Friday, September 28, 2012

Field Ornithology, Fall 2012

Field Ornithology Field Excursion, September 21, 2012

Every two years, biologist John Hnida teaches Ornithology and Mammalogy here at the college, and I try to get out with the class on their scheduled field trips, along with offering the class a slide show and discussion of area birds.

I have to upload some recent shots--including the Clay-colored Sparrow on the left--but you might enjoy looking at some of my favorite images collected on Flickr.

So on Friday, 21, September, we made our first two-hour walk along the Trace Trail; I added photographs to the set of images from the first trip from our second trip on Friday, 28 September.

On this second trip, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Andy Duncan joined the group--Andy gave  presentations on campus Thursday and Friday, all chronicled on the blog entry about him and his visit. 

Field Ornithology, Friday, 28 September, Trace Trail North of Peru

 Field Ornithology Class, October 12, Brownville

For our third, and probably final outing, we headed north from the Brownville trail head along the Trace Trail and the Missouri River.

On this crisp morning, we saw four kinds of Woodpeckers--Downy, Hairy, Red-Bellied, and a Yellow-shafted Flicker--Cormorants, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, and, among others, the mystery Flycatcher, perhaps a Phoebe, pictured on the left (image by Clayton Osburn).

I added photographs from this excursion to the set for the class.  

While a tad chilly, the fall colors brightened up the walk, as did the birds here and there.  On my way out of the area, a group of Eastern Blue Birds perched in the trees.


I added a video here and will include some other bird-related videos. This short sequence comes from October 6, early in the morning when thousands of Grackles invaded the fields and woods about my house:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Student Senate 2012-2013

I serve again and with great pleasure as Faculty Sponsor for Student Senate.  The preceding photograph comes from the Student Senate table at this year's Oakfest.

On this page dedicated to Student Senate's activities over the course of the 2012-2013 year, you will find links to photographs and video that chronicles many of the events in which Student Senate members take part.

Annual Peru Foundation and National Alumni Association Chili Feed, January 26

As they have in the years past, the Peru State College Student Senate served chili and drinks and talked with the alumni and others in the college community at the Annual Chili Feed.

The senate members added a lot to the festivities and worked hard with the Peru Foundation and National Alumni members to make the event another success.

Enjoy the pictures on Flickr and Facebook.

Student Senate Christmas Party 

 This year, Student Senate enjoyed a Christmas Party at Micki Willis's house, where Micki prepared an excellent meal for the group.

I loaded pictures from the fun; they include a few shots from the party at the president's house.

I thank all the members of Student Senate for a wonderful first half of the year that included many highlights, some of which  the following posts feature.
Trick or Treat for SENCA

On Halloween evening from 6:00 to 7:30, I joined some members of Student Senate to Trick or Treat for SENCA, Southeast Nebraska Community Action.

Instead of asking for candy, members collected canned goods and other food for the Auburn Pantry, and as the photographs indicate, this group and another in Auburn both enjoyed themselves and collected a considerable amount and variety of food.
Check out Around Peru, NE,  for more information about this community-engagement event in which Student Senate members played an active role.  Special thanks to senate member Dawn Plympton for her hard work organizing the project.


This year, I will upload, along with group photographs in a couple weeks, portraits of individual senate members for press releases and other uses.  

Homecoming 2012

Each year, Student Senate takes responsibility for the Homecoming Parade and the elections for the Homecoming King Queen and Court, photographs about which you will find on the blog page devoted to Homecoming

This year's parade--the 92nd and with the theme Sea of Blue--provided energetic entertainment for those who participated in the even and to the many who lined the streets from Hoyt Street to downtown Peru.  As I recall, over fifty separate entries walked or drove the route.
And this year, the Student Senate's entry earned First Place in the Best Float competition.  

Members worked hard to ensure a successful event.

Picking up the Highway Trash

At least twice a year, senate members take part in a trash pickup east two miles along Highway 67 to the intersection--lots of "stuff" there--with Highway 75.

 This fall on 20 September, members devoted a couple hours to the clean up--check out the photographs--for Homecoming, September 28.

And on Sunday, September 9, Student Senate members took part on an orientation from 1:00-6:00, covering many aspects of senate for members new and old, including me. 

Student Senate Orientation

 Student Senate Orientation, September 2012

Dr.  Karl Ryan  helped senate with some cooperation exercises, from an egg race to a tug of war.  I enjoyed the water balloon toss  in particular, especially the part about getting wet.

As the photographs hint, everyone enjoyed the afternoon of getting acquainted with one another and with Student Senate.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Award Winning Author Andy Duncan Visits Peru State College

Author Andy Duncan Visits Peru State College

On September 27 and 28, World Fantasy and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award winning author Andy Duncan visited Peru State College.  The Creative Writers Series and College 101 sponsored Andy's visit.

Andy Duncan is the author of the hilarious Alabama Curiosities, Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities; Other Offbeat Stuff, Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic, an anthology co-edited with F. Brett Cox, and two collections of short stories:  Beluthahatchie and Other Stories and the recently published collection The Pottawatomie Giant, short stories students in my section of College 101 presently enjoy.

After I picked Andy up at the airport in Omaha, we visited a fun restaurant, Peru Mucho Gusto; the chef has visited Peru, NE, a couple times when television crews came to our town from Lima, Peru.  

He supplied the "Sheriff" of Peru with Picarones Peruanos.  Oh, and the restaurant offers excellent food.  We shared Palata Rellena (avacado and chicken), Ceviche, and Arroza Con Mariscos, a delicious  rice and fish dish from Peru.

Andy began his Thursday in the College Library, where near the fireplace he read from a story from The Pottawatomie Giant, "Close Encounters," part of which you can watch in the short video--to enjoy the entire story, get the book in the College Book Store.

 Andy Duncan with Students in the PSC Library

After lunch, Andy, who teaches Journalism at Frostburg State University in the Maryland mountains, visited Kristi Nies' Journalism Class.  Andy talked about the profession and read from his collection of non fiction essays collected in Alabama Curiosities.  

 Andy Duncan and Kristi Nies' Journalism Class

Thursday afternoon, to Andy's delight, we drove to Kansas City and visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a fabulous place.  There, in addition to the spectacular and informative exhibits, we also talked a while with Raymond Doswell, Vice-President of Curatiorial Services for the museum.  I hope to arrange for Raymond to visit Peru State College.

And after we closed the museum at after 6:00 pm, we drove down the street and delighted in Arthur Bryant's BBQ, a place Andy had wanted to visit since his undergraduate years at the University of South Carolina.  

Early Friday morning, I picked up Andy at the Best Western in Nebraska City, and we joined John Hnida's Field Ornithology Class for a field trip on the Trace Trail not far from where I live out here in the countryside.

Andy Duncan with John Hnida Field Ornithology Group

 After a couple hours in the field, Andy offered his final reading of his visit, talking with my College 101 students, who experience his latest publication, The Pottawatomie Giant.

Andy read a selection from a story in the collection, "The Big Rock Candy Mountain."

The second video from Andy's visit features selections from his reading to the Journalism Class and my College 101 group:

My College 101 Class

To learn more about Andy, read this most flattering story in the University of Alabama Alumni Magazine and check out Andy's Blog, Beluthahatchie.

I hope that we can host Andy Duncan again.  

Enjoy a slide show from Andy's activities on his visit, and especially his interactions with our students, in the class and on the trail.