Troutbirder II

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

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A new book on Troutbirder II

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve had to give up many of my outdoor nature adventures due to a variety of minor but annoying disabilities including including benign essential tremors and vertigo. Thus, I’ve taken up some new hobbies such as learning to cook in the kitchen instead of the wilderness, attending two different churches on alternate Sundays, reconnecting with old friends and weeding my gardens the old-fashioned way by hand and coloring  books for adults. Speaking of books and cooking I recently purchased two cookbooks and for my a national once a month book club I’m reviewing one of the cookbooks. You can read the exciting details and even see a new flower in the process by clicking on Mark Twain above to jump to Troutbirder II.

Sunday, August 25, 2019


Actually this is not about the rock 'n roll musical back in the day. This is about Mrs. T's German Shepherd dog Lily. A. K. A as  a G. S. D. Barb always said that those latter initials actually stood far German shedding dog. Here's the proof from yesterday August 24's single day  combing done by myself. Case closed.
Okay all of my hunting dogs as well as Baron the huge German Shepherd were kenneled outside with an entrance to our unheated garage and a comfy doghouse. Lily rescue dog which she  is has lived indoors with outside privileges surrounded by an invisible fence around the whole property. One very lucky and sweet dog I'd say.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Residential school closes


A recent story in both the Minneapolis and St. Paul newspapers caught my eye. The headline in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune stated end of an era for troubled boys. St. Paul’s century old boys totem town closes. I was there for two years while an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota. Basically as a volunteer supervisor/playground director every weekend. I got 2 college credits in the process as well as improving my resume to achieve my goal as a senior high history teacher.

Boys Totem Town  was a residential program for up to  adolescent boys age 14-18 who had been committed by the court to treatment for committing offenses and demonstrating risky behavioral concerns in the community. I learned a lot in my two years there and some of it stood well when it came to discipline issues in the my own career. I also think the reason for closing was well-founded. With better methods of dealing with delinquency have  less and less incarceration. Keeping families together, community support and so on as well as much less serious behavioral issues all were making a difference. At closing there were only two boys still in the facility.. That’s a good sign.

In a roundabout way the nostalgia that this newspaper item brought up reminded me of an interview I had with my principal in my first high school job in small town rural Minnesota. I would be teaching senior Social studies meaning my classes would be17 and 18 year olds. I was 22. In a fatherly manner to a young rookie teacher he noted my experience with delinquent boys that small town farm girls were not without their wiles. Be careful he noted and I did. What he didn't warn me about was a bunch of unmarried female colleagues. That included one who later boasted that following her girlfriends suggestion she admonished the superintendent to hire a single male to replace the departing senior social studies teacher. Or in her own words she had requisitioned me. I had no chance whatsoever. It was all for ordained.
Two retired teachers on their 50th anniversary

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Locked out

No, not the house, nor the car, nor the computer. It's my damn  E blog owned by Google who won't let may into my very own Troutbirder and Troutbirder II. And if you don't think the like of Google, Amazon and a few other corporate mega giants aren't about to take over the world you are sadly mistaken. I expect a bill for zillions of dollars to soon be extracted from my savings account. However, this is round two of this particular crisis within the past two years. With the help of a former student of mine and owner operator of Spring Valley Tech Solutions LLC I will be able to submit a book review to Troutbirder II on Caesar's immortal the Gallic wars which opened with the words Veni, Vidi, Vici.  I came, I saw, I conquered.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Remembering Baron: the puppy years

I had given up hunting upland game and waterfowl do to my increasing vertigo. Mrs. T informed me that walking in the woods, sloughs and plowed cornfields and falling with a loaded shotgun was not a good idea. The days of hunting with my retrievers were over. It was time to move in a different direction. The pups name was Baron. He was destined to be a giant GSD and my best buddy ever.
Puppy vignettes
C'mon Boy
he grew fast becoming my unafraid gentle giant
At ease while guarding our property
First time camping
First swim
I got worried but they finally stood up

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Night The Mountain Fell

We had left our campsite at Swan Creek in the Gallatin Canyon and were heading south on Montana state #191 going  toward West Yellowstone. Our intended destination though, as we approached the park, was a campground at
the point where the West Fork of the Madison enters the Madison River itself. As we turned west on County #1 we headed along the south shore of massive Lake Hebgen . There we, Mrs. T, Gary, Rosie and I would stop at a lookout and I would tell them about an amazing geological event that I had first seen on TV . It was
the summer of 1959 shortly after my graduation from high school. Two years previous to that event I, my younger brothers and parents had visited the selfsame area on our first trip to Yellowstone National Park. Come on along…..
Looking down
from our vantage point at some geese and lots of dead trees, a bald eagle flew over us.

“Do you see that bare
area on the hill we’re looking at across the lake. Well, actually, that’s a mountain across Quake Lake”. It was there,
over 50 years ago, that
a very strong earthquake in the area caused the side of the mountain to
collapse. It blocked the Madison River
below Lake Hebgin and its earthen dam. The
initial shock ( they last for
hours) caused a twenty foot tidal wave to
top and seriously damage the earthen dam which created Lake Hebgen and
and then roared into the canyon below at same time as the mountain
collapsed. In the process it buried, with 80 million tons of rubble,
people who were camping in a National Forest Service campground at the base of the mountain. The slide blocked the river to create Quake Lake. Survivors were trapped as roads & buildings throughout the area were damaged and destroyed. A eighty year old woman awaken by a rumble went to her front door and managed to leap to safety with her dog as her house
fell away underneath here into the lake (yes the dog survived as well). A
massive rescue effort began that morning to save the trapped and the injured.
An addendum:
As I was writing up this post about a famous earthquake my thoughts were drawn to the power of mother nature and stories I had read of the survivors and rescuers of the Yellowstone earthquake.
My sons family has a similar story. He and his wife went to Haiti several years back now to help after the massive earthquake which destroyed so much of that country.
The picture below shows their then family  from left to right  one from Fargo, North Dakota, one from Ethiopia, one Rwanda and one from Haiti, who survived being buried in the ruble of that catastrophe for three days. Legs crushed and unable to walk she was brought to Denver Childrens hospital for two major operations. She can walk to school now and argues with her new siblings over whose turn it is to ride a bike.... More recently Tony's wife bore twins  and the family continues to grow