September 29

Wednesday morning I took Savannah to the doctor, and I swore she had pink-eye.  Turned out she just had allergies.  In the afternoon I went to the QU community meeting, where we learned that everything is good in terms of enrollment, budget, etc.  We might have a new president by next summer.  That night I went to dinner at Lori’s, as usual, before book club.  We are into a great book right now (Eckart Tolle’s The Power of Now), and it’s fun to discuss. 

Thursday afternoon I left with a bunch of teachers to go to a conference in Chicago.  It was a fun group.  We had an excellent dinner, and stayed at the Radison Hotel at the O’Hare airport.  The last time I was there was to pick up Darby about 15 years ago.  Friday was the conference.  Parts were boring, but I learned things in other parts.  In the afternoon we came back.  One lady drove both ways.  What a trooper!  At one point we saw a rainbow, and there was rain falling from the clouds that never hit the ground.  I told her, “That’s called verga.”  She said, “Did I tell you what I did in the Air Force for nine years?”  “No.” “I was a meteorologist.”  Dang, am I an idiot!  We passed the big cicada killer site in Joliet.  I felt the urge to be surrounded by thousands of my favorite wasps again, but of course, they’re all dead by this time of year.

Saturday morning Stacey went to a conference in Centralia.  Unfortunately, she left behind her wallet.  She was able to use a check at a convenience store to buy gas.  Savannah and I ran some errands.  I got a filter and oil at the new (or moved) NAPA auto parts store.  I drained the oil on the Tracker and found that there was only 1.5 quarts left in it.  Seems I’d forgotten to change it for nearly a year, or 10,000 miles.   That can’t be good.  It did at least sound a lot better afterward. 

I was poking around in my prairie looking for subjects when I saw a monarch.  I hadn’t tagged one since Monday, so I ran for a net.  I tagged it.  It could be the last wild-caught one I tag.  Most of the caterpillars I collected last week are now chrisalides.  I have just about enough tags for all of them.

A ladybug.  

An assassin bug.

A wasp with long antennae, crawling through a spider web on the woodpile.

Since I figured out how to make these calendars, it’s gotten easier.  So naturally, I made a couple more.  One has all the best bald eagle photos, the other is all made of the ugliest bug pictures I have.  If you visit the web sites, you can see the unique picture used each month.                  

Sunday morning I went deer hunting out at Lowell’s.  I didn’t see any deer or turkeys, but I got a lot of Tom Sawyer read.  Lowell and I caught a number of fish on the main lake, then made a tour of all the ponds.  I ended up with about 9 bass, some of them fairly chunky.  I got some great pictures while we were out and about.  None of the dragonflies are new species for me, but the photos are better than what I had previously.
Yellow-legged Meadowhawk, male.                                                           

Eastern Amberwing, female.

12-spotted skimmer–or should it be 10-spotted?        

A leopard frog, just in case you’re tired of dragonflies.

Savannah has decided to become a cheerleader this year.  It seems she’s preadapted for it, what with all the years of karate training.  Monday was her first day of practice, and her arms are sore from holding the positions.  She is ticketed to be a flyer.  You know, the one that gets dropped on her head.

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