February 8


Wednesday I took my class to the Lock and Dam in Quincy.  We saw oodles of eagles, and some other birds.  It was wicked cold, of course.  On the way back we stopped at the Veterans’ Home, where they have a “deer park.”  There were lots of mammals and birds there, wild and domestic.  I went to a meeting on main campus in the afternoon.  I was early…by a week.  I had an hour to burn, so I went to stock up on coffee at TJ Maxx.  I went to book club and ate soup with about half the group beforehand.  It was a good discussion.

Thursday morning a student came in to work on her bird study skin, but I hadn’t thawed it.  I microwaved it for 30 s, which was too long.  Overdone, it smelled like boiled chicken.  As she was trying to finish it, the head and one wing fell off. 

I have never before had a day filled with nothing but meetings.  Friday was the first.  School of Eductation, student teacher observation, my division, Community of Practice, and Greener QU.  Made for a full day.  There is an article on Big Bend National Park in the recednt National Geographic.  Great story and pictures.  I read it during one of the meetings.

Saturday was the QU ski trip.  It must be about 4 years since I skied last.  I got a free ride as a faculty chaperone.  I pulled out my twenty-year-old downhill boots for it.  It’s a long bus ride there, but they showed movies.  Right after we arrived I saw the ski patrol working on some guy in the middle of a slope.  I thought they were training at first, but it was for real.  At least it wasn’t one of ours.  Later I was going down one of the expert slopes, caught an edge and wiped out.  After righting myself, I couldn’t get my boot back in the ski.  That’s when I found that the toe of my boot was missing.  In fact, both of my boots were pretty much shattered.  I guess 20-y-old plastic gets a little brittle.  I walked down the rest of the way, took the lift up the hill, and got a new set of rental boots.  I threw my old trusty boots in the trash.  They were shedding chunks of plastic everywhere I walked.  It was nearly the coldest day of skiing I’ve ever had, short of about every trip to Eldora I ever took in Colorado.  Temperatures had to be in the single digits, and the snow was super squeaky.  I had to go back to my locker for more layers.  I had never used an MP3 player while skiing, and it was rather enjoyable.  I had loaded the full complement of E.L.O. hits.  Hearing “Mr. Blue Sky” while an incredible sunset was in progress and I was gliding down a gentle hill was really cool.  I also wore a helmet for the first time.  I didn’t care if I stood out like a dork, but it turned out a lot of people were wearing helmets.  A long bus ride back to QU, a half-hour drive home, and I was in bed at 1 A.M.
   And what I had to look forward to on Sunday? More wood cutting!  The bitter cold temperatures of the past week had resulted in the rapid consumption of the two pick-up loads of last Sunday, so I collected an equivalent amount this week.  It’s getting harder though, as I’ve cut out all the logs on the edge of the brush pile.  Now I have to climb in to the center and throw the logs out.  In the afternoon, I took some photos down by the river.  Diving ducks are hanging around now. 


Scaup.

Canvasback eats fish.

Sleeping with eyes open.

Turkeys in a corn field.

Ringneck.



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