April 25, 2013 – Spring arrives, finally

It’s been a long time since my last entry, which had eagles and snow in the photos.  Winter held us in its grip for too long this year, and most spring events are about two weeks behind schedule.  Consequently, I still have some wintry events to share with you.  First, I took some macro shots of a melting icicle.  For the maximum effect, you need to click through to the online gallery, then hit the right arrow to see those that follow.

Drip, drip.  From March 2013
We were graced with large flocks of American White Pelicans all along the Mississippi River in our area.  I was able to get many shots, but I’ll share just the most unique one.  There are more in the online gallery.
Against the snow.  From March 2013
I’m not a big fan of European Starlings by any means, as they are one of our most egregious invasive exotic birds, but they can be pretty close up.
Get off my feeder.  From March 2013
We took a brief vacation to Indiana in the RV over a Easter weekend.  We were pretty cozily parked in Stacey’s Mom’s driveway.  We were able to visit with nearly all relatives from that side of the family.  John Whetstone and I got together for some primitive guitar practice.  We all went out to a country diner and hear a live band after dinner.  And, of course, there were obligatory visits to Dairylicious.  The first sign of spring was a group of crocuses in the yard. 

Croaki.  From March 2013
Spring floods brought waterfowl to our shores, and by shores I mean fields full of water.  Normally, we get a variety of ducks, mergansers and others.  Unique this year were a couple of Great Egrets hanging about “The Slough” downtown.

Ready, swallow!  From April 2013
Spring wildflowers finally began to appear, starting with the typical early bloomers.  Various excursions with my students have provided opportunities.  Click through to see a few more.
Spring Beauties, because there are no spring uglies.  From April 2013
Stacey is now managing the Lewis Street Playhouse.  One of my buddies from the camera club, Dan Morrison, and I went down there to take some photos so that Stacey could have some better promotional material.  Most of mine weren’t too great, but I kind of like this window view.
Round windows.  From April 2013
We endured a severe storm, resulting in flooding and high winds.  We got to enjoy both, with water backing up into our basement, and a tree falling on our fence.  The fence we’ve had up for less than a year.  

Black locust down.  From April 2013
Although morel mushrooms have been in short supply, one of my students found these false morels by the stream near campus.  I was excited, not having seen any for about 20 years.  
These are toxic, but I’ve eaten them.  From April 2013
I spotted some mating bee flies while hiking with my freshman class.  We had plenty of wisecracks to share as I photographed them.
I’m an insect pornographer.  From April 2013
Most were not too perturbed by this Northern Water Snake, as we didn’t see it until we were 20 feet above on the Cedar Creek Trail bridge.
From April 2013
As we hiked back over the Tom Awerkamp bridge (18th St., Quincy), I thought the railroad tracks made a nice perspective effect.  I like it better in monochrome.
From April 2013
One night while leaving north campus to go to main campus, I saw 6 deer feeding under a neighbor’s crabapple tree.  I stopped and took some shots with the old Panasonic camera.  
Clearly, some kind of agonistic encounter is going on.  From April 2013
Incidentally, I was on my way to the awards banquet of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, who honored me as their Faculty of the Month for April.