October 14 – Street faires

Tuesday the second 8-week session of classes began.  That meant I picked up the Galapagos class for one hour a week, for a total of 5 classes I’m teaching now, a personal record.  That’s 20 contact hours–no wonder I’m swamped!  In FYE the very first thing I did was bring the whole snake cage and drop a mouse in.  Most of them had never seen a snake eat before.  When the snake struck and wrapped itself around the mouse, the students erupted in screams.  It swallowed the whole thing right in front of them.

Wednesday I had book club, which went pretty well.  We started the new book, and it seems to resonate with most people.  On the way home I saw a near accident.  Two cars were next to each other in the two lanes in front of me.  The car on the right swerved toward the center line.  The other swerved to avoid the first car and got into repeated fishtailing pattern.  I thought they were going to end up in the median, but they finally straightened it out.  Probably needed a change of underwear at home.  There was a bright full moon out, and when I got home I got out the bazooka lens combined with the 1.4x teleconverter.  I should have gotten out the better tripod, but the results were good enough.


It’s been a week for exams, so I’ve been writing them, giving them, and grading them.  Glad that’s over for awhile.  Thursday morning I had frost on the back window of my car, and it wasn’t even supposed to frost until the NEXT night.  Our extended summer is apparently over. 

Friday I had meetings all afternoon.  Stacey’s Dad, sister and stepmom came over and we went out to dinner.  Saturday we went to the Arts Fair in Hannibal.  There were lots of booths set up along the street and lots of people, more of both than ever.  We saw many friends, some working their booths, others wandering the streets.  We didn’t buy a lot–mostly food.  Fresh roasted peanuts are REALLY good, especially when still hot.  I had a barbequed knackworst, mostly because it was free.  It was the first I ever had, and it was pretty good.  From there we went to the Pike County Colorfest in Louisiana.  It was more of the same, the main street having been blocked off and lined with booths hawking all manner of stuff.  There were a couple of booths selling Ecuadorian stuff.  It was neat, but I can get the real thing a lot cheaper in a couple of months.  I stopped at Stark’s Nursery on the way out of town, but their clearance area didn’t hold anything I wanted.

Sunday morning the relatives left for Indiana.  I went out to Lowell’s.  I walked around on my standard turkey hunt route, but saw none.  We fished one round of the lake.  It was cool and very windy, and hard to control the boat.  Lowell caught a crappie and I caught nothing.  We got off the main lake and fished all the smaller ponds.  I caught two bass.  We had lunch at Johnnie’s gas station.  The convenience store has pretty good food.  We went back and filleted all the fish we’d accumulated the last couple of weeks.  I set up my camera on Lowell’s tripod and took pictures of birds coming to his feeder.  I was playing with my controls and discovered that the ISO had been set on 125.  I had been assuming it was on auto.  This may explain some of the problems I’ve been having.  By looking at the EXIF data on my files, it appears the ISO setting has been that way since July 4.   Arrrrgggghhhh.

A few mushrooms are still hanging on.

This painted lady was trying to get its last bits of sun and food.

Goldfinch cracking seeds. 

Tufted titmouse ready to launch.

Monday was largely uneventful for me.  Stacey, however, found a baby snake at work and freaked out her colleagues by picking it up.  It was too cold to do any harm.  She brought it home in a cool whip container, but the holes in the lid were too big.  It escaped in the basement while she was looking for a new container.  She had to scrabble through the clutter in the basement to find it.  Once he warmed up, he was angry and ready for action.  So he bit her.  Fortunately, he’s too small to cause any harm.  Juvenile snakes are hard to identify.  I have to get it to my office for a definitive determination. 
Angry young snake.  Appears to be yellow-bellied racer, Coluber constrictor.

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