Monday, October 21, 2013

Entertaining Grandmama and Papa

Grandmama and Papa came for a visit, and we were busy, busy, busy.

Mama had back surgery in June for spinal stenosis, and she's finally starting to get some of her energy back. She and I were able to do some shopping. That's something we haven't been able to do for a long time.

We also took a fun pontoon boat ride at a local park. It was supposed to be a fall leaf tour, but we're a couple of weeks behind normal for the leaves changing colors. The boat ride was fun anyway. A nature preserve director led the tour and told us a lot about the lake, the animals that live near there and lots of other nature-related facts.

More about our visit with Grandmama and Papa later, but for now, here are some pictures of our boat ride.

Biscuit got to play on the playground
while we waited for time for our boat ride.

On the boat and ready to go.

Biscuit didn't seem to excited at first, but he
enjoyed the trip after we got underway.

I thought the 5 p.m. tour would be good because
the sun would cast nice light on the trees and
water. Turns out, the sun just tried to blind us!

I thought this spiderweb was really pretty, then I thought about how the web
was directly in front of me, and I couldn't see a spider in the web, which of
course meant that he could've blown back on me as the boat started
out onto the lake! I never saw him, but I looked around a good bit.

We saw several blue herons on the shore. I didn't have my long camera
 lens, so I couldn't zoom in very far. These birds can stand about 4 feet tall.

The sun was so bright, Grandmama loaned her sunglasses
to Biscuit. Can you see my reflection in the lenses?

That shrubby-looking tree is a black willow tree. The bark of the
tree contains salicylic acid, a chemical compound similar to aspirin.
Indians used it to ease headaches and toothaches.

See that rock wall? That's the foundation of a grist mill that was built in
the mid-1700s. The area around the lake would've been mostly
agricultural at the time. The grist mill would've been the beginning of
commerce for the area. Grist mills lead to textiles manufacturing.
That leads to industrial work and that leads to banking. 
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a fan of water.
I'm generally okay on pontoon boats because I've never
heard of one sinking (and if you have, don't tell me about it!).
But toward the end of our tour, we took on a little bit of water.
Good thing I had that stockpile of life jackets in front of me!

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