May 12

Monday I went out to Lowell’s and got there pretty early.  Fortunately, I had checked the regulations the night before.  Turkey season had closed.  It would have been bad to lose more sleep by getting up earlier to hunt turkeys, and even worse if I had shot one out of season.  The spring bite was on, and I caught 16 bass.

These Baltimore orioles were conspicuous.

Herons in flight: great blue and the green.


Eastern phoebe.  Two goose families have combined.

Female red-winged blackbrids.  Look carefully.  The one on the left (with nesting material in beak) is chased off by the one on the right, which takes its place.

I think this one’s a map turtle.   We found this little common snapping turtle in the road.  We put him in the wetland, where he’ll have thousands of tadpoles to feed on.

Damselfly                                         The clear-winged sphinx, a day-flying moth, and rarely seen sitting still.

Tuesday I just gave finals, so there’s little to report.  In the evening I did some macro photography in my home studio, starting with a beetle I found crawling across the basement floor.
I don’t know the identity of this beetle, but it has a heck of a set of jaws.  We have a supply of crickets around for lizard chow.

We always have the colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and when they wave an antenna during a long exposure, it produces an interesting effect.

Cute as a June Bug? This volunteer was flying around the garage.

Wednesday was a hard day of finals.  I planted a bunch of flowers when I got home and worked on the rental house for a bit.  This fledgling robin was in the spruce tree in front of the house.

Speckled breast and tufts over the ears give it away.

Wednesday and Thursday were about giving exams, grading, and doing little bits to the rental house.  Thursday afternoon I showed the rental house to a guy, and he took it.  It was empty only 5 days.  I always worry about it going vacant, but it always fills.  Thanks go to Wanaree for the referral.  I mowed and trimmed, and Savannah helped out.  I think she’s going to mow the guy’s lawn for extra money. 

Friday I had to go in to the office to give a student a couple of exams and to finish figuring my grades.  I did my filing (mostly into the circular file), and cleaned up the office for the end of the year.  As students had cleaned out their dorm rooms, I scavenged a few items from the dumpsters.  When I got home I mowed and trimmed at the rental house.  I cleaned the gutters too.  In the evening Stacey’s Dad and Stepmom arrived.  We had dinner–pork chops that Stacey had grilled.

Saturday Stacey was in the LaGrange Appreciation Days parade, riding in our fire department’s ladder truck.  We all went down and watched the brief event.  While we were waiting, I tried getting BIF shots of the numerous chimney swifts.

I took maybe 50 shots, of which these were the best.  1/1000 s is probably too slow a shutter speed.

I got some nontarget species–common grackle and European starling (worm in beak).

We’re awfully proud of our ladder truck.  Clay and Stacey in the cab. 

This squab fell out of the nest, one that I’m tracking for Nestwatch.  We’re keeping Boots indoors.  It was on top of the wood furnace by nightfall.

In the afternoon I drove up through Iowa and over into Illinois for a canoe and kayak demonstration day.  Boy, did they have the proverbial boatload of them.  I test drove several kayaks.  It was a lot of fun.  I ended up buying the Ride 135 Angler  by Wilderness Systems.  See it here.  It’s well equipped with fishing hardware, and it really hauled across the lake.  Mine is “spruce” in color, much like my truck.  I strapped in on top of the Tracker’s convenient roof rack.  Some of the straps hummed in the wind all the way home. 

Sunday morning we went to Stacey’s graduation.  It was a good one, as QU graduations go.  The faculty speaker was a good one. 

Stacey in her cap, gown and hood.  For the record, she’s getting an MTS, Master of Theological Studies.  Stacey with the Theology faculty.  The tall guy gave the graduation speech.

My colleague Kim Hale (winner of the teaching award), me and some of our students: David Phillips, Jon Thoele, Angie and Emily Hermesmeyer.

Phil and Rhonda took us out to lunch, then headed back to Indiana.  We did some shopping before going home.  I spent the afternoon building a wheel carrier for the kayak out of a golf bag cart I had picked up at a yard sale for $2. 

Monday I went back to work on the dog kennel.  I was twisting wire and reinforcing for a couple of hours when I decided heavier wire would be better.  I went to Farm and Home and spotted a much better idea: a hog gate.  I brought one home, cut it to length with the angle grinder and wired it into place, saving myself hours of work I had planned to do.  He may break out again, but it won’t be through that. 

We leave on vacation Wednesday.  Hence, I don’t know exactly when the next entry will be issued.

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