After being at work early every day this week, it felt good to sleep in and start page 84 a little bit later today. My morning was pretty relaxed as I caught up on some messages and social media content. Rain had moved in with a few thunderstorms to start the morning so I checked out the weather radar to see how widespread the rain would be throughout the day. It appeared like anything from our area to the north was likely to be wet, but an hour or so south of here wasn’t showing any chance of rain. So, it was either put up with the wet weather or find somewhere to go a little bit south of here that would be worth exploring.
We decided to go exploring, so after a little research we headed down to Mississinewa Lake and several State Recreation Areas that surround the reservoir. The area is home to a fairly large number of bald eagles and we were hoping to find a few to photograph. Our first stop was at the Miami State Recreation Area to hike a trail with several places that overlooked the lake. When we first arrived, we drove to the boat ramp where we could look out over the lake. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw — a lot of dry lake bed before any water could be seen. I knew many reservoirs are kept at lower water levels through the winter to allow them to collect the spring rains and snow melt — I just wasn’t expecting the lower level to be this noticeable. After I got home I looked up the levels and found that there is a twenty-five foot difference between the normal “winter pool level” and the normal “summer pool level”. Today’s actual level was posted at 1.2 feet above the winter level. Because of the immense size of the lake, I wonder how long it takes for it to come up to level for the summer.
We saw no eagles from the boat ramp so we drove to the trail head to begin our hike. The trail was called the “Blue Heron Trail” so we were hopeful to find some herons and other wildlife to photograph. As we hiked the trail we noticed a lot of damage to the trees and many places where there were limbs and trees across the trail. As it was a 2 1/2 mile loop trail, the plan was to push Susan in her wheelchair through the loop but with all the debris on the trail it seemed like we ended up with her walking and my carrying the wheelchair at least as much as her riding. 🙂 I guess there was still enough riding without too much walking as Susan kept saying she was having fun. At one of the overlooks we walked out onto the lake bed to take some photos and look for eagles. That side trip made for an interesting view on my tracking app as it shows a map of us walking out into the middle of the lake before resuming our hike on the trail.
After our hike we drove around the lake and its headwater and tailwater areas with the hope of seeing an eagle or two. While none were seen during our hike on the “Blue Heron Trail”, we did see a pair of heron during our drive. While we struck out as far as seeing any eagles, it was a nice afternoon spent together as a family with a stop on the way home where we each had a Frosty to help us overcome the energy expended during our hike. With no new wildlife photos from today, today’s photo is of one of my friends who stopped by outside my office yesterday morning to share a song of praise. I did see a number of small songbirds like this on our hike today, but none of them stayed in one place long enough to photograph. After a good day of relaxing family time, I will finish writing today’s page so I can get some sleep before heading into work early in the morning to make sure the building is cleaned and ready for our Sunday worship gathering.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- It’s difficult to recognize just how important even a short break in your schedule can be until you go a week without it.
- There are many ways to relax, but not each way is relaxing all the time. Our means of relaxing needs to fit our need in order to really find it restful.
- Our circumstances where we are do not necessarily have to be the circumstances we settle for. Sometimes we can change things where we are and sometimes we can change where we are.
- Expectations can drive us to new places in life. Sometimes just being in the new place is reason enough for the expectation without having to have it fulfilled exactly as our mind imagined.
- Difficulty can destroy us if we let it, but overcoming difficulty can bring us great joy.
- Sometimes we must be emptied so that we have room to contain what is coming.
- The times of emptiness in our life are usually not all that attractive, but they can serve a purpose if we allow the emptiness to be filled with the right things.
- Songs of praise should always be heard even when, and perhaps especially when, the one singing can’t be seen.