Sunday, September 23, 2007

Indian Summer

Are you still allowed to say Indian Summer? Who knows anymore. If we're going to have to live this politically correct lifestyle, I wish they'd publish a guide book. Anyway, it's past mid-September and we still have summer-like weather, so I'm going to call it Indian Summer. Clear sky, no wind, and a nice 80-some degrees. This is perfect flying weather, and if you need further evidence of that, you'd have only needed to see the crowd at Urbana for breakfast this morning. Rick was headed in the same direction, so I handed him my camera to take a few shots along the way:

The light wasn't terrific, but I think they turned out well enough. After he took a few shots for me, I forged on ahead with the hopes of reserving a place to sit and eat. I dialed in the AWOS and heard a report of winds from due east at 3 knots, so assumed a landing on runway 2. While still a few miles out, I dialed in the Unicom and heard that the prevailing traffic was using 20, rather than 2. I didn't figure a wind of 3 knots was worth an argument with those that had arrived before me, so I set up to enter a left downwind to 20. The slight tailwind on landing extended my flare a wee bit, and I had to use a little more brake than usual to make the first turn-off, but the landing itself was ok.

After breakfast, I again used runway 20 and continued on to the west for my ultimate destination of Darke Co./Versailles. I had packed my Beretta NEOS .22 plinking pistol in case my brother was in the mood to do a little shooting on his range, but before heading up to his farm I decided to take a walk along the Greenville Creek:

It's been pretty drought-like this summer, so the water level is very low. These guys did a lot more walking than they did boating:

They had apparently brought along sufficient quantities of a fermented, hop-based brew to keep their moods buoyant, if not their boats, so they seemed to be enjoying their walk.

As I walked across the bridge on Mill Rd., I noticed that some local type had taken a distinct dislike to the 'O' on this sign:

Just across the bridge, I found this John Deere parked off to the side in a most photogenic manner:

Mill Rd. dead ends into Hahn Rd., and a little bit down Hahn Rd. you come to a very old cemetery:

Walking back towards my brother's place, I saw a lot of little butterflies. They all seemed kind of busy, but this one held still long enough for me to take his picture:

Having matriculated in the Engineering College, I never had the benefit of any botany classes. I have no idea what kind of tree this is, but it caught me eye:

The soybean fields are host to a lot more than soybean plants:

My brother set up his range and I unpacked my NEOS:

We each had a couple of targets to shoot at. I made the mistake of choosing the barrel to the right of my brother's, so had the distraction of being periodically sprayed with spent brass:

From 25', I managed to hit my target a few times:

I found one of my spent bullets; there's not much left of them after hitting that thick steel:

When we were done with the pistols at the 25' range, we pulled back to 425' and got out his .17 rifle:

The targets seem pretty small from 425':

At 425' I didn't expect to hit a damned thing, but I actually hit 6 out of 6:

The flight back was a bit choppier, but even at 3500' it turned out that some of the more over-achieving bugs were still out and about:

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