The differences between where we live and the places we visit are always an interesting study to me. We have been to Missouri before (besides the family connection, Rick did a six-week residency there during vet school), so I was braced for the heat and humidity. But I had forgotten how wooded and hilly it is, with dense undergrowth and lots of enviably green, lush grass. Above was the lovely view out the patio door at Rick's cousin's house, where we spent our first night. No wonder all the cattle we saw were fat and happy!
I had also forgotten the BUGS. When we arrived at Rick's cousin's Friday night, there was a thick swarm around the porch light. Cicadas droned LOUDLY day and night everywhere we went; tent caterpillars festooned nearly every tree. These two beautiful butterflies landed in my path at Silver Dollar City, reminding me that some "bugs" are breathtaking in a good way. :-)
This fellow was on the country road we traveled one day. We don't see turtles in our area although there must be some; we stopped so Brian could see it and then moved it out of harm's way. Rick's aunt said box turtles are becoming scarce because of road kills, often intentionally run over for the sound they make. That made me very sad; I don't understand people who do things like that.
Another huge difference I had forgotten about was the food. I didn't expect to see an espresso stand on every corner; I know that's a NW phenomenon. But when we stopped to eat supper Friday evening on our way to Rick's cousin's, it all came rushing back: this is not vegetarian-friendly country. Instead of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains and an impressive assortment of options for the non-carnivore, most menus feature meat: meat and fried foods, meat and "well" cooked vegetable sides flavored with more meat, beans with meat, salads with meat - and lots of white bread, biscuits and potatoes. Never fear; we didn't starve. But our systems noticed the lack of fiber, and we were all craving some heapin' helpin's of lightly steamed veggies and my whole-grain homemade bread by the time time we got home Wednesday night!
That's it for now at . . .