July 2008 Archives

She's happy, but the fish are not...

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The Tween learned how to fish on the fourth of July. In fact, it seems as though we've created a monster. We could not get her to put the pole down. She had worm guts and fish blood and hook scrapes and line burns all over her hands. "So what?" she said. I estimate she caught, and released safely, 30 to 40 sunnies, bluegills and strawberry bass over the course of three days. She was baiting the hooks with canned corn, cooked peas, worms and anything else she could dig up. Fearlessly she wrapped her bare hands around the wrigglers on the end of the lines and, without getting poked by their fins, carefully removed the hooks. In fact, one fish had an old hook under it's eye, so after she removed the small hook she had caught it with, she took pains to get that hook out as well. I can safely state that no fish were harmed in the making of this new fisherman. When she spotted a really big lunker, she got very excited. But the look on her face made a drastic change when the shiny two foot carp ate the strawberry bass, the hook, the line, the sinker and all in one gulp.

That was one that got away. She tried for two more days to catch it, and finally gave up when she spotted a blue-tailed salamander on the stones, which she proceeded to try to grab. Then her attention was taken by a garter snake which had draped it's body around a red-winged blackbird nest in the cattails. The parents were making a terrible ruckus, and the fledgling had hopped up the stem of the protective reeds to relative safety. There was no lack of nature to hold our attention this week. She named the regular visiting rabbit Steve, and no matter how many white tailed deer wandered around the house, it was definitely Frankie every time. We're heading back to the house in November. The flora and fauna will be waiting, I'm sure.

Big Balloons in the Sky

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28 years ago I took a ride in a hot air balloon while attending Syracuse University. A group of my friends there pitched in and bought me the ride as a gift. It's something you never forget, and it's also very hard to describe, despite having a good thesaurus nearby. Last weekend I got to share the experience with my husband and daughter. I took tons of photos and could not wipe the smile off my face. Virginia Military Institute's Parade Grounds made for the perfect setting for this annual event. I suspect we will return, Enjoy.
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Walker's Creek

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Well, John, this one's for you. We spent a week driving alongside this creek, wading in it, and photographing the area.
WalkerCreekSign.jpgNote there are 4 deer in the back edge of the field; two does and two very young ones.

walkercreek.jpgAs the stream babbled over the rocks seen here, it sounded to me like a woman singing in a deep contralto.