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I spent this afternoon and evening at a Missouri countryside gathering in the resort willage of Innsbrook among a group of people most of whom I did not know but who made for most pleasant company.

The houses in this village are built right in the forest, off dirt roads, and satisfyinglyly close to nature.

There are plenty of ponds and lakes, a paradise for the many playing children.

It was they who seemed most in tune with this not-quite-tamed wild area.

For the many of the adults it was a place to gather, drink beers and make conversation.

For others, there was swimming and kayaking in a large lake over a rise. My wife and one of her close friends did a circuit of this, singing songs as they went.My son splashed in the water, having a lot of fun with a water pistol until it was taken away! 😦

I stood on the shore by an artificial beach – a common Missouri construction and one I still find weird – and had fun with my camera. It was hot but not too much so, and relatively dry which made for a very congenial atmosphere.

The afternoon ended with a barbecue, a delightful mishmash of scorched vegetables and seared meats. Very satisfying food to wash down with some good local beer.