The weekend is looming large and we have a camping trip planned with friends.  Well, we’ll be camping, they’ll be taking their 25ft travel trailer (caravan), a real home from home with a full size bed and sofa, fridge freezer, proper shower and toilet, a wardrobe and air conditioning!  We on the other hand, have our little two person backpacking tent from England, a Whisperlite camping stove also from our backpacking days, our clothes will be stuffed into a squashy bag, we’ll be packing our shower shoes for the campground bathroom and our camp table will consist of two plastic storage totes put together!  And on our backpacking trips we’ve managed with a considerable amount less than that, this will be luxury for us!

We’re heading out to a place called Hillsdale, about 1 1/2 hours SW of us.  Our friends, Graham and Sheena, have stayed there before and said they were going again and invited us to join them.  Like us, they’re English, but they’ve lived over here for more than twenty years, A met Graham through work about five years ago and we’ve become really good friends.  They kayak too, more recreational kayakers than we are but it’s nice to have other people to potter about with on the lakes once in a while, so we’ll all be taking our boats along.  The campground is called Six Lakes Campground, but oddly enough, when I looked at the map I counted seven lakes!  Weather looks great too, high 70’s possibly low 80’s.

Last weekend we got all the tomatoes and peppers planted out that I’d grown from seed, plus I finished off all the tubs and deck boxes ready for summer…. and then the temperature dropped to 35F (2C) and we had to get all the dust sheets out of the basement and cover everything up to protect from frost!  I had to get them out though, the tomatoes especially as they were beginning to suffer in doors and were practically banging on the window trying to get out!

We also managed a visit to the local park with our kayaks on Sunday morning, it was still chilly early and quite breezy too so we had to stay wrapped up and put our windproof jackets on too.  We saw lots of baby goslings (very sweet).  The painted turtles were sunbathing on a convenient log and we followed a huge, old snapping turtle through the shallows.  His shell was a good 18″ in length and his neck was as thick as my wrist when he stuck he head out of the water.  The swans have also multiplied, no doubt they’ll be breeding soon.  I counted 36 of them in one flock, along with a few singles/pairs here and there.  We also spotted a large grey Heron, two Flickers, an Oriole and A managed to spot a Bluebird which I was not quick enough to see.

[It’s greened up considerably since our last visit here, although the main canopy is still bare]

[There was another family with about eight teeny tiny babies, but I didn’t dare get too close to them, their parents were really protective and weren’t happy that I was cruising by at all!]

[Family sunbathing!  The contrast is really bad as they like to pick the brightest, sunniest spot for their sunbathing]]

[They also like to stick their limbs out in the air to get as much sun as possible!]

Back at the ranch my Amaryllis has decided to flower!  Yes, I know, should have flowered at Christmas, but this one doesn’t seem to have any sense of time, it was April last year before we got any flowers, this year it was May.  If it keeps going at this rate it’s due to flower in December in about seven years time!

Hope you all have a fabby weekend, I know it’s a Bank Holiday back home too so I hope the weather stays fine.  Catch up with you all next week.

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