Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kayaking and Canoe-ddling

This past weekend was our wedding anniversary. It didn't take much discussion to decide what to do...every year, we've gone down to Brown County (where we were married) and rented a cabin for a few days. So we loaded up the kayaks on the new racks that Todd bought me as part of my anniversary gift...

...and headed south! The cabin that we normally rent was unavailable, but we found another that we really liked. A beautiful rustic cabin with a private lake, on 50 wooded acres.

A canoe was available, if we chose...

...and lots of fishing gear, too.

Oh, and this was our view.

The two-story cabin itself was really beautiful and just bursting with atmosphere. It had a huge kitchen, a living room with a large stone fireplace, cheerful rag rugs on the floors, bookshelves stocked with anything you'd like to read...

Todd got comfortable right away!

A book there told us the history of the cabin. The original occupants are in these photographs.

Its original location was Paragon, Indiana, where this older couple lived. Unfortunately, it was a little worse for wear. They filled up the cracks between the logs with wet cardboard, which couldn't keep out the rats and the snakes.

A few letters sent from this lady to her friend in Kentucky, and her responses, survive.

She and her husband sold the cabin to the current owners in 1961. They relocated the entire cabin to Brown County.

They excavated a lake, built a second story, added a fireplace, kitchen, bathroom, and screened-in back porch, and lived there happily for almost 30 years.

What must it have been like, living in such a location? Of course, there's the scenic beauty, and also a good deal of wildlife.

Besides this young wild rabbit...

...we saw an entire family of deer, twice. We saw two huge turkeys that must have weighed over 30 pounds each. No photo, but I got a feather!

In my book, insects count as wildlife, too! These brown paper wasps chew up wood fiber and use it to enlarge their nests. They use the air from their rapidly-moving wings, like this paper wasp below, to dry out the wood fiber pulp that they've just chewed.

I was entranced by the lovely Chalybion californicum, or blue mud dauber wasp. Wasps have a bad reputation, but they truly only sting when provoked. This type of wasp builds onto nests abandoned by other species of wasps, shoring it up with mud.

Look at her beautifully curved antennae!

This young Plain's leopard frog sat very still, hoping to be overlooked on his rocky perch.

These little frogs were everywhere we looked! They make a very guttural chuck-chuck-chuck noise at night.

Of course, because we were by water, we got to see dragonflies too!

A fall webworm twists...

...and contorts...
...and wiggles his way up to his tree limb nest.

Besides taking in the sights around the cabin, we hiked a lot. Meadows...

...and beautiful forests. We love Brown County!

I love this interesting bark. It looks like scales on a reptile.

And this one, like the neck of a turtle.

If I didn't know better, I'd say that this was an elephant's hind end!

Pretty ferns...

...of all types.

And mushrooms...

...and tree fungus!

It's always nice to get out of the city and see nature's beauty.

It was just what we needed.

We kayaked, hiked, and fished, both from the banks of our lake and from our kayaks.

Ahhh...the warm sun, the waves gently lapping up against the boats, surrounded by trees...just wonderful.

A little board game table was set up on the screened-in back porch, and we took advantage of it, having brought down stacks of games.

This is Todd's "Hmmm...I think I'm getting ready to lose at yet another game of Scrabble!" face!

Every morning, I woke up early and went out onto the porch. A heavy mist hung over the lake.

The back yard was full of little creatures...birds picking insects out of the ground, rabbits nibbling on blades of grass, frogs singing, insects humming. I watched the world wake up. I knew that later on, there would be hiking, fishing, kayaking, and a trip into town for ice cream. Best of all, I was going to be doing all of these things with my beloved. What an expression of God's goodness and mercy in my life!

That's all for now...I hope you have a great week!