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Corner of the Yard

I had a little help with our garden today. These two young ladies like doing most anything that requires getting dirty, or allows them to play with worms, or having a chance sighting of a garden mole. This afternoon, we dug one up, and it wouldn't do until I had captured the fuzzy little bugger in my cap for further study.


We worked the soil together, me making sure nobody loses a toe or finger to the hoe, or ruins a foot with the garden claw. Safety first. We had a few disagreements over who got to use what, so I made them take turns.
We planted a few hills of squash and cucumber, some Cherokee purple tomatoes, plus bell and cayenne peppers. In another location we will plant watermelons. Hopefully some of the plants will make it to adulthood. I have a tendency to kill things. I've always had a brown thumb, except when it comes to weeds.

Now I'm sitting on the patio, resting my back and swollen knees. Getting old sucks. I never thought I'd see the day when I would have to…
Recent posts

Refuge

At our house, we don't watch the news anymore. All we get are snippets from social media posts, most of which only exacerbate the feelings of fear and dread of our collective psyche.
There's the occasional press conferences we will listen to, ones that directly effect our region, state, and community. We're not ignorant about what's going on across the nation, across the globe, neither are we in denial of the dire situation we face each day during this pandemic.
I told my children yesterday that we're living through a period in time that will be looked back on for centuries. Their lives, too, have been interrupted. I realize that it's my job to provide for them some sense of normalcy. We spend as much time outside as we can. 
So far, my job is holding up. Each day is a constant worry of how I would provide for my family, should I find myself without an income. 
Every one of us will be affected by this, if not by the virus itself, by the economical situation. Family…

Gearing Up For Spring Fishing

The unseasonably warm temperatures have awakened me from my hibernation a little early this year. Already, I have fish on the brain. I’m standing at the back of my Jeep, trying to solve the jigsaw puzzle of how to fit all the gear I have into the trunk, without having to throw out the jack or spare tire.The only reason I keep fishing gear in my vehicle is the off chance that I will drive by prime fishing water and want to check and see if anybody’s home. I pass by Lake Robinson and Lake Cunningham each day on my way to and from work, and often find myself taking a detour on nice days. I never know when the urge will hit me, so I need to stay prepared.I’m guilty of going a little overboard, especially when it comes to tackle. You can never have too much, I always say--and then by mid-summer, I’ve either lost or destroyed half of what I started with.This year will be different, I promise myself.After taking everything out of the trunk, I step back and assess the situation. What I need t…

Familiar Waters

Among my earliest recollections are those of Saturday mornings, fishing the small farm pond across the road with my father. We didn't have any money, so he'd pack some food in a brown sack and we'd walk the dirt road in early morning darkness. We'd sometimes fish all day, returning with a stringer or two of catfish, bass, and bluegill before supper. 
 Dad woke my brother and me one morning to fish the pond near my aunt's cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. It was still dark when Dad hooked into something akin to a naval submarine. He fought the fish as us boys looked on in excitement. But when he pulled the giant catfish through the ring of neon green slime to the bank, we were horrified at the slimy monster, and both ran up the steep bank thinking Dad had landed The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Dad laughed about that for years. 
When my son was old enough to hold a fishing rod, I would take him often to farm ponds and creek banks and tried to teach him everythi…

Very Superstitious

Bass anglers are a peculiar lot. They set the alarm extra early, grab a coffee or energy drink, and pile a trove of expensive gear into a boat or pickup, shirking all domestic responsibilities to head to the nearest water in an attempt to catch a few fish they will ultimately throw back. Anglers take time off work and spend wads of cash on equipment and lures to outsmart a fish that are known to hit beer tops and cigarette butts.
But like all tribes of people, bass anglers have their own philosophy, and are steeped in fishing lore handed down from ancient times. Passed on as well are the many superstitions held by fishermen and women for generations. It is believed that applying this esoteric knowledge will almost guarantee success on the water, if you hold your mouth right (whatever the hell that means).
Never Whistle
In this Cancel Culture we are living in, with the Me Too!movement and all, it is no longer acceptable to make rude remarks or cat-calls to women or to bass, apparently. If…

Coming Full Circle

We were camping on the James River near Gladstone, Virginia one summer when I was a teenager, and as usual, I had struck off by myself to get away from the rest of the family and spend some time exploring unfamiliar waters. Besides, if I hung around the RV site too long, my dad would put me to work, leveling up the camper, hanging those ridiculous owl lights around the canopy, or something. I had seen a picture in the camp store of some smallmouth bass a guy had caught, and I had only seen a few of them in my life. 
I waded out into the water about thigh deep and started casting a small Rapala down and across the current with my spinning rod. Besides me, there were three other fishermen strung out along the river in this section of wide, swift moving water. Every now and then, a fish would take a swipe at my lure, but I couldn't get any to commit. I made my way down toward a large rock about a quarter of the way across, and side armed the bait upstream, and watched it bob and ride …

Can fishing add years to a person's life?

This is a piece I wrote several years ago. It still holds true today.



Everyone needs a place where they can reflect on life. A place that will strengthen their spirit and rejuvenate their soul. Such a place is known only in the heart. There are a few places like that for me, but the one that first comes to mind is the solitude of a mountain trout stream. 
As I cast a fly into the dark recesses along the banks and near deadfall trees, my mind wanders to days past. I think of all the great experiences I've had, and the people in my life who have inspired me. All that time, I wish I could get back. It does not really matter to me if a fish is hooked-- just watching them swirl and gawk at my offering gives me satisfaction, and is sustenance to my soul.
The aroma that comes from the surrounding forest and the the sound of rippling water gives me a deep feeling of peace and quiet joy, far beyond my comprehension. In the spring of the year, it's the new green on the trees and the flower…