November 25 – Thanksgiving Break

Tuesday was the last day of FYE.  Hooray!  One less class.  In the afternoon Jarrod helped me process the rest of the deer meat.  We ground some burger, prepared another batch of jerky, and cleaned up the rest for freezing.  Whew!  He had brought some of his toys.  We took his paintball gun up to the woods.  It’s a high-end unit, not your bargain basement paintball gun.  I could hit trees at 30 yards, and with no sights.  It was a lot of fun.  Savannah was pretty accurate with it too.  After dinner we played with his Wii.  I had never used one before.  Some of the games were really fun and others were a trial to figure out. 

Wednesday morning I finished up some chainsawing and moving firewood.  Stacey’s Mom and I went down to Hannibal and had lunch with Stacey.  We played tourist afterward, visiting the downtown, Lover’s Leap, Rockcliff mansion, the lighthouse and Cardiff Hill.

Rockcliff mansion, Carolyn at the side door.

Lover’s Leap; the Cardiff Hill Lighthouse.

On Thanksgiving we mostly lounged about the house until noon or so, when we had the feast.  It was traditional turkey with many side dishes.  I ate to the point of near explosion.  I didn’t even have dinner that night.  I think we watched a movie and played Wii a lot that day. 

A flock of cedar waxwings landed in our trees out front.  Sure would like to see them closer to the ground.

On Black Friday, Stacey, Carolyn and Savannah went shopping–not crazy early though.  Jarrod and I went fishing at Lowell’s.  We stopped at the bait shop in La Grange.  Miraculously, he was open again (following the flood) and had minnows.  I thought we were really going to slay some crappie.  We started at the floating dock on the big lake.  A couple hours’ effort yielded not even a bite.  We moved to the catfish pond.  Eventually, Jarrod caught a nice bass.  We were going to go to lunch in Durham.  When I got in the car, I said, “Oh, man.  What’s that smell.  I stepped in dog poo!”  Or words to that effect.  I got out and rubbed it off in the grass as well as I could while Jarrod was cracking up. He said, “Take a picture!”  That hasn’t happened to me in a long time.  The little diner in Durham was closed again, but the grocery/deli was open.  They had photos on a bulletin board of various fish caught and bucks shot.  They had a couple of coyotes and a large brown canid.  I heard the lady tell another guy it was a wolf/coyote hybrid.  I whispered to Lowell, “I’m pretty sure that’s a dog.”  We got gumbo and took it back to Lowell’s.  We got on the pontoon boat and tried all the submerged trees, but couldn’t raise a bite.  At one point a turkey flew across the lake and landed in the trees.  Pretty wild.  It got kind of cold, and around three we quit.  On the way out to Lowell’s we had seen two bald eagles, and on the way home we spooked one that was eating on a roadkill at the North Fabius River bridge near Monticello.  It flew across the road and we almost hit it.  It was a juvenile; its head and tail mottled brown and white. 

We didn’t get skunked, and the guest caught the fish.  A small victory for Lowell and I as guides.

Sunday Jarrod and Carolyn left at about noon.  I ate leftovers and took a nap.  Later I took the muzzleloader out to the Stookey’s.  Rather than climb into the treestand, I sat in the woods in a chair.  It sprinkled on and off–not good for a black powder muzzleloader.  I didn’t see any deer and went home shortly after sunset.  If you go to you can make a Simpson’s character in your own likeness.  Mine looks like this:

I can be a dork in any genre.

Sunday I stayed home while the snow fell.  I got a lot of reading and grading done.  It cost me about two grand, but I couldn’t resist having my glorious image put up in Times Square:

You think maybe I should have combed my hair?

Actually, I made this spoof at a really cool site, Photofunia, which Savannah showed to me.  I made a bunch of others too, some pretty funny.  I’ll spare you the rest except for one…

…because I always wanted to be a Jedi, and this is as close as I’ll get.

Tuesday we got the final itinerary for the Galapagos trip.  It’s completely different from the original plan.  I was a bit miffed, as we won’t be going to an Island I really wanted to see.  Also, we’ll be visiting some of the same places we went last year.  After work I had time to get into the woods for a couple of hours with the muzzle loader.  I didn’t see any deer, or much of anything else.  After the sun went down I saw the crescent moon and Jupiter and Venus in the southwestern skies.  I had missed them the night before, when they came really close to each other.  It was overcast.  They still inspired me enough to get out the camera, tripod, and big lens for some moon shots. 

This one turned out pretty well, even at full resolution.  It’s cold work though.

I discovered on accident that if you overexpose the crescent moon, the dark portion becomes visible, and the crescent looks like it’s on fire!  Adds new meaning to “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”  (Pink Floyd reference)

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