Thursday, 7 June 2018

Spring Mill State Park...

We took Mom to see one last state park for this trip on Saturday, 21st April. We took her to another favourite of ours, Spring Mill State Park. It was the Earth Day weekend and they had some interesting activities for children at the Lakeview Activity Centre. Riaan enjoyed creating a painting with a balloon, making a bird feeder and, as always, enjoyed browsing through the fun exhibits at the Nature Centre.

We then drove to the picnic area near the Pioneer Village, where we had a lovely picnic by the side of the little stream that winds its way through the valley. We then walked one of the trails that goes along the river. It makes its way all the way to Donaldson Cave. We saw interesting birds, flowers, insects, trees and fungi along this route. We then walked back to the car park, from where we set off for the Pioneer Village.

Mom enjoyed seeing all the historic buildings of the Pioneer Village, especially the massive grist (water) mill. The wheel was turning and they were grinding corn-meal, which was also interesting to see. We went in the mill and looked through the museum there, before exploring the other buildings of the Village. They had people dressed in period costume, demonstrating various skills of the Pioneer era. It was fascinating!

We then quickly visited the Spring Mill Inn before driving back home. It was a great, final Saturday with my Mom before her flight back to Cape Town on the 24th April. We are blessed to be close to so many wonderful Indiana State Parks! :)

 The entrance gate at Spring Mill State Park.
 Riaan and Granny balancing on a cement block outside the Nature Centre.
 Lakeview Activity Centre.
 Riaan painting with a balloon.
 Exploring the Nature Centre.
 Riaan's wingspan. :)
 Candace with sweet Eliza.
 Picnic time!
 Hiking along the pretty stream.
 Information sign at the Wilson Monument.
 The Wilson Monument was erected in 1866, honouring Alexander Wilson, the father of American ornithology.
 Donaldson Cave coming into view.
 Looking inside Donaldson Cave.
 Interesting fungi growing on a log.
 Another fungi.
 Pretty wild flowers.
 Six spotted tiger beetle. Really pretty colour!
 A tree branch cutting into the trunk of another tree.
 A closer view.
 The pretty river bank as we walked towards the Pioneer Village.
 Riaan and Granny read about the Northern Banded Watersnake.
 Riaan having a rest...
 And then racing Mommy and Eliza! :)
 Mom in front of the impressive gristmill.
 Riaan peers up at the massive water wheel.
 The miller grinding the corn-meal.
 Riaan helps Granny pound the corn.
 Exploring the museum upstairs.
 The back of the mill. It's a really neat building!
 Arches, complete with capstones, in the garden outside.
 Mom walking to the Granny White House, a Pioneer home.
Riaan found a cool hiding place! :)

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