Troutbirder II

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"That's where the tall corn grows...."

Well, actually not originally. It was tall mostly big bluestem grass back then. Bluestem is a  native, warm season  perennial grass that was  dominant  throughout much of the tallgrass prairie.
Though the song gives "Ioway Ioway" just credit for growing tall corn, southern Minnesota also produces its share as well as lots of soybeans.
Here one of our good friends and neighbors cornfield stretches south to the horizon.  Lucky for us and Miss Lily the fieldroad gives us a perfect place close by for our morning walk.
  We actually live on a borderland lying between flat vistas stretching west to the Rockies and east to Bluff County which is an unglaciated land of hills, river valleys and sinkholes. Here the woodlots teem with deer, turkey and all sorts of small critters for Lily to get excited about...
Conservation practices include "waterways" which limit soil erosion.

Morning hikers....:)

Friday, November 18, 2016


Ok click on Mark Twains and my picture above to jump to Troutbirder II and my slightly off the track take on the recent election...:)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Swimming Lessons

Mrs. T and I have had five dogs now.  Three of them were hunters.  Max the Wonder Dog.
He was a "designer dog" before the term was invented being a Golden Retrieve X German Shorthair Pointer. The book and movie Marley could have been based on his antics. He was also a phenomenal hunter of pheasants and grouse who taught me how to  benefit from his skills.
Max was followed by  Chessie and Muffy two Chesapeake Retrievers. Those two lovable girls added retrieving ducks and geese to the skill set. Oh did they love the water.
Chessie von Milville
They were all "outside dogs" with a kennel who had inside the house privileges to socialize with the family. When I had to give up hunting due to a bum knee, we decided to have a companion/guard dog.  An extra large GSD named Baron filled the bill. He proved to be my best buddy....
Now we have Lily a female GSD and an unexpected "rescue dog."  As a wild/abandoned wanderer she was first taken in by our friends Steve and Jewel to their dairy farm. A year later she came to us upon Steve's untimely death. Whatever her early life experience were they certainly were not good. Bonding with Mrs. T. Lily is now our first "house dog." She has quickly picked up on most of the social graces she obviously missed as a puppy and has proven to be a lovable companion. Still she has what seems to be to be quirks compared to our experiences with previous dogs.  She is ready to fight at the sight of another dog, doesn't play with toys, fetch or swim.  We're working, so far unsuccessfully,
on the later.....

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Historical Photography Quiz (Part )

A young soldier holds up the singed and shredded pants of a famous person. That person was.......? Make a guess then check it by clicking on Mark Twain above to find the answer on Troutbirder II.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fierce Animals She Has Known (Part III)

Mrs. T And The 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’d been headed south 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. That was my goal. Then we spotted 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 were just about ready to hike up a trail to the falls. "Are you sure there are no grizzly 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 really tick them off." "Whatever you jerk!"
A couple of years later we were about to launch our canoes from the landing, at Sawbill Campground, into the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness, for a week long trip along with our two teenage sons. It was at the landing where we encountered a returning couple. with a terrorized woman who informed Mrs T. that a black bear had eaten 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! 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  some guy stalking a grizzly bear.  Almost immediately I hear our rear door slam and my timid spouse, camera in hand, begins  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 shots of the apparently oblivious 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, Mr. Bear ignored her....

Some, with flyrod in hand, are willing to take risks in search of Montana trout. I've seen more than a few paw marks along some streams.

Others, camera at the ready, look for the perfect shot. This is how it was among the Troutbirders.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

People of the Book

Click on Mark Twain and Troutbirder above to jump to my book review blog.....