July 19

Thursday I dropped Stacey off at her office then went over to mine.  I plowed through a lot of emails, unloaded the car of all the gear, then went to main campus.  I talked to the lady about the Galapagos trip.  Things look very promising at this point.  I met Stacey for lunch (Mexican), and picked up two mice at the pet store.  I had to race back to my office to relieve the revenge of the Mexican food.  I went home, got Savannah, and took her to the doctor for another UTI.  I took a long late nap.  At about 2 A.M. Stacey’s pager went off.  A semi overturned on the highway.  She was gone for a couple of hours, cutting the guy out of the cab.  He was a big dude, and it took a long time.

Friday I took Savannah to Palmyra to take the written driver test, but they weren’t giving it there so I got the canoe reregistered.  I dropped her off at the pool on the way home.  We passed Stacey on her way to a job interview.  Cross our fingers on that one.  They had closed the highway where they were righting the semi from the night before.  Looked like it had been attacked with a large can opener.  I spent a lot of time trying to identify all the species in my photographs from this year and last year.  Stacey came home and slept a long time.  I also succumbed to the nap.

Frog on the edge of our fish pond.  The minnows I put in there have really multiplied.

Saturday I picked up the downed limbs in the yard and took them down to the brush dump.  I threw out my little limbs and loaded a good number of large branches for firewood.  I had Savannah chop the twigs off of them with a machete, then she got to drive the truck home.  I chainsawed the wood and added to my stack.  I did more species identifications, and fell under the influence of another nap (dang, it’s good not to work).  I tried out a new macro lens Stacey got me for my birthday.

Prairie blazing star, whole inflorescence with regular lens.  I’m glad I got back from my trip in time to see this bloom.

Prairie blazing star, single floret with macro lens.

Katydid, regular lens.

Katydid, macro lens with flash.  See how the background looks dark, even though it’s broad daylight.  This katydid became gecko chow.

Sunday morning I went out to Lowell’s.  We started by felling four trees and pulling them out of the woods.  It was harder than it sounds.  Two trees hung up on neighboring trees.  I cut down one of these until it slowly fell backward–right toward where Lowell was standing.  I was yelling as loud as I could, and he got out of the way.  We pulled a couple more trees out of the woods that we had felled, oh, months ago.  We had time for one round of the lake before lunch.  We each caught a couple of bass.  We had enchiladas that Stacey had made and frozen for us.  Yum.  We watched some Planet Earth while enjoying a nap.  We took two more rounds of the lake.  Lowell has done a lot of work in my absence, especially in putting more cedar trees in the lake for fish structure.  The bass were hitting my hula popper a bit better, and I ended up with 9 fish.  I filleted the keepers, and the catfish came up into that arm of the lake to eat the carcasses, as they have for years now.  They have a long memory, apparently. 

Five-lined skink.  He greeted us when we returned to the dock.  I saw a baby one on one of the logs we pulled out.

Heal-all, Prunella vulgaris.  A flower in the gully.

Savannah got her drivers permit.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  She passed on the 6th attempt, breaking the family tradition of passing the written test on the first try, in multiple states.  Some of her friends took more, I guess.  We’ve mostly been driving to the pool and back.  She’s been giving lots of swimming lessons, going to swim practice, and lifeguarding.  She is now as brown as stained walnut. 

I’ve been rescuing firewood from the brush dump.  It’s good exercise. 

Stacey had a couple of job interviews, and we received the good news today that she was hired by Douglass Community Services as Director of Retired Senior Volunteers.  I’m not entirely clear on the job description yet, but at least she won’t be at Chaddock anymore.  She did get to meet a country music star at Chaddock last week, Rodney Atkins, who came to speak and play some songs for the kids. 

Saturday I went to the car show.  I judged 11 cars in three categories.  Most were in the late model original category.  I don’t see the point of keeping a relatively new car garaged all the time except for shows, and never doing anything to it but cleaning.   The best car I judged was an AMC AMX. 

I went for a bike ride on Sunday.  It was largely uneventful, except that when I stopped to take some pictures by the old iron bridge, and old dude in a rusted out S10 stopped to talk to me.  He gave me the whole history of the place: the bridge, the grinding mill, and the old school bus.  Fascinating.

Maybe a milkwort.  Only a half-inch across.

Unknown skipper.

Monday I took my friend Andy Walsh out to Lowell’s.  In the morning we fished for bass on the main lake.  We caught small numbers of bass (6 for me) on spinners and surface lures.  We had lunch in Lewistown and came back for one more turn around the lake.   I filleted the 4 undersize ones we had culled, and saved the skin.  We went to the catfish pond and used the skin for bait.  Lowell used smoky links, and caught two catfish in rapid succession, one over 5 pounds and another 8 lb, 14 oz.  I used my spinnerbait and caught a bass that looked pretty big, but the deliar said it was 2 lb 3 oz.  I put on some of the bass skin and left my rod unattended while I went to take some photos.  After awhile I looked over and something was tugging on my rod.  It had spooled my reel.  It took some doing to reel it in on the little baitcasting outfit.  It turned out to be a catfish of 8 lb, 12 oz.  Lowell had beaten me by 2 oz.  Of course, we were trying to be guides for Andy and give hime the peak fishing experience, but we couldn’t make the fish bite his hook.  It was still a pretty good time. 

Savannah had a friend over to spend the night.  They were watching a scary DVD in my bedroom when I went upstairs to get some ice cream.  The room was dark.  I sneaked over, reached around the corner, flicked the light on and off and screamed.  They about jumped out of their skins, and averred as how they now hated me.

Blue Vervain.

Great Golden Digger Wasp: still trying to get the perfect pic.

Missouri Ironweed

Wasp; mayby Ammophila or Prionyx

Big Cat. 

Andy Walsh: the American Fisherman.

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