Monday, 5 December 2016

Birds Galore...

It may look like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, but these blackbirds were far less sinister. They were swarming above the recently-harvested soybean field, looking for a tasty morsel. I don't think I've ever seen so many birds together before!

 A terrifying scene if you have a fear of birds.
 There were quite possibly 1000s of them.
 A line of black on the field where the birds have alighted.
A closer view of the large flock of birds on the field.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Summit Lake State Park...

Back on the 10th of October we drove the three hours to Summit Lake State Park, just east of Indianapolis. It was another State Park that we had never visited before. We enjoyed a picnic by the lake's edge and then had a lovely hike through dense forest along the shoreline. We also saw many interesting birds. It was a great day's outing to another beautiful Indiana State Park!

 Park sign at the entrance gate.
 Our little pumpkin on the autumn display.
 A tree surrounded by the lake.
 We ate lunch at this picnic table by the water's edge.
 Hiking through the forest.
 Looking up at the tree canopy.
 Interesting fungi on a tree.
 A lichen growing on the trunk of a tree.
 Interesting growths on this dead stump.
 Pretty wild flowers.
 Honey bee hard at work.
 Beautiful view along the hiking trail.
 A great blue heron takes flight.
 Campsites at Summit Lake.
 The tiny Nature Centre.
 Fishing dock.
 Candace and Riaan on the dock.
 Abundant bird life.
 American coots on the lake.
 A pair of Canada geese on the water.
 Canada goose in flight.
 Belted kingfisher.
 Pretty old barn on the drive home.
 Pumpkin patch.
 Amazing colour contrast in this tree!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

SA Passport...

Riaan's South African passport arrived on the day we would have returned to America had we not had to cancel our flights back in August. (For more on that, click here.) Our little man is now an official dual national and looks very proud of his new green-and-gold passport! :)

Just checking that all the details are correct. :)

Friday, 25 November 2016

Giant Katydid...

It looks like a cross between a leaf and a locust, but this is in fact a katydid. I came across this large specimen at the Odon Park last month. These camouflaged creatures are common throughout Indiana in the summer and autumn months - much like the cicadas that are also abundant in this area. I love how the camouflage includes the individual veins that you would find on a leaf!

 View from above.
 Enjoying a little snack. :)
Side view. The leafy detail on the body is clearly visible.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Air Evac Lifeteam...

Candace, Riaan and I were at the Odon Park when an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter was there last month. They were there, along with other police and fire units, to show school children the different emergency vehicles used locally. It was Riaan's first helicopter and we enjoyed watching it take-off and head on its way. It was the same type of helicopter, a Bell 206, that would often land on our front stoep at Zithulele in 2013 - and no, that's not an exaggeration! :)

 Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter parked at the Odon Park.
 A closer view of the front of the helicopter.
 Preparing to take-off.
And off it goes!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Potato Creek State Park...

On our drive home from northern Indiana we saw the sign for Potato Creek State Park, and so we decided to detour through this lovely park. We went to the Nature Centre and Riaan especially enjoyed watching the squirrels and chipmunks eating their seeds and nuts. We also enjoyed driving around Worster Lake.  

 The entrance sign at Potato Creek State Park.
 Pretty wild flowers growing along the road.
 View looking across Worster Lake.
 Trees beginning to change colour at the onset of autumn.
 Boat launch.
 Wild turkey darts into the forest.
 Nature Centre at Potato Creek State Park.
 Browsing through the various exhibits.
 Exhibit chronicling Potato Creek's history.
 Riaan having fun in the Nature Centre.
 Western fox snake.
 Nature viewing area.
 Finches at a bird feeder.
 Cute little squirrel.
 Riaan loved watching the squirrels and chipmunks.
 Antique farming equipment.
Lots of signs as we exit Potato Creek.