While we were in the States over Christmas break, we traveled south to see my mom in Arkansas. She heard about some other northern visitors, and we drove to Heber Springs to check them out.
Arkansas hosts hundreds of trumpeter swans every winter! The swans migrate from the Midwest to Magness Lake and enjoy the warmer temperatures from November through February. Trumpeter swans are the largest of waterfowl in North America and are the rarest type of swan. Their wingspan can reach up to 10 feet! The first three swans came to the lake in 1992; researchers think they were knocked off course by a storm. Swans mate for life and they teach their young their migration routes. Now, as many as 150 swans can be seen on the lake at a time.
We stopped by the lake in the afternoon and saw around 25 swans, along with other ducks and geese. If we had stayed a little longer, we might have seen more fly in after their day out hunting. A friend gave us a bag of cracked corn to feed the birds. They were beautiful!
To see the swans, take Arkansas 110 east from its intersection with Arkansas 5 and 25 just east of Heber Springs. Go 3.9 miles from the intersection to Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, marked with a white sign. Turn left onto Hays Road. Parking spots are available. The swans are best seen in the mid-afternoon to dusk hours.
We look forward to visiting the swans over winters to come!
While David’s parents and brother were on a service trip to Haiti, we traveled back to Arkansas and took Benny with us. It was Ben’s first time visiting Arkansas. We drove two cars so we could take one to Mom. One car didn’t have air conditioning, and the day we traveled was one of the hottest days of the summer. Guess who had the car with the AC? (Hint: David is too good to me.)
Mom’s still working on her house, but her fifth wheel worked well for the four of us. And we took full advantage of the lake! We spent one afternoon at the Heber Springs Dam Site Park, and the boys had a blast jumping off of the cliffs into the water.
We rented a pontoon another afternoon. Mom looked right at home behind the wheel!
Aside from the lake, we all got in some reading:
The weather cooled off later in the week. We saw a lot of beautiful sunsets:
The boys camped one night at Blanchard Springs and Caverns. They explored the caves and caught a few trout!
While the boys were off doing their thing, Mom and I visited my alma mater Harding University. A trip to Searcy wouldn’t be complete without a meal at Doc’s Grill! It was one of the first restaurants we visited back in 2006 during my college visit.
We stopped by the fountain to see my brick. Mom got it for me as a graduation gift:
There wasn’t a lot of progress on Mom’s house while we were there, but the builders did deliver the timbers the day before we left:
We had a blast and are so excited to see Mom’s cabin on the lake the next time we’re back in Arkansas.
We’ve been back in the States for about two and half weeks for our summer break. Here’s a peek at some of what we’ve been up to…
Eating fresh berries from Sam’s patch:
Spending time with two of our favorite people:
Meeting our niece Claire:
Hanging out with her brother Jonah and family:
We drove to Tennessee for my sister’s wedding (more photos from that soon):
Seeing my mom’s new property in Arkansas and the progress on her house:
Enjoying the lake near my mom’s:
Meeting up with dear friends from college:
Enjoying a Michigan summer at its finest:
Seeing David’s brother play ball:
What are your summer plams?