Troutbirder II

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

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.....

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weapon of Mass Destruction

My middle grandson was given a component of a weapon of mass destruction by a friend of mine. Carefully constructing an exposition of the circumstances for this blog,  I mistakenly  published it on my book review blog Troutbirder II.  To see it  just click on Mark Twain above to make the jump....:)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Greater Journey - Americans in Paris

So on a blustery Minnesota afternoon last January I whipped up some Ham and Three Bean soup for lunch and plunked down in my recliner for a quiet afternoon of reading. For further details click on Mark Twain above to jump to Troutbirder II.
Well I didn't read ALL afternoon...:)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Customer Service

Oh sure. It's been a crummy day already. A State of Minnesota Department farmed out  Customer Service to a business in Denver, Colorado......ugly. :(

My all time unfavorite (besides the usual annoyances) was the time I bought a new computer which didn't work.  I called help and talked to "Fred" who happened to live in India and spoke the King's English. After an hour or so of trying to get my new computer to open he admitted it didn't work and he would send me another new one.  He needed my address. I gave him our P.O. Box Number. " I need your physical address," he stated.  The conversation which ensued for over an hour consisted of me trying to explain the meaning of Box Number and him demanding something called a physical address. Finally, understanding his problem I told him that Fillmore County, Minnesota was probably the last place on planet earth that didn't have street addressess....