Monday, 31 July 2017

Scrawny Squirrel...

This little fellow was foraging for food in the flower bed behind our home. Despite being busy scurrying around looking for tasty treats, he took the time to pause for a couple of photos. :) Riaan loved watching him!

Sitting nicely on a little rock. :)

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Cycling to Green County...

A few weeks ago I decided to cycle to the 4-H building in Green County. It was the furthest I'd ventured on a bike in quite a while, but it was definitely worth it. I cycled 54 kms or 34 miles on the day. Here are a few sights on my cycle ride. :)

 Cycling over the Interstate on my trusty hybrid bike.
 Rows of corn and soybean fields.
 I had to cycle carefully over this oiled road. Gravel roads are often coated in oil to keep the dust down.
A picturesque dead tree on my way home.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Summer Storm...

A line of strong thunderstorms passed through our area recently. This huge thunderstorm system made for some good photographs as the storm approached from the north-west and departed to the south-east. It was also particularly interesting as there were mammatus clouds, often associated with severe storms, visible once the storm had passed. (As pictured in the last of the below photographs.)

 It's not clear from this photo just how massive this cloud was. I had to crouch down with my camera tilted upwards on the pavement in order to capture all of it. It towered threateningly over us!
Fingers at the edge of a shelf cloud.
 The storm approaches from the north. There was a fair amount of colour in this storm, from dusty brown to eerie green.
 Purple skies as I look towards the "rear" of the departing thunderstorm. I spent many minutes standing here (on our stoep) and watching the mesmerising lightning in this system.
 Scattered clouds just after sunset.
Mammatus clouds seen in the last of the evening light.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Morning Cobwebs...

I came across this spider's web early one dewy morning. There are tiny water droplets clinging to the web.

It made a pretty photo in the early morning sunlight.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Crop Dusting Helicopters...

We've seen a couple of helicopters flying around the area performing crop dusting duties lately. And while I don't necessarily enjoy the chemicals being sprayed just across the road, I can certainly appreciate the flying skills involved in the process! :) It was quite mesmerising to watch - from a safe distance, of course!

 Robinson R44 flying overhead.
 Eurocopter AS350 diving over the fields.
 Skimming the top of the corn field.
And pulling up for another run.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Travels from Missouri to Indiana...

We left Gasconade Hills Resort at around 09h30 on Sunday, 2nd July, after a lovely weekend with family. We split the five-hour journey up into several parts. We stopped and ate an early lunch at a Cracker Barrel restaurant along the way and then drove on to St. Louis, where we visited The London Tea Room. (Pictured here.)

Here we met up with our friends, the Maley family, who also happened to be visiting St. Louis as we were travelling through. We had a lovely tea and enjoyed some English/Commonwealth treats before heading on our way. We also saw some lovely old buildings in St. Louis - like this large church - and drove past the Gateway Arch on our way home. We're already planning a trip back to explore more of St. Louis in the near future! :)

 The Cracker Barrel restaurant.
 Billboard advertising U2's upcoming concert in St. Louis.
 Inside the London Tea Room.
 Table set for afternoon tea.
 Another pretty church.
 Heading through St. Louis.
 The Gateway Arch as seen from one of the busy St. Louis highways.
 The Gateway Arch as we cross the Mississippi River into Illinois.
An hour-and-a-half later we entered Indiana. :)

Monday, 17 July 2017

Paulus Family Reunion...

Every two years or so - when there aren't any family weddings that year - Candace's mom's side of the family has a reunion in the form of a camping trip or retreat. The families come from Indiana and Oklahoma and meet up usually halfway between the two states. This year we had the privilege of road-tripping across to Missouri for the 2017 Paulus Family Reunion. (Thursday, 29th June - Sunday, 2nd July.)

The trip there went very well and we even found a nice little park and play area in Okawville, Illinois. This gave Riaan a chance to stretch his legs and have a break on our five-hour journey. We then travelled through St Louis, Missouri, and onwards to our destination, Gasconade Hills Resort.

Gasconade Hills Resort, on the banks of the Gasconade River, is located in rural Missouri. We shared a cabin with one of Candace's cousins and her family, and we had lots of fun exploring the resort. We really enjoyed all the games and activities that were organised by Candace's family. Riaan especially loved being outdoors and playing both T-ball (baseball for children) and cricket. (And anything that involved a ball, really.) He also loved the swimming pool!

But aside from all the fun activities, it was just lovely to be able to see and reconnect with family we hadn't seen in over two years. It was a great weekend spent catching up and sharing fellowship with one another - and thanks for all those involved in the organising. We'll definitely be looking forward to the next one! :)

 Signs for Louisville, Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri. Not to be confused. We were heading westbound on I-64.
 Driving through the Ozarks in Missouri.
 Our little cabin.
 View of the campground.
 Gasconade River.
 Pretty scene.
 Hanging out in the Lodge before a meal.
 Riaan playing with the other children.
 Time to cool off at the lovely pool.
 Riaan in the water with Tim.
 He loved the pool!
 Time for arts and crafts. Painting a wooden box.
 Making a salt watercolour creation.
 I painted Table Mountain as seen from Blouberg.
 Candace and Riaan did some fireworks over the sea.
 Camp fire fun.
 Family photo. We were happy campers. :)
 The sisters with Grandma and Grandpa Paulus.
 The grandchildren.
Our little family. What a great trip!