Saturday, July 20, 2013

Flora and Fauna of Elkhart, IN

It's gonna be a hot week...high high humidity, and in the nineties...ugh! You'd think we were in Florida, it's so hot and humid!

But Sparky has been riding her bike either early in the morning, or late in the evening. It doesn't get dark until after 9:30, so there's plenty of time to ride then. Down to Simonton Lake, a small lake just north of the campground, Sparky rides her bike in and around the lake neighborhoods for about a half hour each day, appreciating all the wonderful variety of trees in the neighborhoods...This is the tulip tree, Indiana's state tree.
Sparky is appreciating all the beautiful flowers, too...Like these lilies...You don't see as many of these lilies down in Bradenton. The flowers are plentiful in FL, just different.....Sparky thinks these are Stella D'Oro lilies.
And a very popular shrub/bush/tree, the Rose of Sharon....

A view of the lake from the Simonton Lake dock ramp
No fantastic birds to be seen like the roseate spoonbills in Bradenton, FL, but you do see swans....Some of the lakes in Indiana are really suffering from swan populations overwhelming the lakes...But there weren't many of them seen this morning at Simonton Lake....Just one that came ashore to preen himself and clean his feathers...We've heard stories of swans attacking fisherman and boaters at other lakes, but this swan could have cared less that Sparky was nearby.
Sparky LOVES seeing the tall trees, the huge maples, the REAL oak trees....

Remember Sparky mentioned the Northern Indiana Foodie Trail? Well, we've been blazing our own foodie trail....Where's there's food, Sparky is ready to try the place....

We thought we'd try a little lake tavern/bar/restaurant called The Flippin' Cow on Simonton Lake. It's your average, typical little lakeside bar and grill but with a cool atmosphere inside. People can drive up to the dock in their boats and hop off to come on in for a meal. The ceiling is painted with clouds, palm trees and blue blue skies...Made us feel right at home with the palm trees! There's a boat hanging from the ceiling over the bar, and the lights hanging from the boat are Mason jars.
The menus are inside classic rock album covers...Cool!

The food? Well, what we had definitely NOT very healthy...We decided to try loaded tator tots which are AWESOME at Hooters, but blah here, unless you like jalapeƱos-- we left them off....The cheese sauce didn't even seem like real cheese. They would have been better with some green onions and a dollop of cream cheese and REAL cheese, and not smothered so much.
Then we tried the Dezz Dog, or something similarly named. A beef brisket, bacon wrapped hot dog smothered in french fried onions....interesting....tasty, but just a bit too much "stuff" on a dog for Sparky...
Five of their six taps are craft brews, and Eldy had a new one out of Indy that he had never tried before,  a Sun King Sunlight Cream ale. It was delicious, he reports!

We've been busy meeting with family and friends, something going on every night for the rest of this week....wonderful to see everyone, that's for sure! Had a wonderful visit with Eldy's sister, Theresa and her husband Chuck one afternoon this week. They drove all the way from Kokomo, a two hour drive just to be able to see us. We think we already have our first family visitors scheduled for this winter. :-)

Heading to Shipshewanna tomorrow morning for the flea market and auction. That's always fun!    Later........
The end


  1. I miss real oak trees too. CA has several varieties of oaks, but not the tall majestic ones like in the east. I guess nobody misses tall oaks when they've got redwoods and sequoias!

  2. Love the Rose of Sharon. That food looks heart stopping but I bet it was good.

  3. You are surely an Indiana girl wherever you go. You know your trees and flowers. So much in bloom there in the summer. Wonderful pictures! Did you bring your bike up with you??

  4. Busy with family and friends thats what keeps us going all summer in the fall we head south to relax.
    Love fleamarkets wherever we can find them.

  5. I guess I don't know what a "real" oak tree is.

    All I can say about those meals, are yuck, and yuck. :)

  6. Oh my, heart attacks on a plate :) We had Rose of Sharon in our yard in PA..they are lovely, and the honeybees love them too!