October 30

Tuesday night I finally had a chance to carve my pumpkin.  I had bought a new carving kit, as we seem to have lost our traditional box of Halloween goodies.  I had also found some directions on the web on how to make a carving template from a photograph.  I decided to carve a monarch butterfly, as I’ve been kind of obsessed with them this year (could you tell?).  Most of the image was grey space, which requires scraping the skin off the pumpkin.  The tool for this procedure was the poorest in the kit, so it didn’t go very well.  I had a long cord with a bright, compact fluorescent light on the end, and that did a hell of a job lighting it up, compensating in large part for my limited carving ability.

The bulb really lights it up.  I put it out on the porch and you can see it from a mile away.

On Halloween Savannah dressed up as a zombie cheerleader.  She said, “What can I do to be scarier?”  I said, “Tell me you’re pregnant.”  Stacey said, “Take off your make-up.”  She actually went Trick-or-Treating with one friend at a couple of nearby houses.  Some more of her friends came over and watched Nightmare Before Christmas.  Her boyfriend brought over his Guitar Hero video game.  He left it here for awhile, and I am now a shameless addict.  For those who are unfamiliar with this game (all my students play it), you follow along with the TV playing a song and hit buttons on the fretboard and while “strumming” a long bar button.  It’s hard to explain how addictive this game is.  It’s perfect for a middle-aged poser like myself, who never learned to play an actual instrument.


Creeeeepyyyyyyyy!

Stacey had a fire call Friday morning.  A minivan caught on fire at the gas station, which had a lot of potential for disaster, but one of the firefighters living nearby put it out with a little fire extingusher before the truck got there.  Savannah had the day off from school.  First we went to parent-teacher conferences, which I haven’t done for years.  Her teachers said she is smart, well-behaved, and hard working.  I said, “Are you sure we’re talking about the same kid?”  I didn’t get a very satisfactory explanation from the Ag teacher about why they’ve done nothing so far but study FFA.  We went to Quincy, got an early lunch at McD’s, stopped at Merkel’s to get some “cheerleader bloomers,” and went to QU’s main campus.  Even though I’m a senior (4th year there), I’ve never used the recreation center.  We went to the pool, where I tested all my snorkeling gear.  Everything worked great.  I can really haul with the new swim fins.  Savannah did some laps, and tried out the mask and snorkel.  I went to a meeting while Savannah played video games on my computer and ate whatever food I had lying about.

Saturday I went out to Lowell’s for some quail hunting.  It was really Kane’s day out.  He’s 14 now, and I don’t know if he has another season left in him.  He got to run around, and go swimming twice.  After we went out to lunch we brought him a can of Alpo.  We never saw any quail, but we got a good walking workout.   We did some small-scale logging, chopping down some leftover stumps and limbing out some trees we forgot to drag out.  There are some dead oaks that blew down that we’ll get to eventually.  The new cab came for Lowell’s Mule, so we installed it.  After that I had Lowell call me over and over until I found my phone lying in the woods next to a tree I had been chainsawing earlier.  Kane was no help in this–he walked right past it.  He paid for his day of fun though.  When I let himin that night he was mighty stiff and sore. 

That night we dropped off Savannah and Dustin at about 5:30 to get ready for the play.  We went to the local diner for dinner.  It was pretty busy, but we got a table without difficulty.  After drinks, salads, and about an hour, our dinner was nowhere in sight.  The waitress said it would be another 20 minutes, so we left to see the play.  Dustin had a lead role, which he played very well.  Savannah played a dumb school girl, which I thought was typecasting, but she did an excellent job.  Overall, the play was extremely well done, and several notches above the performances of years past.  I guess that’s why they had play practice every day for two months.  Afterward, Stacey and I went to have dinner, again, at a different place.  Pizza.  Savannah went to Pizza Hut for the cast party, and ended up spending the night with a friend.

I had ideas about a bike ride Sunday morning, but I was about as sore as Kane.  Saturday’s hunting and logging were enough of a workout for me.  We had a small celebration of Savannah’s 16th birthday.  She opened all her presents and we had cake and ice cream and sang Happy Birthday.   I revealed to her, finally, that, after all these years, I was, in fact, the Tooth Fairy.  I even showed her the collection of her baby teeth I still have.


Monday I had to meet with our liaison to the State Board of Education and go over a program report I had written last spring.  I saw the English Department’s report in the morning, and it was about 5 times longer than mine.  I thought I had a lot of work left to do.  I arrived at the meeting and they were going over the English report with a fine-toothed comb.  Oh, boy.  Then it was my turn.  They asked what department I was from.  I said biology.  They said, “Oh, yours is good.  You’re done.”  Whew!

October 26

Wednesday I took the Ecology class out to Lowell’s to perform a population analysis of Lepomis macrochirus in order to construct an age-size frequency histogram.  In other words, we went fishing.  We only caught about a dozen bluegills, which wasn’t nearly enough.  Too bad things turned cold; I think that turned the fish off.  The students had a good time, though, and almost every one caught a fish. 

Sarah and Angie.  Kasey among the cattails.

Thursday afternoon I went down with a group of QU students to St. Louis to see Body Worlds.  It’s the show at the Science Museum that shows human bodies dissected, poised in various positions and plastinated for permanent perservation.  It’s pretty bizarre stuff.  Sure would like to have one for our anatomy lab.  I think I liked best the pathological organs that I teach in pathophysiology: emphysema lungs, cirrhosis of the liver, enlarged heart.  We all went to an Italian restaurant afterward, with surprisingly strong appetites.  It was actually my colleague Lee’s class.  He rented the van and took care of all the arrangements, while I got to go along for the ride.  Pretty sweet. 

Friday I slept in, at least until I had to take Savannah to cheerleading practice.  I dinked around the house and got some errands run.

Saturday morning I went deer hunting out at Lowell’s, or at least I went to sit in a tree.  I saw a deer–crossing the road on the drive out.  As I was approaching the treestand, a couple of turkeys flushed out of the trees.  After I was up and settled, I heard the distinctive snort of a deer on the ridge to the south.  It snorted a few more times and ran off.  A few minutes later I heard a turkey yelping on the same ridge.  I dug out my diaphragm call and yelped back.  I stood up and got ready as the turkey flew down and landed about 20 yards away.  Sadly, it must have spotted me, and ran away pretty quickly.  Another one walked in from the other direction, but it spooked before I even saw it.  I heard plenty of shooting in the neighborhood, presumably from the opening day of waterfowl season and the youth deer season.  I did take a shot at a squirrel.  Scared the heck out of him too.  After I got down from the stand I went to pick up the arrow and spotted a really neat mushroom.  That began the day of mushroom photography, probably because of the recent rain and cool weather.

The brain mushroom.  Textured puffball.


Mutant puffball.  Butt puffball.


Cute little anthill, about 4 inches high.


‘Shroomship Enterprise.  Array of bracket fungi.

Sunday I took a bike ride, even though the thermometer said 41 F when I left.  I took a slightly different route than usual, encountering some of the worst gravel (more like cobble) I’ve ever ridden on.  I stopped to photograph some moss, but otherwise subjects were few. 

Savannah had spent the night with a friend, then spent most of the day with another.  I guess she just doesn’t like her boring old parents anymore.  I stayed home and read a book.  Stacey and I lit a fire in the fireplace, but she had to leave for a real fire.  Someone’s shed burned down, with a whole bunch of ATVs and a tractor within.  Stacey worked the fire even with sutures in her finger. 

I got so inspired by the mushroom photos that, you guessed it, I made another calendar!  It lies here:

http://www.cafepress.com/mushroomcalndar

Monday afternoon my BIO I class looked at their regenerated planaria.  One group had made a perfect slice halfway down the center of the worm’s body, resulting in a temporary two-headed worm.  This rarely works, and I haven’t seen it for many years.  I had my camera handy, and took a shot down the ocular of the dissecting microscope.

The two heads are touching at the top, and the newly regenerated portions are pale.  Eventually, it will split into two worms.

In the evening I had dinner with Lee at the new Thai place.  Some of their stuff is HOT.  Mine was really good.  Afterward I stopped at KMart and went to teach my Galapagos class.  It was fun, of course, and I showed them how I had packed my stuff and what I planned to take.  It’s hard to keep your head on straight when you’re constantly reminded of something as exciting as this trip.  I’m going crazy.

October 16

In my Environmental Science lab Tuesday afternoon we sampled the outdoor air for pollution.  We did this using about $1000 of new equipment that I found laying around my lab.  While we waited for the pump to draw air through the absorbing solution, we played hacky sack.  One of my students is pretty good already, and the other is learning fast.  I hadn’t played in a couple of years, so it was a lot of fun.  Days later my knee still regretted it.

I have created yet another calendar on CafePress.com, this time with a Monarch Butterfly theme:

http://www.cafepress.com/americanmonarch.105615987

In addition, I have added a bunch of new products to my other shops (eagle, cicada killer, carpenter bee) that CafePress has made available.

Wednesday my Ecology class was supposed to sample fish populations at Lowell’s.  It rained all day, so instead we stayed in the lab and identified all our dead grasshoppers.  Some had apparently been infected with horsehair worms, which had crawled out of the ‘hoppers and into the bottom of the container. 

I had book club that night after delicious soup with Lori and Jay.  It was a good discussion.

Stacey got a call from Savannah’s geometry teacher.  Turns out she got a 93 on a test, which is a cause for celebration around here.  She’s also doing well in cheerleading (that teacher is the coach).

Stacey had an interesting lunch Wednesday, and had to go into First Responder mode.  See Stacey’s report below.

Wednesday night I went to let Kane in and found that he was already out of the kennel.  I don’t know how or when he got out, but it was long enough to take a leisurely swim in the neighborhood pond, as his legs were covered with mud.  He was pretty tired and stiff the next morning though.

The photos that I chose in the St. Louis Camera Club competition I judged last week can be seen here:
http://www.stlcameraclub.com/2007-08-club-year/00-weekly-results/10-10-2007/2007-10-10-nature.php
See if you agree with my choices.

They posted my presentation here:
http://www.stlcameraclub.com/program-notes/joe-coehlo-the-bald-eagle.pdf

Friday I went in to work for a meeting.  First I dropped of the recycling.  Got a whole dollar for my aluminum cans.  The meeting was OK, and even fun, being just me and my colleagues in biology.  I ran some errands and went home.  I got a call from Stacey’s secretary, who said that Stacey had severely cut her hand on a broken punch bowl.  They took her to the emergency room to have her finger sown up.  Later she called to say that Stacey could not drive home because of the drugs she was on.   I have never been thankful that Savannah has her drivers permit, but it actually came in handy this time.  We drove down to Hannibal, where we saw Stacey’s workplace for the first time.  Savannah drove Stacey home in her car, and I drove the Lil Egg home.  Stacey now has a large bandage around her right ring finger, which is better than the nasty kitchen towel they first used to stanch the bleeding.  See Stacey’s report below.  Savannah went to spend the night at a friend’s before going down to Columbia with the marching band early Saturday morning.

Stacey and I went to Hannibal for the Folk Life Festival.  We saw a lot of our friends, like Steve, Wanaree and Lori, as well as a bunch of folks Stacey knew from the Hannibal area.  We bought a quart of sorghum and a piece of jewelry (from Wanaree).   We had lunch at the Mark Twain dinette and went home.

I saw a couple of monarchs while we were driving around.  After we got home, sure enough, I saw one on the neighbor’s butterfly bush.  I netted it, tagged and released it.  That was #100, the last of my tags.  I still have a little chrysalis, but I’m not too optimistic about it.  Fall butterflies of other types are popping out.  A buckeye hatched out from my unknown pupa, and I shot a couple of commas in the back yard.

Comma on redbud tree; comma on grass.

The low, dead stump in the front yard, which I think has been there since the tornado of ’03, finally rotted away.  I broke it up with a splitting maul and hauled the fragments to the brush dump.  While there, I picked up some large logs. 

Sunday morning I cut up and stacked my logs.  In the process a large log rolled over and smacked my left patella–on the knee that’s been bothering me.  That precipitated a break in activities for cursing and nursing.  Like I needed that!  Stacey did not go to church to preach, nor to class.  I rebandaged her finger, and I dyed her hair.  Savannah got very little sleep at her friend’s house, so slept most of the day away.

Boots is good for napping, until he wakes you up hawking a hairball.

Savannah had no time for practicing her cheerleading over the weekend, and was understandably nervous about tryouts Monday morning.  We needn’t have worried.  She made the varsity squad.  Of course, she has Stacey’s looks and my skills, a perfect combination. 

Monday night I had to stay late to teach a Galapagos class.  I ran errands and got a haircut beforehand.  Many of the students had other obligations, but we had enough there to make it work.  I talked about the geology of the Islands in a minilecture, then we talked about the nuts and bolts of the trip, which was fun. 

Stacey’s week was sufficiently eventful that she has written her own entry:

The unofficial title of this letter is “why my office mates no longer invite me to lunch.”
First, the staff takes the executive director out to lunch for his birthday and Boss’s Day.  I drove myself because I came from an off site meeting.  The others were to meet me at noon, but did not show up until 12:30 pm.  So we order and eat—simple plentiful food. 

As lunch is winding down, I see our waitress going outside to help another lady help this old woman walking.  This did not ‘look’ right, so I (first aid trained firefighter) go out and ask if everything is ok.  Lady #1 says, “My mom got tired walking and we just need to help her to the bathroom.”  “Mom”  is barely walking and has blue lips.



I get a chair and take it outside and tell them to sit Mom in the chair so I can access her.  The daughter says “It’s ok, she just has to go to the bathroom.”  I finally say, “Look, her lips are blue and you are practically dragging her because her feet are barely moving.  Sit her in this chair and you (meaning the waitress) go call 911.”  Just then the mom starts having a seizure.  It’s kinda weird because I started doing two things at once.  I was getting patient info from the daughter and pointedly instructing my boss and the finance director to carry the woman in so I could get her flat, open an airway, and continue accessing.



Get the lady on the floor and she loses consciousness.  Then she starts breathing in a really bad way (the only other time I have heard people breath like this, they die).  The lady is 88 years old, has diabetes, and a pacemaker.  So she’s breathing—poorly, and has a carotid pulse—really poor.  But if a person is breathing and has a heart beat (no matter how bad,) you do not do CPR.  I jut kept her airway open and then the paramedics came and began to really work her (CPR, intubations, etc).



It was surreal because we all went back to our table.  We could not leave—I had placed the lady on the carpeting next to the cash register.  People on the other side of the restaurant just kept eating like nothing was going on.  Here’s medics working this lady on the floor and people keep eating their salads.



OK so that’s Wednesday.  Things were getting back to normal and on Friday, we were giving a going away party for the CASA director.  I was in charge of the party, but lots of people helped.  Connie, my secretary, and I were cleaning the dishes in the Head Start break room (one of only two sinks in the building with hot water.)  Before we started to wash the dishes, we looked at the only available towel and considered not drying them because it was a definite candidate for “funky towel.”  But we figured that we might risk it.  Everything was washed and I started on the punch bowl.  The punch bowl is made with a 2 inch base that blossoms into the bowl.  I put soap in the punch bowl and turned the spigot of hot water into it.  I reach in with my right hand and run it around the base to make sure all the fruit from the punch is coming out.  Suddenly, I realize that that bowl is broken and slicing through my fingers –deeply.



I yank my hand out of the water and loudly tell Connie that I need a rag for my hand.  You guessed it, she hands me the funky towel.  I’m spewing blood all over the break room floor so I can’t be picky.  I can feel (not look, passing out would not be good) that my right ring finger is cut very deeply.  I also think my middle finger is cut, too.



Thank goodness Connie used to work at the local health department.  She grabbed my towel wrapped hand, applied immense pressure, and raised my arm above my head. Someone called the HR director, who is a lovely woman, but not with a lot of life experience (she locks her car when it sits in her locked garage).  She starts saying, “Oh my, Oh my, should we call an ambulance?”  I told her, “Look, I am awake, I am breathing.  My heart is beating.  Do not call a bus, but I do need the emergency room.” 


 It was a god awful pain.  I mean pain.  It was causing my blood pressure to jump.



So we get to the ER and then there is this long line of people.  Only, I am getting moved to #3 in the line because the hand is still bleeding, badly.  Funky towel is now bright red.



I sit down, right hand still wrapped in kitchen towel and above my head.  Pain is shooting from my fingers to my elbow and the HR director is chatting gaily as a means to keep my mind off the pain.  Connie starts worrying because my face is going from red to white; red to white.  I then realize that I cannot stand without being faint.  HR director goes to triage and tells them that my condition has worsened.  (She said that she learned this from watching ER :0)  I get moved to the front of the line and immediately taken back to a room with no paperwork done. On the way back, we meet up with the ER director who is the lead doctor at the free clinic that is in my office building.  He immediately takes over my care, personally. 



HR director and Connie go out to try and complete the paperwork.  HR director tells clerical staff that she can not remember my husband’s last name, but there is a Home and Garden TV person with the same name (COELHO).  Clerical staff thinks HR director needs a padded room.



Back in the exam room, Dr. Draper takes one look at the funky towel and says “This faithful towel has given its life for the cause and now can be put to rest.”  He takes it off my hand, wraps my fingers in clean, sterile, gauze, and dumped the towel in the hazardous waste bin. 



I jokingly tell the doctor, “I hope you have better luck with your patient than I did with mine.”  Dr. Draper is a very compassionate person.  He says, “I want you to know that only 3% of people who code actually come back and I do not intend to let you code!”  So as he cleans the wound and stitches it up, he keeps up a nice banter.  That’s when I have surreal moment #2.  He numbed my finger (I felt that injection!) then I start watching him inspect the inside of the wound with a tool, watch him trim the ends of the skin, and suture it. All the while, my mind is thinking, “this hurts,” but my hand is saying “not so!” 



As I am getting the instructions and prescipts, doc says, “I’m giving you vicodin because that’s gonna hurt when the meds wear off.  All those sliver cuts might hurt more than the stitches.  I’m giving you a strong antibiotic because that towel did not look clean. (Ya think!).  Stay in bed all weekend.  The antibiotics may mess with your system, in that case staying in be is not advisable.” What a funny guy.



So I missed class this weekend.  I’ve had moments of being nearly normal, but then I get tired so I’ve taken a few more naps.  He was right about the sliver cuts hurting more.



I’m guessing that given this week’s events no one will invite me to lunch again.  I am sure Connie has a new rule that our office can only have plastic punch bowls.



The HR director thinks that the work comp company is going to deny the claim because washing dishes is not part of my job description.  Go figure.



Anyway, this has taken me a few hours to type and my hand is really in pain. 



 

October 11

Tuesday afternoon I took my class out to Lowell’s.  We put up a wood duck nest box on a pole, and launched a mallard nest platform onto the pond.  We watched the catfish come up and eat the fish food, then went on to construct a big brush pile. 
  
Angelica, Michaela, Brent, Johanna.                                 Brent with a walking stick.

Wednesday afternoon I drove down to St. Louis.  I didn’t have much time to burn, but I stopped at REI to look around.  Most of their stuff was a little pricey.  I went to the Ethical Society building to meet my contact.  He called to say he’d be late because of a big traffic accident on I-270.  After he arrived we went to a nice Chinese restaurant.  I ate all my lemon chicken; it was delicious and I was hungry.  We went back to the Ethical Society, where I gave my talk on bald eagles to the St. Louis Camera Club.  It seemed to go over well, as I got a lot of positive comments afterward.  A fellow named Tony Salvador came up and asked (with a bit of an accent) if I was Portuguese.  Of course!  I had agreed to judge their photo contest.  It was quite an experience.  I had to critique other people’s photos (with a microphone) and pick winners and losers–while they were in the room watching!  It seemed like it was getting kind of boring, so I was lightening things up with some humor.  An image came up of some sand dunes with tracks running across them.  I said, “Looks a little grainy.”  It was a good experience in the end, and they seemed to think I did a good job.  After the meeting we went to another restaurant for dessert.  I had chocolate lava cake.  Yum!  I got home at 1 A.M.

Thursday I slept in.  I ran some errands downtown.  I took the truck down to the brush dump and pulled out some good boards and logs.  I found a nice shrub someone had thrown out.  I don’t know what it is yet, but I planted it in the back yard temporarily. 

It only has a single little flower, but it’s a nice one.

I was out shooting my bow and spotted a monarch on the new england aster in the prairie.  I netted and tagged it.  That was #99 for the year.  I only have one tag left, and one caterpillar.  The caterpillar has pupated, but too soon. It will be the smallest monarch ever if it hatches.


Nancy brought me a dragonfly.  It sat for my macro lens.  It’s a wandering glider.


The cabbage white is a rather pedestrian butterfly, but I’ve had a hard time getting a decent shot of one.  This one sat still for me on the aster.

Friday morning I went out to Lowell’s to hunt deer.  I didn’t see any, or much of anything else.  There was a huge covey of quail, however.  We went fishing and I caught about 5 bass.  We had lunch in Ewing.  I went home and did odd jobs in and out of the house. 

Saturday I went in to QU for a Discovery Day.  I took all my monarch stuff to show.  We only had a couple of students interested in biology, but that’s better than last year.  I got the free lunch afterward, then went to run errands all over Quincy.  It was nuts, people crowding all the stores.  I got most of what I wanted, gearing up for the Galapagos trip. 

Sunday I did some chores around the house and got a lot of grading done.  When Stacey got home we cleaned the house in anticipation of her birthday party.  Yup.  She’s forty.  A lot of our friends came over for snacks, desserts and socializing.  She had a good time.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving down by the river when I saw a small turtle about to cross the road.  I stopped, picked him up and put him in the back of the truck.  I just wanted to take it home and show it to Stacey and Savannah.  When I got it out in the driveway, Stacey was on the phone, and said, “My husband just brought me a new pet turtle!”  That was not what I had in mind.  Stacey set up an aquarium and he lived there awhile, but he never ate.  So Sunday I turned him loose.


Hangin’ out in the aquarium.  The plastron shows you why he’s called a painted turtle, and also that he was probably a she. 

October 2

Monday evening I took Boots to the vet for vaccinations and a tapeworm pill.  That night we let him out as usual.  Within an hour he was back with a freshly killed mouse.  No wonder he gets tapeworms!



I read in Newsweek about Googlegangers: people with your same name that turn up on Google before you do.  So naturally I tried my own name.  The results were interesting.

1.  Coach and founder of the royal basketball academy.  Eugene, Oregon.  royalbasketballacademy.com

2.  Professional photographer, San Antonio, TX.  www.photosbycoelho.com.  This guy has tons of great pictures of scantily clad models, and here I am taking photos of bugs.  I’m in the wrong business!

3.  Co-ordinator, Special Programs Branch, Ministry of Education, British Columbia, Canada.

4 & 5.  Writer and performance poet, London, United Kingdom.  Has a MySpace page, a blog, and is probably the bastard that bought the joecoelho.com domain name two days before I was going to.

6.  Me.  Refers to my book on eBookmall.com, with outdated information on my place of employment!

7.  Me at eBookMall again.

8.  Me, the Cicada Killer Control page.  Now I know what people value.

9.  Basketball Joe again.

10.  A reference to my article in Natural History.  

The subsequent google entries are interesting, but probably only to me.  Lessons: I may not be the most important nor most interesting Joe Coelho in the world.  The leading information set on me is not the most relevant, nor is it even correct.  At least I have 4 out of the top 10 entries, more than any other Joe C.  ShowMeJoe.com is 44th.  Dang.

 Later I tried to get #6 changed or deleted.  They removed it.

Stacey was gone to some training in Kansas City for much of the week.  It was rather stressful, as her hotel was in a bad part of town.  There was a sexual assault just down the street one night she was there.  And navigating the rat’s maze of streets and highways in KC is challenging under the best of circumstances.  We were glad to have her back on Wednesday night.  She got Friday off because she was taking a group of 30 people on the Spoon River Drive on Saturday.  Her bus driver cancelled at 8 A.M.  Ever resourceful, she got some vans and substitute drivers and completed the trip.  She had lunch with people from her first church in Ipava, IL, which was fun.

Thursday night the kitchen drain jammed up again.  I got to work on it Friday morning.  Plunging was to no avail, so I used our new drain king.  It didnt work too well.  At first I couldnt get it to inflate.  When it finally did, nothing happened for a long time.  So I pulled it out and all the water that it had force in there came shooting right back out.  Under pressure.  In my face.  So we cleaned up another big watery mess and called the plumber.  Of course, he’s busy all day Friday and can’t get to us until Monday.  We go the whole weekend without full kitchen functionality.  Savannah and I did a round of dishes in the bathtub.  That was rather uncomfortable, so the next batch we did in the kitchen sink with a bucket under the drain.  I don’t have the guts to try running the dishwasher that way.

Friday morning Stacey took Savannah in for an ortho appt., then for a haircut.  They went to pick up Stacey’s pills at the drug store, but Stacey’s insurance had still not come through.  Later, when I went into work for some meetings, I went armed with all the necessary insurance numbers and stopped at the drug store again.  None of the numbers was any good, but the technician called up and got the right ones.   And the insurance didn’t cover those particular pills!  I wasn’t going to pay $140 for the full bottle, so I bought 4 pills for $24 to get us through until this is straightened out.  You gotta love our healthcare system (or lack thereof) in this country.  When I got out of my meeting I stopped by a butterfly bush next to our main building on campus and, sure enough, there was a monarch on it.  The wind was blowing strongly, and I thought it wouldn’t notice my approach, so I barehanded it, took it back to my car and tagged it.  A couple of my colleagues came by and I showed them.

I had put my cage full of monarch chrysalides out in the garage to get warmer, and it worked.  Saturday morning I had one hatch out.  Naturally, I tagged it, photographed it to death, and put it out on the New England Aster in my prairie.  I changed the oil and rotated the tires on the Echo while Savannah was at the Culver Homecoming parade with her friends.  All the eating places in town were packed afterward, but they managed to get a table at pizza hut.  After having our drink orders taken three times and no drinks appearing for a long time, we walked out.  I don’t do that very often.  We went to County Market and got delicious chicken strips without having to wait in line. 


Male on the left, female on the right.


Macro shot of the front end.  I think the spots provide disruptive colloration, making it hard to identify the head and eyes.  A tagged one for those who have been asking how it’s done.


I would normally have gone hunting Sunday morning, but I knew I would have some monarchs hatching.  First thing in the morning I asked Stacey how many she thought had hatched.  She answered three, and was correct.  I tagged, photographed and put them out on the New England Aster again.  I went on a nice bike ride on my usual route.  It must have been snake dispersal day, as I saw three flattened on the road, and one live one.  There wasn’t much else active, but I got a few nice shots.


Large garter snake.

Tiny damselfly in the back yard.

I don’t do many landscapes, but this overgrown barn is kinda cool.

I think this is the shaggymanes mushroom.  I’d never seen them before.  They’re large and impressive.

The plumber came and fixed our kitchen drain today.  I never thought I’d be so happy to load the dish washer.  Savannah has been going to cheerleading practice three times a week.  Her practices are so intense that she had muscle soreness all weekend.  I kept giving her knees in the butt to see if it had gone away yet.  She got her uniform today.


Go, Tigers!