Don't all fairs come with free kittens?

Yesterday, as part of my job, I drove down to Mission for the Todd County Fair. The weather was awesome (especially for August in South Dakota), and I loaded up the car with insect nets for the kids program. The fair was tiny, but full of the regular fair activities - petting zoo, snow cones, 4H exhibits. There were a few things that I hadn't seen in quite a while, like the cake walk. I think the last cake walk I experienced was in elementary school.

I brought home a ton of cool insects to add to my work collection (giant robber flies, a lubber grasshopper, lots of other grasshoppers, what I think is a velvet ant - the kids did a good job).

There were also free kittens.

I know. No kitten is ever actually 'free.'

This one came home with me.
This is Weasley. I'll be calling the vet on Monday to get him an appointment to make sure that he checks out health-wise, and get him started on his shots. Currently, he's living in the downstairs bathroom with the claw-foot tub. He's maybe 4-5 weeks old, so he's pretty dang tiny.

Devo, on the left, for scale.
Obviously, I wasn't planning on adopting a kitten yesterday but he was in for a tough life in Todd County assuming he avoided the fates of some of his litter mates (unfortunate run-ins with water and dogs). He did well on the car ride home, and stayed in his box as long as my hand was in the box too. For being the progeny of outside cats, he is super friendly and has an incredibly loud purr for his size.

This is also the smallest cat I've ever taken care of. Cleo was about 4 months old when I got her, so she could already handle stairs. Devo was an adult (and now he's a grumpy old man). For being so young, Weasley does already have a handle on the whole litter box thing which is awesome.

Devo is trying to pretend that none of this ever happened.



Well, so much for July.

I spent quite a bit of time on the road last month for both work and a short vacation. For work, I went to Sioux Falls, Brookings, and Rapid City for a combination of Youth Gardening and Master Gardener workshops. If you're every in Brookings and it's a time of year when things are blooming, definitely stop and visit McCrory gardens. We had a Master Gardener training there and it was so easy to find perennials to talk about and not at all hard to find bees and other pollinators.

After over 6 months of living in South Dakota, I made the trek back to PA for my sister's baby shower. The flights out weren't too bad - I went from an exceptionally tiny Buddy Holly plane in Pierre, to an actual large 7something, back to a smaller regional plane into MDT. Flying into MDT never gets old, because someone (usually a kid) will always ask their parents if that really is Three Mile Island. Yes, yes it is.

PA was delightfully lush and I hit a stretch of days that were cool and mostly not humid. The gardens at my parents' house, Tudek, and Kerry's were all jungle-sized, or at least far bigger than anything I can grow in South Dakota.

My trip was packed full of things to do, including a road trip to Lancaster to see Jess and Garrison Keillor. We caught his summer tour at the American Music Theater and had a blast. Somewhere in picture #7 we're in the mezzanine section forgetting the words to 'Battle Hymn of the Republic.' Like I was going to remember the line about trampling through the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.

Now, I'm off to Saint Paul, MN for a meeting that conveniently coincides with the other ESA. This will be my first time in MN outside of the MSP airport.