This Is Retirement?
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This Is Retirement?

Shhh...The Snow Makes Everything Quiet

by Sherry Swanson on 12/12/10

     Waking up to a pristine blanket of snow was a delight. Ha!  What am I saying...anyone that knows me knows that I don't like cold and snow.  There is a reason I don't live in places like Minnesota or Alaska.  And I guess I forgot to remind Mother Nature to keep the snow further north this time.

     One good thing the snow brings...birds of all kinds. The bird feeders were busy all day with our feathered friends: the Amerian Goldfinches, Slate-Colored Juncos, Mr. Black-capped Chickadee and all the Sparrow cousins.  You see, I position the feeders and suet holders just within perfect 'watching' range for Mr. Long Hair and his brother, Mr. Short Hair, to be able to sit inside and practice their 'eck...eck...ecking' chorus while the birds flit about on the deck.  I know my cat boys will sleep tight tonight dreaming of what they might do if they had to chance to actually sneak out on that deck and claim a bird as their own. 

     Our Floridian camper and his wife were excited at the treat of waking up to snow outside their 5th wheel this morning...until they discovered their propane tank registered empty.  You RV'ers know how unplanned that is as we've all experienced it sometime in our camping days. Eagerly they snapped up our offer of a substitute gas tank to use to keep them warm through the next two wintery days and nights until they are on back on their way south.


Survival...We Did It...So Far!

by Sherry Swanson on 12/10/10

     Don and I are normal Americans...working hard at our careers and enjoying family life and travel.  After careers of commercial art and teaching art to middle schoolers, I thought my complicated life had reached it's plateau...RETIREMENT!  Whew!  Sit back, feet up, book in hand, chilled drink and luncheons with my friends.  Yeah, well, it was a great interim ride but in July of 2010 I decided to make the leap back into the world of work.  Now, Don, who has worked his entire life since 16 as a bricklayer/mason contractor didn't see the need for this new adventure...and is still on the fence somewhat.

    But quickly packing about 1/3 of our condo contents we were off to experience a new adventure in Saint James, Missouri!  We had been making plans to join the full-time RV life within the year and were doing the usual:  reading everything we could find on that lifestyle, checking out tricked out new rigs, going to RV shows.  Now you do know, that just like owning a boat and throwing all your money into the water, which we did while living at Lake Saint Louis, RVing follows the same premise, except you throw your money on the highways!  And so begins our adventure in the Foothills of the Ozarks!


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