Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Morning visitors

I went out to the garage this morning to get some stuff, and on my way back I found this little family strolling across the field!!  I ran inside, grabbed my camera, put the telephoto lens on and was able to capture a few great pictures before they went back into the woods.  I'm so glad I spotted them!
Since it seemed to already be a lucky day for doing wildlife shots, I tried to take some pictures of the hummingbirds on the porch.  We are slowly getting a good population of hummingbirds visiting on a daily basis, and a few minutes sitting next to one of the feeders got me these two shots.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Visit to the Arch

I forgot to add pictures of my parents' visit to the Arch!  Since I know they will be looking for them, here they are.  When they left our house they headed into Illinois, where my father's grandfather had a farm at one time.  My father wanted to see the area where the farm was located.  I volunteered to drive into St. Louis so that I could go to the Arch with them, as well as get them to a grocery store and show them our old neighborhood.  We made a quick tour of STL, then headed towards the Arch.  I love the Arch!  We visited the Lewis and Clark Museum and walked the grounds where the Arch is located.  This was my first trip to the Arch where I didn't ride the Tram to the top, but if you know anything about my mother, you know she wasn't about to go to the top!  We didn't stay a terribly long time, but the place was packed with the summertime crowds.  Here are a few pictures of my parents at the Arch.

Baby Birds

When we moved, we put all our stuff into the garage, since the house was still not completed at the time.  We've been slowly working our way through the piles of boxes and furniture in the garage for the past month, cleaning things up and determining where they would go in the house before we brought them in the door.  Near the beginning of July I came a cross a box that had a nest in it, with four tiny eggs.  Since the garage has been left open, I figured that a bird had built a nest in it before we moved into the house, and we had probably scared the momma bird off with all our moving and commotion.  I move the box into a stack at the back, just to be sure.  Then we actually saw momma bird flying into the nest, so we knew she was still trying to hatch the eggs.  Last week we finally got our garage doors installed, and Mark and I knew we needed to keep one door open, just in case momma bird came back.  Well, Sunday morning there was a storm and Mark closed the garage doors, and we forgot about them until Tuesday morning when Mom and I were in the garage working our way through a few boxes.  I checked on the nest, and there were two little TINY babies!  I quickly opened the garage door and it wasn't long after that momma bird came back to take care of them!  There are now four babies, and they are actually starting to look like birds.  We will do whatever we can to make sure they have a successful start!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Visitors!

Last on the visitors list (so far), were my parents, Toby and Whitie.  This is a long way for them to come, and I wasn't sure that they would make it, but I'm glad they did!  I think they were surprised by how pretty this part of Missouri is, and how much it actually looks like north Georgia.  (I think maybe they were expecting Kansas!).  We had a great time during their visit!  Our first outing was to the town of Hermann, which is the county seat of Gasconade county, where we live.   Hermann is a very old town and it also has a lot of wineries.  It makes for an interesting day touring wineries, with many nice places to eat.  We later stopped by a sausage store in Swiss and sampled many varieties of sausage.  We bought some cherry sausage, which we haven't tried yet, but I can't wait to find out what they taste like!  Hermann has a large German population, who started the wineries, and also named the streets many unusual names that are hard for me to pronounce!Hermann also sits on the Missouri River, which is pictured below.
The next day we drove over to Meramec Springs, which is a spring where almost 100,000,000 gallons of water comes up out of the earth every day.  There's a place where the water just comes pumping out, and then it turns into a beautiful creek.  It is very picturesque and the water is nice and cool as well.  Unfortunately, we had had a storm that morning, so the water wasn't a crystal clear as it typically is.
Always fascinated by the wildflowers....
They raise trout to stock the river with, and these trout were being caught to the placed in the river.  I wish they had a restaurant there on site to get some wonderful fresh trout!
Mom wanted to walk across the pond and take a picture of the house from that vantage point.   I'm not sure if I've already posted a finished picture from this point.
The cloud picture of the day isn't a sunset, but a cloud formation that came up late afternoon.  I love watching the sky!

Better Late than Never Update....

Once again I have done a poor job of doing updates, but this time I have an excuse (at least a new one!).  My very faithful computer had a meltdown.  I was able to send it to my brother David and he recovered all my data (thank God).  I was using Mark's laptop in the meantime, but I was trying to avoid littering his hard drive with the multitude of pictures that I produce, so I just avoided downloading them until I bought a new laptop.  Here's the quick update:

We've been fortunate to have lots of visitors these past few weeks!  My friends Marla and Joanna came first, along with Marla's two sons, Tony and Damien.  We did some good chillin' out and visiting, and Mark also took Tony and Damien out to catch fish one afternoon.  This is Tony with the fish, Damien had had enough of the hot outdoor weather and didn't come back out for photos.  Mark taught Tony how to clean fish, and this was his first opportunity to eat fish he had caught.  They were delicious!
Our next visitors were Sara, Ryan and Emery.  We all went to Meramec Caverns, which isn't too far from the house, and a great place to go on a hot summer day.  This area is surrounded by caves.
That night we had round Two of home caught fish for dinner.  Mark and Ryan caught these in a very short time and provided us with another wonderful meal!
We practically live out on the porch when it isn't too hot, and here is Emery enjoying her breakfast in the fresh air.
A later trip to the Magic House in St. Louis provided the opportunity for this picture that I just couldn't pass up!  The Magic House is a Children's Museum and Emery had a great time exploring the place. 
This is a giant bubble maker.  Look closely and you can see Sara working hard blowing the bubble, while Emery seems fascinated with what her Daddy is doing, oblivious to the bubble!
And another gorgeous sunset.  We knew they would be great to watch from the porch, but I don't think we had a clue how spectacular they would actually be.  I keep snapping photos, and each one is different from the day before.  We do try to make it a point to be paying attention as the sun goes down in the sky each evening.  Way better than TV!!