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Saturday, April 4, 2015

March 2015

My buddy Chuck once said something like, "Whenever I get a chance to load up on sweet water, I take it."  I should have remembered that on Thursday of Spring Break.  We went out to Wakonda State Park.  The water at the camp sites was still turned off for the winter, so I took the Minnie Winnie back to the ranger station to fill up.  Upon my return (and hooking everything back up), Stacey started dinner.  The water came out of the faucet orange with rust.  We must have been the first to use the water spigot this year.  I went back in the morning to see if it was perhaps running clear (after 30 gallons that were now in the RV), but it was still rusty.  I dumped the water and we went home.  At least it was a successful experiment in taking all the dogs camping for one night.  I flushed the system with clean water from home.  Lesson learned!

We were also disappointed to learn that a mining company has just built a huge apparatus directly across the lake from the campground.  It's ugly and will almost certainly be noisy when in operation.  What a sad turn of events for an otherwise lovely park.

With the addition of dogs to our pack, especially the very active Sisters of Chaos, the back yard has taken a beating.  The changing of the seasons and the action of many dog feet have created massive bare spaces, which become mud when it rains.  Any grass seeds I plant would also be trampled, hence, I fenced the back yard temporarily in half.  I'm keeping them off of the north side, which I have cleared and seeded.  Once it recovers, I'll switch them and try to get the south side recovered as well.  We call this strategy rotational trampling.  They still have plenty of room to run, and I've gotten some good photos of them frolicking.

Racin and I took a day out of our spring break to go out and shoot clays.  Lowell graciously provided the venue.  I hadn't done this in many years.  My shotgun technique was rusty, but I climbed up my learning curve quickly.  Racin got to work out his 12 gauge.  We also did a short bike ride around Canton, which was a nice, gentle break-in to our legs for the season.

I've been taking my class around to different places.  South Park has provided the best photography of birds.  At one point there were over 50 mallards there, plus some bonus ducks like a pair of canvasbacks.  Winter has broken, and we are enjoying the sight of more migrant birds coming through.

One up side to the time change is that sometimes I leave for work before sunrise, and I can take a few minutes to photograph it.  The River and the waterfowl can make for some interesting results.  I had some success with this last year, and got a couple of more good ones recently.

The apricot wine that Savannah and I started last fall was finally ready, so I bottled it one day.  It turned out to be fairly tasty.

I gave two talks this month, one for the Gardener's Palette, a new venue for me.  My talk was well received (Landscaping for birds), and I learned a lot from other talks.  The other was for POLIS, the educational series for seniors, where I talked about wildlife a Costa Rica.  It was very light, mostly showing photos of animals.

We went to Indiana to celebrate Stacey's Mom's birthday.  I won't give away her age, but it was a significant multiple of 10.  We took the RV, pulling the Lil Egg.  Savannah and the 4 dogs came along.  The drive out was not too difficult.  We parked the RV in Krystal's spacious yard, and had water and electricity hooked up shortly.  The night turned out really cold, and the water hose froze.  The expanding ice broke the nice water filter that I had gotten from our friend Aaron when he sold his 5th wheel.  I had a 5-gallon water carrier that I used to partly fill the tank.  Later we found out Krystal's well water has a lot of iron in it, making it undrinkable and blocking the aerators with iron filings.  So it was another adventure in water problems.

I stayed with the dogs while the ladies got haircuts and manicures.  I hung out with the dogs in the RV, reading and playing charango.  We went out to dinner at a nice place in Brownsburg, Boulder Creek.  I sat next to Jule, the exchange student from Germany, who was interesting to talk to.  I shot the sunrise on Sunday morning, and we went to have breakfast with Stacey's Dad and stepmom.  The dogs got to run in their back yard, which they thoroughly enjoyed, having been kept on leads or in the RV for the previous 2 days.  The drive back was painful, as it was windy the whole way, and rainy part of the way.  

4 comments:

  1. breathtaken! loved your family & RV travel/water story. the professor taking his students to the real world-outdoors. The making of apricot wine - great for cooking! amazing photos-stunning dogs-sunset in the middle of wildlife's etherical mornings! Joe, love it all! thanks for sharing!

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  2. Joe, have you been to the waterfall at Springlake in Quincy?

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  3. Joe, have you been to the waterfall at Springlake in Quincy?

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  4. breathtaken! loved your family & RV travel/water story. the professor taking his students to the real world-outdoors. The making of apricot wine - great for cooking! amazing photos-stunning dogs-sunset in the middle of wildlife's etherical mornings! Joe, love it all! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete