Saturday, 29 April 2017

Stormy Skies...

It's no coincidence that as I type this blog post there are severe thunderstorms in the vicinity. It is that time of the year, after all. Spring definitely arrived early in southern Indiana and we have already experienced some typical stormy weather. Here are a few photos of stormy skies in the area.

 Threatening skies to the north.
 Scattered clouds to the west.
 Rainbow after a large storm had passed through the area.
This weather system actually spawned a tornado south of us.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

McCormick's Creek on a Stormy Evening...

On Thursday, 30th March, we darted some severe weather and headed north-east to McCormick's Creek State Park for a couple of hours. We did a short hike and rested by the river, downstream of the waterfall. Candace's mom and nephew met us there and we had a lovely hike along the riverbank. We left McCormick's Creek around supper time and drove through some torrential rain on our drive back home. It was a lovely spontaneous trip to another state park! :)

 Lovely purple flowers in a field along the Interstate.
 Threatening storm clouds moving in near McCormick's Creek.
 Canyon Inn at McCormick's Creek State Park.
 Pretty trees in the parking lot.
 Hiking down to the waterfall and river.
 The waterfall at McCormick's Creek.
 The river flowing in the small valley.
 Steep hills on either side of the river.
 Rusty enjoying the walk.
 Riaan sitting on his rock by the river's edge.
 Relaxing downstream of the waterfall.
 Hiking along the riverbank.
 A small shelter on the hike back to the parking lot.
 Interesting little plant.
 Fungi growing on an old log.
 Tall trees growing in the forest.
 Torrential rain on the drive home.
Driving under a thick cloud bank.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Bald Eagle...

I happened to be walking outside when I noticed this adult bald eagle in the field across from our barn. He took to flight soon after I spotted him. He probably wanted to have some privacy while he ate his lunch of a rather unfortunate squirrel!

 Sitting in the field opposite us.
 And soon taking off with a squirrel in his talons.
Flying low over the field.

Wilson's Snipe...

The very day we arrived back in Indiana (22nd March), I noticed a pair of Wilson's snipes foraging in the grass outside our barn. It was the first time I'd seen this type of bird, and it is certainly interesting with its very long beak - ideal for foraging in swamps and wet grass.

One of the Wilson's snipes in the grass.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Travels to Indiana...

After a fantastic two weeks in Cape Town, it was time to say farewell and head back to Indiana. We said some sad farewells over our final few days in Cape Town, and then Mom and Dad drove us to Cape Town International Airport at lunch-time on Tuesday, 21st March. Photo above left of the view out of the plane's window in Cape Town.

We said our final goodbyes to my parents, who were very sad to see us go, and then went through security and were soon on our domestic Kulula flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. We had four hours in Johannesburg and were soon back on our Delta flight from Jo'burg to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Indianapolis. Photo above right of us taxiing to the runway in Atlanta during our final flight. All flights went really well (Riaan, again, did awesome!) and all the airlines we travelled with on this trip were fantastic. Delta also get top marks for ensuring that we had an extra seat between us on both the long flights there and back again. :)

Candace's parents met us at Indianapolis International Airport and they drove us home again - to a very excited Rusty. It's definitely bittersweet being home in Indiana and it really feels as if our hearts are torn in many directions. We have homes in South Africa and America, and we even have a home that floats on the sea - where we met almost six years ago. It's a difficult place to be in emotionally. But we're figuring things out! :)

 Driving along the N2 freeway towards Cape Town International Airport.
 Approaching Cape Town International.
 Riaan and Candace in the cable car display at the airport.
 Family selfie on our Kulula flight to Johannesburg.
 Clouds in the South African skies.
 View looking forward on our Delta flight to Atlanta.
 View outside my window as the day begins to dawn.
 On the ground in Atlanta.
 Onboard our final flight to Indianapolis.
 Flying over Indiana farmland.
Our final plane safely on the tarmac at Indianapolis.

South Africa's National Symbols...

For those of you who were wondering, here are South Africa's national symbols. :) I'll wrap up our trip to Cape Town, South Africa, in the next blog post.

The national emblems of the Republic of South Africa.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Final days in Cape Town...

Our last day and a half in Cape Town (Monday, 20th March - Tuesday, 21st March) was spent primarily at home with family. We did manage a final walk on the Common as well as another visit to Common Ground Cafe to enjoy their atmosphere and coffee. :) But this visit has most of all been about family and we were so happy to be able to introduce Riaan to everyone in Cape Town - and we're so happy that he had a blast, too! Here are some memories from the last day and a half before our travels back to Indiana began.

 Lovely family meal together.
 Chicken with mushroom rice - my favourite!
 Uncle Linds with Riaan.
 Riaan playing under the trees with Grandad.
 Riaan sleeping in Granny's arms.
 Family time on our last morning in Cape Town.
 Riaan discovered the bird bath!
 Enjoying an evening thunderstorm outside.
 Cousins. :)
Selfie with my nephew, Rhyenn, and the family dog, Flicka.