Troutbirder II

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wedding Anniversary

Recently your intrepid reporter has been taking physical therapy for a lower back problem, torn rotator cuff and other assorted achy joints. In addition, a visit to his friendly cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic will soon happen due to a reoccurrence of his "A-Fib" problem. And these are "the golden years?"
On a more positive note, the energetic and always helpful Mrs. T (Barb) has been in the Phoenix area babysitting the grands and helping the family make the move to their newly purchased home. All of this adds up to the fact that for the first time ever, we will not be celebrating our wedding anniversary together on the actual date.
Recently, I've been converting our old Ektachrome slides to digital form . The carrousel, filled with wedding pictures, yielded many highlights. In a particularly nostalgic mood today here are a few....

Happy anniversary Sweetie. I miss you....

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Home Front in WWII

Americans stepped forward into war essential industries to carry the fight to the Axis. Millions of women moved into industrial jobs on the home front.... They were symbolized by "Rosie The Riveter." Lest we forget. Here are a few of them.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

She Is Deathly Afraid Of Bears

Some years ago a thousand miles from home in Minnesota and fifty miles south of Big Timber, Montana, on a rutted gravel road we’re headed toward a beautiful Forest Service campground. It was the last one before the road ended in the Beartooth /Absaroka range north of Yellowstone National Park. The Boulder River is a prime trout-fishing destination. There was a red sign. "There are grizzly bears here?", Mrs T queried. "Yes dear, but I will protect you," I replied. "I wanna go back home," she asserted firmly.
Near Darby, Montana, in the beautiful Bitterroot Range, at the Sam Billings Campground, we are just about ready to hike up a trail to the falls. "Are you sure there are no bears in these mountains?" "Yes, dear. There is a big controversy about bringing them back here, but it hasn’t happened yet, " I informed her. "Well, Lucille (my sister in law) and I are going to wear bells just in case. To warn them off !" My brother smiled, and then I couldn’t help myself. "Err... I read there are a lot of mountain lions here though and tinkle bells tick them off." "Whatever you jerk!"
A couple of years later about to launch our canoes from the landing, at Sawbill Campground, into the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness, along with our two teenage sons, we encountered a returning couple. A terrorized woman informed Mrs T. that a black bear ate all their food. Then "we" decided to spend the week at the public campground instead of in the wilderness among the marauding bears!
Clearly, this woman is deathly afraid of bears. Right? Wrong... actually it all depends on the circumstances. Camera in hand a magical transformation takes place... she suddenly becomes the wild bear "paparazzi" woman.
We are on a back road in Grand Teton National Park with my brother and sister-in-law. My brother is driving. As we come around a bend in the road he stops suddenly. There is an abandoned car blocking the road with the front door left open. I have seen this act before. Looking out into the woods I see my spouse, the wildlife stalker, camera in hand following the idiot who abandoned his car in the road. "Come back," I yell from the road. "This could be dangerous" My brother later asked for copies of her pictures of the young grizzly.
Ten years ago in Alaska, she rolled down the car window and leaned out, camera in hand. I suggested somewhat facetiously, "why don't you reach out and pet him dear. He certainly looks friendly enough." Fortunately, he ignored her....
Some, with flyrod in hand, are willing to take risks in search of trout. Others, camera in hand, take risks for that special picture. This is how it is among the Troutbirders.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Troutfishing companions?

I went trout fishing down on the Root river the other day. Sometimes I invite a friend to join me, other times I take a "newbie" and show them the ropes. Often I go alone. It's not like fishing with a couple of other guys in a fancy bass boat joined by a case of beer. It works best for me solitary. Just the gurgle of the stream, the woods, birds flitting about and ones cares far away. Today, though some curious visitors joined me, as I crossed a pasture on the way down to the stream. They were friendly enough, although I had to tell them they couldn't follow me into the water, as that would panic my quarry. They were content with that. Quite an unusual audience.....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Leave It To Beaver

In a karst region of fractured limestone, we here in Bluff Country, have many sinkholes, disappearing rivers, springs and even a few caves where water emerges to form beautiful trout streams. Two, within ten miles of the Troutbirder home, are Canfield Creek and Forestville Creek. I visited Canfield several times last week. Once troutfishing and twice birding. Take a look.... Both streams tend to be quite small as they began to flow down to the larger Root River, which then wends it was sixty some miles to the Mississippi. The trout were biting quite well the day before. No, Baron doesn't get to come along. Mr Rambuncious would scare the fish away. As I turned to head back to the truck a small brown warbler flushed out from a tangle of roots along the bank. I couldn't identify it without my binoculars, so intrigued, I went back the next day. Bingo! There he was in the same tangle. A not very common Louisiana Waterthrush at the northern extent of his range As we headed upstream, I noticed some rather pronounced beaver sign. Mud trails into the water from the woods and well chewed tree stumps. I had never seen beaver sign on Canfield in some forty plus years of fishing there. Around the next bend, there it and a magnificently constructed dam. A team of top architects and engineers couldn't have done any better. Checking out the warbler migration a few day later, Mr Science (Gary) & I located another pioneering beaver families work. The moral apprently is in Bluff Country if your looking to build a small dam... Leave It To Beaver

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Marsh Marigolds

Spring is the time for outdoor activities. My favorites are hiking/birding, flyfishing for trout, gardening & biking. The hiking/birding activity does double duty as a means to exercise my dog Baron & myself . Baron does a great job in flushing up the birds as well as the occasional coyote, racoon, deer and many small four legged creatures. I never know what to expect... Recently the Big Guy and I were following a white carpeted trail along the Little Iowa River in Lake Louise State Park.

Along the way were patches of wood phlox.
Except for a bike trail, the park is not heavily used except on weekends in the summer. Baron had romped down off the trail to the river (creek really) to get a drink of water. I followed. Come on along....
As we approached the river, we noticed patches of bright yellow. The boggy ground next to the river had produced a crop of Marsh Marigolds, known locally as cowslips.

This wildflower is common in swampy areas and along stream banks. Marsh marigolds emerge from shallow water or grow on small mounds holding the plant just above the water. Along with Skunk Cabbage, Marsh Marigolds are a welcome sight in early spring but seem to disappear as fast as they emerged. I have a few in my woodland garden. They transplant well but going into the spring muck to dig them up can not be described as easy