Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

We're Back!

It's always good to come home but we had a wonderful three weeks visiting our son and his family in Arizona. They had moved from Colorado to new jobs (in education) in the Phoenix area. Specifically Scottsdale and Queen's Creek. On the way down we stopped at The Petrified Forest National Park. Going home it was a detour through the southern Ozarks in Arkansas. Once I get the tons of pictures sorted out......

The desert family from left to right: Kari, Ethan, Tensae, Gramma, Vanessa, Tony & Leonard.

Photo by Troutbirder

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Minnesota In The Fall

This time of the year I'm reminded every day how Bluff Country in particular and Minnesota in general can be spectacular. Bluff Country is the name we attach to the unglaciated portion of southeastern Minnesota. Having been missed by the glaciers, that flattened and scoured out the many lakes of our state, the topography has been bisected, by its many streams, into deep valleys. Southwestern Wisconsin and northeastern Iowa have a similar landscape. For the fisherman, it's trout stream country with very few lakes. In the fall it comes alive with color. Take a look,,,,, With thanks to my all time favorite.... John Denver
Almost Heaven, Minnesota
Golden Prairies

Blue Green Forests
Father Of Waters
Life is Great here
Older than the valleys
Younger than
Gitche Gumee
Fresher than a breeze.

And may your "Country Roads" be just as beautiful as we enjoy our fall season here in Bluff Country


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hot Bikin Mama

I think, perhaps, tomorrow will be our last biking outing for the year. It's been wonderful. I went often this year. By myself, with friends, and most important with Barb (Mrs. T.) Back in the saddle after recent bouts with cancer, gall bladder, and knee replacement surgery. She's one tough cookie. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gophers R.I.P.

It was a couple of years ago now that I drove down to LaCrescent, Minnesota to attend a fall birding expedition along the Mississippi. It was free, led by a famous birder, and on a Sunday morning. Seemed perfect. Arriving to the meeting place in a Kwik Trip parking lot, I saw about a dozen people standing around. "Morning folks" was my opening remark. "Morning. Beautiful day for birding" was the friendly reply.
A little chit chat soon revealed they were ALL from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, across the river from where we stood. I was already feeling a little outnumbered when one gentlemen wearing Wisconsin Badger outfitting and looking at my Gopher hat and jacket asked "so how did the Gophers do yesterday." Surely they all knew that the Badgers had crushed the Gophers once again in the final game of the Big Ten season. This question, of course, was a set up so I just sadly shook my head. Another "birder" then asked "when was the last time your team was in the Rose Bowl". Taking my hat off to reveal a seriously graying head, placing it over my heart, I owned up to the fact that I had been a freshmen at the University when it last happened. They began to shake their heads in faux amazement until I boldly added it was time to go birding.
Thus it was, last Sunday, after the Michigan Wolverines had handed my Gophers a 58 to 0 shellacking (their worst Big Ten loss ever), that I found myself shovel in hand, calling for Mrs. T to join me in the garden. "Will you sing a Church Song," I asked her while handing over my Gopher hat and jacket. This line harkens back to the time, when during a burial ceremony for our first pet dog, our four year old had made a similar request of his mother. Smirking broadly, she headed off in another direction my hat and jacket still in hand.
Patience is a virtue they say. I’m not feeling very virtuous these days, although my empathy for the long suffering Chicago Cubs fans has grown immeasurably over the years.
The "Little Brown Jug" symbolic of one of college football oldest rivalries going back to the late 1800's. The Gophers have lost 27 of the last 30 games against Michigan. Ouch!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Troutbirder Meets An Angel

A lone eagle flew over our house yesterday. It’s not uncommon anymore as they have expanded their range inland from the Mississippi in recent decades. Each sighting though reminds me of a friend.
Her name is Angel.
She was injured badly and taken care of at the Raptor Center in the Twin Now she lives at the National Eagle Center along the Mississippi in Wabasha Minn. Four other eagles also live there. Volunteer friends come and take Angel for outings along the river in City Park.There she gets to go splashing in the shallow water along the rivers edge. She loves it
Because of the severity of her injury Angel can't fly anymore. Sometimes, though, her wild cousins land in the trees in the park to visit her. Everyone gets excited when this happens. There are many more eagles now along the river corridor. Being territorial, as river niches are filling, some are moving to nest far inland.Hundreds gather here, in winter, near a chicken farm, when fish are less available. They get the leftovers.
Thousands of people get to see Angel at the Eagle Center. She is a great ambassador for her kind.We were lucky enough to meet her, "up close and personal" during her and our outing in the park. It was one of the best picnics we ever had. Then we had to go home. So did she. What a magnificent creature!