Sunday, November 09, 2003


We just finished up the first leaf harvest of the season. It's a fine crop; mostly the desired shade of brown, but with some not-quite-ripe yellow and greens mixed in. I'd forgotten what a pain the leaf blower can be at first. This is only our second season of using one, and there is a bit of science to it, especially when blowing up against the house or near a fence. Unfortunately, the oaks don't look like they are anywhere near being finished dropping their leaves, so we're sure to have two or three or six more raking events before the year is out.

We also got the net up on the pond. Evelin had the clever idea to thread a few boards between the net and the water; hopefully that will keep the leaves from weighing the net down into the water between rakings and it will make it a little more difficult for the squirrels to try to walk out on to the net to get a drink (and thus sagging the net into the water).

This morning, we went in for the Lupron evaluation; basically, Evelin got some blood drawn and they checked out her ovaries. Everything was as quiet as it should be, so we get to start with the Gonal-f and Repronex injections tonight and we continue with the Lupron injections in the morning. We are doing 1.5 amps of Gonal-f and a half-amp of Repronex, which means mixing up three bottles of Gonal-f and one bottle of Repronex with 2 cc of sterile water, drawing back 1 cc to inject that night and refrigerating the remainder for the next night.

Yesterday, we took a longer-than-expected hike. We went out to Sugarloaf Mountain, which straddles the Frederick-Montgomery county line. We haven't been hiking there in a while, and we ended up going for a longer hike than we'd expected.

First I forgot that it was a 7 or 8 mile hike (for some reason I thought the loop out to White Rocks was only 5 miles), and, second, the trail we ended up taking wasn't too heavily traveled and it was hard to follow it in some places because of all the leaves obscuring the path and the blazes being a bit far apart and faded. It's possible that, in some places, we were following an abandoned trail. We eventually made it to a better marked section of trail and got to take in the views from White Rocks (a site used by both Confederate and Union troops during the Antietam campaign in 1862) before heading along the ridge line to Sugarloaf Mountain proper and then back down to the car. On the eastern side of the mountain, there were tons of trees down. According to The Sugarloaf Mountain Newsletter, about 80 trees were toppled by Hurricane Isabel in visible areas, and dozens more are down in other parts of the forest. All in all (with the assorted sidetracking and aimless wandering early in the hike, plus detours around fallen trees), we think we did 9 miles or so.

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