Monday, 27 February 2017

Family Cycles...

The beautiful, unseasonably warm, weather that our part of Indiana has experienced lately has allowed us to venture out for a number of cycle rides recently. And now our little man can join us too! :)

 Sitting in his seat behind me.
Family selfie on one of our rides. :)

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Snow Geese...

There have been a lot of snow geese in the area lately, as they spend their winters in the warmer areas of North America before flying north to the Arctic to breed in the spring and summer. A large flock landed in a nearby field last Saturday (18th February) and this afforded me the opportunity to see these creatures quite close. I was able to take some good photos, too. :)

 A closer view of the snow geese in the field.
 They feed on any scraps left in the field.
 They covered part of the field like a layer of snow.
Snow geese swarming in the early morning light.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Contrails in the Skies...

Contrails are pretty common around here, but the other morning the weather seemed particularly conducive to contrails forming behind jet engines thousands of feet up in the air. The sun added to the scene as some of the contrails threw shadows on clouds lower down.

 Contrails just after sunrise.
 Contrail shadows thrown onto the clouds below.
A closer view of a contrail.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Hiking near Abe Martin Lodge...

We hiked two trails that started behind Abe Martin Lodge during our visit. We hiked the shorter Trail 3 on Tuesday 7th February and then the longer Trail 2 the following day, before we left Brown County State Park. We saw many interesting sights on these hikes - including an owl pellet, different woodpeckers, fungi and other growth on the trees, and old buildings. It was lovely to spend some time hiking in Brown County State Park!

 Three trails begin near Abe Martin Lodge.
 We did Trails 2 and 3 while we were there.
 Hiking Trail 3 heading to the Saddle Barn.
 Owl pellet on the forest floor.
 The Saddle Barn.
 The paddock in a pretty valley.
 Crossing the bridge near the Saddle Barn.
 Very knobbly tree.
 It looks like a distorted giraffe!
 Pretty little river running through the woods.
 Hiking Trail 2 through thick forest.
 An old, leaning staircase.
 One of the picnic shelters.
 The North Lookout Tower.
 Red-bellied woodpecker scuttling up a tree.
 Lots of woodpecker activity along this trail.
 Interesting fungi growing on a log.
 They look like butterflies!
 Another cool fungus.
 A bright red leaf on the forest floor.
 Red-tailed hawk above.
 Pileated woodpecker.
A pretty old stone bridge near the Lodge.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Hiking around Strahl Lake...

We hiked around Strahl Lake shortly after checking-in at Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County State Park. (Monday, 6th February.) The weather was humid, drizzly and misty ahead of some thunderstorms rolling through the area. The trail was completely deserted and, together with the weather, it created a lovely atmosphere for hiking. Some of the scenes seemed straight out of The Lord of The Rings.

 Family selfie before we started our hike.
 Looking out over the slushy lake.
 Partially frozen water.
 The thin layer of ice created amazing patterns.
 Beaver activity was clearly evident here.
 A tiny frozen waterfall! :)
 Beautiful mossy valley.
 The waterfall at Strahl Lake.
The mist was very low, creating spooky scenes, as we drove back to Abe Martin Lodge.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Abe Martin Lodge...

Candace, Riaan and I were able to get away to Brown County State Park a fortnight ago. We stayed at the lovely Abe Martin Lodge from where we ventured out on several hikes and also enjoyed the indoor water park when it was raining outside. I highly recommend visits to any Indiana State Park - it's so good to get outdoors and enjoy nature! :) Here are some photos of the Lodge. There will be more photos from our hikes in a couple of other posts.

 The main entrance of Abe Martin Lodge.
 View towards the wing where we stayed.
 Main staircase in the entrance foyer.
 Indiana's Wildlife Heritage.
 Our lovely room in the hotel.
 They had many interesting displays about the history of Brown County State Park.
 A working antique radio.
 Photographs and maps from previous years.
 The indoor water park even has a water slide!
 The fire tower on the highest ridge in Indiana.
 View over the wintry landscape from Hesitation Point.
 One of the entrances to Brown County State Park.
The double-lane covered bridge just outside the State Park.