Sunday, August 30, 2009

Church on Sunday

I like country churches. This is St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, outside of Ruma, IL; built 1906, although the congregation was founded in th 1870s.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Along Came an Argiope

Lives in a web attached to the pump house, and has resided there for 4 days now, plump and happy, in a web measuring 24 inches across. The male makes the zigzag part of the web, the female the rest. Called a Black and Yellow Argiope, Argiope aurantia, it is common and harmless but about 3 inches long and is dressed to the nines.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Doin' the Wild Thing

Such goin's-on, on the garage wall, in broad daylight -- these ASSASSIN BUGS (thank you for the comments that helped me make a positive ID). I liked their attitude. They didn't care who saw them or knew, nor what anyone thought; they weren't scared of me and the camera, just intent on their very important task. Reminds me of [censored]. I hope it was fun for them and wished them well and to be fruitful and multiply. Specifically these are "sailback" or "dinosaur" bugs; Arilus cristatus in Latin. I show 'em in silhouette so as to be discreet.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Robidoux Springs

You can't see but the bubbles, but there's a scuba diver in the water, and these kids wanted desperately to see if he was ever going to come back up, and how cool it would be if he didn't; this is the diver (I had permission to take his picture) who also had an underwater camera. He told me it was murky down there from recent rain, no good for photos that day -- but there's a huge and complicated cave under there that cave-certified divers can explore. This is at Robidoux Springs in Waynesville, MO, one of several scuba-diving spots in the great state of Missourah.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gorgeous Trout

South of St. James, MO, Maramec (sic) Springs Park is a trout hatchery as well as the home of the most beautiful blue spring I ever saw, emitting 94 million gallons of water a day, and a home to thousands upon thousands of happy rainbow trout, so many you could pert'near walk across their backs to the other side of the water. I was enchanted and will go back. One can fish for trout there a bit farther downstream. Cost you $4/car to get in. Most worthwhile central-Missouri $4 I ever spent. I been hangin around Crawford and Pulaski counties in search of really exciting fishing sites. Didn't have my fly rod along, but I'll be flyin back here with my rod and trout stamp pretty soon. That's a leaf floatin' on top of the water at right (it's gettin on in August, some leaves already detaching).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Homemade Rifle Range

To build this I could use only what was in my garage, & only what I could lift. The foundation had to be weatherproof and windproof and require no digging. So I placed 4 concrete blocks on end. Over these I stuck five-gallon plastic paint buckets, jamming them tightly or less tightly to make their tops level. On top of these went a sheet of plastic, about ¼ inch thick, weighted with barbell weights, those chintzy ones with concrete centers. (Demetrius the Gardener became a health nut late in life, too late, and left them in my garage. But his spirit – “make do, or do without” -- helped guide me in this construction project.) More paint buckets on top of stacked weights brace the bale of straw which is the backstop. The photo shows one bale; I need another to bring the backstop to the best height. But that’s all I will need to buy. I used to buy 6 bales and build a pyramid of straw. Precip made them rot and collapse. I wanted something better.

Photos show the the finished version, the foundation (left), and the rear view. Tell me I did good!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On Your Honor

You are on your honor when you select, weigh, bag, and pay for your own tomatoes at this unattended (sometimes) tomato stand off Hwy FF. The sign points the way, and that's .75 per lb.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Favorite Fishing Access

Six a.m. found me on the Big River at Byrnes Mill, Mo. (pop. 1339). What remained of the original mill was destroyed by the floods of ‘08. At what was my secret favorite fishing access there’s a new parking lot and picnic area. Catfishers reel ‘em in if they can get to the river’s cliff side.

From my muddy sandbar I caught a dozen bluegill, & let ‘em all go; here’s a pic of my best catch: Note the “blue gill” (duh). Hook, bait, place, and time made for ideal fishin. I’d be honored if next time you’d come with. Yeah, the rod is pink. The name engraved on my tackle box is “Bun Bun.” Deal with it.