Friday, February 29, 2008

East St Louis Trails Meeting

Today we met at the Park District offices to discuss the Mounds Heritage Trail. Good gathering and a lot was accomplished


On my way to work I occasionally see this small pasture where some folks are raising Elk. Today they were hanging out near the road.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Poland Study Abroad Meeting

Today I met with Deb Cavanaugh-Grant and Hania Galas out current exchange student from the Poznan Economics University. Deb is an expert in sustainable and organic agriculture with U of I Extension and we hope to have her participate in this year's agritourism project in Poland.

Reading Dissertations Ugh

Much of my time recently has been spent reading this dissertation. It is some heavy work but represents an important thing we do as faculty.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hungry Junco

Lots of hungry birds around here. This is a slate colored junco in the foreground.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Unusual Meteorological Event

Blogspot sure does some strange things with multiple images. Anyway we had significant hoar frost this morning. It is actually frozen fog but the effect is dramatic. The cardinal was sitting in one of our trees and you can see the glitter of the frost. The image above shows that it really is a thick collection of ice crystals. These crystals attach themselves to big trees as well as bushes and weeds. These pictures were taken at sunrise as by 9 or 10 it all had disappeared.

Winter Scene

As bad as Friday's brief storm appeared everything always looks wonderful the next day when the sun is shining. This is a big spruce tree in front of our house.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Storm on theQuad

We had a ferocious snow storm at mid-day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Not an easy picture to take but this is a lunar eclipse. Next one in 3 years.

Full Moon

On a very cold day about 5:30 p.m. the full moon is rising over the prairie and a farm homestead.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I really enjoy trying to capture images of our frequent avian freeloaders. More and better pictures to come.

Sneak attack about to happen

Poe (top) and Jasmine (bottom) where they are not supposed to be! Jazz got jumped as soon as she left her spot. Cats are fun.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dish vs cable?

When out walking the dog I had to laugh when I saw this. If you look closely you will see a TV dish thrown near this guy's trash cans and obviously he works for a cable company. No dispute about who won that argument.


I have been passing this very large cross in Effingham for years and finally made the effort to get off the highway and take a picture of it. Unfortunately the contrast is poor due to the cloudy sky.

Thinking About Poland

This is a map and poster from our study abroad trip to Poland last year and it looks like we will be going back this May.

Campus Meeting

This as at the conclusion of the Institutional Entrepreneurship Committee I'm on. This group is trying to think of ways to make the U of I more entrepreneurial. We discuss a lot but I'm not too sure what the outcome will be. We sure can fill up a lot of poster paper with suggestions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Zvi's class

I spoke to Zvi's class today on social responsibility and referenced opportunities to volunteer for ESLARP and to contribute to Kiva. I have a feeling it was a tough sell with this group. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Importnat Meeting

One of the most significant things one can do as a faculty member is serve on a promotion and tenure committee. Here we are working hard. Sorry, no details will be provided. What's that saying?, "if I tell ya I have to kill ya."

Great Campus Building

I had a meeting today with a faculty member representing the Civic Leadership Program about collaborating with ESLARP. I think we may be able to make something good happen. That meeting was in Lincoln Hall one of the most significant structures on our quad. This bad picture is of the marble staircase at its entrance. The bust of Lincoln is hardly visible. Apropos, as today commemorates his 199th birthday.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Intrepid cook

Most weekends we have something coooked on the grill and this is a flank steak one of our favorites. What is significant about this is that the air temperature is 8 degrees with a wind chill well below 0, and for my international friends that is "F" not "C"!

Exciting Presidential Politics

I have always been interested in the political scene but this year is something special for the drama and its implications. The Obama phenomenon is really something.

Is Spring Around the Corner?

I couldn't help but notice a feathered friend occupying one of our birdhouses. I thought it was too early for starting a sparrow family but who knows, perhaps spring in not so far off after all.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Weekly Meeting

This is Lee Byenog Cheol and Hania Galas, two students working with me on rural tourism development. Byeong Cheol is from Korea and Hania from Poland. We have decided to meet weekly for lunch at a different place - our version of culinary tourism.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Year of the Rat

Today is Lunar New Year and recent tradition has been that our Taiwanese and Chinese grad students have invited their advisers out to lunch and this is today's wonderful event. Thank you all.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Water, Water everywhere

This is the Salt Fork River that ultimately runs about a mile from our home. This picture shows what happens when it rains heavily on saturated an frozen ground - the river goes over its banks and creates a lake. BTW, those white spots are snow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I voted

I never miss a chance to vote. What an exciting day this is for our country!

Lunar New Year

Thursday is Lunar (Asian/Chinese) New Year. A tradition is for the young to get "Red Envelopes" from their elders. The beloved envelopes contain cash and as one can imagine are eagerly anticipated. Well.... no "Red Envelopes" from me to our grad students but I do have jade plants for everyone that I have rooted and grown the past year

Sunday, February 3, 2008

First Thoughts of Spring

This may look like a messy workbench, but early February is the time I root geranium cuttings and start annual flowers from seed. There still is snow on the ground but this represents the first gardening activity of the new season.

Yoshi's favorite thing

It is pretty hard holding on to a big dog and taking a picture at the same time but you get the idea. On weekends our paper is delivered in the morning and whenever we meet up with the family delivering the News Gazette Yoshi gets super excited about carrying the paper home. At times he has carried the heavy Sunday paper well over a mile usually without dropping it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

It Snowed!

We got about 10 inches of snow last night this is the field behind our house. Quite a desolate looking winter scene. After putting an old poinsettia plant in the garbage I was struck by its contrast to the white and gray surroundings.