Sunday, 31 July 2016

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail...

I captured these photos of an eastern tiger swallowtail the other day. This is a female extracting pollen from a purple coneflower. They are a pretty common sight around here. There is so much beauty out there! :)

 Pretty patterns on the wings.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Riaan's Swing...

Riaan loves to swing on the porch outside. He loves to see what's happening and is developing a keen appreciation for nature. :)

 Enjoying his rings in his swing.
 Lots of fun!
Little cutie. :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Snake Skin...

Rusty sniffed out a couple of snake skins this past month. Here is one of them. I'm not sure what kind of snake it belongs to, but probably a garter (or garden) snake.

 The skin of the snake's head.
 The skin's length is longer than the actual length of the snake. It stretches when the snake is shedding it.
Skin rubbed on a stick from a woodpile.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Raccoon Family...

This trio of raccoons came to visit us the other day. They scampered into a pine tree and observed us from above. They're largely considered pests in this part of Indiana - because they eat the crops - but I still think they're pretty cute.

 The trio in the pine tree.
 Out on a limb.
 Peering out from behind the tree trunk.
Wet and bedraggled raccoons heading to the relative safety of the wood.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Flying Chicago visit...

Riaan's South African birth certificate arrived in the post one Monday morning. (20th June.) Candace and I decided to drive up to the South African Consulate General in Chicago the very next day in order to apply for his South African passport.

It was a lovely drive through Indiana up to Chicago. We stayed with Mercy Ships friends for one night before heading to the Consulate on the Wednesday morning. It was a really easy application process and we were soon heading back to southern Indiana - after first visiting Chicago's famous Bean, of course! :)

 With Riaan and his South African birth certificate.
 Relaxing with Mercy Ships friends Sam and Amy in Chicago.
 Waiting to catch the train to downtown Chicago.
 With Zakumi, the 2010 FIFA World Cup mascot, at the SA Consulate General. The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa.
 Chicago's famous Bean.
 Riaan loved seeing his reflection in the Bean!
 Walking across one of Chicago's canals.
 The departing Metra train that dropped us back at Villa Park.
 Public transport is an awesome part of big cities.
Driving back through the huge Fowler Ridge Wind Farm.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Kayaking on the Pond...

Our lovely neighbours have a kayak which they let me use on the pond. I find kayaking extremely relaxing and it's a good workout, too! :) It's been a while since I kayaked. The last time was with my brother back in 2014.

 Heading out on the pond.
 Relaxing in the kayak.
View towards our barn from the pond.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

First Father's Day...

Father's Day was celebrated on Sunday, 19th June. Unfortunately, Candace was working that day and so Riaan and I had a pretty quiet day at home. Candace's mom made me biscuits and on her next free day Candace made a cast of Riaan's footprints for my first official Father's Day. :)

Cast of Riaan's footprints.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Thank You function...

Candace and I wanted to thank those who helped save Candace's life back in December, and so we recently held a Thank You event at the hospital. Candace and her mom made special cookies decorated with the titles and departments of those involved, and the hospital provided a beautiful cake and fruit salad.

It was lovely to be able to say thank you to those medical staff who were involved during the emergency. We were also able to meet the 911 dispatcher who answered our call early that stressful morning. Thank you to all involved - and to everyone who was praying throughout our frightening ordeal!

 The cookies that Candace and her mom made.
 There were medical crosses, pills, nurses hats, and bottles.
Nurses and other first responders at the Thank You function.