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Showing posts from December, 2013

A Christmas Stroll

Today, Christmas day,  dawned quite cold.  We wanted to get out, the dogs did too.  We waited for it to warm and got going by mid-morning. 
I've done little since last summer, and wondered how the old bod would hold up on the trail. When we got to the Bear Canyon trailhead, it was still a little chilly.  I strapped on the snowshoes, Jo elected to take her chances and went without. Fortunately, most of the trail had been packed by folks on skis. 
Here's how it went……..

It turned into one beautiful bright day, eventually warming to the upper twenties.  We covered about four miles.  It felt good to get out and walk.  What a nice Christmas day.

Going Local

Ah, Christmas day.  What did Santa bring?.  Frankly, we've outgrown the gift giving stage.  But this morning, we surprised each other.

Mountain Arts Pottery  I'd been in the market for a new coffee mug for quite a while.  Something that held a goodly amount of coffee.  It had to have a wide flat bottom so it wouldn't get knocked over easily.  It helped if it looked good too.  This is what I got.  I'm happy with it.

Alpacas of Montana  Cold feet?  I get out an fish in the winter fairly often.  It doesn't matter what the air temperature, the water is still cold.  Walking on snow conducts the cold through the boots to the old bones pretty quick too.  Jo got me a couple of pairs of Alpaca socks.  They're nice and cushy. They don't have that "itchy" wool feet either.  Their website reports that alpaca fleece is warmer than wool and softer than cashmere.  It's definitely soft.  As for warmth, I'll have to report back after I've worn a pair fi…

Seafood Gumbo

They should call this "yum bo".  As in really good.  I usually put together a pot of seafood gumbo each Christmas Eve.  It's not hard to make, but it does take a little time as several steps are involved.  The only part that requires care is the making of the roux.
Basically, there are four steps in making this stuff.  They are:
Making the stock Making the roux Cooking the gumbo Adding the seafood


Shrimp (one pound) Scallops (half pound) Crabmeat (half pound) Lobster Tail (optional - it was Christmas so I threw one in) Onion - 1 & 1/2 cup chopped plus…one whole for the stock Celery - 1 cup chopped plus….a couple stalks for the stock Green Pepper - 1 & 1/2 cup chopped Garlic - a couple of cloves Polish Sausage (one pound) Thyme - half teaspoon Bay Leaf (one-half) Cajun Seasoning Mix (see below) Tabasco Green onions (for garnish)

How it's done……
Making the Stock.
Get a nice big pot.  Add around six cups of cold water.  Add shells of shrimp, lobste…

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I was going to call this piece the "Annual Report", but somehow I didn't think it right.  The title would have been borrowed from a piece that Gene Hill often wrote about his yearly endeavors.

"The annual report is a misnomer.  I don't know what it should be called, since it's a mishmash of glossed-over misadventures, distorted emphasis, selective memory, and a very human inability to face any facts that seem harsh, or unpleasant, or postponable." From "A Listening Walk, and other stories" by Gene Hill" 
So here it is, a few random thoughts about the year past and a few wishes for the next. With all due respect to Gene Hill and his fine writing.

I find ways to visit the spring creek more, yet find myself fishing less.  It's a treasure.  In the short time that I've been preoccupied with this blog, the creek has served as the subject for many posts. Few of the posts dealt with the great fish that I've caught (there have been few…

Passage Falls

I took this walk, a few years back.  It was an overcast July day, one that we rarely experience in this part of the country.  Intending to fish the Yellowstone, I got side-tracked and ended up driving to Mill Creek.  There was a trailhead.  A sign indicated that a falls lay somewhere ahead.  A couple of miles, not too far.  I thought "what the hell, might as well go take a look." It turned out to be a nice walk, the clouds kept the usual daytime heat at bay.   The trail wound through burned over country, fireweed bloomed profusely along the way.
The view of the falls was a worthwhile reward, the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow.
Today I'd wager that the falls are silent, frozen by winters icy grip.  An ambitious soul might get to take a look.  Snowshoes or cross country skis would be handy though.

Up, Up, and Away…..

I rarely get more than one shot of a bird on the wing from any particular flush.  If there's any cover at all, it's hard enough to get a single shot, period.  Here's a set from a recent trip to the field.  This bird flushed straight up.  No burst mode on my camera, if there is, I haven't figured out how to use it.  So, each image is a separate press of the shutter.  Sometimes I get lucky.
I like the look of old time photos, sepia seemed to do them justice.  Stripped of color, one can search for the most interesting elements of an image.  Just for grins, I've also shown the color versions.  It's interesting to note how one's eye is drawn to color.  In this case fluorescent orange, which, in my opinion, is one of the most obnoxious colors created.  But, from a hunter safety standpoint, it's a necessity. 
It's also interesting to note the changes in direction by the bird during the flush. It gets up, straight as can be facing away, turns, then turns a…