a midsummer night

Last Saturday night, after browsing the exhibits at a local Art Fair (we try to act cultured when we can)…

the five of us headed to a Metro Park to see some waterfowl and take a little hike. Well, the walk to the lake was nice, but the ducks and geese had other plans (we did see some dragonflies), so we changed our plans as well.

This is my new favorite picture of my daughters with their daddy. LOVE these four.

Armed with a loaf of bread from ALDI, we drove to a cute little town (close to Gabe’s office is) on the Big Walnut River and fed ducks, geese, and one gigantic swan.

It was one of those times when you just feel like all is right with the world, and 99 cents just bought you a boatload of happy family memories. It all made me want to hit the road on another Zoo Trip.

When our bread was gone, we hit the trails and happened upon a hidden treasure–the Big Walnut Bog, home to SNAPPING TURTLES. We had no idea they lived back there. The whole bog is covered in duckweed (a type of algae, I think). The signed warned us to keep our distance from the dangerous turtles (we were on a boardwalk over the bog) but to look carefully for their big ol’ heads coming up out of the duckweed so they could take a breath.

We watched for a long time and then spotted one moving under the water. He’d peek his eyes and nose out for a minute or so at a time, but he was covered in green goo and you could barely see him. Finally, we convinced the girls to keep walking, but when we reached the end of the boardwalk, we turned around and headed back. Nina begged to stay and watch for turtles again, so we did.

And hoo baby, good choice. Because a couple minutes later, this guy started making big boggy waves under the water, and then he must’ve slid up on some log or something, because this is what we saw:

You can’t see his alligator-like tail here, but this dude was at least three feet long from tail to head. And his head was bigger than a softball. NUTS. God’s creation is so stinking amazing.

We came home, popped some popcorn, and watched a Netflix documentary called Microcosmos, all about bugs super-duper up-close and personal (everything was awesome except for the mating snails–ewwww!!). It was a banner night all the way around.

What’s something simple and fun you’ve done as a family so far this summer?

9 thoughts on “a midsummer night

  1. Candice Foldenauer

    Did you and/or Gabe go to Virginia Tech? As a Hokie Alum I can’t help but notice how often orange and maroon show up in your pictures.

    1. Gabe Taviano

      While in high school I started realizing that I just wasn’t ready to be a Buckeye fan like the rest of my family (and most of the state). Started following the Hokies pretty closely and chose to root for them. We’ve made a handful of trips down to Blacksburg. I’m an alum of Grace College in Indiana, which didn’t even have a football team, LOL. Go Tech!

      1. Candice Foldenauer

        Good life choice! Those of us in Blacksburg like knowing that there are other people out there who are as fanatical as we are 🙂

  2. whimzie

    Great pictures!!

    When K’s mom was here, we sat on the back patio after a meal from the grill and made homemade ice cream. Simple, but simply wonderful!

  3. Megan Bradford

    Hi there 🙂
    I recognized the big swan and huge amounts of ducks, but where is this snapping turtle bog? I have lived here forever and have never seen that!!

    This summer is all about the evenings we get as a family. Usually nothing exciting, like last night we all went to Giant Eagle, but it was together. Other years we will have more adventures, but this year is about finding the time to just hang out as a family.

  4. Bethany Peters

    Last week we surprised Stew with a picnic lunch outside in the backyard when he got home from VBS–we spread out a quilt and filled a tray with yummy goodies–cheese and crackers, diced mango with toothpicks, and edamame! Then one night we made ice cream cones at home and went on a walk to Grandma and Grandpa Peters’ house–Isabelle in her wagon and Jack in the stroller.

    I have a whole checklist on my chalkboard door of fun things we want to do this summer. (including making lemonade from scratch, having lots of evening campfires, and going on a hike!) I love summer!

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