Archive for July, 2015

Great River Rumble – Juy 27 – Welcome to Osterdock!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Osterdock cozy campsite

Osterdock cozy campsite

Little town – BIG Welcome!

Packed-in boats

Packed-in boats

Massage? I needed that!

Hurrah for Susan's Mobile Massage!

Hurrah for Susan’s Mobile Massage!

 

Liquid refreshments

 

Coolin' off in the beer tent

Coolin’ off in the beer tent

Entertainment

Boys in the band

Boys in the band

Boogeyin’ Rumbers

Never too tired to boogey!

Never too tired to boogey!

Turkey River hospitality

 

Thanks, Elaine & crew!

Thanks, Elaine & crew!

Iowa evening

Bedtime at Camp Osterdock

Bedtime at Camp Osterdock

It’s full moon week

Moon over Osterdock

Moon over Osterdock

Another great day on the Turkey

 

Osterdock sunset

Osterdock sunset

 

 

Great River Rumble – Garber to Osterdock – July 27

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Foggy, breakfast at the church (more good food!), no hurry, beautiful morning, wide valley, loafing on the sandbar

Through the fields, down to the river

Through the fields, down to the river

Morning meeting

Morning meeting

Warm-ups with Mary Jo

Warm-ups with Mary Jo

Laid back on a lazy river

Laid back on a lazy river

Cool board meeting

Cool board meeting

Rumblers galore, on the way to Osterdock

Rumblers galore, on the way to Osterdock

Great River Rumble – Elkader to Garber – July 26

Monday, July 27th, 2015
Red sky in morning . . .

Red sky in morning . . .

Rain (and lightning!) delay, soggy but undaunted, church bells, on the Turkey at last, sweeper surprise, majestic Motor Mill, Gary & the river barometer, bald eagles, Garber welcome, delicious church dinner, volleyball, ZZZZZs

Rain (and lightning!) delay

Rain (and lightning!) delay

Soggy (but undaunted) launch

Soggy (but undaunted) launch

Sweeper!

Sweeper!

Rexster in the lead

Rexster in the lead

Rumblin' past historic Motor Mill

Rumblin’ past historic Motor Mill

Sandbar rest stop

Sandbar rest stop

Gary's paradise

Gary’s paradise

The river barometer

The river barometer

All ashore at Garber

All ashore at Garber

Garber campground

Garber campground

Hawk & Sophia - Good music!

Hawk & Sophia – Good music!

Big Blue Sky & Bill

Big Blue Sky & Bill

Volleyball champs!

Volleyball champs!

Church supper - YUMM!

Church supper – YUMM!

 

Great River Rumble – Elkader arrival – July 25

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Checkin’ in (all 184-plus paddlers!) – Camping in Founders Park – kiddie choo-choo train – boats on the riverbank – free sweet corn – barbequed chicken – music – ear plugs.

Elkader GRR camp

Elkader GRR camp

Boats on the riverbank

Boats on the riverbank

Great River Rumble – 2015

Monday, July 27th, 2015

GRR

This year’s Great River Rumble will paddle 106 miles in seven days, departing Elkader on the Turkey River on July 26, and arriving at Savanna, Ill., on the Mississippi, on Aug. 1. We greeted the paddlers in Elkader, and will follow them part-way down the Turkey River, posting occasional photos and comments. Official registration numbers were 184 and counting.

I tallied 25-30 kayaks and canoes Monday. A lot of boats – and a lot of people connecting to the river.

Thanks for coming to northeast Iowa!

 

Connecting with the Turkey River

Connecting with the Turkey River

 

July: Worth Sweating For!

Monday, July 6th, 2015

ppl cone flrs

It’s not just the Independence Day fireworks that set early July ablaze.

Our prairie glows in the morning light. Dew sparkles on the drooping petals of purple coneflowers. Bumblebees probe the golden blossoms of St. John’s wort.

bumblebee, st john's wortClusters of butterfly milkweeds wave their orange greeting to the sky, attempting to lure an increasingly rare monarch butterfly to stop and lay some eggs.

bfly milkweedThe common milkweeds – which we’ve let grow as potential monarch habitat in the flowerbeds and among the tomato plants in the garden – perfume the evening with a sweet, powerful scent hardly befitting a “weed.”

michigan lily

The Michigan lilies nod from behind the safety of the fence we erected to keep the deer from munching off their buds. A scattering of spiderworts poke up from the prairie – but the deer have thinned their ranks dramatically. spiderwortMust be something especially flavorful and juicy in those lily-like buds and flowers.

Spikey heads of rattlesnake master shoot up from tough, spikey leaves. Not your prettiest prairie flower, perhaps – but a great support for spider webs!

rattlesnakemaster, cobweb

Many birds and animals have successfully produced the next generation. Turkey poults – mere balls of fuzz but still able to fly – flit away from the roadside at the hen’s warning “putt.” Raccoon babies shinny up a tree ahead of mama when a car’s headlights betray their late-evening foray.treed coons

Just the ears of the twin fawns reach above the grass, as the youngsters bound along behind the doe along the edge of the woods.

twin fawns A buck – ignoring the antics of the frisky offspring – waits until dusk to cross the open prairie.

velvet buckHis velvety rack already sprouts eight points that loom dark and heavy in the fading light.

A hairy woodpecker – old enough to don a red crest but young enough to want parental care – begs for breakfast from its father at our feeder. A patient rose-breasted grosbeak drops seed after seed into the gaping mouth of his almost-grown baby.hairy wp & baby

The diligent bluebirds already have raised one brood, and now are nesting a second time. We wish them success – and welcome their garden patrols in search of cabbage butterfly larvae on our broccoli plants.

New life, vibrant colors, and refreshing smells invite us outdoors – despite occasional heat, humidity, and thunderstorms. We tuck away the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of SUMMER to retrieve from the recesses of our mind next January!gberg fireworks