Tuesday I went in to my office and got a lot of little stuff done. I took a walk to the 18th Street bridge over the railroad tracks to find out what had made burrows I had seen there a month ago. Turns out it was bees. Now I have to catch one and figure out what they are. There are also a lot of nice ant lion pits there. A storm was moving in so I got out and ran my errands. I picked up some crickets and mice at the pet store. I also got a new light for the aquarium. It’s kind of a black light–makes our living room look like an opium den. It rained like mad all the way home.
This female common whitetail was sunning as the storm approached, or trying to.
Wednesday I helped Stacey load some stuff donated to her thrift store. It nearly filled the back of the truck. I changed the oil on the Taurus and Echo. I got a new shepherd’s hook from Orscheln’s and rehung my bird feeders. I also got an ax handle to go with an old double-bladed head I had gotten at a garage sale. Of course, I had to modify the handle to get it to fit. I needed my draw knife, which only took a half hour to find. After I had the handle solidly affixed and the blade sharpened. I used it to fell a small black locust that had died in the back yard. The experience was about what I expected: difficult and exhausting. I spent the rest of the afternoon as a vidiot, playing both Guitar Hero and Wii Fit.
Thursday was chainsaw day. First I cut up the tree in the back yard. I took the butt log and chopped it into sections to make bird houses according to plans in my new book. I didn’t finish them, but got all the chainsaw work done. Second, I began chopping down a boxelder maple at the rental house. It’s half dead and constantly shedding branches. I hauled two loads of brush to the brush dump, and a small load of firewood home. It still has the two largest branches intact. While I was hauling brush I went down to the river. I saw some minnows and fish jumping. After the chainsawing was done I took my rods down there and tried the usual spots. I caught the world’s smallest white bass. I was about to leave, then I decided I should try the spot across the canal in the lee of the lock wall, where I’d seen some activity earlier. It wasn’t long before I had a bite, and I knew it wasn’t a white bass. It turned out to be a foot-long flathead catfish. That kind of made my day. I turned him loose. I kept fishing and hooked a large fish which turned out to be a smallmouth buffalo. Haven’t caught one of those in many years. Finally, I caught a white bass of keeper size. I didn’t have a stringer, so I put him in the bed of the truck and drove home. I dropped him in a rain barrel in the back yard, looking nearly dead. I grabbed more stuff and headed back down to the river. I only caught two more small white bass. Two guys encroached on my spot too. Things had really slowed down and I went home. I was pretty exhausted anyway.
I didn’t have my camera when I saw a deer standing in the grass down by the tracks or when the train went by that had the big fins from the wind generators they make in Iowa. At one point when I went in the house for something I heard a fairly serious ambulance call over Stacey’s pager. I saw the life flight chopper heading back for Quincy not long afterward. We learned later an Amish boy had been run over by a wagon. He didn’t survive.
When Savannah got home she was looking at some birds in the back yard when she exclaimed, “Hey, there’s a fish in that bucket!” I filleted it later.
Friday morning I went back to the same spot, but there was a barge locking through. I thought I’d wait until it passed, but the pushboat stayed there, churning up the water forever. The fish weren’t biting. I moved to some different spots and found one where the minnows were thick. I caught a small largemouth bass there. Looked like the same one I caught last week. I gave up and went home. I had a headache from the previous day’s efforts. Savannah and I were watching a documentary and we both fell asleep. I felt better afterward, but still didn’t accomplish much the rest of the day. I discovered the stand-up freezer wouldn’t shut properly. Our appliance guy came over, twisted the door a bit, and told me to defrost it. Whew! No need to buy a new one. He didn’t even charge us for a service call.
Saturday it rained hard, at least in the morning. We went garage saling, but didn’t get a lot of stuff. I got some decent picture frames. Stacey got a pot holder weaver for 25 cents. It kept her entertained for the rest of the weekend. Sunday morning we defrosted the freezer. We threw out a bunch of stuff. There was an awful lot of ice in there, which made it take several hours to thaw. Now it’s much less crowded in there. I got inspired and began scanning all my photo albums. It goes fairly fast, but I have so many of them. I don’t take the photos out of the pages, so I get multiple photos done with each scan, and I haven’t had too much trouble with reflections. Now all my old stuff will be digitally archived. Savannah had to work at Orscheln’s most of the day, then a shift at the pool in the evening. It struck me that at one job, her primary task is to yell at people, and at the other she is not allowed to. One problem she has is that, being young, attractive and female, she gets hit on by creepazoids that come in the store. It’s hard to be polite and say, “Get lost!”