Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekend Adventure

We are generally not spontaneous people. I am a planner. .and often like to start planning weeks or months in advance. It's just my personality! But this weekend was different. Secondary to my foul mood due to multiple things, including the aforementioned drought in the previous post, the never-ending home and garden chores, a week-long broken dishwasher saga. .I just felt like I HAD to get out of here. .somewhere that the "grass was greener on the other side of the fence," and a place where all the things I needed to do and couldn't weren't staring me in the face.
So we decided to go on a road trip!! Leaving at 9:00 p.m. right after Devin's team played baseball. .now THAT is desperation!!
I have been dying to go to Arkansas City to visit the Chaplin Nature Center for the last couple years. I was all ready to go last winter for a bald eagle watching hike and then chickened out. So we drove for a couple hours and stayed overnight in Blackwell Oklahoma before driving up to Ark City Saturday morning!! I was NOT disappointed.
Though it was a bit warm and humid. .we enjoyed (OK, I enjoyed. .everyone else TOLERATED) a leisurely hike through the wooded area. The canopy of trees was so dense at the bottom, that it was impossible to locate any of the songsters that we could hear.
BUT. .
by the time we reached the trail around the circumference of the trees. .I was able to do a little bird watching. I might add. .I was able to do some birdwatching when the noisemakers ran ahead of me on the trail. Bless Cami. .she would loudly SHHHSH us. .so she could yell "Do you hear 'em??" Because she would say that about 5 times in a row. .I did have a really hard time hearin' 'em!
I was super excited to catch a glimpse of this scarlet tanager as I listened trying to spot the bird with the sharp chirp. I believe that the yellowish bird in the previous picture was a female tanager. There were several pairs flitting through the forest. I've never seen one in real life. .so it made the whole trip worth while (see I'm not THAT hard to please) I could spend a LOT of time wandering and watching! Probably good I don't live closer. .I wouldn't get anything done!
I also saw a SWARM of these swallowtails feasting on the wild bergamont. I had decided that this flower would be on my wish list for next year. .and after I saw how pretty it was and how attractive to winged creatures it is. .It's a no-brainer!
I was also tickled to watch this male cardinal for a while too. I bemoan the fact that I never see any at my house. .so I was thrilled to see them here!
When the crew got tired and too hot to wander, they went back into the nature center to play around. They had this cool table filled with sand. The little white things are stamps to make lots of different animal tracks in the sand. That kept them occupied for quite a while.
There were also some different pelts for everyone to see and feel. .as well as lots of informational posters, puzzles, and displays. .including a display of numerous real bird eggs.
Back by the bathroom they have a mounted albino squirrel. .which I thought was just plain freaky looking!
After the nature walk, we headed back into Oklahoma to eat lunch, shop a bit and then to look at Kaw Lake. Jeremy has been wanting to check it out. We always take a weekend lake trip to Canton, Ok. .and he was thinking about trying a new lake out. It is a very large lake with lots of coves and fingers. .but it's a L-O-N-G way out there.
About 5 miles from the lake there is a water park. .
where the kids and I spent a couple hours Saturday afternoon. Jeremy had a raging headache. .and isn't a swimming pool fan anyway. .so he dropped us off and ran around for a while in the car.
The kids LOVED it!! Especially the wave pool. .Cami is already plotting her next trip back. It was quite something to watch a 3 foot tall girl turn into a karate-chopping wave killing machine.
There were several slides to use too.
Look at the pitch on this one!! Straight down on a rubber mat!!
Till they bump. .bump. .bumped right off!
My humor was much better by the time we arrived back home, merely 24 hours after we left! In doing some research last night, there are definitely places way worse than we are. .but it seems that the expectations are for the drought to continue on at least through next month. .and maybe longer. I also was interested to read that the temperatures soar during a drought because there is no vegetation left. .or any type of moisture left in the ground to cool the temps down. I don't think ever in my LIFE I have seen temps over 102-103 more than once or twice. But it is becoming routine here and was even up to 114 degrees the other day. .with a predicted high tomorrow of 110. .and probably a little warmer!! They have banned fireworks on the fourth here. .in addition to many other places. .but there will still be BBQ's and gatherings. The older boys are at church camp this week. .and Grant is already very homesick. Dev's last week of baseball is this week. .and we are near completion of most of the fair projects slated to be exhibited in a few weeks. The countdown to a real vacation is on. .and if the drought continues like it has. .when I return. .likely most of my gardens will be dead, which is a fact that I am slowly coming to terms with. .I won't give up though. .and we'll just plant a new one when conditions are better!

2 Samual 22:33
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect
Have a GREAT week!


  1. The nature area looks like a good one. Nice to find a waterpark to cool off at. I'm hoping tonight's chance of rain comes through.

  2. Wow..I am so sorry to hear about your drought and very high temps!! That must be very frustrating. Here in SW PA, we are experiencing a very dry summer thus far. We did have lots of rain in the spring, we have had very little rain for a while now. I really don't watch the news, so I don't know if we are considered a drought or not. Our ground is hard, dry and cracked in places where there is no grass..but everyone's lawn is still very green. Also, our temps have been very beautiful...so I have been very happy about that. We even had a couple days around 50 last week..that was so odd. Also, the past few days have been actually perfect..80 degrees and no humidity until today. I hope this continues,but we really need rain as well, but not as bad as you guys. I am sorry to hear your gardens are going to die...I'm sure you are very upset about that and I can understand!

  3. Glad you all could enjoy a nice get-away! That nature place looked neat. Liked the bird pictures. :) And ... I wanna go sit in that water-wave pool!

  4. I'm sorry about your drought and the other things going on. I'm glad you got to get away. How cool to be spontaneous like that!

    Thanks for the nice comment on bloomin Tuesday post.

  5. Sounds like a great weekend!! I've kind of been thinking about the same thing..there's a wildlife park in Goodard I've been itching to go see. You know--because the KIDS would LOVE it! ;)