July 30 – Rain, rain, go away

Tuesday it must have been Take Your Husband to Work Day.  I went with Stacey to her office.  In the morning I mostly hung out and read a book.  I did visit the thrift store and pick up a few heavy cotton shirts for doing outside work.  We had lunch at The Brick Oven, in downtown Hannibal, which really does have a brick oven.  I hadn’t had a calzone in a long time.  In the afternoon we went to Clarksville.  We did not take the last train.  I drove down highway 79, which is very scenic along the Mississippi.  The Salt River was high, fast and filling the surrounding fields.  While Stacey was in a meeting, I toured the downtown.  There is a block or two of artists shops with really neat stuff.  They weren’t all open, however, because of the flood.  They have no levee, so they built a big wall of sandbags.  It held, but I think some shops have not yet returned after clearing out.  They had some nice flower gardens.  I shot some bees and butterflies while waiting. 

They cut this path through the wall now that the flood is over.

Clouded sulfur.  They were all over the flower gardens.

There was a tremendous thunderstorm on our way home.  We had hail and high winds.  Some cars were pulling over to wait it out.  It was at its worst when we reached Hannibal.  As we made our way to Stacey’s office, the rainwater was coursing down the hilly streets, overwhelming the storm drains.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  When Stacey came back to the car she noticed a nail in our front tire.  We left it in and I drove home.  It didn’t seem to lose any pressure.

Wednesday morning it was still drizzling a bit.  I took the car in for new tires, as the front ones were getting bald.  I did the dog and cat run. 

They do have a million dollar view up there.

This tree frog was hunkered down on a log where we keep a potted plant by the front door.

I did some homework, then spent the afternoon working on my CafePress account.  I opened a premium shop (Show Me Joe’s Shop) and imported all the products from my basic shops into it.  I’m still tweaking it, but you can check it out here:


Thursday I went out to Lowell’s.  They had just picked blackberries the day before, so I only picked about a cup myself.  Fortunately, Lowell has been picking and saving them for me, and had about 8 pounds already.  We fished three rounds of the lake.  It wasn’t extremely fast action, but I caught about five.  At one point I hooked something really big, probably a catfish.  It was pulling out drag and having its way with me when the hook on my jighead broke.  That doesn’t happen often.   After lunch we did another round of the lake with no results.  We fished the catfish pond and I caught a bass of about 14 inches. 

A flock of geese came in to the lake while we were fishing.

The widow skimmer, now a weekly guest.

Friday I did the cats and dog run and started mowing the lawn.  Now there’s a giant gear wheel near the road which I assume was put there to act as a level, stable platform to put the trash can on.  I’ve never hit it before, but this time I nailed it.  It bent the 30-inch blade on my mower, costing myself about twenty bucks in that moment.  Of course, George had one for me, and I had him sharpen a chain for me while he was at it.  I got a few more jobs done outside before the day was over, then worked on my CafePress shop some more. I updated all my calendars and created a new one: The Roadkill Calendar.  I’ve been collecting the images for almost a year.  Friday night we went to a block party downtown.  It was fairly fun.  We mostly hung out with the firefighters, who had the fire trucks there to show the kids.  We got good food, and there was a bluegrass band playing most of the time.  I talked to friends and toured the art gallery.  A couple of painters I know were showing their work. 

I know my aviation freak friends will enjoy this, a helicopter down by the river.

Saturday we went to Hannibal for the swim championships.  We had to drop Savannah and her friend off early to warm up.  Stacey and I went to her office, the post office, a farmers market, and a diner for breakfast.  We went back to the pool, stayed in the air-conditioned area and read books nearly the entire time.  When Savannah had a race, I’d walk to the pool bleachers and watch it.  She did well in most of her events.  In breast stroke, she took third, which I think is the best she’s ever done in an individual event.  After looking at the results sheet, I saw that the two girls that beat her were 13 years old, but had swum in the 15-18 category, which is allowed.  So among 15-18 year-olds, Savannah was best.  Incredibly, Savannah’s team (Can-oka) won the meet again, for the 12th time in a row.  The win was not expected, as we have very few boys in the older categories.   Afterward we went to WalMart then a Chinese food place.

This is how one recovers from such a day.

Sunday I went for a short bike ride.  I did the dog and cats run, then rode around town looking for targets of opportunity.  I got so distracted I was out all morning.  I was watching a painted lady fly down the street.  It finally landed in someone’s yard.  I stopped and began to photograph it.  Eventually, a resident emerged from the house.  She was a very nice lady who seemed pleased to have me there.

The Painted Lady.  Look at the abdomen; she’s ovipositing on the sage.

A nice Common Buckeye.  The oregano plant was very attractive to bees, wasps and butterflies.

The Cabbage White.

Great Golden Digger Wasp.  One of my faves.

My first shot of a Eurasian collared dove.  Looks like a mourning dove, but note black collar at nape of neck and squared off tail.

Stacey had a rare Sunday morning off.  She has quit her little country church.  I would say it was because they didn’t seem to adequately value her services, but it is not my story to tell.  Savannah had to work the 1 to 4 shift in her usual role as lifeguard at the pool.  Most of what she does is yell at bratty children who are breaking the rules, but on this day she actually performed a rescue.  A boy in her own class at school went off the diving board without knowing how to swim.  He did “distressed swimming” for awhile, but made no progress toward the side of the pool.&
nbsp; Savannah, recognizing the situation, sprung into action.  She dove from the lifeguard tower and pulled him to the edge of the pool.  I guess he laid on the concrete for a long while recovering.  It was quite the adrenaline rush for Savannah.

Monday morning I went down the street to the cicada killer aggregation.  There were more males than there had been last week, and they were busy chasing each other around.  When I could catch them perching I got some decent results.

Isn’t he cute?

A Tiger Swallowtail showed up, but it had a big chunk of forewing missing.  Luckily, another appeared, having perfect wings.

Twin tigers.

Lateral view of Mr. Perfect.

This is a shot I’ve been waiting about two years to get.

This big orb weaver was wrapping up her latest victim.  You can see the web coming out of the spinnerets.

Before I looked at these I bet Savannah I had taken about 300 frames.  It ended up being 302.  In the afternoon Savannah had to work.  I rode my bike down to the pool.  It was the hottest day of the year so far (97 F, high humidity).  The pool water felt good, and I practiced snorkeling again.  It was only moderately embarrassing to Savannah, as there weren’t too many people left at the pool. 

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