What a full day on Wednesday! We were off at 6:45 am, and didn't get back until around 8 pm. So many highlights I'm bound to miss something...
"Knee-high by the 4th of July"--that's what they say in Minnesota about where the corn (maize) crop should be at. We drove past a lot of fields on our way to and from Whitewater State Park, and in many the corn appeared to be at or beyond waist-height! Looks like a good growing year in the making.
My mom impersonating Heruvael for the first part of our first hike at Whitewater: climbing a long, steep incline in which the trail had been converted by recent storms into a washed-out gully. I was quite amused...but at least things got better after that.
Aside from the beauty of the park itself, the other attraction of Whitewater are the many bird feeders set up outside large windows in the visitor center. Even though all but the hummingbird feeders were empty, we still got to see a great array of species, including male and immature male orchard orioles (my first time seeing them as they don't live as far north as my home) baltimore orioles of all ages and genders, cardinal, cowbirds, red-winged blackbirds, ruby-throated hummingbirds, grackle, goldfinch, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and mammal visitors in the form of grey and red squirrels and chipmunks.
The drive from the tiny town of Elba near Whitewater, along country roads whose names and directions often refused to match my map, all the way out to highway 61 on the eastern border of the state, in which we saw two running farm tractors and not a single car. Wow!
The beautiful drive from Winona north, partly on the Minnesota side, partly on the Wisconsin side. I had forgotten how gorgeous the bluffs and cliffs and river are down there. Lots of vultures and a few eagles to be seen as well.
Crunchy onion rings at Applebees, yum!
Stopped at the Towners (wound up staying an hour) to pick up the birthday gift my brother and sister-in-law had shipped there. And what an extravagant gift it was! A set of speakers!
A note in the mail from Christi that was combined birthday greeting and thanks for birthday gift at once.
A lovely e-mail from saiena that I was too brain-fried to do more than skim, and...
Getting to have the windows open overnight as it will actually be loverly cool today!