October 21 – Fall wonders

The Hannibal Folk Life Festival was really big this year.  The weather was great, and it was a perfect day to ride the motorcycle.  I bought some stuff from the Leather Man, but I was most impressed by the hot roasted chestnuts at the Missouri Forestry Council’s booth.  The guy even gave me some large, unroasted ones to plant.  Of course, I passed them on to Lowell, who has already put them in the dry ground.  They’re Chinese chestnuts, of course, our native American chestnut having been wiped out by the blight.  Normally, I’d hate to introduce an exotic species, but they’re not terribly invasive.  And taste-wise they were awesome, unbelievably sweet. 

Now I know why “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” are such a big deal.

My ecology class did their bluegill sampling lab out at Lowell’s.  It was the most students we’ve ever had.  It was difficult to field enough rods (hard to believe, between me and Lowell), but that left a couple of students to take data.  I posted a bunch of pics on Facebook.  Here’s one of Heather.  She’s a genuine good kid.  Her bass didn’t count for our lab, but it was a nice catch.  I stayed after all the students went home and filleted all the bigger bluegills, plus the bass leftover from last weekend that had been waiting in the fish cage.

Heather lands a lunker.

Tonight we had ideal conditions for photographing the moon.  It was clear and still, and the Harvest Moon was at it’s fullest.  You can’t do it in the summer time here because the high humidity causes too much haze in the atmosphere.  It wasn’t too cold tonight either.  I hadn’t tried it in a long time.  I’ve learned some things since the last time, and I got good results much faster. 

Missouri Harvest Moon

Technical details: Canon 40D, Sigma 100-500 zoom with 1.4x teleconverter, remote shutter, mirror lockup,  F/11, 1/200s, ISO 200, manual focus with magnified live view.  Image stabilization off.  ~25% crop.

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