Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 31, 2014

And, another month shot to hell.  Another month of nothing but work. 

I have been spending the greatest amount of my "free time" this last month at my prairie restoration site.  This time of year the amount of work is mind numbing as it is a race against the calendar to control some invasive species before they set seed.  It is a never ending cycle of mixing spray, loading the Jeep, dispersing spray over vast areas, going home and then starting over again. 

There is so much work to be done at Hickory Creek Barrens that it is starting to be overwhelming to say the least.  Once in awhile, you get a "reward" for all your hard work when you see an important and uncommon native plant making a comeback.  This year, after the site was burned, we found a nice population of Shooting Star and a very exciting population of Wood Betony. 

Also, I finally got in my first butterfly monitoring route for the season.  The spring has been wet, cold, overcast, raining and just plain not conducive for monitoring.  Went out Memorial Day weekend on Sunday.  The weather was perfect, but there were very few butterflies to be found.  It is always tough to tell what kind of a season one will have, but it is not off to a good start. 

On Sunday, May 18th I finally got together with my two sisters and my brother.  We met up at Horsetail Lake in the Cook County Forest Preserves.  Another beautiful day, sunny and not too hot.  It was a casual get together and pic nic and an opportunity to get caught up.  Joan, Laura and Stef will be leaving for Germany soon on a trip that I could not go on mainly because of work.  I get little to no time off of work and that is grating on my nerves.  There is no one that does any of my job when I am not at work and even being off a day, the pile of work is astounding.  I am exhausted after so many years of that and it is starting to really grate on my nerves.

Also over the Memorial Day weekend, I spent a lot of time in the garden.  Last year I never really got much done and the garden showed it.  Last fall I started to nuke some of the plantings that were really getting carried away so that I could freshen things up a bit this spring.  I just bought a bunch of new prairie plants to add into the garden to replace all of those "way too many" plants I removed.  I also made sure that this year I actually got the vegetable garden planted.  Last year was really hit and miss and my vegetable garden was probably the worst it has ever been. 

We got flooding rains for a good part of the spring, and now that everything is getting big and could use a drink, there really hasn't been any rain.  I has sprinkled a bit and looked like rain, but never really rained much. 

After I get back from the restoration site later today, I hope to have enough energy (though I doubt it) to get some of the prairie plants I purchased last night at the FPDWC native plant sale into the ground.  If I don't get them planted, I will have to do that tomorrow.

I have also been working feverishly on the Rebel Legion/Nar Shaddaa Base display for the Joliet Library Star Wars Day.  I had to make a new Jedi belt for the one costume I am planning to display because I will probably be wearing my belt.  I have also been making signage and gathering together some of the massive quantity of items that I plan to set up.  I will have Friday, June 6th off as an actual vacation day to do the display set up at the Joliet Historical Society.  The next day is the Joliet Library Star Wars Day event....likely to be exhausting as always.

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