Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Lightning Strike


I've ben on a mystery/thriller kick of late and often chose between Minnesota authors  John Sanford and William Kent Krueger. Nothing like being familiar with the scene of the crime for a Minnesota reader like me to relate :) Krueger gets the the nod this time with his 2021published novel Lightning Strike . 

In “Lightning Strike,” Krueger follows the  beautifully descriptive writing of his stand-alone books in a Cork O’Connor prequel that is both a series mystery and an independent book. Krueger begin with an authors note about the Indian relocation Act of l956. This law promising training and job to reservation Indians if they moved to urban areas. It was the final straw to the historical legacy of wars , broken treaties and promises, schools separating children from parents . Relocating to alien and unfriendly urban areas while closing and defunding reservation's helped destroy Indian communities and cultures. 

 With this background Lightning Strike is a beautifully told story, of a small town in the 1960s rocked by a mysterious death and culture clashes, and a boy’s coming of age. That small town is Aurora-Hoyt Lakes close unto one of my favorite  canoeing/fishing places in the world -Minnesota's fabled BWCAW the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. This region  includes the Iron Range and Lake Superior .

book is set in July and August 1963. Twelve-year-old Cork is in the middle summer, vacation' Howev  when, he and a buddy canoeing in the wildernew discover  the body of Big John Manydeeds, a well-known personality in the town of Aurora and the Ojibwa reservation. They find the corpse hanging at Lightning Strike, an abandoned logging camp that is considered to be cursed. The discovery deeply affects Cork.. Big John was the uncle of one of Cork’s best friends, and he admired and learned much from the man. Liam O'Conner  Corks father is the sheriff. The O'Conner's are mostly Irish but not entirely with Liam's grandmother being Ojibwa . This is a wonderful coming of age story as well father and son facing the divide  that a clash of cultures can bring to a family.... Another great story by Kent Krueger. 

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@Barrie Summy

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

More time, More blogging, More help editing, less Facebook

Several years now since the passing of Mrs. T and later the social isolation caused by several phases of the pandemic I am expecting to return to a semblance of some aspects of my former life. This will be my renewed focus on the Internet through the means of blogging. My initial sense that Facebook and its immediate success and were not for me. That  kept me blog loyal to blogging. More recent concerns about Facebook and its other platforms have shone it to be a   cesspool of lies. divisiveness, conspiracy theories and even danger to our democratic form of government.

With time I intend to continue Troutbirder’s book reviews, nature travel stories and adventures plus photography . Also my new girlfriend I. E. Retired professor of English language Jean Marie is considering educating me on the appropriate use of commas and the general upscaling of my atrocious grammatical skills.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Lucky day

 it was indeed a lucky day when the retired North Dakota North Dakota English Professor and I encountered a seriously distracted left turning driver on Cedar Avenue in a Minneapolis suburb. Fortunately neither Jean Marie nor Ray due to seat belts ended up with nothing more than a bumps and bruises. On a similar note Tony returned to work after quarantine He had a “break thru case of covid” with minimal effects thanks to the vaccine. . This mess  due to a Queen Creeks retrograde

school board which provided little or no protective response for students of staff against the pandemic. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Thursday, August 26, 2021

IWas Really Missing My Frogs Back In 2010

My frogs, you see, appeared unexpectedly last summer in the little goldenfish pond I created right in front of our porch. They hid quite well in the water plants and arriving guests noted them but I didn't really become aware of their presence till mid July. Then my son Tony (the biologist from Colorado) showed up and informed me that I actually had three different species living in the little pond. The ugly fence was due to a certain 9 month old puppy named Baron. He had a penchant for getting into things and utterly demolishing them.
Mr Biology (Tony) stated categorically that 2 of the 3 frogs in the pond were not native to Minnesota. This posed a rather interesting question. How did they get here? One apparently was native to Florida and the other was completely unknown. Florida or Central America seemed a little to far to have hopped so.... It was then that I remembered the fact that some of the tropical water plants in the pond had been purchased at a local pet store in Rochester. Mystery solved! They were clearly long distrance hitch-hikers.

The rest of the summer, we sat on the front porch bird and goat watching, and as the light dimmed in the evening, there was the melodious song of frogs. Friendly visitors from afar. RIBBT. RIBBIT. CROAK CROAK CROAK.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Moms Cactus

I'm sure many gardeners have a special plant or two which conveys meaning and fond memories. One of those plants for me are the descendents of a cactus my mom gave me  many years ago. She brought it from Arizona where a winter retreat helped her deal with her asthma. I have no idea what it is named  but remember fondly from whom and whence it came. Offshoots have been given away but I always keep a few to sit in the sunny spot in front of  our small front porch and next to the  tiny fish pond. The blooms open for one night only so I wait patiently for them to appear.  And think of her....
P.S.  After several emails concerning my lack of recent posts suggesting perhaps ill health, I can report Excellent results  on my recent anual physical. Finding a girlfriend in the Twin Cities area also added to my positivity and energy. 😂💗

Friday, June 25, 2021


A almost-80 year-old man is having a drink in Racks bar and Grill.Suddenly a gorgeous girl enters and sits down a few seats away.The girl is so attractive that he just can't take his eyes off her.

After a short while, the girl notices him staring, and approaches him.Before the man has time to apologies, the girl looks him deep in the eyes and says to him in a sultry tone: "I'll do anything you'd like. Anything you can imagine in your wildest dreams, it doesn't matter how extreme or unusual it is, I'm game. I want $400, and there's another condition.”
Completely stunned by the sudden turn of events, the man asks her what her condition is.
"You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words.
The man takes a moment to consider the offer from the beautiful woman.
He whips out his wallet and puts $400 dollars into her hand.
He then looks her square in the eyes, and says slowly and clearly: 
"Paint my house.”

Our needs change as we get older, and we tend to look for bargains!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Trust Your Dog

Long ago and not so far away I was an upland game and waterfowl hunter.  Before, that is, my     knee  went bad and I switched to hunting birds with a camera and a notebook, it was a sport I thoroughly enjoyed. I owned a series of highly trained hunting dogs long before Baron, my GSD, arrived on the scene. Chessie was the name of our second dog. She was a full-blooded Chesapeake Bay retriever. Stockier and more broad-chested than Labs and Goldens, she had short, curly and somewhat oily hair. Chessie absolutely love being in the water. Cold didn't faze her at all. In other words, Chessapeakes are the perfect waterfowl retrieving machines.

This morning, as Baron lay beside me and I looked out the window on a cold and dreary day my thoughts drifted back to the times when wonderful hunting dog companions led me through the fields, sloughs and around farm ponds. Come on along with me….
Picture of Chessie as a puppy.

On one  particular day though, I was pheasant hunting. Chess   was   about eighteen months old and   in her first year of hunting. She  had already proven herself ready, willing, and able to retrieve ducks. Pheasants though would, perhaps, be another matter. That game bird required steely nerves and a good nose. I left school as quickly as I could getting out the back door that late afternoon. It was less than 2 miles to one of my favorite sloughs.There was a little creek running through about 30 acres of grassland and cover. Chessie started sniffing the ground right away. We had walked in for about 5 minutes when the first rooster flushed. It was a tough crossing shot. BANG!
Hey... sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. The bird dropped into the grass about forty yards away. Chessie was right after it. I followed on the run. I watched    her    circle a bit and then head off to the creek. She went right in the water. "Well what can you expect from a water dog," I thought. At that point, I decided it was up to me to find the bird. I searched for ten minutes. Then I called the dog. She came reluctantly. I got down on all fours and putting my nose to the ground showed her the proper technique. No interest on her part whatsoever. Maybe a little amused smile though. Then she raced back to the creek The stream was about two feet wide there. It had a bank of about the same height, where it had cut through the meadow. Still in the water, Chess seemed particularly interested in this one spot. I thought, "do you suppose" and bent over to look down into the water. Nothing. Then, I lay on my stomach for a closer look. Reaching down, I parted the grass hanging over the bank and there it was..... a large hole in the bank. Mmmmm. The dog, now emboldened, began a low growl and put her head closer for a look. It was obviously some kind of den. Maybe a beaver? Or what?

Now, at this point, one must consider common sense. Reaching into a den without knowing what one might encounter there raises some serious questions. To put into perspective what happened next, one must also take in account  several factors. The age of the hunter for one thing. How young, foolish and determined is he? How much faith does he have in a puppy who has never tracked a bird before? Well, as my uncle Walt often said, "Ve gets too soon alt unt too late schmart." The answer, dear reader, is that I reached into the dark, hoping to find feathers and not sharp teeth! My lucky day, it was feathers. Live and kicking feathers on a very smart pheasant. After doing what you have to do, I gave the bird to Chess to carry a bit . Then we began hunting again till dark sent us back home For the next ten years Chessie proved to be a wonderful hunter-companion. She was the best! I had learned on that first day in the field to trust her judgement implicitly. Here she is with a late season pheasant in the snow.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Deer Attack

With my supervisors permission I was finally able to retire from my duties  as the family Christmas Letter writer.  The ending of that duty had its genesis in the following post I wrote way back in 2009. Progress comes  slowly here on Oak Hill.  The letter was replaced this year by a photograph/card featuring the Grandchildren. Photography is Mrs. T's department....


I’m sure most drivers, at one time or another, have had to fill out a car accident report for the insurance company. In the division of labor at the Troutbirder home, writing Christmas letters, filling out reports and questionnaires is my job. Here is part of an accident report (which included a diagram I had to draw)  I was asked to fill out for Mrs T. These are her words.

"I was driving at the legal speed, east on Highway 16 in the early evening. I noticed a deer emerging from the woods and running to cross the road in front of me. Slamming on my brakes I came to a full stop. Unfortunately, the deer did the same thing, right in front of me. Whereupon, the deer turned to face my car, lowered it’s antlers and charged right into the grill  and left headlight causing all the damage. The deer then fled the scene of the attack back into the woods."

 Somewhat of a skeptic by nature, I barely managed not to question the veracity of this eye witness account. Here are a few similar accounts from  from car insurance files.

 "I parked beside a hedge in a local country lane to go fishing, but when I returned to my car I found that two horses had chewed it causing considerable damage"

 "I was waiting at the traffic lights when a wasp went down my right trouser leg. It made me put my foot on the accelerator and smash into the car in front"

 "I couldn’t put my foot on the brake because my credit cards were wedged under it."

 "My car was hit by a sofa when I was driving home last night"

 "A cow fell off the cliff and crashed right onto the top of our van, which was on the highway"

 "The gentleman behind me struck me on the backside. He then went to rest in a bush with just his rear end showing."

 "I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment."

 "In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole."

"The light pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of the way when it struck the front end."
Yes, the last example also belongs to Mrs. T.  I was there when the accident  occurred.       Unfortunately, I was asleep on the passenger side and didn't witness the actual attack.       We had made    a   stop at  Wal-Mart off the I-90 freeway in southwestern  Minnesota.
I think I've got to make a serious attempt to get out of my family writing role. " I don't  do fiction very well !!!!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Simba Memories of long Ago

It was some 18 years ago now the phone range with a fateful call from my son in Fargo, North Dakota.
Tony:  Hey Dad! How ya doing?
Troutbirder: Hi Tony!  We're doing good. What's up?
Tony:  Well..... I forgot Mom's birthday call and present. 
Troutbirder:  Ah. No big deal I'll put her on the phone and you can talk to her. Send the present later.
Tony: Ok. But....
Troutbirder:  But what?  ( Long Pause) 
Tony:  A kitten!
Troutbirder:  "NO!  No way. I forbid it."  With Muffy  my oddly named Chesapeake Bay Retriever on hand and the fact that I didn't particularly care for cats,  this was a non starter.
Tony:  Let me talk to Mom.......

And so now 18 years later Simba, ruler of his Oak Hill domain, has gone to his Final Reward.  He was friendly and curious, calm yet brave, keeping several large dogs (Muffy and Baron) in their proper place.  Much beloved by Barb and Ray and now sadly  missed. 

Tony and Baron
Simba and two friends

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Now: a widower's philosophy


Barely the day started and... it's already six in the evening.

Barely arrived on Monday and it's already Friday.

... and the month is already over.

... and the year is almost over.

... and already 40, 50 or 60 years of our lives have passed.

... and we realize that we lost our parents, friends.

and we realize it's too late to go back...

So... Let's try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time...

Let's keep looking for activities that we like...

Let's put some color in our grey...

Let's smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts.

And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left. Let's try to eliminate the afters...

I'm doing it after...

I'll say after...

I'll think about it after...

We leave everything for later like ′′ after ′′ is ours.

Because what we don't understand is that:

Afterwards, the coffee gets cold...

afterwards, priorities change...

Afterwards, the charm is broken...

afterwards, health passes...

Afterwards, the kids grow up...

Afterwards parents get old...

Afterwards, promises are forgotten...

afterwards, the day becomes the night...

afterwards life ends...

And then it's often too late....

So... Let's leave nothing for later...

Because still waiting see you later, we can lose the best moments,

the best experiences,

best friends,

the best family...

The day is today... The moment is now...

We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done right away.

So let's see if you have time to read this message and then share it.

Or maybe you'll leave it for... ′′ later "...

And you'll never share it....        WITH A GIRLFRIEND. 



Friday, April 23, 2021

Theresa Bugnet

It was love at first sight.
I might have met her sitting at a sidewalk cafe with friends in Tours.
Or perhaps along the Champs Elysee in Paris?
Did I take a chance on the Montmartre with Mrs. T, on the far left in the red jacket, keeping an eye on the revelers outside the Moulin Rouge?
 No, it wasn't any of these romantic places. I learned later, Therese, this delicate French flower, while of Gallic antecedents, was actually from Canada. Her father George Bugnet was a novelist, scientist, poet and settler born in France. He and his wife had migrated to Alberta, where it took 25 years of work and research to develop her. He crossed the wild Alberta rose with the Kamchatka rose of Russia.
She is almost a grandmotherly type now, having been around for more than 50 years. She was actually living along the driveway, next to the house, we bought in 1970. I was new to gardening then and didn't even know one was supposed to cover roses in the harsh winter climate of Minnesota. She wasn't bothered at all.

Although a sunny girl, she has done quite well with our move into the woods next door. A spot on the edge, that is partly sunny, seems to suit her just fine. Her children live nearby, as I have made cuttings and with an ice cream pail, potting soil, some Saran wrap and a little hormone powder they got a good start in life.
 Theresa Bugnet (Tear Reeza Bow Nay).  What a sweetheart!

Friday, April 2, 2021

Small great things


Jodi Picoult small great things

one of my favorite all-time authors

 Jodi often describes human interrelationships involving difficult moral choices. Like any good mystery they are usually resolved at the end. This novel was published in 2016 and most of the events in the story actually reflected the headlines of 2020 practically word for word. It was all there and I found that stunning to say the least. Race police violence privilege, prejudice justice, amazing.

At the start of her writing career Jodi had decided she wanted to write a novel about racism in America and then realized that she as a white woman was not in a position to accurately understand and portray what it meant to be black living under the effects of the systemic racism. The years that followed saw her learning in every way possible how it all worked. Some critics say that in effect should she overdid some of her descriptions into new stereotypes and exaggerations. I think to a small degree that was true especially in the conclusions at the end. Still I think it was very very well done.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than 20 years experience. During her shift Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she is been reassigned to another patient the parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth who is African-American touch their child. The hospital complies with their request but the next day the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates briefly before performing CPR. The baby dies and Ruth is charged with murder. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender takes her case but gives unexpected advice Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family especially her teenage son is the case becomes a media sensation as the trial moves forward Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others and themselves might be 

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Friday, March 26, 2021


It was to be the first outing of the trout fishing season. My new "birding" hobby had somewhat detracted from a lifelong love of troutfishing the previous summer. This year, I was determined to find a reasonable compromise between the two interests. I would do the fishing thing on cloudy days, when the fish were more active and go birding on those bright sunny days, when the birds were busy and me and Baron, my GSD, could tromp the woodland trails, binoculars and camera in hand. The day seemed perfect. Mid sixties in temp, with a heavy overcast and little or no wind. I headed off to the Root River, east of Forestville State Park. It was one of my favorite "home waters." A place where I could usually count on success. Sometimes great success. Mr. Baron was left behind that day, as his love of romping in the water was bound to scare my off my prey. Parked along the gravel road, I headed across a plowed corn field towards the stream. It was in the tree line about a quarter of a mile away. Watching my footing on the uneven ground, something caught my attention. I looked up and a mature Bald Eagle was heading straight for me. Startled, I raised my hand in protection but the seemingly huge bird soared over me by maybe thirty feet. Relieved, I watched it gain altitude and it turned behind me and headed off to some cottonwoods lining the river bank. It was then that I saw the new nest. A new pair of Eagles had made a home right above my favorite fishing hole. I circled away from the nest after taking a picture with my little "fishing camera" and settled down on the bank to rest and see what was going on. This is the moment when a trout fisherman takes stock. Are there any hatches going on? Are the fishing rising? What kind of rises? How clear is the water after the recent rains? Actually what caught my attention was a large number of small birds, mostly warblers, flitting among the shrubs and trees on the opposite bank. I strained to identify them, but they were just a little too far away. I couldn’t see the details. Where were my binoculars when I really needed them??? A flyfisherman carries all his stuff with him. Pants pockets and a vest are filled with a myriad of vital items to meet all contingencies, ranging from hooks, flies, and Vaselene floatant to tippets and a snakebite kit. No room for birding field guides and binoculars though. Darn!!! It was some time before I noticed the trout rising upstream below a riffle in the river. Looking downstream the eagle pair were looking quite settled and domestic. One stood guard, the other on the nest. Perhaps they had finished their fishing for the day. Time for me to start......

Monday, March 22, 2021

A short preface to even shorter poem

I was too young to understand the depth and breadth of poetry when my high school English teachers tried to interest me in it it took adulthood and the loss of my mom and my wife to Alzheimer's and my son Ted bipolar and my youngest son Tony to suffer from grand mal seizures as I have written here several times my new and profound love of poetry was engendered by two English teachers one of home I married till death did us part and the other a soulmate who helped me enormously be a better teacher more recently I talked to my Spring Valley ladies book club into a let's all read our favorite poems to each other at our next outside meeting in April. Also there was an Ojibwe prayer Paul taken from adult coloring book of the painted ponies which was an influence that had been gifted to me when I was sent rehab for another knee replacement. The gift or was a former student and friend Cheryl Boyd finally, in my home I wrote my first Paul after watching TV one morning as the Confederate terrorists attacked our national capital. I cried for my country that they and also my two black grandchildren. There was that day in my mind the possibility of a lost democracy and the future president who could be another deranged egomaniac it was all a reminder that someday we or a future generation might have a choice between blaming the other hate. My thought to write a Paul was inspired by America's very young poet laureate who recited a Paul during the recent inauguration. I had promised them a call for a friend who lives too far away he slipped his hand into hers and felt the comfort of her response bias squeeze he thought the world is a beautiful and terrible place, deeds of horror are committed every moment and in the end those we love die, if all the screams of all Earth's living creatures were one pain it would surely shake the stars but we have love it may seem frail defense against the horrors of the world but we must hold fast and believe in it but it is all we have.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Birding v. Trouting

No decision is actually needed in this case. Trout season doesn't open for a little more than a week. Still, I've been thinking "deep thoughts" about both hobbies. They are very similar actually. To be successful you need to be very observant. Close to nature works best. The best trout fishing is invariably away from the crowd. Birding too. In often the most beautiful of places. Crowds of people might work once in a while for birding but I suspect solitary or with one other person is also the best just like troutfishing. You need to be quiet. They both require a type of stalking. Trout fishermen are often accused of being the "elitist" types. When the sport was invented in England that was probably true. Trout streams were the private property of the landed aristocracy. Birders sometime's get charged with incipient "dweeb or geekism."
It's easy enough to get involved in the minutia of either sport. Should I get technical about hatches and gear or binoculars and minute differences in color? Tell how to "read the water" or recognize bird songs. The point is that the birder or the trout fisherman is out and about amongst nature. What could be better than that?
Then there are the stories that come with each hobby. Like the time I caught a bat who was attracted to my homemade fly. Or the time I was trapped against a cliff in Yellowstone while two testosterone crazed elk had it out right in front of me. Or the time that Tony and I were hiking,flyrod in hand, up a steep trail in the Bitterroots and came upon my first and only Great Grey Owl, who was drowsing on a branch of a Ponderosa Pine right above our heads.
The tendency and the need to place close attention to things and the time to contemplate about them is why trout fishing has produced the only real "literature" in the fishing genre. I mean, what are you going write about thats really interesting with a $70,000 dollar bass boat, 3 guys on a polluted river and 2 cases of beer?
What is truly appealing about both of these sports? A number of years ago, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan , who wrote a best selling novel (Anatomy of a Murder), which later became a movie starring Jimmy Stewart, answered that question in a way of which I've always liked. Although it's about trout fishing I think it easily applies to birding as well.
I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant - and not nearly so much fun. -John Voelker (Robert Traver)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

No ordinary time

No ordinary time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt the home front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of America’s premier historians. Two time winner the Pulitzer Prize for history writing as well as many other awards. Often seen on television as a history consultant she has done it all in her field. Her study of Lincoln’s political skills in Team of Rivals showed how that skill could be an honorable one and help to save the nation. Turned into a movie it also won an Academy award as well as her second Pulitzer Prize. 
  Her first Pulitzer was No Ordinary Time. In the setting of the home front in World War II It tells the story of the marriage so unusual it almost defies description. We learn of an affair, a broken but patched up marriage and then most remarkably  what they did together and apart which changed and brought a nation into its modern form and and opened the door to world leadership. 
   Above all else though the book is an intimate characterization of the Roosevelt’s and all the people they met and interacted with during the most destructive war ever. But but what a cast of characters! Some world famous and others not Page by page, chapter by chapter it all becomes more personal. And then perhaps like me you will be saying wow! Their relationships, the successes and failures, the foibles etc.Public and private details and anecdotes weave a story you will never forget. I loved it all. Finally though  my minded drifted to our RECENTLY PAST  leader in Washington and I felt immeasurably sick.......

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin - Used (Very Good) - 0684804484 by Simon &

Saturday, February 20, 2021


She came to our dear friends Steve and Jewel’s farm at Easter time lost and abandoned.  They took her in and named her Lily and loved her very much.  She became a wonderful farm dog.  Mrs. T    occasionally fed Lily when her owners had to be gone. Now, some years later, hard times had come again.  Steve has passed on from pancreatic cancer and Jewel has had two very serious fall requiring home heath care. She is very very frail having type 1 diabetes ,stroke and a heart attack  home with serious illnesses.When it rains it pours, as they say. Now Lily has come to live with us. She has adapted very quickly to life in the suburbs. Lily is a good girl…..
2/19/21 am waiting for a call from our vet. Lily was diagnosed last fall with a spinal disc problem, meaning her blackleg don't work at all. I have to lift her into the car an up steps. SHE MAYHAVE TO BE PU T DOWN SADLY

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Book review

 So here's the deal as our new president is wont to say.

#1 I'm bringing back my Troutbirder II book review blog after several year of neglects. Your may remember when Barb was in Cottagewood Memory care I just didn't have time enough to maintain two   blogs. Now thanks to the pandemic I do. 

#2. here is how to get there, Right above is a picture of  me and my book buddy Mark Twain . Click on that photo and you'll jump toTroubirder II for book reviews

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The private patient


The private patient by British crime fiction author PD James. I began reading her mysteries when I was in high school along with other British and French writers that genre. Many of whom were then more famous. She reached much higher in the English social caste’s becoming a baroness and kept on going till she died at age 94. She is best known for her fictional detective Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard. Okay I’ll admit it from the first time I met this Renaissance man he was the man I wanted to be like. Cool and collected and a poet at that..... 

The private patient is the authors final book Dalgliesh series. It begins with a snobby woman named Rhoda Gradwyn  a muckraking London journalist. But she   is about to enter an   clinic for the well to do.  There a top-flight plastic surgeon, Mr. George H. Chandler-Powell, will at long last remove a scar from her face.


“Why now, Miss Gradwyn?” the doctor inquires. “Because I no longer have need of it,” she answers, offering no further explanation. Hm.


Several weeks later the surgery is performed at the doctor’s picturesque clinic, which is located in the grand old Cheverell Manor in Dorset. The operation is a success. And then Miss Gradwyn is strangled in the middle of the night by a mysterious person who wears latex gloves to do the deed. This is dreadful news, not only for the victim but for her renowned doctor, too.  Having your large home combined with surgical facilities and bedrooms and a murder is bad for business.  Lots of potential murderers are introduced into the fray with the manor, and a spooky English countryside.

Here’s the deal, what I liked about this authors writing was clever plots and and fabulous vocabulary. I do like to learn new words. The authors writing style was clearly unique and over the  the decades became much more of the same.. Then what happened was for some readers it grew and grew and for others it went in the opposite direction to redundancy and disdain dislike. Let me count the ways :-) PD James could describe any seen in detail even endless detail to the point you could actually see it feel it and even smell it indoors or outdoors it made no difference and her descriptions of people in every aspect brought them alive. She combined that with references to literature, culture and history to an American it was often fascinating. I took my high school students and spent almost a week there seeing Shakespeare in the Barbarbacon theater and the British Museumn an as far north as Stratford-on-Avon. it took the author about one third of the book before she got to commander Dalgliesh and his special unit of crime solvers. That part I was worn down   lost and bored

The interesting part to me was PD bringing the detectives who I knew from previous books, to a conclusion of their story in this her final book. I loved detective Kate whose rise from the bottom to near the top  she broke last glass ceilings I revered Dalgliesh as a special talent and the most interesting man who seemed likely to be about to retire and marry

These detective stories used to be called who dun-its.  I think this one had too many whos to figure out who dun it  with all the clues I’d have to go back and reread the first seven chapters, maybe twice. Would there be justice and accountability? Well it was from a British author although they don’t hang people for treason or murder like they used to. In America I think it would be unlikely to do that. So I’ll have to watch more TV in the upcoming weeks to show the senate votes'    to book review club 




Thursday, January 21, 2021

Alaskan Diary - Part III

"Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as 'Nevermore.'
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore! Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as 'Nevermore',"
Edgar Allen Poe

Having just had a picnic lunch along a crystal clear Yukon lake, I was discoursing to my companions on the ugliness of a large raven, who had loudly joined the conversation, while perched upon a dead pine, next to the pathway. "Not at all," noted a stranger headed in the opposite direction, picnic basket in hand. "We here in the Yukon think them quite handsome as they are our territorial bird." A little nonplussed at my own apparent discourtesy, I managed to reply by pointing out that we were from Minnesota, where our state bird was the loon. "Ah" he said nodding sagely. "We have one of those buggers on our bills. Loonies we call them," and continued on down the path. You can't make these things up.....

The road from Ft. Nelson to Muncho lake sees the landscape turn from something akin to looking like a vast gravel pit to the wild and expansive vistas that make this a mightly wilderness. The Yukon Territory: Land of the Raven
Our companions Gary and Rosie enjoying the vast vistas. The road began to rise to the heights of Stone Mountain, where naturally we saw stone sheep grazing near and on the highway.

Several grizzly bears were spotten in nearby in the ditchs, as well as a black bear trailed by her cubs. Fortunately photographer Mrs. T. kept the window rolled up.....

It was early June and wildflowers could be seen everywhere. When you see bears though caution rules against heading to far away from the roadway.
It was a rare occurence when I saw more than one car or truck at a time ahead or behind. I love this kind of driving.
Next: The Laird River and Hot Springs