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. 

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