Aug 21

Tuesday was the first day of classes for me.  It was stressful, but it was also good to see all my old students again.  I cancelled my afternoon lab, which was a good thing because I was swamped with the needs of students and stuff. 

Wednesday was the first day of school for Savannah.  When I got up, I asked her, “Are you wearing THAT?”  Later on, I said, “Are you wearing your hair like THAT?”  I had a great time getting under her skin.  She did look pretty good when she was done dolling herself up.

First day, sophomore year of high school.

In ecology lab we netted grasshoppers for an hour.  It was blazing hot, but we finished just before a thundershower hit.  This group didn’t seem too motivated, so I said I’d take them out for ice cream if they caught more than last year’s class.  They made it by two ‘hoppers.  On the way home there was a nice, big rainbow following the thunderstorm.  As soon as I got home I grabbed the camera and drove around to get a good shot of it.  It disappeared.  The best I got was the trailing edge of the storm. 

Anvil over the Mississippi.

Thursday was a typical day of class.  I did hire a work-study student though.  I couldn’t get any through all of last year, and now I’m swamped with them.  A mouse got into my cabinets recently.  It was making a good living on the corn and other seeds in there, so I had my new minion clean it up.  When I got home the guy across the street was cutting down a big dead pine tree.  I offered to help him load his brush in exchange for the firewood.  He was agreeable.   The diameter of some of the logs was huge.  I started a new rack in the back yard against the maple tree.  This is not a good job to start before dinner.  I was bonking bad.  A big katydid was banging against the sliding glass door that night, so I let him in.  I took some pics, then fed him to the tokay gecko. 

With the macro lens, I was trying to simulate the effect on Steely Dan’s album cover, Katy Lied.

Friday I had no classes.  I stayed home and telecommuted for awhile.  It rained all morning.  When it quit I went down to the brush dump.  There was a lot more wood there than I thought, but mostly already conveniently cut to length.  It was more humid than hot, but I still ended up soaked with sweat.  I accidentally left my lights on and the battery died in the truck.  I called Charlie Walters and he came down and gave me a jump.  I went back for one more load after that.  I found a big grasshopper, threw it in the back of the truck, and later fed it to the leopard gecko.  Lizard food is in abundance right now. 

This weed was blooming down at the brush dump.  Pretty, unidentifiable thing, the blooms were a bit past prime.

Saturday I cut up the longer logs.  I helped Nancy haul her brush, and picked up some mulch.  Stacey was in the Fire Department softball game.  She got a hit and a sunburn.  In the evening Savannah and I went to the QU soccer game.  We were behind 0-1 most of the game, then scored a goal with 5 minutes left.  There were two overtimes and it still ended at a tie.  We got home much later than I expected.  It cooled down a lot after the sun went down, and for the first time in months, I was cold. 

Sunday I went out to Lowell’s.  We fished a couple of rounds of the lake.  I tried a variety of lures and caught two fish.  We drove around in the mule awhile and saw several turkeys.  We stopped at all photo opportunities.

I’ve gotten this blue dragonfly before, but it’s irresistible.

This flower, perhaps a mallow, is growing in the wetland.

I caught this baby snake crawling through the blazing star meadow.  Could be another black rat snake.

A wildflower (with bonus beetle) in a planted strip.

Savannah worked a lifeguard job for a frat party at the pool.  Naturally, she didn’t let on to the college boys that she was a high school sophomore.  At one point, there was a gathering of anxious people at the other end of the pool and the manager yelled for Savannah.  She came running, thinking that it was a lifesaving situation.  There was a garter snake in the kiddie pool.  So she grabbed it and threw it over the fence.  They didn’t teach her that in lifeguarding class. 

Today I taught my big lab with 31 students.  I had two assistants, however, which made it go so much easier.  They are both excellent.  They looked at a lot of different things under the microscope.  One of them said it was fun.  When I got home I went to the back yard to look for monarchs, as I just got my tagging kit today.  I didn’t see any, but lots of things were active in the prairie.

A Carolina mantis awaits dinner, but the bumblebee is too much for her.

Grey hairstreak, Eastern blue hairstreak

Pearl Crescent.  Forgot to compress this image!

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