Kinda in a rut

Sorry to go on and on about trees….

We moved around Shelbyville Lake today to a new campground, and had a little fun this evening. Tried something new to show the glorious trees at our site, and you get to see the results first.

Took multiple pictures, and stitched them into a panorama. Originally posted a combination of three shots, but preferred just two, so have changed the picture below. Click on it to see the full effect.

How fun!

But for you to get more of the effect, you need to see how our massive coach pales in comparison to these truly massive trees:

This place has TREES

Lithia Springs is the new campground. Haven’t seen any springs, but there sure are alot of great, big, beautiful trees!

Challenging place for us to stay, because there are 124 campsites but only 8 that have full hook-ups. Some lovely shaded sites that have long driveways back into the trees, but only electric. Who wants to be careful with the water?

That’s too flip, because we really don’t waste water when we’re hooked up a sewer pipe. We just have laundry and baths, and they fill up the holding tank in a day!

Oh well, we walk several times a day, and we have a good time walking past and walking through the shady sites.

The trees in the pictures are so stately, so massive, so colorful, so breathtaking…..

Not a bad place to spend a day….or two….or….

Brother, this place just goes and goes.

We started walking….past the marina….past the boat ramp and its huge parking lot for over 75 pickups and boat trailers….past the huge wooded day-use park….and right onto the paved walkway atop the long earthen dam that forms the lake where we’re camped.

Today’s photo was taken from beside the dam, looking back toward the campground. The lake is still much too cold for swimming, so the line of marker buoys that define the swimming area still lie on the beach.

With the topsy turvy weather of this winter and spring, it’s hard to keep in mind what we should expect at this time of year in this location. I guess it’s also hard to keep in mind where we are, south-to-north.

I’ve always thought of St Louis as pretty much in line with Dayton and Indianapolis. Not so, we’re more in line with Louisville than Indy! Which probably explains why we’ve been about 10 degrees warmer than Dayton the past few days.

We move to Lithia Springs Campground tomorrow, north about 80 miles along Lake Shelbyville. Only staying about 10 days, then on to Kokomo for a few days and on to Dayton. We might be in Dayton less than 24 hours, because we have to be at Maumee Bay State Park near Toledo by the evening of May 7. Meeting Jim and Caroline G from Dayton to do some serious birding up there!

We have a really Big Shew tonight

Apologies to Ed Sullivan….

Lots of fun pictures….no fair peeking ahead.

We moved from the campground where we were around the corner from the hawk nest. So sad.

That campground was one of four around Rend Lake in southern Illinois, along the west side of Interstate 57, south a few miles from where it crosses Interstate 64. We liked the area so much we changed plans for June through September, and will be returning to several of them during those months.

And to this new place, Dam West Campground on Carlyle Lake, 50 miles due east of St Louis.

It is another new iteration of Army Corps of Engineers campground. More like a state park, in that sites are closer together, and it’s associated with a marina and a hotel & conference center.

Check out the view from the back of our site: backed up to the lake and marina. Another difference: this marina is almost exlusively sail boats. Indeed, this lake was the site for the 1994 US Olympic Festival Sailing Competition.

Beside the marina, a lovely new woodsy day-use area, complete with swings and playground equipment. Bingo, the twins had been missing that at the prior place. You can see the fun they had!

We had a REALLY fun development today, and HAD to share it with you!

Robyn faithfully follows the Dayton Bald Eagles who have a nest at Eastwood Lake, and she first reported last week that from the webcam it looked like the pair had hatched three babies, not just two. Other official watchers eventually agreed, and today we received a nice photo that shows all three!

Check it out: two eaglets are obvious, the third is to the left of them, with just his or her head fuzz showing above the nest…very near mom’s beak as she bends near!

We have included three more fabulous pictures taken today of the family. Roger Garber, the photographer, has spent nearly every waking moment for the past three or four years following this pair of adult eagles as they have learned to build nests (this is their third) and raise young ones (these are their fourth batch of hatchlings).
Roger has learned their habits and favorite haunts, and very clearly has learned how to capture their beauty, majesty, and grace with his camera! We thank him for allowing us to share these pictures with you!

Two places showcase this pair of eagles, with constant updates in word and picture: the Eastwood Eagle Watchers blog at, and the eagle cams operated by Boonshoft Museum at


We made another daytrip to explore another nearby campground, and made another new friend.

Check out the spot where we ate lunch!

This is the best site of 150, and we were there on probably the only day it is not reserved for 2 months! We backed in, leveled out, plugged in, and slid out one slide.

Uh, no ma’am, just looking…..

We came back to our campground, and reserved the first 10-day stretch available on that other: starting Sept 3!

The Terminator said it: “I’ll be back.”

Reduced to eating sawdust

It’s really not so terrible….

Remember we took slices of 5 pies to go from our brunch at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement? Just finished the last piece.

From their menu:

Dutch Peach Pie
“A delightful mixture of custard & peaches, finished with a pecan strudel topping ‘drizzled’ with caramel.”
Boo Boo Pie
“A rare time when Mother tried to use someone else’s recipe and it failed. She gave the mistake to us kids to eat and she went back to the drawing board to redo this pie. She proudly brought out the second pie which was the way it was supposed to be, but we liked the mistake better. This meant Mother had to figure out what she had done wrong and we boys had to figure out a name for this pie: and so, ‘Boo Boo’ pie came to be. It’s a rich brownie type pie with a gooey, coconut macaroon filling topped with whipped cream and a cherry.”
Kentucky Chocolate Pecan
“An old Kentucky tradition and very rich. It is pecan pieces joined with semi-sweet chocolate chips in a flaky pie shell.”
Old Fashioned Butter Crumb Apple
“A careful mixture of sliced apples, brown sugar and cinnamon baked in a flakey pie shell and finished with a butter crumb topping ‘drizzled’ with caramel.”

And, for us, the coup de grĂ¢ce, 2 slices of:
Sawdust Pie
“Coconut, graham cracker crumbs and pecans in an egg batter and baked with a flaky pie shell. We top this with sliced bananas, whipped cream and more sliced bananas. This pie got its name because the kids say it looks like baked sawdust.”

What a way to keep up our strength…..