The Campground was ALIVE with the sound of happy kids .. . : This Is Retirement?
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The Campground was ALIVE with the sound of happy kids .. .

by Sherry Swanson on 05/15/11

The Maramec Spring Park Kid's Free Fishing Day was a super event this year.  Yes, a tad cold with some sprinkles felt, but that didn't diminish the fun and laughter seen and heard down at the park.  Pheasant Acres was completely full for the first time since taking ownership.  Campers were still pulling in at 9:00 PM and the campground got quiet quickly as most were getting up at 5:00 AM to head down to the park to get tags, bags full of 'free kid stuff', enter names in the raffle cans and then head down to the stream to claim their favorite spot to fish.

Our little grandkidlet, the "Z"man, proudly sporting his Christmas waders found that a quick step into the stream was his downfall.  Literally.  Note:  When waders fill with water - one gets very cold very quickly.  Gramps Don, who unwisely chose not to wear his waders, showed no hesitation when he jumped into the stream to grab Zane's wader straps and hoist him from the water.  We waved goodbye as they headed home to get out of their wet gear, leaving me to help the other two grandkidlets.  Fish were practically jumping onto the hooks, and we are happy to report we had a great quick morning of trout fishing.

Later we witnessed a remarkable event...the Pheasant Acres Maternity Ward.  Literally hundreds of cicada nymphs were molting from the egg casings and were clustered all over the oak tree and hostas at the base of the tree as their wings and body matured into an adult cicada.  Follow this link to a video of the molting of a cicada nymph.  Bet you didn't know this:  Cicadas only live in one place in the WORLD...the eastern United States.  And this is the first hatching since 2008.

The day ended with our first of the season monthly cookouts with Italian Beef sandwiches as the entree.  Good Food.  Good folks. Good desserts.  Good campfire.  As the pillows and blankets were whispering our names, everyone drifted off quickly for a good night's sleep.

Sunday morning, waking up to a cool drizzle, reservations were already coming in for 2012 Kid's Fishing Day at Maramec Spring Park, which is always the weekend after Mother's Day.  I think that shows a measure of happiness from our campers.

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Miniscule red lichen on gravel road.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Teeny tiny toadstools        (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
So beautiful and delicate, the Southern Catalpa blossom.    (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
What?  Snail scat.     
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Reindeer moss with some Pixie Cups in the mix.   (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Christmas snow...and those deer just won't move away from the house!    (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Christmas Eve 2010 gave us a peaceful snowy day for trout fishing.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Winter camping during a snowstorm.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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Opening Day sunrise at Maramec Spring Park.    Copyright Sherry Swanson 2011
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
In the early morning, Don waiting for Opening Day whistle to blow.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Misty silence on the river.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Fishermen and Ladies...cast your rods!     
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Just before the Opening Day whistle blows by the bridge at Maramec Spring Park.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Jack Frost visited.      (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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EXIT 195 on I-44 at Saint James, MO 65559 
Go 5.5 miles EAST on Highway 8 to park entrance on left
Watch for our flags!
Call for more information and reservations.  

                  Cash, Check or

Sherry Swanson
Outdoor Enthusiast/Photographer
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Early April violet in oak undercover
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Delicate Dutchman Breeches in April
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Rock still life at Meremec River Access.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Missouri Conservation agent shocking fish for collection/identification
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Feeder streamlet to Meramec River
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Another feeder stream
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
    WHO We Are    WHAT We Offer    WHERE We Are   WHEN You're Here   HOW Much We Are   WHY We Have...     MAP of Us   SHERRY Says
Caterpillar form of the Giant Leopard Moth. 

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Columbine growing from a rock ledge.  
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Can you see how it got the name Dog-tooth Violet?  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Hummingbird nest made of spider webs and lichen.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Mr. Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Water from the spillway.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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Cicada nymph hatching from it's 13 year slumber.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada nymph using the Hosta leaf to emerge.
Nymph has completely hatched and is waiting to mature.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada 'maternity ward' on the Hosta leaves.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada almost ready to fly.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Our little fisher girl, Piper, snoozing by the campfire.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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A new spin on S'Mores

Place a broken up chocolate bar or pour chocolate syrup into an aluminum foil cup that you can create yourself, and set the cup near your fire to melt the chocolate.

Crush graham crackers and place them on a plate or fill up a plastic bag.

Toast your marshmallows as you usually would.

Dip the toasted marshmallow in the melted chocolate or chocolate syrup and then roll it in the crushed graham crackers.

This recipe is sure to be a hit with the kids, and it will only take about five minutes to prepare.
Gramps attacked by tattoo stamping kidlets.
Wisconsin cyclists on a week long 3,000 mile trip through midwest tented with us for the night.
We've tried every human way to remove the shifty little dirt-pushing mole.  Don had reached his limit and went on the attack.
Visiting while his son graduated from Rolla S & T, this camper 'hauled' his 'toy' in his toy hauler.
Quote from motorcyclist
Piper and Beck 'patroling' the campground.
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Enter . . . 
Alive . . .
Blue Birds, Violets 
Day of
Yes, Virginia There Is Fishing in the Winter
Lots of Pictures Here