Waiting for Dinner
This little American Bullfrog was sitting on a piece of limestone just waiting for something to fly or crawl by for dinner. By the size of the tympanum (the round eardrum behind the eye) it appears to be a female bullfrog, males have larger tympanums, often larger than the eye, as seen in the photo below.
A peaceful, evening flight along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in LaPorte County, Indiana.
What a view that pilot must have had! We could see Chicago from the top of the dune (37.5 miles), but I'll bet he could see much more. He, of course, could also see all of the dunes along the shore.
Sun Setting Next to Chicago
On clear days, the Chicago skyline can be seen from the Indiana Dunes in LaPorte County. That's a distance of over 37 miles across Lake Michigan. Click on the image and go to flickr to enlarge it to see the horizon.
Yesterday was different, because it was the first time that I was also able to see the land under the skyline as well. Being up on the 125 foot tall sand dune compensated for the curvature of the earth, which generally only allows you to see about 7 or 8 miles at the horizon. Obviously, if the object is sticking up from the water, you can see it farther away.
Regardless, it was a beautiful sunset.
Kintzel Ditch emptying into Lake Michigan along the Indiana shoreline. These dunes took a beating over the winter, and yards of them have crumbled into the lake.
This is such a peaceful place, yet it changes dramatically day by day - sometimes the wind and waves force the stream to meander hundreds of yards to the southwest before emptying into the lake.
End of the Dune
The weather is finally warming up, and the angle of the sun is higher in the sky, so it's really looking like summer!
The ever changing mouth of Kintzel Ditch, near Michigan City, Indiana, is a favorite spot of ours for hiking, relaxing and hunting for fossils. Depending upon the wind and waves, this mouth of this stream can move hundreds of feet southwest, then back again.
We've found hundreds of Crinoid Stem fossils here over the past year. You can't beat looking for fossils with this scene as your background!
Danny's graduation ceremony was Friday. The assembly the had was really nice, featuring songs and poems written by the high school students who were teachers to the preschool children.
Andrew High School has an early childhood education program, and the students who were enrolled in it each work out a lesson plan and carry it out with the help of all the other teachers. They were observed and graded for their work with the preschoolers - all while the preschoolers benefited from the lessons and fun.
We enrolled Danny only because his older brother Mike had such a good time. Classes met three days a week for two hours.
Finally got a chance to see this historic lighthouse during the Tulip Time festival in Holland, Michigan.
Officially called the Holland Harbor South Pierhead Lighthouse, the current tower and house was built in 1907 and includes a gable roofline showing the Dutch influence of the area.
Aptly nicknamed "Big Red" since the Coast Guard painted it red decades ago to conform to the maritime rule of "Red right returning." Red right returning indicates that all channel markers are to be red in color when they are located on the right side of a channel or river when returning from the larger body of water. Red channel markers are called "Nuns"; the green channel markers called "Cans" are located on the left.
The light was electrified in 1932 and continued to serve until 1970. The people of Holland, Michigan rescued and preserved the lighthouse so now it remains proudly at the entrance to Holland Harbor, between Lake Michigan and Lake Wanatawa.
Tulip Time Holland Michigan
It's early May and that means tulips, and if you're around Holland, Michigan, that means Tulip Time!
The 80th annual Tulip Time festival kicked off April 29th in the western Michigan town of Holland, and will run until May 9th. Along with six million tulips, a dutch market, musical acts, and a carnival, traditional Dutch costume and dance events run all week.
The festival takes place downtown, but tulips can be seen almost everywhere, lining streets and parks.
Head down within the next week or so -even if you miss the festival, you can still enjoy the tulips!