Sunday, May 17, 2020

Friends - no masks required

Life is good at the lake.....After being on the road, it's just a little boring to sit in one an area we've lived in for close to 50 years.   I guess exciting and/or interesting isn't always necessary though.   Regular and familiar and peaceful are good too.

The Fantastic Fred stopped by right after we arrived home (he called first and arrived, mask on and social distancing) to present us with a welcome home gift.....a strawberry rhubarb pie and two hand sewn masks.      What did we do to deserve him.

Several others have dropped by to welcome us home.  Most of them have feathers and wings, some with masks, but we are delighted to see them all.     Dave has set up a "welcome" station for them and it is a busy place.

We have delicious seeds and nuts (in a feeder complete with a tail rest for our woodpecker/flicker friends), a nectar feeder, oranges and - of course - a large water feature. 

A pair of colorful Baltimore Orioles have enjoyed the orange halves so much that they moved over to the hummingbird feeder for sustenance until Dave refilled the empty rinds with jelly.    Now they're happy!

the bus boy refills the orange rinds with jelly

Now our super tiny Ruby Throated Hummingbird lady has the feeder all to herself, she appreciates it.  (No, her throat isn't ruby - her exhibitionist mate is the only one with that coloration.)

More and more friends come to say hello each day.    Some fly in, some jump.

Some swim up to check us out or rest on our breakwall after working hard to catch any flying bug.
They know how much I hate flying bugs.

Mr. and Mrs. Merganser work the waters in front of the cottage

families come to visit

a raft of young Buffleheads

we first saw a Spotted Sandpiper in Colorado City a few weeks ago
do you think he followed us?

Dave and Lewis have been doing a few "openning the cottage" jobs.    We pay a couple strong young men to put the docks in, that happened yesterday, but once the heavy work is done there are a few finishing touches left.

view from above
Lewis watches the dock guys from a safe distance

Dave does most of the work but Lewis does a fair job supervising and giving advice on where the chairs go, how he wants his sun umbrella positioned, etc.

He helps Dave reposition the large rocks we use for stairs into the water.    His attention comes and goes, (floating sticks are something he just cannot abide) but Dave knows what he wants done so it doesn't really matter. 

so many sticks to take out of the lake, so many sticks

If we go inside for some reason, even if it's only for a few minutes he hustles past all the windows, looking in for us.    He's a tough task master.   No rest for us, there are things he wants done before it's time to rest.

After all is said and done, we're happy to be able to sit outside, watch the birds, and enjoy Second Cup together.   At the end of our day we love a peaceful Happy Hour on the dock and the ritual after dinner fishing brings joy.   


Friday, May 8, 2020


Our last stop turned out to be in Ohio.    We had planned on making one more overnight before we arrived home, but a look at the weather forecast changed our mind. 

pretty spring view in Ohio

While Delaware, Ohio was enjoying beautiful, sunny spring weather, the future held rain/snow showers and below freezing temperatures.   Not a forecast we like to see when we have a long drive in front of us.

So the decision was made to get home as quickly as possible to avoid driving in that kind of weather.

After a longer than usual, but uneventful, drive we pulled into the driveway yesterday around 5.

backing in

Lewis was very excited.   The minute we opened Beluga's door he was off and running.

In and out of the water, drinking, hauling in errant sticks, checking everything out!

he sometimes forgets to use the stone stairs.....

We (Dave and I) were tired but happy to see his joy and happy to see some of our feathered friends drop by for a welcome back.

We enjoyed a nice bottle of wine with dinner and turned in early.

this was as close to a sunset as we managed last night...zzzzzz

This morning we started the slow process of moving back into the cottage.   Dave did a little work around outside before the weather changed.....

cleaning the gutters

Yep, the forecaster's were right.   It began snowing lightly by lunch time.   Ugh.

I'm sure Beluga was shivering......

And far not much is sticking to the ground but it's becoming hard to see to the other side of the lake.     Welcome Home!


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

short, damp update

The weather was clear and dry this morning as we packed up and left Lazy Day campground.    We were only on the road about an hour before the lowering skies opened and the rain started.

We crossed the Mississippi River at St. Louis in the rain.

We pulled into the Casey, Illinois KOA in the rain.   The campground is practically empty and very wet.

We all are damp and chilly but Dave and I enjoyed a little sunshine (in the form of the last of the lemons we picked in Tucson this past January) in our end of day gin and tonics.    All's well that ends well.

Moving on to Ohio tomorrow. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Continuing east

Storms.   This trip east is always a bit nerve wracking in the spring.   No matter what route we pick, it will take us through areas that are ripe for nasty Spring weather.....Squall lines sweep through with heavy thunderstorms and/or tornadoes.

he shakes and rattles when storms approach

Since after lunch the TV has been running red banners across the screen warning of impending doom - Lewis is not a fan.   He had such a nice morning playing "fish" outside the the lush green grass.

a little second cup tug o war game with Lewis and his fish

don't tell him he has grass on his nose, he's quite vain

We're at a very nice little campground in Danville, Missouri.   We arrived late yesterday afternoon after a long and windy drive from Salina, Kansas.    We decided to stay put for another night to rest and recoup.    The check in woman was very careful about sanitizing and even gave me a freshly cleaned pen to sign the credit card slip.    Our site is large and grassy with a fishing pond behind us and a few other campers well away from us.

Lewis and I took a walk in the woods before the bad weather closed in.   So pretty and peaceful.

We made two stops in Kansas before arriving here.   I find it (at least the parts I can see from I-70) to be rather pretty- rolling and green and full of little ponds and streams.

Our first night in this state was in Goodland at a KOA  we use regularly as we pass through on our way home.    It was completely empty - we were the only ones there.

I did have to go into the office (yes, with mask) to check in but the gentleman there wore a mask, gloves and sat behind a glass barrier.     Dave was waiting outside with Beluga's door open and a can of Clorox wipes ready for me to wipe down the paperwork before taking it inside.   Our usual procedure.

We weren't totally alone, however.    Lots of birds, singing and zooming through the trees and working on nest construction or maintanence, kept us company and reminded us that it is really Spring!

Western Kingbird on the look out

an extravagent Oriole nest

That night we realized that the birds weren't the only creatures outside.     Moths!   Huge, frantic moths were everywhere.     Inside, outside, everywhere.   No wonder the birds were present in such numbers and were so active.

I, personally, captured or killed atleast 15 inside Beluga that evening.    The next morning we found we'd missed plenty.       As Dave opened the door to toss one outside, a Kingbird swooped in and grabbed it right out of the air! 

More came aboard at our next Kansas stop in Salina.    When Dave opened outside compartment's doors, moth's flew out - I'm sure birds kept an eye on us as we "fed" them on our move across the state.

We're beginning to run low on a few perishable supplies such as milk, bread, orange juice, bananas.  We'll make do, no grocery runs planned until we get home in a few days.   We have learned one useful lesson about perishability, however.     We found out that you can keep bananas edible for quite a long time if you store them in the refrigerator once they reach your desired level of ripeness.     Once there, they turn black, they look perfectly awful, too awful even for use in banana bread, but the insides stay perfect!   Who knew?

So, that's where we've been and where we are today.   Tomorrow we pack up and head out for points east, leaving a trail of Kansas moths in our wake.....