May 1

Tuesday was rather unusual.  I was supposed to be on main campus to interview a candidate for the math job when I got an email, then a phone call stating that the main building was on lockdown.  The police had chased a suspect (who it turns out had a meth lab a few blocks away) onto campus and he had hidden in our building.  When we got the all-clear, I took the shuttle down and got to my meeting a half hour late.  The guy had hidden in the office of my friend and computer science prof, Dave Robinson.  He called the cops and they caught the perp without incident.  This was all over the news the next day.  Turns out this is the first time we have ever had a lockdown.  Our system seemed to work well, and this was a good test of it following incidents at other campuses around the country.  The interview went well too. 
I took the Environmental Science class out to Lowell’s to determine whether any of the bird boxes we had put up earlier in the year actually had any birds in them.  The first box we checked was not one of ours, but one of Lowell’s older ones.  It had 5 eggs in it.  This was a good test of the borescope, which operates well once you get used to it.  Sadly, none of the rest of the boxes we checked had any eggs in them.  One had some nesting material.  That was it.  We saw some nice wildflowers, but no morel mushrooms. 

 
Michaela and Katie check out a nest box.                      The other Katie tries to probe an ant mound.

 
Orange puccoon                                                                   Tiger beetle


Whirligig beetles.  You can see their eyes, and they have another set under water.  A “microlandscape”, ferns and moss on a tree.

Wednesday I took the Plant Field Class out to Fall Creek.  We found another branch of the creek with a nice waterfall.  The Bio II class joined us later, after they got lost on the way out.  We found even more wildflowers than on Monday.  We walked up the hill instead of driving, and one student stopped and noticed that her shoes were covered in ticks.  We all stopped and were similarly covered.  We performed a thorough deticking, and only one student ended up bitten by the next day.  Some were a bit freaked out by the experience. 

Friday I went to Quincy with Savannah so she could get her hair done for Prom.  First we stopped at QU where she completed the paperwork to be hired as a lifeguard at the pool in the Student Recreation Center.  While she was getting her do, I walked around the mall.  Normally, I avoid malls as they are the same from coast to coast, and totally lacking in character.  Afterward, we got a bite to eat and went home.  She took the requisite hour or two to beautify herself.  Her date showed up and we took pictures.


Savannah and Alan.

They went out to dinner in Quincy and came back with Savannah all worried about a stain on the back of her dress.  Looked like a water spot to me.  They left for prom with our admonitions as to behaviors and activities they were to avoid.  We heard Savannah come home at midnight, change, and go back to After-prom.  We also heard her return at 4 a.m. or so.  We wondered why she drove herself to After-prom.  Saturday morning I learned that Alan had taken off in the middle of prom.  Though abandoned, she held up pretty well.  She danced with friends and got a ride home.  I think it’s a testament to her stoicism that she returned at all for After-prom.  I also learned that Alan had been arrested while attempting to go to After-prom.
Savannah had to go to a track meet Saturday morning, on one hour of sleep.  It turned out that Alan had not been drinking, but he had been with some guys who had.  So really he was just picked up, not arrested, and made it to the track meet the next day.

Saturday Stacey and I went to Quincy for a plant sale and garage sales.  We got a few bargains.  We went grocery shopping and ate at the new Mexican restaurant.  It was good, but I rolled out of there stuffed.   After a generous afternoon nap I planted the new plants in the back yard.  A couple of things were in bloom, so I set up the camera with the macro lens and an extension tube.  While I was walking through the side yard I was stunned to see a morel growing beside the path.  Further inspection revealed several more. 
They must have grown next to the wood pile because of old decaying bark and stuff under it.  Take a look at this one on the right.


Did you see the face of a lion in it?  If only it were Jesus, we could sell it on eBay.

Columbine.  The delicate, hidden flower of Wild Ginger.

 
Feathery tulips in the front yard.                                       Unknown bush in front yard.

Sunday I just could not muster the motivation to go turkey hunting.  I did odd jobs and some “homework.”  Maybe it’s a good thing I stayed around.  Before noon a guy stopped by to look at the canoe.  I sold it to him at less than my original asking price, but still more than the average canoe.  He went home to get the money and a trailer.  10 minutes later another guy stopped to ask about it.  I had to take the For Sale sign off of it.  In the afternoon I helped my friend Mohamed move.  He had already moved all of his boxes and books, so there was only the big stuff like beds and bikes to take in my truck.  That’s class.  Then he took us all out to dinner.


Fire pink, a recent addition to the prairie.                          Bird’s foot violet, just added to the woodland wildflowers
.

Lily of the Valley, in my new “studio.”

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