Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mackinac Moment

Tonight we rode home in the rain after dinner with friends. If we're lucky, it will rain all night and then be beautiful again tomorrow. That would make my garden very happy...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Excursion: Geode Hunting

After the 102 degree heat (about 39 C) cooled a bit (into the 80s) we went down to the creek to go geode hunting. I've never found one in Michigan, but apparently down here in southern Indiana, they're very common.

After a quick lesson from grandma, their round shape and nubby texture made them easy to find. Do you see it? The bigger round bumpy rock in the lower right hand corner is a geode.

The kids and I managed to find quite a few.

The next morning we gathered our tools,

and worked out our aggression!

We quickly discovered that the bigger ones were a lot easier to crack than the little ones. For some reason (help me geologists out there,) the bigger ones tended to be hollow where the smaller ones were much more solid.

There's nothing like sparkly crystals to excite my little geologists. And bashing things with hammers, that's pretty fun, too...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Cool Spot on a Hot Day

It's hot in southern Indiana. The kids and I are trying not to whine about it because 90 (about 32 C) really isn't that hot - it's just hot for us northerners who start to melt when the thermometer hits 80 (about 27 C.) Luckily, Grandma knew a perfect place to "chill out" on a hot afternoon: Bluespring Caverns.

We read the rules,

got our tickets, 

and walked down into the bottom of a large sinkhole. 

Once we were down in the lovely 52 degree (about 11 C) cave we got into a boat and were on our way.  Most of the tour of the cave is done by boat. In fact several sources list Bluespring Caverns, with its three miles of navigable river, as the longest known underground river in the United States. We spent about  an hour exploring it with Jacob, our guide. 

The kids really enjoyed the tour! In addition to seeing interesting formations (straws, flowstone, and stalactites,) we also saw lots of these and these. Sadly, my little camera just wasn't able to capture any decent photos of them in the low light.

We loved the tour of the cave, but the kids were more thrilled about what we discovered above ground.

In the gift shop each one of the kids chose a bag of sand, carried them outside and...

took them to the small sluice way where they could wash away the sand in search of treasures.

Oh my gosh did they ever have fun! Little by little they searched through the sand for rocks and gems.

I was impressed at the number of "treasures" hidden in each bag. Both S and K had considered spending their money on tiny little bags of polished rocks in the gift shop. For the same price as the little bag ($4.95) they ended up with many more rocks, an identification card, and about 30 minutes of fun. The didn't want to leave - they wanted to scoop up the sand from the bottom of the sluice to see if anyone had missed anything.

As you can see, they got quite a few treasures. And that was in only about one fourth of the sand in the bag. They're already asking if we can go back the next time we visit so we can buy the big bags.

*Blogger is giving me fits today. For some unknown reason it is refusing to justify text the way I want it to!. So if this post looks a little wonky, I apologize.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


For the past several days when we've arrived home late in the afternoon we've found this large fellow diligently guarding our front porch from intruders. Today he actually had an assistant, but his little friend scurried away before my husband could get out his phone to snap a few pictures.

Who needs a neighborhood watch when you've got an attack snake on patrol!

Friday, July 5, 2013

An Island Fourth

After a pretty sunset over the Straits (and in spite of the wind) Mackinac Island celebrated our nation's birthday with a great fireworks display! I had hoped to post these pictures last night, but it was after midnight before I got the kids in bed and I just didn't have the energy.

I love fireworks even more now than I did when I was little. I remember getting on the bus with my mom and riding into downtown Detroit to see the big display in the city. Seems like so long ago...

These days part of the fun for me is watching my kids and listening to their comments. My son was in complete awe last night. 

He must have yelled, "Awesome!" 50 times last night. I must say, I have to agree. I'm just always sad when they're over - I could sit and watch for hours... Couldn't you?