September 2013–Sabbatical time

My output here has slowed down lately.  That’s surprising since I should have lots of time available during my sabbatical.  It’s been a lot like summer break–things just appear and fill up the time.  Fortunately, I have been able to fit some fun things in with the various types of work.  

I enrolled in 100 Missouri Miles, wherein one attempts to log 100 miles of activity in Missouri between June 1 and the end of the year.  The Governor created the program to celebrate Missouri being chosen as the number one state for trails.  I’ve been tracking my outings with an android app (My Tracks), which is pretty handy.  There are a variety of activities that count, and a secondary goal for me was to do all of them.  Of course, paddling and bicycling were easy, as were walking, running and hiking.  To get the riding in, I got on an old nag at the Relay for Life rally here in Canton and was led around the lot.  It was a bit embarrassing, but the money was for a good cause and I logged the fraction of a mile I wanted.  Stacey got a good shot of me hamming it up.  I got the swimming in during a fire department training.  We were practicing water rescues.  In between events I was doing laps.  The only activity remaining is rolling.  I’ve been planning for awhile to have Big Guy pull me while I roll on a skateboard.  Though dangerous and crazy, it’s going to happen.  Soon.  I only have about a mile to go to make my 100.
I took a bike ride at Wakonda State Park.  I was surprised by all the butterflies, and especially by the red lobelia in bloom.  I got some good shots of insects.  Speaking of bugs, I’ve been shooting a lot of macros of insects around the house.  There will be plenty of those in the gallery below.
Stacey and I took the RV up to Keosauqua, Iowa, and stayed in their state park.  The park is small, but nice.  Sadly, bicycles are not allowed on their trails; however, I took a nice kayak float from Keosauqua to Bentonsport.  I saw lots of wildlife, and benefited from a decent current and tailwind.  We’re going back for the fall festival next month.
I’ve been catching up on firewood cutting and fishing at Lowell’s.  The resident green heron has been cooperative with photography.  The woods have not been kind to me, however, as I got a bad case of chiggers a few weeks ago, and more recently was bitten by dozens of tiny ticks.  You’d think I would learn.  I was squirrel hunting when I got the ticks.  One of the most curious things that happened was that I was nearly run over by a deer.  I was walking a trail and heard a bark.  I rounded a corner and saw a small doe break from the edge of the woods coming right at me.  I dodged toward a tree.  She saw me and turned the other way.  I didn’t think my air gun would be adequate firepower.  I remain disappointed in the air gun’s accuracy, as I had shots at three squirrels but killed none.  
During the recent dry spell we had a rash of grass and brush fires.  One ate an entire afternoon for both Stacey and me.  I ran the Polaris Ranger the whole time.  Though agile, it is somewhat lacking in water firepower.  That’s frustrating when you’re trying to put out burning trees.  We did get the fire extinguished once bigger water arrived.  We also had several smaller grass fires and a burning tree, which we gave an enema.  We are ever so thankful for the recent rains.
August photos
September photos

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