planning to go to Ouabache State Park and invited them to join us. So they did!

Dave and Kay had never been there before, but Kay had seen some of my blog posts about it, piquing her interest.

Dave, relaxing and checking out the view with binoculars.

Kay, serving up some refreshments for Doug.

There were lots of mushrooms scattered around the area yesterday.

I liked the interesting leaf in front of this one.

Kay took a short walk, going a little way down a mowed path into the woods. She returned, urging me to bring my camera and go back with her. She had spotted some things that I might want to photograph. I was impressed with the eye she had for what would make a good picture. And I was the beneficiary of that good eye. Here are a few of the results.

Goldenrod with lots of bugs.

This spiny little thing was growing amidst reeds near the edge of the lake.

I think this is an Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly

I'll have some more of Kay's finds in my next post. Stay tuned.

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