Troutbirder II

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Custer State Park “lifers”


Now that I’ve become a dedicated birder “listing” is part of the game through such organizations  as ebird and MOU I keep track of my sightings.  This will be my sixth year of of this fun hobby. My life total is 277 birds identified. Two hundred and eight are from Minnesota. About 50 are from Florida and Arizona with the rest from states nearby.

Three recent “lifers” were from South Dakota’s Custer State Park.

A Mountain Bluebird



A Lewis Woodpecker


A Clarks Nutcracker

It was a veritable “Corps of Discovery” sighting.  Lewis and Clark in the mountains as it were....:



Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Today being Earth day I’m reminded of our 2nd honeymoon. Maybe I’d better explain.  Our high school teaching jobs had concluded at the end of May and we were married the first week in June.  Summer school at the U. of M. started a week later so the honeymoon consisted of a short trip to Winnipeg and northern Minnesota.  Yes,  we stopped at a resort for a couple of days so I could go fishing….. I know. I know.

When  summer classes at the U. were over  we headed west to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks plus on to British Columbia and Vancouver Island.  A second honeymoon as it were.   We were gone almost a month before returning to Minnesota and our next year of teaching.

It is the  thoughts of Glacier National Park that come to mind on this Earth Day.  There we camped and took hikes in the mountains, nature photography and a trail ride. Here the Troutbirders saddle up.   Being born and raised city folks we were a little inexperienced in horsemanship. 

(CNN) -- "As recently as 100 years ago, Montana's Glacier National Park had more than 150 glaciers throughout its more than one million acres.

In 2005 only 27 remained. Today the total is down to a just 25 and those that are left are mere remnants of their former frozen selves.


With warmer temperatures and changes to the water cycle, scientists predict Glacier National Park will be glacier-free by 2030."
We've traveled a lot in the years since both near and far. And often talked of going back but the thought of  an almost "Glacierless National Park" isn't very appealing.  Here are a few more of our converted slides showing what it and we looked like in 1966.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Love Is Blue

L'amour est bleu

The song originated in France, composed by André Popp, lyrics by Pierre Cour and first performed by Vicky Leandros in French in '67, the same year Mauriat performed it. Mauriat's version topped the American charts for 5 weeks in Feb - March '68. Brian Blackburn then translated the lyrics to English, and it has since been performed by several artists including Frank Sinatra

Love Is Blue  A Favorite song of Troutbirder from the 60’s.




Blue, blue, my world is blue
Blue is my world now I'm without you

 Gray, gray, my life is gray

 Cold is my heart since you went away

Red, red, my eyes are red

 Crying for you alone in my bed

 Green, green, my jealous heart

 I doubted you and now we're apart

When we met how the bright sun shone

 Then love died, now the rainbow is gone


Black, black, the nights I've known

 Longing for you so lost and alone

 Gone, gone, the love we knew

 Blue is my world now I'm without you.

Black, black, the nights I've known

 Longing for you so lost and alone

 Blue, blue, my world is blue

 Blue is my world now I'm without you

Looking out the window  this morning on the fresh snow,  I miss all my bird friends and hope this interminable winter ends soon......

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Iconic Mississippi River Crossing

At Lake Itasca State Park in the far reaches of northern Minnesota travelers from near and far take the opportunity to wade across The Father of Waters, the mighty Mississippi River. Here Troutbirder and his two young sons manage the feat without even getting wet....   It was the mid seventies.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Rest Of The Story

Five years ago last fall I had posted the facts surrounding   GSD Baron's two hour disappearance, while hiking in the Maynard Underbakke state forest near Wykoff. My CSI investigative powers had shown, that having spooked a large deer, he took off after it. He had disappeared around a bend in the hiking trail. When I got there, I had found huge deer tracks in the mud on the trail. Unfortunately, this was the second time this had happened. This was all in Minnesota, where it is legal to shoot a dog chasing deer. Besides, it was already hunting season and I was very nervous that I might never find my puppy.

 Early the following spring a cure was in order. I took "Mr. Adventurous" with me on a trout fishing expedition to the nearby South Branch of the Root River. He was outfitted with his training collar. I had the remote in my pocket. All was well until the stream entered a cow pasture. We both noticed a large herd of dairy cattle at about the same time. I kept fishing. He went to investigate. He cautiously approached the herd. Remote in hand,  I watched. Several of the cows turned to faced him. The rest seemed oblivious.

 Now German Shepherds love to chase and herd. It's there thing. Baron got within about 10 ft. of the herd and started to bark. It was time for Lesson #1 in the "don't spook and chase large animals” curriculum. All from the Chapter titled "Tough Love." Ouch

 He quickly returned  running back to me.   He then spent the rest of the afternoon close by, below the bank of the creek, alongside me. There he kept peeking over the bank to try and determine which one of those big black and white "deer" had bit him. He hasn't chased any deer since. That’s the "rest of the story."

P.S. On the far left of the picture you can see one of the dangerous cows.....

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Troutbirders Menagerie

Some animals I have photographed.  A random menagerie from the files...

Oh my! And that's only a very tiny fraction from the file.....

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Cholesterol Police Woman

Here Mrs. T researches the latest information on the dietary failings of the American Public and her husband in particular. She is a member of an elite organization known as the C.P.A. That stands for the Cholesterol Police Association. Their #1 goal is to weed out artery blocking fat in the American diet.

Although by the standards of the C.P.A. I am somewhat of a slacker, I do try to buttress my case for eating with flavor. I  believe the phrases "low fat" and "fat free"  on food are synonomous with the word "tasteless." Here is some evidence I recently unearthed from a well known nutritional scientist, Dr. Feelgood. He is the author of the best seller "Comfort Food."

Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true? A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it...don't waste you time on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; it's like saying you can extend the life of a car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables? A: You must grasp logistical efficiency. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chops can give you 100% of recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake? A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer is also made of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio? A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program? A: I can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you? A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food a is fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle? A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it get's bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me? A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure? A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whale to me..

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. And remember: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!" AND.....For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies. 1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. 3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. 5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Needless to say Mrs. T finds my thought on dietary habits unacceptable. In any case,  Troutbirder sez, "somebody has got to keep Pfizers multi-zillion dollar profits going and me and Lipitor are working hard at it."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Thaw

It's been a long winter as exemplified by the snow piled up along my driveway. Still with the temperatures finally in the forties, spring thaw is finally well underway.  And the little trout streams, where I wade knee deep throughout the summer, turn into raging torrents for a day.  On a county highway bridge driving to Rochester  the flooding stream strands car size  ice floes  in the current.  Guess I won't be fishing there for a few days....