Friday, March 30, 2012

The Photo Bin - March 2012

Sometimes you get more than you want expect and this month's bin posting is one of those times. While rummaging through March's photo catalog, looking for the usual trio of misfit pics, a half-dozen emerged as candidates. How to choose? Not surprisingly, given my high degree of self control and uncanny ability to made the hard decisions, I show them all.

Sorry. You're getting a double dose this month.

The image above is a peek into Ned's thread-and-wire box, taken at one of our Monday beer ties. Fun colors and interesting lighting. Always a good combination.

A shot of my favorite girls and Wilderness Dog Sammy, taken during our granddaughter's joyful extended visit. Charlotte and Mary walked the woods, baked bread, visited the neighbor's livestock, and had an all-round jolly old time. Here, they return down the driveway from one of their adventures - Charlotte examining something small that caught her vivid imagination. She did that a lot.

And here is where they were probably coming from - from down the gravel road that leads to civilization - a road I am less and less inclined to travel unless there's a fish or two at the end. As you can see, spring is moving fast, filling the oaks and poplars, maples and sourwoods, providing a crisp green background on which to display the dogwood blossoms. The evening sky ain't bad either.

The girls also spent some time in the "back yard" - a bit of southern exposure perfectly proportioned for our hold on the ridge line and the collection of passive solar energy. It's also just right for a little square-foot gardening - with accommodation, of course, for the local deer population. Yes, I had a little fun with Lightroom.

As you have seen already, I was fascinated with the mists this month. The weather said "spring" with it's mild mornings and early fogs but the woods continued to whisper "winter". The combination of soft air and stark trees provided a dreamy environment, accentuated by the wisps of evergreen and ruddy buds, waiting to explode into color.

To close, an emotional image. Freeman embraced this motto. Live Free. We wear these bands to honor him and to remind ourselves to appreciate each day without reservation. He did. We miss him terribly.

Thank you for your indulgence.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Beer Tie

We tie a few flies
And tilt a few ryes
And tell a few lies
Though not always, you see, in that order

And it occurs to me
That there’s more hair see
On the table than on the north border

But what better way
Than to finish the day
At the vise/vice (take your pick) with good friends

Another pitcher, boys?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Morning Mists

We wake to another misty morning. Formless wisps soften our surroundings and it's difficult to be sure that the fog is real and not the retreating borders of dreamland. I sit up in bed, rub my eyes, and look out to the south, peering into the treetops as the ravine falls below. Ivory dogwood lace accents the gray canopy but it will all be a riot of green quite soon.

I rise, and shuffle down the hall, sit at my desk, and stare through the east-facing window, towards the rising sun, wondering who'll be bouncing around the woodpiles this early. Today, it's only the mists.

Woodpile peaceful, I swivel my chair to the north and check the hazy ridge for the herd - the whitetails - but the does are off hiding their newborn fawns and the bucks have disappeared to wherever it is that bucks disappear to. Actually, I should look more closely into the tall grasses. The Bambies are probably nestled there. For now, though, all's quiet above.

But it's early. And it's lovely. And it's home, here, in the quiet morning mists.

I wonder what I should have for breakfast.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Know This Place - The Back Country Journal

I know this place
I know every rock
Every cut bank, every sunken log
Every deep run, hidden pocket, and back eddy
Every tree
I know this place
Strangely, I think, it’s beginning to know me

Read the rest at The Back Country Journal.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Case Study

Subject: White male, 57, although if you'd asked him at noon he'd have suggested 77 and if you had watched him climb the stairs an hour earlier, 97. Subject has a charlie-horsed left quadricep, bruised right ribcage, aching everything, and a nagging suspicion that his body has evolved beyond the playing of kid's games. Now if only his mind would. Competitive soccer at 8:00am is hard on old bodies.

Status: Subject is lying on the living room couch with no intention of rising until his body stops aching or mid-spring - whichever comes first. He plans to flip back and forth between recorded Champions League games and live NCAA basketball for the next twelve hours, feeling fairly confident that he has enough energy to press the jump button on the DirecTV remote for that long. A pre-noon anesthetic Newcastle brown ale sits on the coffee table and the manly scent of BENGAY fills the air.

Stimulus: The cell phone rings. If it's not sitting within easy reach - next to the Newcastle - it goes unanswered.


"Watcha doin'?"

"I'm lying here on the couch and I'm not moving for the next 4 days."

"The white bass are running. I'm slammin'em. I can pick you up at the canoe launch."

"I'll be there in twenty minutes."

And the subject, miraculously, is.

Hypothesis: Anecdotal evidence of the recuperative powers of fishing - even the notion of fishing - is compelling. It suggests that the mere prospect of sitting in the middle of a white bass migration with a 6wt and a box full of pink and white clousers, fighting feisty fish after feisty fish, significantly diminishes the debilitating effects of injury and illness. Further studies are warranted.

Alternate hypothesis: The subject is fucking crazy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


As I departed our small community early yesterday, driving towards a hoped-for rendezvous with a few Virginia brown trout, I caught Spring sneaking in the front entrance – hidden in the morning fog.

I rejoice in its arrival.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Full Moon
Bare Trees
Last time for months

Best Intentions

Clouds moving in

No time to dig out the tripod
No time to find the remote
No time to do it right

Just grab the camera
And shoot

Wide Open
Two seconds
Too long

Missed it

But wait


Thursday, March 8, 2012

To Do

Finish Splitting Hickory
Scrap Wood to Landfill
Finish Cutting Red/White Oaks
Store Milled Plank
Cover Garden Boxes (Sat)
Mulch North Slope
Patch Garden Fencing

Clean Shower
Wash Dog
Tie White Bass Flies
Northwoods Soccer Offer
Kayak Practice
Workout Plan

Sammy’s Meds
Canine Acupuncture Referral

Shim Master Bath Toilet
Mary’s Bulletin Board
Door Stops
Cedar Chest Hinges
Kitchen Drawers
2nd Shower Head Bar
Bath Towel Rack

Eye Doctor Appt

Wash Car/Truck
Change Truck Oil
Trailer Hitch
Trailer Registration/Insurance
Test Trailer Running Gear

Haw River Presentation
Back Country Journal Piece
Bloodknot Repost?
Getting Old Post?
Recreate Fav Pics
Save Fav Posts (All?)
Photo Bin Feb
Beer Tie Pics/Post?
Trailer Hitch Post?

Samsung vs. Sony?
Synology Server Setup
Computer Backup for Mary
Upgrade GPS Maps
Fastest DSL?
Lightroom 4

Nike Watch Battery
Patch Air Mattress
Patch Marmot Rain Shell Sleeve
Aquaseal Simms Crotch Seams

Basement Workbench/Area
Stain/Seal Decks

Go Fishin'

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pee, No Poop: Notes on the Countertop

We had to be away for the day and our geriatric terrier could not come along. His "aunties" offered to look in on the little old man throughout the day. Before we departed, Mary left a note on the countertop:
Hi Aunties!
Sammy's food is in the little ziplocs in fridge. We've given him meds and will do 2nd dose when we get home.
Thanks & love you,
M & M & S
We arrived home late to find a contented dog and a handful of updates. From Auntie Robin:
noon report -
15 min outside
Pee, no poop -
a little wobbly -
Below it, from Auntie Jan:
Happy Hour Report -
15 min outside
Poop & Pee - WOOHOO!
We sat on side porch a while enjoying the evening - what a day.
(You have salamander eggs in your pond!)
And finally:
Hey Mary -
Unfrozen chicken & carrots in refridgerator.
So I sit here with the smell of fresh, simmering chicken wafting from the kitchen and I wonder. Has any little dog ever been better cared for? Have any little dog's owners ever been better cared for? Would I wish to live anywhere else? The answers are easy.

Thank you, Aunties. We, all three of us, love ya ...

... and your notes on the countertop.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Photo Bin - February 2012

The photo opportunities were few and far between this month so this trio of February images truly embodies what the Photo Bin is all about - misfit shots that fit nowhere, illustrate no particular post or story to be told, but do seem to manifest something worth sharing. At least to me.

The shot above is a stretch of feeder creek that trickles into my home waters, taken on one of my first warmwater fishing forays of the year. The roots that criss-cross this tiny waterway bring to mind an earthy ladder by which I descend the eco-structure from woodland to wetland to river. A delightful descent it is.

This second odd little shot shows the morning sun streaming through our deck railings, splashing tiger stripes against the Old Town stored underneath. I've gone down those steps countless times for the dog's morning constitutional and have never noticed the phenomenon. But the sun's path creeps steadily northward each day and this particular morning held our first snow, perhaps intensifying the effect, so it may not have been as evident in the past. Whatever the explanation, that day it made a bold statement.

And finally, a self-portrait. Actually, this is a tight crop on an image used a couple of posts ago, in Bug Eyed, but I noticed in the reflective dumbbell eyes an image of the photographer in action, trusty Nikon to eye.

Misfits all - photographer included.