Troutbirder II

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

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Happy days

Fond memories.
 
On our deck with Barb and Miss Lily
on a native prairie with the court jester and her Majesty the Queen
going gator hunting, with camera in Florida swamp.
With the grands
Late fall in grand smoky national Park
Checking out  Leinenkugels brewery in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin.
She gave up smoking though except for Prairie smoke native wildflowers.
Our first puppy, Max the wonder dog

 
Yellowstone National Park the bear tooth highway
 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A new wheelchair for Barb

It's been six months since Barb came to Cottagewood memory care. Almost 10 years since Mayo Clinic's original mild cognitive impairment diagnosis. Then the Alzheimer's definition and the long slow decline followed. That decline speeded up dramatically two years ago. Two weeks ago are became eligible for hospice which falls under Medicare eligibility. The link below explains the characteristics of the final stage in this long journey. It is Carole C's blog one of life's little surprises. It is been very helpful to me and others to see what lies down the road ahead.
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Lily now and then

With Barb unfortunately but now safely residing in Cottagewood memory care it seems the other senior female in my life has pretty much taken over. For a number of years now I had critiqued Barb for spoiling our second German Shepherd to no end. That had never been the pattern for all the hunting dogs who resided in an outdoor kennel, as well as Baron there GSD successor. All of our previous dogs had limited indoor privileges so that they could socialize with the family. Lily is an indoor dog pure and simple who also had the run of the yard and went for long walks with the both of us. She was fed table scraps from the table and pretty much allowed to roam throughout the house and settle wherever she felt like it. Some nights I had to force my way onto  our bed to regain my spot. How things have changed. Now since I'm learning to cook  oversized meals   according to the directions on the boxes, Lily  as a result gets lots of  leftovers. Thus she is putting on serious weight. For myself with a bad case of vertigo, tramping through the woods isn't always safe for me. Unfortunately my new membership in the local fitness club isn't helping Lily at all. She is not eligible for membership

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Spring Prairie flowers in Bluff Country

On Saturday Mrs. T's nephew Ray Junior came down from the cities to visit her at memory care  in Rochester. Later that afternoon because he had indicated an interest in Prairie wildflowers I took him South for a ride along the Iowa Minnesota border. It was a very special place. We saw some rare and very rare wildflowers. This year the flowers were relatively late because of the two long and too cold spring weather this year. The first pictures are some scenes from my point-and-shoot camera and the second batch is from my photography mentor Mr. Science who quite simply is a world class photographer and Prairie expert. I hope you enjoy.
Among the prairie wildflower connoisseurs native orchids  are often the top prize to photograph. In this case two cars and six people were cautiously checking the ditches   for a  very rare orchid specimen  in Minnesota and Iowa. It was the white lady slipper as luck would have it Barb's nephew Ray, a complete novice, spotted them. The other group, keeping an eye on us and looking for the same thing, quickly caught up. These orchids are protected by law but there is a certain secretiveness involved here  as occasional  lawbreakers are known to exist. These are people who dig orchids up and usually kill them off as they are very difficult to transplant successfully
. Thus some become endangered or even extinct.

White lady slippers and the somewhat larger and less rare yellow lady slippers
 
From the same area taken by Mr. Science (Gary)
 
Prairie Phlox
 
Prairie smoke
 
 
White lady slippers
 
Shooting stars
 
Cream Indigo
 
The following pictures were taken several years earlier of Baron and a very large patch of shooting stars. If you compared to the first pictures taken this year you'll note that the area is much more wide open  meaning there on lots of shrubs and little trees sprouting up all over. This is because the local conservation agency had not deliberately burned this area to defeat the shrubs and allow the wildflowers to thrive in nature this process would have been continued by lightning storms. For the photographer it's also much more difficult as you have to scrounge through the thickets to find the wildflowers.
Baron among the shooting stars. My big guy  fondly remembered
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Lily Waiting For Lunch

So Spring Valley has seven places to eat out. That includes one truckstop, several breakfast lunch caf├ęs, a pizza place  and a couple of franchise fast food operations. That's all okay on occasion but on a permanent basis, I don't think so!.  Thus I've been learning how to cook. On that subject not totally without some experience and skills. There is always old standbys like cooking over campfire in the wilderness or on picnic outing's. Then there is the old standby grill located on our deck. Back in the day in our first home we had a Ben Franklin fireplace/stove. It was like cooking over a campfire in the Minnesota winter. Then there  is the kitchen. In that area I am almost a complete novice. I have a lot to learn.
As you can see in the above photograph where this Lily is watching me work in the kitchen, She does not look very optimistic. My frequent supper disasters have fairly frequently led  to some unplanned addition's being added and mixed in with her dog kibble. What's a good dog got to complain about? :)
 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Woodland Wildflowers

The year was 1970 and that summer Barb and I, after several years of renting, purchased our first home. It was in a small wooded subdivision with about 10 homes, approximately 1 mile East of Spring Valley, Minnesota. To close the deal I persuaded the seller to include an extra several acres to meet his price. In the year 2000, Mrs. T noted that a tuck under garage and a very long driveway to the state highway might be too much for a soon to retire couple. That summer we split our 3 acre property in half sold the old and build new house our woods. That house  sits comfortably amongst some very large oak trees   with very little lawn to the mow and  lots of woodland wildflowers and hostas mixed in…. Spring was very late this year and I haven’t had much time for any tending. Still that was the idea to begin with reduced lawn upkeep and  letting the wildflowers  go wild. Come on along then, let’s just go take a look.:)