Journal October 11, 2004

A beautiful weekend – the leaf colors are brilliant this year. All the maples in the woods show up against the darker colors of the oaks.

I spent most of the weekend cleaning seeds, and found that I have to wear a mask or my throat gets very irritated. It takes a long time – it’s much faster to collect the seeds than to clean them. I finished all the prairie seeds that are in the basement, but I still have all the ones upstairs, and all the wetland seeds. Jackie and Dan have some leads on fanning mills, so we may look into ways of doing this mechanically next year.

I walked out to get some seeds from the front and saw a muskrat in the creek – for once I had the camera ready, so I was able to get a photo.

I cleaned out the nest box that’s on the old utility pole, and discovered that someone used it this year – my guess is a Screech Owl. There were two egg shells, and some owl pellets inside on about 1/8 inch of sawdust. I found another pellet in the woods – I’m hoping to have a chance to dissect them this weekend.

We saw an interesting grasshopper in Hidden Oaks Prairie and tried taking photos of it. I think it’s a female long horned grasshopper – it has very long antennae.