Thursday, September 11, 2008
Last Saturday turned out to be an interesting day of learning. I woke up excited to go to the annual Pelican Festival. We drove the half hour to the county park. The park was not as festive with visitors as I expected it to be. Then it dawned on me: the festival is on Sunday, not Saturday. We went to the new natural play scape that opened at the park. It seemed to take forever to drive through the park to get there. We saw a young deer and I felt like I was in the Iowa version of Yellowstone. Yeah right. Then we got to the elk and buffalo area. That is not where I had envisioned the new natural play scape to be placed, but it was fine. We enjoyed seeing the elk and buffalo again. It had been at least a year since we had been there. I expected the play scape area to be at least twice the size it was. I envisioned the grass maze to be much more grand than the young grass and narrow passages. But who is complaining? The kids still had fun.
After we left the play scape we drove to the lake side of the park. I had never been to that side of the park, so that was interesting. It was much more sandy than I expected. We did see lots of pelicans. I didn't have our binoculars though. So we sat and watched them from a distance for a bit. Then I drove to the overlooking park lodge to see if we could get a better look at the pelicans through the high powered binoculars that are mounted on the lodge deck. The parking lot was filled with cars. I thought maybe it was a pre-pelican fest jam. I had no idea what the lodge was used for on Saturdays. But as we got the door and I realized it was a fancy building, I figured it was a party alright. People were dressed up and having a great time. The food smelled delicious. All I wanted to do was get through the crowd and to the deck. I didn't know I could have gone around the back of the building instead of through what turned out to be a wedding reception.
I was mortified when we got to the back deck after passing a park ranger who recognized us and waved. He was from the mammal of Iowa talk last weekend at a park about 30 miles away. We looked through the huge high powered lenses and the trees were blocking the birds. Then we left around back.
After the let down of the being at the park on the wrong day, I decided to make the most of the visit. We looked for more migrating pelicans that stop in Iowa on their way south. We did see a flock of about 50 pelicans circling an area of trees on our way to grab some lunch. It was a lovely site to see them down low, floating on the wind. Both boys and I loved driving over the mile long bridge that goes over the lake to the neighboring town to find a sandwich shop.
I was most disappointed at my mistake, because we missed a monarch butterfly tagging gathering closer to home that I wanted to go to that afternoon. I must have woke up in a fog that day. I even had it all written on the wall calendar. I guess Cliff having to work for the Navy Reserves for the first time in a long time, threw me off. We missed him last weekend.
Both boys fell asleep on the way home, so I took the country route. The wild flowers and horses were so awesome that I stopped to photograph. We stopped at an apple orchard as well. I didn't take any photos there. But it was a nice visit.
Sunday was a lot better day mentally. We went on a long hike with the dog at a nearby state park we have enjoyed a lot lately. On Sunday afternoon I started writing our appointments and activities down in a planning calendar while the boys played at our house with their neighbor friends. I have had a lot better time this week, so far. Hopefully that will help. A few poison ivy bumps showed up on my arm and neck Tuesday. I've been lathering on my Burt's Bees Poison Ivy soap. I have learned to catch it early.
If I have learned anything in life, it's that the I am always learning.