Wednesday, July 7, 2010

June and Jubilee

I know that you have been waiting breathlessly for the next Box of the Month picture. It looks pretty much the same as last month. Very green.
The June box was from 3 Blind Mice, so we had to make sure we didn't miss it. The day after M's bday, we hot footed it down to Princeton and picked up two boxes. Then M asked "Are we ever going to meet Shorty?" So we called him up and met at Culver's for lunch. How fun!

Several days later, Questar and I went down to Peoria to finish pulling the rest of the event boxes out of Jubilee College SP. I have not mentioned Jubilee up to this point because I'm trying to repress the memory. Let me be brief. I have never met a preserve I didn't like...until now. When I went down in May to help Hart x6 and Shorty plant for the Great Lakes Event, it was hot, slimy, sloppy, muddy, and I got my first taste of stinging nettles. Everything in that park has fangs.(Oh, and don't forget the CRUD marathon going on all day. I have to admit, it was fun saying "Oh, Crud! every time one of the runners came by when we were trying to plant.) The day was successful however, and from the reports I hear, the event was exciting. I'm sure the tornado helped.

Since I did not get to attend the event, we made an agreement that I could help pull boxes that I didn't plant so that I could stamp them and at least get to enjoy some of the amazing carvings. Which is the only thing that took me back to that park. It was drier for the most part, and I was mentally prepared for the PI, nettles, and 'squitoes. And thankfully, we had been warned about the Wild Parsnip and Giant Hogweed, so we could avoid those too. Parsnip and Hogsweed are photo-toxic plants, meaning that the oils react with UV rays and chemically burn your skin. Lovely.
We saw a number of butterflies, but other than the vulture that circled us at lunch (until I shouted that we weren't dead yet, and he went away), we did not see any other fauna in the park (the snake is from the day we planted). Maybe they don't like it there either.
Still, 18 boxes and 7-8 miles hiked isn't too shabby. The company was good too.

**The invasive, uncharitable vegetation seems to be on the rise in many places. I would highly recommend that everyone who spends time in the parks and preserves becomes familiar with plants that should be avoided. Forewarned is forearmed...know thine enemies, and all that. You can usually get reliable information from the park services or you local county extension office.