Archive for June, 2015

Skywatch Friday ~ Ozark Blue

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Ozark sky

This was the vault overhead as we hiked about our little bit of forest on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks on the first day of summer. Within a couple of hours, they sky had filled with gray clouds and the temps had dropped, making our refreshing dip in the lake a little cool.

first day of summer

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

round rock 1

Yeah, I know, it was last Sunday. So I’m a little late with this post.

After more than a month away, Libby and I (and the dogs) took ourselves out to Roundrock on Sunday, which also happened to be Father’s Day, but with my children now flung to the four winds (and one in Europe at the moment), it was just the two of us (and the dogs). So off to the woods we went.

This is the time of the year that gets me glum when I visit the cabin. Nature is taking over again. The battle, that I think I’m winning in the winter to keep the weeds and scrub at bay and have some open, clear space around the cabin, takes a big turn against me in the early summer. With all of the rain we’ve been having, the scrub is growing vigorously in the gravel perimeter, and my attempts to pull it out are negligible. So I mostly didn’t bother after a while.

We had no agenda for the day (other than to swim in the full-pool lake), and we worked our non-agenda vigorously. Our biggest venture from the cabin was to cross the dam — the overflow drain was working as designed — and down the southern spillway. The photo you see above is from that part of my forest. That round rock is about the size of a tennis ball.

Here’s that same rock, shown using┬áthe flash on my camera:

round rock 2

We wandered around in the pecan plantation a little; they and the few cypress I’ve planted there are doing fine. Then we took ourselves back to the cabin for lunch.

Not long after that, we went for a swim. The temperature was over 90 degrees, and with the recent influx of rainwater, the lake was blessedly free of floating algae, so in the water we went.

And then the clouds began to gather and the temps to drop. I paddled around for maybe an hour, but the water was only warm for the first foot below the surface. Any kicks swirled up colder water from below. That will change in the weeks to come, of course.

Libby stayed in the water longer than I, but it wasn’t much longer before she was out and drying off.

We had a nice day in the woods and decided it was time to make the two-hour trek home. So we changed into dry, bug-free clothes, packed our things, and drove away.

We were about twenty minutes down the road when Libby realized she had left her iPad in the cabin. Well, life can’t go on without that, so we turned around and retrieved it then began our journey home a second time.

We got home without further incident, and now I’m looking toward our next visit.

still alive, still around

Monday, June 8th, 2015

blue eyed boy

Sorry I’ve been absent from the blogosphere lately. I haven’t been to Roundrock in weeks. I haven’t done any organized runs to tell you about. I’ve been the usual frenzied busy at work. And everything has been Kenneth lately.

Ken (and his parents and dog) came to Kansas City for the week of Memorial Day, and everything pretty much got put on hold for his visit. He stayed half of the time at our house and the other half at his other grandparents’ house nearby. There was a lot of back and forth between the households, lots of baby holding, lots of meals and smiles and photos.

smiling boy

The little guy (and his parents and dog) have returned to Brooklyn and is reported to miss his Grandpa greatly. Yet despite the lack of my direct,┬ástrong and positive influence in his life, his mother tells me he is thriving. At his latest pediatrician visit, he weighed a healthy 17 pounds. He’s off the charts in height (his daddy is six-foot-six), and while he’s certainly not emaciated, he is actually underweight for his height. So he’s slowly being started on solid foods (which his mom says is a great relief since she has been his whole source of food until now).

pensive boy

There is a good chance that we’ll get to see him in July. He’ll be traveling to Portland, Oregon to see his uncle and aunt (#2 son and his wife), and Libby and I will probably go as well to inflict ourselves on them all.

After that, we may see him in New York again for the New York Marathon. Ken is not running it (nor is his grandfather — who didn’t get in), but his mom and dad are, so Libby and I will care for Ken and make sure he’s at all of the appropriate places to cheer mom and dad on.

After that, I’m told he’ll be coming back here for the winter holidays. (I think I’ll finally get him out to Roundrock then!)