July 20, 2006 [LINK]

Back from South Dakota

Bumper crops Slight change of plans: I spent a few more days than I had planned in South Dakota, hence the lack of recent blogging. John and Monica's wedding (at a rural Mennonite church) was very nice, featuring beautiful music and some thoughtful, appropriate words from the pastors -- a husband and wife team. It was a truly wonderful, happy occasion.

It looks like a bumper crop in the upper Midwest this year, as long as enough rain falls to offset the 100-degree heat wave last week. More photos of scenery and birds are due shortly. This shot was taken south of Centerville.

In the days that followed, I coaxed various family members into taking several short trips around Clay County and nearby areas, snapping pictures, discussing local history, and (usually) looking for birds. Jacqueline marvelled at the booming commercial activity and night life in Vermillion, which now has a McDonald's, a Holiday Inn Express, and even a Wal-Mart! The latter is creating far more business than it is displacing, I am convinced, a real boon for the sleepy college town where I grew up. I kept up with baseball and with the latest crisis in the Middle East, but found it hard to focus my attention on blogging. The trip was thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing, and I even managed to play a round of golf with my Dear Old Dad, who beat me by three strokes!