October 14 – Back to work

Tuesday I went in to the office and did actual work.  I got some lectures done, and am largely prepared for next week.  I also ran some errands, including getting a mattress for the antique sofa bed.  That night I had a Canton Camera Club meeting.  The usual people showed up, and we had a great time at the Mexican restaurant.  I showed nearly a hundred photos from Ruby.  Most of the others had something to show, and many were quite good. 

Wednesday I really didn’t feel like going to the office.  I stayed home and did dishes (our dishwasher is temporarily out).  I cleaned up the sofa bed and tried out the mattress.  It’s 4 inches too wide, which I knew, but it works, and it was a deal.  It’s fairly comfortable too.  I went to Orscheln’s to get some springs to replace some missing ones.  I went out to photograph an old barn, as I thought the fall colors would complement it, but the right kinds of vegetation were not really present.  I took a few anyway.  I loaded the dehydrator with the jerky Savannah and I had prepared on Sunday.  I cleaned all the snake and lizard cages, and the cockroach cage, which I moved into the basement.  They had all summer in the garage and they only produced two babies.  I don’t know why the population is crashing. 

Thursday I stayed home and did lots of odd jobs.   I finished off the report on the research we did in Ruby.  About mid-morning I was outside dinking around and noticed I had not put out the trash can with the deer bits in it.  The truck had already come by our house, but it still had  to come back and do the other side of the street.  I hung around until the truck came.  Stacey called while I was waiting.  Then right when the truck was pulling up a guy that was at Stacey’s meeting called to ask me to give a talk to his group.  Meanwhile, I was dragging the trash can across the street, trying to talk to this guy, and trying to indicate to the trash man what I was doing.  I had to have th guy call me back.  The irony is that hardly ever does anyone call me. 

Friday morning I got up early and went out to Lowell’s.  It was doing something between fog and drizzle–frizzle, I guess.  I sat in the same stand as last time.  I saw the same cat again, but coming from a different direction.  It was pretty dark at first, and I couldn’t have shot, even though it was legal time.  Once again I had a 10 mph wind from the north, but I was prepared for cold.  I even had hot coffee.  I rattled for awhile, but never saw a deer from the stand.  I got down at about 9 and walked around.  At least it was quiet, as everything was wet.  I searched about and found one of my lost arrows.  I think it was the one that killed the deer, as it had some hair on the broadhead.  I saw a couple of deer on the west side, but they saw me first.  I went in and warmed up, talked to Lowell for awhile and went home.  I saw that one of my friends was asking on Facebook for volunteers to help roof his house.  After lunch I went over and shoveled shingles for a few hours.  It was backbreaking work, but we got a lot done.  I had to go, as my in-laws were coming to visit.  I got home just before they arrived.  When Stacey got home, we went out to dinner.  She had bought an air bed that we set up later.  We are finally able to have overnight guests!  We only put that off about five years.

Saturday we went to the Hannibal Folk Life Festival.  We seem to do this every year, as it is a weekend that Rhonda has off, and that’s when they come to visit.  We hardly buy anything there, except junk food.  Let’s see: kettle corn, fried pork rinds, homemade root beer, pork sandwich, roasted peanuts.  I think that covers it.  We did, as usual, see some of our friends there.  Afterward we went to Sawyer’s Creek, a tiny theme park with gift shops.  It’s been closed for about two years, and they were selling off the inventory of the gift shops.  We didn’t buy anything there.  Oh, if you want to own Sawyer’s Creek, you can probably get it for about a million dollars.  It goes up for auction soon.  It appeared to be in pretty good shape.  That afternoon I did little jobs around the house.  Stacey and I raked up the crabapples, which are getting fairly rotten.  I practiced shooting my bow, and tested some of my broadheads, with results as follows:  three-blade mechanical, low and right; two-blade mechanical, left; old Muzzy 4-blade I found 10 years ago, dead on. 

Sunday I raked up the rest of the crabapples and took them to the brush dump.  There was some wood in it, but I didn’t feel like pulling it out, and I have nowhere to store it.  Joe LaCount came over and we changed the serpentine belt on the Lil Egg.  It was a minor challenge.  I took him down and showed him the Honda 70.  He used to work on them, surprisingly.  I spent some more time photographing butterflies in the back yard.  There must have been at least 15 commas, all foraging on the decaying crabapples.  Stacey wants to get rid of that tree, as it is a pain to rake up the fruit, but it’s good for the wildlife, and gives me a chance for some late season butterfly photography.  There was also a rare mourning cloak, a red-spotted purple, and a couple of red admirals.  I think I saw more butterflies there than I did all summer. 

Monday we caught another mouse.  It sure makes me wonder why we even have a cat.  He catches plenty of rodents–outdoors.  It also was the beginning of ladybug season.  Every year at this time, buildings are invaded by Asian lady beetles, Harmonia axiridis.  Ours were coming in mostly through the basement door.  I taped off the seams with masking tape, and set up Savannah’s sticky light trap.  It seems to be working.  It was my first day back to live teaching after 5 months off.  A friend said, “It’s like going to jail.”  It wasn’t that bad, in part because I love my job.  And I did miss my students.  Another friend said that there are only 8 weeks until the next break.  That’s quite an up side!  My classes are very small (4 in one and 5 in another).  For ecology lab we went out and marked 50 grasshoppers, then released them.  That’s always a fun exercise.  One of my former students, in his fourth year of medical school, came to talk to our current students that night.  I learned a whole lot about getting into med school. 

Tuesday I took the environmental science class out to Lowell’s.  We did a little walking tour and dug up some big bluestem.  We’ll plant them in the North Campus prairie on Thursday.  I left from my office to go to St. Louis for a MONEP meeting.  The speaker was really good.  He’s taking photos in Forest Park every day for a year.  Both his pics and commentary were quite good.  I showed some of my Ruby pics in the show and share.  They went over pretty well.

Wednesday I slept in a little, and had ecology class again.  We went out to catch as many grasshoppers as possible.  We did pretty well, but partly because the Bio 150 class was helping us.  I did some office work and went home. 

Here’s a poem Ron wrote in honor of my deer kill.  I think Lowell put him up to it.


Run, Bambi, run 

Stay hidden and out of the sun 

Don’t forget to tell mom and dad 

Or your day c
ould be very sad

Because the Great White Hunter is roaming around 

And rumor has it he’ll even shoot at a sound 

So walk softly and carry a big stick 

And when you see him, hit him a lick 

You ask what is his name 

It’s Captain Coelho of fishing and hunting fame 

If you’re lucky, as he’s going up the tree 

One of the steps will break free 

And he’ll fall on the ground with a real thump 

Then rush over and with your stick, give him a bump 

Run, Bambi, run whatever you do 

And don’t forget to stay out of his view 

Your Buddy,

Joe’s Fishing Mentor

This week’s photos are here:


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