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Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
A call to Dale Barnett remedied the situation. When he delivered two face cords last fall, I called him the most reliable guy in the UP. Nothing has changed.
A call in the morning. Dale and his wife unload the truck in the afternoon.
We are ready for another year. He said these cords were not as "gray" as he liked, but would dry up nicely over the summer. He included a 1/4 cord of dry wood from his garage for immediate use.
This year, like last year, we enjoyed a beer on the deck with the Barnetts after unloading the wood. Dale had a banner year delivering wood over the long cold winter. We talked about fires and firewood and hunting and UP predators like cougars and coyote and wolf.
Anyway, we are apparently now one of their favorite customers, as Mrs. Barnett gifted us with the venison summer sausage pictured at the top of the post. From a deer that Dale shot - it was smoked and made into sausage by an operation in Escanaba. It is really really good.
No, none of it will make it back to Chicago.
It is likely none of it will make it past the weekend.
"Since all the rain has the water level really risen in the lake?MW Mobile Blog strives to accommodate and answer the questions of our loyal reader.
How about a photo of the channel to Mitchell, and the island?"- Robyn
Yes, the two days of rain did noticeably raise the water level in the lake.
the water level is now 17" as measured at the end of the dock on May 26, 2009. This is not directly comparable to the 15.5" previously reported, as a measuring methodology had not been adopted for the earlier depth. However, I would estimate that the level is up a little over an inch.
For purposes of comparison to future 2009 season water level measurements. The correct methodology for determining the water level is to rest the SSMR (Standard Shag Measuring Ruler) on the edge of the base of the left post supporting the end of the dock.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
This is a pretty stretch of the Escanaba - wide, flat, fed by cold springs, buffered by limestone, and after two days of rain - running high.
... and catches a brown trout.
MK said the water was as high as he had ever seen it. He guided me to a couple of "newbie safe" spots, minimizing the likelihood of my falling into the "dynamite hole".
We fished until sunset. I had one strike. MK caught and released one fish - a 10" brown. We spend more that two hours in the middle of the icy cold river, casting to the far bank. Many insects and hatches were in evidence on and near the surface.
The remarkable thing - fish were rising all around us. They were jumping in front of us, behind us, next to us. Many were well within my limited casting range. Sometimes two at once. Some as close as seven feet. MK reported that he tried 15 different flies. I tried two different flies and, at the end of the day attempted to switch to a third. The fading light, my failing eyesight and shivering hands conspired to keep the leader out of the eyelet and sent me back to shore.
What to conclude regarding the hypothesis? I'll leave it to The Reader to decide. MK caught one fish and I was skunked, but MK was equally frustrated by his performance, given the level of activity in evidence all around us.
I'll leave you with this:
As I stood shivering in the frigid water flowing quickly past my nether regions - as I focused on threading that damn fly in the dying light - out of the corner of my eye - I saw a trout rise right next to me. Perhaps it was a hallucination - a hypothermia induced trick of the mind - but I could swear he looked at me, and I heard him ask... "You a golfer???"
UPDATE: MK conspired with his daughter Emily to arrange a test of the second part of the MK hypothesis at the Greywalls golf course. The posted results are linked here. Additionally, as noted in the comments, my brother is gripped by the worst case of troutenfreude I have ever seen. It is not a pretty picture.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Outdoor Life: Mqt #2 town for sportsmen
The city has moved up from last year's number seven position.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 5:06 p.m.
MARQUETTE -- Marquette got a big honor Wednesday from a national outdoor magazine.The new edition of "Outdoor Life" magazine named Marquette the second best town in the nation for sportsmen, just behind Lewiston, Idaho.Last year, Marquette was ranked seventh.The article praises Marquette's abundant year-round activities, awesome steelhead and salmon runs, phenomenal smallmouth, walleye, and Muskie fishing, and a whitetail hunting culture second to none.
It has been cold and raining for a couple of days, so we have been staying mostly inside. The six o'clock news just reported that Gwinn had the most rain in the U.P. at 1.23 inches so far. The lake level is rising. Beginning to wonder if our relocated low-hanging dock might pick up and float away before the next visitors arrive.
I have been working on both blogs, adding some old posts and pictures here, pretending to work on a political post there. I've noticed that I get a big spike in traffic (i.e. 2 or 3 additional readers) whenever pictures of Olive are posted. Who am I to question the aesthetic preferences of my enlightened readership? For your enjoyment - a cornucopia of previously unpublished photographic impressions of our favorite model...
Photos by Jonah:
Photos by MW:
While putting this together, I couldn't help but notice a striking similarity to a picture that has been sitting in a frame on a shelf here at camp for many, many years:
Monday, May 25, 2009
We were fishing for bluegill, as we thought that would be the best shot to avoid an unintended evening fast. Off to our top secret spring big bluegill spot, where we did catch a few blugs. Dad also caught this...
A nice bass, close to 16 inches, caught on a green popper. But the fishing gods demanded a sacrifice. I dropped the bass in the same wire fish basket we use to keep bluegills. The next time I checked he was gone, apparently muscling his way out of the spring trap door on the bottom of the basket.
Still hungry, we kept fishing. Papa switched to the yellow spider fly Harlan tied for him (pictured on the top of this post). A few minutes later...
Another 15+ inch bass. Our secret bluegill spot is now our secret bass spot. This bass went on a stringer.
Dinner: poached bass with wine, carrots, celery, herbs, and morels over brown rice.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Anticipating a day of feast and fun, we decide to start with a healthy breakfast - A big heaping bowl of Bob's Red Mill Hi Fiber Oat Bran Cereal. We were feeling very good about ourselves. Very good indeed.
A few hours later, for second breakfast...
...we had a plate of bacon and a sandwich of liver sausage and onions fried in bacon grease. Oddly, we still felt very good about ourselves.
Soon the activity began.
Chirs and Mike, our guest gourmet chefs, arrived first and took control of the kitchen.
On the menu - Thai Dumplings, Pasta in Abalone, Herb and Wine Sauce and...
Key ingredients for the main course:
Chris works on the Thai Dumplings
Mike prepares the pasta sauce...
...while working under challenging conditions.
The herb wine sauce underway.
A fitting feast to crack the last* of the Big Shag Big Stout:
*Although no one at the time of this post claims to possess any bottles of Big Shag Big Stout, the consumption of only 11 of the 12 known bottles have been documented. The mystery of the 12th bottle remains unanswered.
**After a massive letter writing campaign by reader and commenter Robyn, this post was updated to correctly identify the edible flower in Emily's fruit salad.