February 12 – Orchid show

Tuesday afternoon I had a late meeting at main campus, but miraculously hit green lights all the way down Broadway out of Quincy.  I picked up Stacey at home and we went to the Smokehouse to meet the camera club for dinner.  Afterward we walked two doors down to the art gallery for our meeting.  Dan led a primer on Photoshop and we had a nice show and share. 

Wednesday afternoon I took my Environmental Science class to Harris Corp.  A friend works there and has implemented many changes that have saved energy, waste and water.  I was impressed with the diversity of their efforts.  Also, it’s not often I get to see the inside of a factory.  They make radio and TV transmitters.  They look like kind of like oversized refrigerators, and each one is worth half a million dollars.

Thursday morning the sun was shining, and I drove down to the riverfront for a few minutes to photograph eagles.  One flew in front of me and landed in a smaller tree.  I pulled up next to it and got some good close-ups.  On the way to work there was a sparkly rime frost on all the trees and bushes.  It’s really too bad I didn’t have time to stop and take pics.  It still made for a lovely drive.  After my classes were over I graded some papers, then left for St. Louis.  I stopped right before getting on the interstate to photograph a hawk in a tree.  She was very cooperative.  Too bad the sun wasn’t shining.  Somewhere along the way I saw an opossum wandering around on the side of the road.  Not a good sign in broad daylight–probably a roadkill about to happen.  I got to the hotel right on time, and many of our crew were already there.  Our consultant had not yet arrived, having been snowed in at Washington DC.   They decided to go to a fancy Italian restaurant, and I was OK with that.  Feeling adventurous, I had sphaghettini for the first time.  Since it was pasta with four different types of marine invertebrates, I knew I’d like it.  I was expecting the calamari to be in rings from the tentacles of a larger cephalopod.  Instead, there were entire, small octopi in there.  They were yummy.  We rolled ourselves out of there (Trattoria Marcella?), went back to the hotel and crashed.

From Winter 2010

Eagle eye.

From Winter 2010

Hawk watch.  I parked in a highly illegal fashion to get this.

Friday morning we started bright and early interviewing candidates for the VPAA position.  The proceedings are more-or-less confidential, but I think I can say they went very well.  We were served breakfast and lunch in our conference room, which was very convenient.  We finished in midafternoon, and I had time to run to Bass Pro Shops.  So I did.  It was only a few minutes away.  I got another Rick Clunn baitcasting reel, as I really like the one I have, and they were still on clearance.  I think I’ll sell my Pflueger on eBay or something.   When I got back to the hotel, we decided to go eat dinner at the Ameristar Casino, which is right across the street from Bass Pro.  It took a little longer getting there this time because there was a major crunchberry on I-70.  We ended up at the seafood place, where I had a combination sea food pan roast, which is really a soup.  It was delicious, and with more invertebrates! 

Saturday morning we interviewed three more candidates.  Things went well again, and we had no trouble narrowing the pool.  After we wrapped up, I drove to the Missouri Botanical Garden.  I wouldn’t normally go there in the winter, but they are having their special orchid display.  It costs a little more, but it was worth it.  The variety is amazing.  I had some trouble with my flash, but found ways to compensate.  Lots of people were photographing the flowers.  After the orchid fest I went into the Climatron to see the tropical species.  My camera was cold from the walk there, and the lenses fogged up immediately.  It was a while before I could take anything at all.  There was some good stuff in bloom, and I went to the temperate greenhouse afterward.  I love their little section with carnivorous plants.  I took a brief walk through the rose garden/house and hit the road.  There were lots of deer in the fields adjacent to the highway.  It was dusk.  It’s been a long, cold winter, and there’s snow on the ground.  Those deer must be hungry.  Stacey, Savannah and Gretchen were happy to see me when I got home. 

From Winter 2010

Orchids: click through to see more.

From Winter 2010

Rose.  Click through to see other flowers.

Sunday morning we exchanged Valentine’s day gifts.  Stacey made muffins for breakfast, then it was time for cleaning.  Sadly, our Tokay gecko, Ember, disappeared from her terrarium about a week ago.  I noticed that the crickets I was throwing in were not being eaten.  When I checked her shelter, it was empty.  She must have finally figured out how to push the lid open.  My faulty assumption was that since she never had, she never would.  We did a thorough search of the bedroom, but turned up nothing.  I’m sure we’ll find her dried up in some nook or cranny one day.  I took her cage down, cleaned it up and stored it.  We moved one of the snakes out into the dining room to make more space in our bedroom. 

Monday morning Stacey and I ran errands.  We replaced batteries in some of the SCBAs at the fire dept.  The sun was shining, and we went down to the riverfront.  The eagles weren’t too cooperative, but a couple flew by and I got a decent shot or two.  We had lunch at the Mexican place.

From Winter 2010


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