Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Coldest Winter

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist/author David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest) tells the story of the war America tried to forget but couldn't.  The Coldest Winter 
Click on Mark Twain's Picture above for my review.....

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dam It!

Baron and I had gone for a hike a few  springs back  at one of our favorite spots. It was the old iron mine ponds, now a WMA (Wildlife Management Area) called the Goethite. It's was a great place for a dog to romp and swim without needing to be leashed. I could also get in some birding. The ponds were  connected by a tiny stream.

On this particular day, however, we met a roadblock. A culvert underneath a shallow spillway connected two of the ponds, which we intended to circle. It seems some local residents had blocked the culvert with sticks and mud and then proceeded to build a small dam across the spillway. The net effect was to raise the water level in the pond by about a foot and discourage Troutbirder from continuing around the pond. He didn't want to get his new hiking shoes wet, as the spillway was covered by several inches of running water, and quite muddyBaron says, "Come on Boss! Whatcha waiting for?"
Troutbirder says, "Dam engineers!"

As you can see from the blog header,  Baron's successor Miss Lily also liked to check out beaver dams.....

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lilac Girls

Recently out in paperback, ereader, and audio if you or your book club missed it you can easily catch up. It’s Martha Hall Kelly’s debut novel Lilac Girls. Your can check my take on this popular book by clicking on Mark Twains picture above.....

As well the link below takes you to other books reviews as well as my own....:)  This link works as of 5/10/17
Click icon for more
book review blogs
@Barrie Summy

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Zookeepers Wife

First I review the book and then the movie..... Click on Mark Twin above to see both.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Family Memorabillia

As often happens when couples reach a "certain age" they begin thinking about future prospects and choices. Our recent 50th wedding anniversary brought some of those thoughts into the open. Closets and boxes that hadn't seen the light of day for years were opened and examined.  I was informed by the management that it was time for us to begin downsizing our material possessions. Among the first items to go were my blonde baby hair from that first haircut, carefully preserved in an envelope as well as a rock hard piece of birthday cake from 1942.  
My mom and me in 1941.
When the following item appeared for discussion though, I drew the line.  My dads Uncle Paul and Aunt Christina lived on a farm in southern Minnesota. She made "rag rugs" from discarded clothing saved by all the relatives.  I was the first to use this one for "naptime" in kindergarten.  And then my two brothers and then our eldest son.  No discarding this treasure.  Methinks downsizing is going to be a long and argumentative project in this household.....:)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tricky Fingers

Back in the day when my first dog Max and I started upland game hunting, the pheasants and grouse had to fear my quick and accurate "trigger finger."  Max was what today they call a "designer dog" then known as a mutt. He was a Golden Retriever/ German Shorthair Pointer cross. He could flush, point, track and retrieve with the best...  That's my hunting buddy Rick to the right with his Golden....
Now a few years later having given up hunting due to a bum knee, a visit to our local clinic revealed a finger making a loud clicking noise, occasionally getting stuck and frequently quite painful.  The orthopedic lady doctor diagnosed it as a "trigger thumb."
Whoda thought, though she claimed it had nothing to do with my hunting career. Turns out relief came in the form of a steroid (cortisone) shot in the base of the thumb. And now since steroids are a no no my major league baseball hopes are gone as well.  Oh well.....:)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring Emergers

In the springtime, the moment when the mayflies and caddis transform from their nymphal form and swim to the surface of the stream, is indeed a magic time for the trout fisherman. As  they struggle upwards, to flutter away, they are called emergers. This is the time for "wet flies" to be cast into the stream and lifted in imitation of the real thing. It is an a special moment

Tied by Troutbirder

It is also same time when other "emergers" appear on the spring scene. Here are a few:
Showy Orchis. A now rare native orchid of hardwood forests here in southeastern Minnesota. Thick basal leaves and small spurred flowers. The lip is white. Other petals and sepals are pink or magenta. About 6 inches tall. Photo taken in Forestville State Park 5/12/08

Another emerger is the skunk cabbage. Found along stream margins and on hillsides in seepage areas. It is one of the earliest plants to appear in the spring. Yes, the fruit has a definite smell. But it is the leaves that get your immediate attention. Their leathery shine, startling growth rate, and deep, fresh green color is a force unto itself. They seem to spring out of the soggy brown litter of the forest floor, Photo also taken in Forestville State Park

Emerging from the forest on a ridge high above the Whitewater Valley in Whitewater State Park is another early blooming native flower. The Pasque Flower is a member of the crocus family. Its delicate form is a sure signal that spring has arrived.
Emergers. You gotta love them as we emerge from our winter blahs as well.

Monday, April 17, 2017


No, not the kind that happens in local cattle barns..... It was a some years ago now that Mrs. T. and I,  along with our good friends Gary & Rosie, were doing a "whale watching and glacier" tour out of Seward Alaska. It was a balmy 72 degrees that mid June day. The water, though, was extremely cold and when the cruise boat picked up speed and you went onto the outside deck it was downright cold.

We approached the face of the glacier carefully as big chunks of ice floated by us. Finally, we stopped and as I leaned on the railing, camera at the ready, I figured we were at least a safe several city blocks distance away.

I saw the ice chunk fall as I clicked my camera. Then there was an astonishingly loud "BOOM." People literaly jumped back. The captain then told us that the piece of ice was about the "size of a skyscraper," and we were a safe "half a mile away." It was some minutes before a wave splashed against the side of the boat.

How could I have been so mistaken, thinking we were much closer to the glacier than we actually were? The reason is simple. It was so huge.
The size and power of Mother Nature's forces seem much of the time as overwhelming. Think hurricanes like Katerina, the  flooding in the Red River Valley on the North Dakota - Minnesota border or the unbelievable amounts of snow burying the city of Boston that  year.
And yet. And yet for thousands of years the activites of humankind have changed and in some cases overpowered Nature itself. Take, for example, the disasterous agricultural practices in the ancient Mediteranean world. Those practices enhanced a major climate change in the area. The result was that a fertile agricultural area became far less so. And the world's greatest desert drastically expanded north - the Sahara.
Much closer to home, Glacier National Park might soon need a new name.
The Montana park had 26 named glaciers fifteen years ago , down from 150 in 1850. Those few that remain are typically mere remnants of their former frozen selves. Just one  of many, this one photographed in 1911 and 2005.
Today gone....

and in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence the well bribed charlatans and flim flam con artists of the carbon lobby keep up their propaganda campaign of denial.....