Writing,Packing, Loading, and Remembering.


Glowsky splendor.


DAY 156: Saturday, October 27, 2012—It is a lot easier to pack the two vehicles over several days than to rush all at the end, thus yesterday was spent on such chores. And in between such chores, I wrote more into the manuscript I’m calling  Jabbertown. Why that title? I read once about a place in Alaska on the Bering Sea that was a whaling station and a magnet for sailors from many countries, and natives from all along the Alaskan coast and interior to come and trade and barter, and of course almost everyone speaking a different language. I also know that trappers and mountain men used to meet in July to trade and visit and drink and so forth, and  from these two semi-related knowings, I conjured a peculiar rendezvous in the hills and crannies of Ontonagon County, an isolated place where all sorts of strange people  might (and did) meet and mix, without the interference of laws or lawmen, until of course Lute Bapcat shows up where he’s not been invited, nor is he welcome and finds himself confronted by an issue that makes him question his job a a steward of natural resources, those these words would never utter from his mouth. How does a game warden deal with laws he disagrees with, or more importantly how does he  manage what he sees to be a moral wrong that no laws cover? His consternation and he settling of the quandary offer all kinds of possibilities, and thus the title of Jabbertown, the finished product of which we should see in the fall of 2014. As said before, writing is one of those human activities for which the creator needs to not be infected with the need for instant or immediate gratification. It is the tortoise’s game, not the hare’s.  This process is lugubriously drawn out and  eats time. This of checking a two-hundred-mile trap line in winter on a regular basis. You are continuously in cold and snow and while not lost, not exactly located and so burdened with daily work you find yourself not thinking about anything but that work and the trap at hand.  Then one day some stranger comes up to you and asks you about your whole trap line and why the seventh trap of several hundred was placed where it was, and you have no idea and stand with open mouth trying to conjure a response, never mind a cogent answer.

 We had a serious morning here, sunny and 23 degrees, winds stiff from the west and north. Brenda wanted Lonnie to go agate hunting with her at the mouth of the Two Hearted, but Lon said no. Max. son Matt, and one of his buddies are chasing steelies over at the mouth too, but it was too bloody cold for me for fishing. Been down that road too many times and never much cared for it. Age makes some geezers into fair-weather anglers (friend God is decidedly not one of them), but by this time in life, catching fish is no longer an issue for ego or frying pan.  The point is to be on the banks of the river, or better, out in a riffle in waders, gestalting, drinking in the whole thing. Being exclusively and totally focused on fish-catching tends to ruin some beautiful experiences, and knowing and believing this, I can still tell you almost precisely the spot where I’ve caught every trout in my adult life.  You should  interpret that sentence to mean: He must not have  a caught all that many fish.  And you might be right.

 Evening here found us engulfed in the aroma of a moose roast in the crockpot, the outside temp in the 30s, and threatening snow tonight, after some pea-size hail this afternoon. It was  a great meal for two people in a small place on a cold autumn night, in a landscape of fallen leaves and naked trees.

 As our evening heads for the barn, Lonnie is painting, trying to get closer to finishing her four-canvas sculpted painting (double diptych?). And that’s all  for today from the shores of Lake Muskallonge. Photos from Jambe Longue’s beach roving this morning follow. Over.


Friday night over the Pigeon River Country



“Sir!Sir! This is a PUBLIC beach!”
Kubuki actor ponders next line.
After a robust “Watch this” comes…”I’m okay, really I’m okay.”
Monkey tree.
Different folks pray for different things.
Burning daylight….


Another damn morning in paradise…
Woodsy lowlife.
Abbatis — by Ma Nature.
No Bambi in Nature. Here a young great blue heron, dead on Superior’s beach.
Use your imagination: Bird of prey devouring another.
Over time you see agatizing in everything!
Mother Nature’s Topiary
Northerlies bring new rock deposits for agate seekers.
Brenda’s agate necklace.

One Week to Go

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, DEER PARK – We depart a week from today. 30+ mph SE winds all night last night, thunder and lighting, and .1 inch of rain. We awoke this morning to find blobs of lake foam all over the yard, more than a hundred feet in from the lake and the way it was frothed up it looked very much like snow at first glance. Yuck. The area is not overly photogenic these days, but Jambe Longue continues to find interesting shots – and agates. She has the eye for those!

I got an email over the website this morning from a guy who said he enjoyed Red Jacket but was bugged by some details. I tried to email him back; his email was reported as not legit. People. Yesterday I added 3,000 words to JABBERTOWN, the newest Lute Bapcat mystery, which takes place in the Trap Hills and Porcuping Mountains in Ontonagon County. The county is grading our road as I write! Not sure why. More rain is forecast! Pix follow later. Over.

Thoughts From the Shower: What is Silence?

October 21, 2012, DEER PARK – I suspect many people find the shower a good location for thinking and cogitation. Is for me. Standing in the iron-laced flow I got to thinking about sound and such things, and how one of the great draws of this place is the silence that envelops us most days, silence defined as the complete absence of sound.

But this isn’t quite accurate.

Thus, it’s more accurate to say that we experience a lot of quiet, which is defined as  little or no noise. Noise, in turn, is defined as sound that is loud, or unpleasant, or that causes a disturbance. Sound’s definition is vibration that travels through a medium (e.g. air) and can be heard when it reaches the ear of a human or animal.  Disturbance is defined as the interruption of  a settled and peaceful condition, with peaceful defined as free from disturbance, or tranquil. And this condition in turn is defined as “free from disturbance, calm.”

Strange voyage through words, that one. We like to talk about the silence here, but it’s just the wrong word. This morning I can hear my own breathing, the sound of my boots on the floor, my fingers on the keyboard keys, cars passing outside, Lonnie’ slamming her car doors, the buzz of electricity in our cabin, including the tinkles and twangs of the furnace in operation. Even when all the manmade stuff is silent and inoperative, and we’re outside, we hear nature’s sounds, birds, dragon flies, hummingbirds, soughing leaves, tree branches rubbing together in the wind, the wind itself.

So it’s quietude we enjoy,  defined as a state of stillness, calmness, and quiet in a person or place, and what that definition further boils down to, I think, is the stillness inside us, not in the surrounding environment. Here we live simply and quietly and in a simple daily order of events, mostly predictable. It’s certainly true that you don’t have to travel all the way to the UP to find this. Our friend Z has it on her farm north of the Zoo, where she has it, but it doesn’t hurt to physically get yourself away from the sounds and light pollution of towns and neighborhoods if you are seeking quietude.

And Jambe Longue believes that many people, maybe most, have never experienced this condition, nor want to, because modern life seems driven by sound in the daily mass-media cacophony and  its induced decibelian debacles. People have radios blaring all the time and talk to themselves in their cars because they can’t tolerate being alone. Pretty sad. I can remember as a kid walking out in the woods and laying out to watch the sky through the leaves overhead and letting the soughing make me sleepy.

Yeah, it’ll be hard crossing dat beak britch. Over.

Homestretch Looms: Eleven Days and Counting on Short-Time Calendar

DAY 151: Monday, October 21, 2012, DEER PARK – Yesterday a perfect fall day, sunny, low 60’s and we spent it in first stages of packing, going through and reorganizing all of our fishing gear, and all of our books, deciding which ones will travel south with us and which (about 60-70) will go through the Brenda-Max to Mike-Monica Brown Deer Park Lodge pipeline, where they will reside for guests of Da Lotch.  Today is overcast and 45 degrees, rain not forecast until tonight, but forecasts up here don’t mean much and are written in lemon juice instead of India Ink.

Matt Cartmill was in 1993 a professor  in the Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy at Duke University, and later Professor of Anthropology and Director of Graduate Studies at Boston University. I’m well into his 1993 book from Harvard Press, A VIEW TO DEATH IN THE MORNING: HUNTING AND NATURE THROUGH HISTORY. One of the finest reads ever and should be mandatory read for hunters, birders, anglers, tree-peepers, wildlife photographers, naturalists, all lovers of nature, conservationists and, god forbid, politicians and clergy.  Cartmill takes us across time to look at how hunting was viewed by supporters and opposers, and how this changed over time. Well written, smoothly organized. Been one of my most informative and compelling nonfiction reads of summer. The author combines history, religion, philosophy, the arts and literature, and science into a broad-sweep Humanities look at hunting over time. I found it as a used softcover.

Meanwhile this morning, Lonnie is nearing the end of Bob Linsenman’s upcoming novel, SNOWBLOOD’S JOURNAL, and last night hit a heavy emotional bump involving a dog and gave me “The Look.”  We are still somewhat ouchy over the loss of Shanny. The novel will published by Arbutus Press next April.

Last night we grilled a chicken over charcoal, one left by God and Laurie. It looked like an elephant had stood on it, flat as a pancake. Photo to follow. This will be our last grilled meal for the year – weather won’t permit when we get south. And we had our last beach fire on Saturday, burning boxes, etc.

Time from here will go fast, time at home too, and then I will be out with Cos during the firearm deer season. I don’t expect to catch my breath until December, which is when I will get back to serious writing work. First priority will be to run down as much information as I can on mules, feeding and caring for them on long trail outings, and so forth. This info in the bag, I‘ll turn back to Brown Ball and I hope to bring that to a finish by Christmas or New Year’s. After the new year, we’ll be joining editor Keith and  plowing into next fall’s Grady Service tome, KILLING A COLD ONE.

Not ready to leave the Yoop, but lots of good stuff ahead, so no complaints. After a rainless summer, we have pretty much caught up to annual precip numbers, though finding authentic, reliable historical monthly rainfall on the Trashnet (AKA the  Internet) is an iffy proposition, at best. The numbers I found this time around don’t at all match what I found last time, and which I wrote down, but misplaced, and in comparing Deer Park with Grand Marais, 16 miles west of us and also basically on Lake Superior, it shows that GM gets an annual 28.82 inches vs 10.6 in Deer Park. This makes very little sense to me, and my rain gauge (99 cents at Ace Hardware in Newberry) has shown we’ve gotten 13.2 inches since May 24, which by comparison puts us in just five months over the annual average by about 2.6 inches. I know about microclimates and such meteorological folderol, but this has been called a dry spring summer by locals. Numbers don’t quite show that – or more likely I’m missing something. Ninnyvint, all from the shores of calm and clear Muskallonge Lake in northern Luce County. Our animal counts are trailing off, though we’ve finally had some night singing from the coyotes, all to the south of us and back along Trout Creek. Yesterday awoke to bear hounds in passing truck headed west for the swamp. They prolly put their dogs out over on Seven Mile Fire Trail and they are pushing the bear north through to our road, the so-called Deer Park Truck Trail. Ah the rhythms of the U.P. in fall.

Some new Limpyisms:

  • blindsight (when we can’t see what’s obvious and right in front of our eyes, the sort of blindness politicians are famous for);
  • remembery (memory);
  • pope-slap (dope slap);
  • anaconda (accost);
  • DNR testing (DNA);
  • artificial inspermination (insemination);
  • likejacket (for lifejacket, Limpy’s explanation, “Youse like ta have youse wonadem when youse iss oot in a boot, eh?); and,
  • disoreotittied (disoriented).

Don’t be shaking your head in disgust. I’m the reporter in this deal – just writing down what the old poacher says, eh.

Photos  will follow when I can find a WiFi that doesn’t take ions.  Over.

Some Idle Thoughts on Hunters

DAY 149: Saturday, October 20, 2012, DEER PARK – Rain last night pushed us to 13.2 inches since May 24, but today was 60 in the sun, time for some chores preparatory to departure in 11 days. Lots of rain being forecast ahead so we will do as much packing and prep as we can while it’s dry outside.

Meanwhile, we both continue to read voraciously. Today I finished Ted Kerasote’s BLOODTIES: NATURE, CULTURE, AND THE HUNT. Interesting read. Kerasote lives near the Tetons in Wyoming, was a hunter, left that to become a vegetarian, and left that to come back to hunting and eating meat. Seems to me a bit of the  hippy-dippy, indecisive hermit type, but he  thoughtfully explores a lot of aspects of hunting and even spends time with an animal rights whacko. I used that term intentionally, but this blog piece isn’t intended to discuss the merits of hunting or the idiots who take objection.  What I can say is his time with a big time trophy hunters shows an equal level of whackdomness. Extremism in practice is invariably ugly and wartish, whatever its intention or stated cause.

Kerasote tells us about Stephen Kellert at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental studies. Kellert sampled hunters from across the nation and found three significant types. I found this interesting because our conservation officers see all these types, and often have their own views on and opinions about such people.

GROUP 1: Utilitarian/Meat Hunter: More likely to have been raised in rural areas and primarily interested in harvesting meat much as one might harvest apples or soybeans. They had little interest in the living animals themselves or the environment they inhabited. Indeed, hunting just to be outside, without the possibility of “harvesting” and animal, was not appealing. This group comprised 43.8 percent of the total hunters in the survey.

GROUP 2:  Nature Hunter: While representing only 17.7 percent of the survey, hunted most often and was demographically the youngest. As a group they knew the most about wildlife and their goal was to become intensely involved with wild animals in their natural habitats. Motivated by genuine affection for wildlife, they were faced with the paradox of killing creatures they loved.

GROUP 3: Dominionistic/Sport Hunter: Constituted the second largest category, 38.5 percent of all those who had hunted during the last five years. They often lived in cities and savored competition with and mastery over animals in the context of a sporting contest. However, their knowledge of nature and wildlife was very low. The only group surveyed by Kellert whose knowledge about animals was equally low was the anti-hunter group.

GROUP 4: Anti-hunters: Type 1: Humanistic: had a strong emotional identification with animals, typically pets, and identified, anthropomorphically, with the fear, pain, or suffering they imputed to hunted animals.

Type 2: Moralistic: took position that hunting was ethically wrong and fundamentally evil.

Interestingly, Kerasote writes, only 4.5 percent of the anti-hunters sampled objected to all forms of hunting, including hunting for food.

Finally, Kerasote refers to a study done by Robert Jackson, Robert Norton, and Raymond Anderson at the University of Wisconsin, which found many hunters go through five phases in their lives. They are listed in order, from start to later, the process is one of evolution.

  • Shooter Stage: Revels in opportunities to discharge their firearms many times.
    • Limiting Out Stage: Satisfaction comes from numbers of animals taken.


  • Trophy Stage: hunters believe in selectivity to be of paramount importance, passing up what they consider to be animals of lesser value.


  • Method Stage: hunters by this point are heavily investged in equipment and have discovered pleasure in “how” the hunting is done – calling ducks or bugling elk, or using primitive weapons, such as the bow and arrow; and,


  • Sportsman Stage: This is the mellowed hunter who is satisfied merely to be outside and gave up control of the world through pyrotechnics, accounting, collecting, or methodology.


I think you could make the same evolutionary sequence for anglers.  Or sex afficiandos for that matter.


Nothing earth-shattering here or intellectually challenging, but if you hunt does this stuff ring true to you, and what stage are you at? Another time, I’ll try to talk rationally about the irrationality of anti-hunting and its adherents.


At one point an anti-hunter says that “they” can count on hunters to overreact to anything perceived as a challenge, which in turn then lets the anti-group get out its message. Pro-hunting forces here face difficult choices: when to engage and when not, and more importantly HOW strongly.

A central factor in this is the fact that a lie that gets repeated enough, eventually becomes accepted fact (truth?). The antis know this —  but so too does the NRA and  both sides employ the tactic —  so we see the same kind of negative kooky stuff going on at this level as we see in Presidential politics. This thing of the of repeated lie becoming established truth is used by all sorts of individuals and groups to push their causes. As an old PR man, I know these things, Pancho.


Enough already tonight. Just today accepted an invite to speak at the Fremont Area District Library April, 2013 – tentatively set for the evening of Thursday the 11th. Will post the actual time in the website events section of the website as soon as I hear it. This appearance will coincide with the publication of HARD GROUND.


Da More T’ings Change, Da More Dey Remain Same, Eh?

DAY 148: Friday, October 19, 2012, DEER PARK – The following article appeared in this week’s Newberry News, an excerpt from October 18, 1912 edition of the same publication. The column is called “Travelling Through Time,” and the subhed is “Horde of Cheap Skates.”

Horde of Cheap Skates

“After all, the efforts of the state game warden to compel the settlers of the Upper Peninsula to conserve the deer so that John Doe of Kalamazoo, or Richard Roe of Yuba Dam, armed with kerosene cans, rifles and baled straw, can be assured the securement of two deer during the month of November will be doomed to failure.

WE believe that the deer that browse on the crop of the settler, who resides many miles from a settlement where he can secure fresh meat, belong to the settler, rather than to the horde of cheap skates, than annually infest the Upper Peninsula.

The state game wardens will find it an impossibility to secure a jury that will soak a settler who kills deer for the subsistence of himself and little children. The game law should be changed so that it would be impossible for an invading army, armed with high-power guns, to cross the straits each autumn.

Settlers and their cattle and horses are annually killed by this horde of interlopers, and so long as this is allowed the Upper Peninsula will not come into its own. At the present time it is looked upon by many as a mere game preserve, and where the hardy settler, who is endeavoring to carve out a home and farm from the primeval forest, is considered an interloper by the armed booze fighters.”

Make you smile or laugh? It shouldn’t, because this attitude still prevails in the UP (and Northern Michigan) and could be reworded as, “All that is up here is ours and we will do things our own way and the law and state game wardens be damned.” In 100 years we haven’t come all that far in attitudes among many, especially the wood tick clans. People may howl when I say this, but folks up here truly believe THEY own what’s in the woods, not the people of Michigan, and while they local businessmen now like having the money from downstate, they’d prefer it if the so-called horde referred to in the newspaper article would just stay home and their send the money up. No exaggeration here, sportsfans. It is what it is.

We won’t even go into the rhetorical issues in the article and the underlying anger-igniter: dose vizzies don’t spend enough money, hey? Ergo the “cheapskate” label. On the other hand, I admire this about the Yoop. Locals, newspaper editors included, tell you exactly what they are thinking, no punches pulled, no feelings spared. Too bad some national politicians can’t bring themselves to do this.

And to close the loop.  Detroit, Big Cities, villages, woods and wildernesds, Da Bridge, all of this belongs to all of us. Michigan is who we are, and for mke a matter of choice. Above the Bridge, Below the Bridge, Yooper, Troll, these are all non-distinctions offered in loving fun. Bottom line, ATB and BTB comprise our state, yes, OUR state and we need to stick together in taking good care of OUR state and all of its many and wonderful components,  and in demanding good and effective local and state governments to help us.

And how ‘bout them Tigres! We watched them take the pennant from Red’s Wolf Inn last night. Nothing better than erasing dose pinstripes, eh? Cool. Over.

The Solshine Returneth– Finally!

 DAY 148: Wednesday, October 17, 2012, DEER PARK –  Our rainfall since May 24 is now at 12.8 inches. Some color, despite rain and 40mph winds yesterday, persists. Today was a varied one –both play and work. Got the changes keyed into the HARD GROUND  manuscript for electronic transmittal back to my editor tomorrow morning. Jambe Longue and I went agate hunting around noon and harvested a pretty good take, including several good ones. Most of the rock on the beach was underwater again, there yesterday, not so much today, the winds having shifted from north to south. My first time out in awhile. Jambe Longue gets out most every day, even in the nasty weather. Wolf tracks by Shanny’s trail (our get-in and get-out). Classic size: 4.5 -long by 3.5-inches wide. Don Madorski said he saw a wolf on the beach last year, same area. We’ve seen them east and west of our cabin, and had a howler-caller working Trout Creek last summer. We’ve seen them on the lake, and up past the state park. This time the tracks were about 300 yards north of us. Would love to get a photograph, but that all boils down to serendipity and a camera in hand. Like bears, they rarely linger long. I got a photo when pal Bob Lemieux and I saw a wolf north of Seney back in 1998, but it looks like an ant with a tail, and that time I chased it to get that shot. It leaped over the road in front of us and chugged out into a cutover. We measured the jump by the tracks at right around 18 feet, and that was when it was just trotting along, not running all out. Amazing creatures.

She did laundry (multiple loads) and I used one of my friend Max’s power tools to carve Shanny’s name on his peemail pole. Turned out OK for a non-crafty fellow. Will seal it later. We’re going to plant forget-me-nots around his grave site. They grow in great quantities up here and almost everywhere, though this was a short year for them, which was too bad. Tofu and veggie stir fry for dinner. Brenda is off at a retreat on Mackinac Island and we invited Max to join us, but he has been working like a dog for weeks but he said no thanks. His plan: take a shower and camp in front of the TV – with no interruptions.

Lonnie made reservations for our trip home, and confirmed my deer season reservations and I exchanged notes with officers, and I’m all set. Decided I’ll make stopover in Gaylord on the way up, and cruise west the next morning. I used to make those 12-hour drives in one gulp, but I’ll split it this year and make it easy on myself, especially if the weather is rotten which it often is. Patrols Nov 14-20, long hump home on the 21 in time for Jambe Longue’s family turkey day – this year in Portage rather than Niles area, which will save us and me some driving time. Will blog the DNR experiences after the fact, with photos. My 12 consecutive deer season with officers, mostly up here, but some years down below. I’ll try to jump in with officers down state after Thanksgiving. The opening days and closing days are often quite different in the sort of things that go on in the woods – on both peninsulas. I’m hoping I’ll luck onto another moose sighting during deer season, but you never know.

Would add here that I got a message from my pal
Rachel last night, attaching an article about a Catholic priest up here who is an exorcist, and talks a lot about all the evil he’s seen, though, he points out,  he’s never performed the ritual on a Yooper. I laughed out loud because this sort of falls right into that general spooky unreal subject matter featured in next fall’s KILLING A COLD ONE  (9TH Woods Cop). Every time I write a woods cop novel something happens that seems like a message that I somehow picked the right focus. Odd and funny.

All from here for now. The UP is beautiful in all her moods. Photos from today follow. Over.


Shanny’s Peemale Pole, freshly routed and carved and ready for clear sealer.



The sunglasses are 7 incvhes long. Guess what made the tracik — just below Shanny’s Trail. Made sometime in the moring. Not there when Lonnie visited afternoon before.



Neclkace of agate and copper made for Lezlee by Jambe Longue



Splash of determined color at base of Shanny’s Trail


1987 copy of British Edition of Taxi Dancer (US ed was in 1985)



Scrivening-N-Such On Muskallonge Lake

DAY 145: Tuesday, July 16, 2012, DEER PARK – We sense this morning that fall is starting to take itself seriously. Temp was at 28 degrees early (I was up working 0200-0600). Couple of weeks of mid-20-degree nights will firm up the ground and make it receptive to holding snow. Until the ground freezes up, snow won’t stay in much quantity or for long. (I’m not complaining.)

We leave here two weeks tomorrow and have begun the delicate dance of “eating through” (Our friend Ruthie DiSilvestro’s term) –  which means finishing the foods you have in place (not replacing them, except for fresh veggies, etc). We appear to be in pretty good shape in this regard, thanks to Jambe Longue’s astounding planning, organizationa,l and juggling skills.

I can’t remember if I mentioned that while signing in Marquette, pal Don Matson brought in a copy of Taxi Dancer with a cover I’d never seen. It was the Corgi Books edition from the UK, published in 1987, wo years after the book appeared in the U.S. The cover includes pricing for the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Probably some copies got sold in Canada, too, but the original American edition was distributed both in the US and Canada, and as far away as New Zealand. Bottom line: I now have my own copy, which I bought inexpensively on-line as a used book.

Up early this morning to spec out map details for HARD GROUND. Rest of day typing edits into the manuscript for electronic transmission back to my editor, and we have come to an agreement (basically his plan) for the order in which stories will appear, and which stories will be sold separately as Kindle “Singles.” Point of fact: I have no real idea what this means, much less portends.

In my spare time I’m reading about the collection of leeches or medicinal use harvesters worked in swamps and marshes, would come out with 20-30 leeches stuck to them and as their blood thinned over time (there’s an anticoagulant called hirudin in leeches), the gathers would bleed for up to 10 hours. Eventually the work killed them and those who quit it after a long time were covered with leg scars. Nice image, huh? I’ve also, through serendipity run across a treasure housed of information on mules as pack animals on camping, hunting expeditions, including even a supply list for one person for 30 days, and the list dates to 191l — right in the time period I’m writing in. Still need to talk to someone who professionally wrangles mules and has experience on the trail with them, re feeding, health, first aid, etc. More of a challenge to write in the past than in the near-present, but fun learning new things, some of which are useful now. For example, did you know that a cup of hot water sprinkled with cayenne pepper will better take the chills out of you than tea laced with a dollopy blurp of whiskey or brandy? At this point this information is strictly book-read theoretical, but we will try it out and report back. We still hope to fish, but don’t want to stand in waves going WHOOMP! like mortar rounds when they slap down on the beach. I like the sound of wave-rattled (singing) rocks, I love the boom sounds too, but just don’t want to fish in conditions that produce the water mortars.

We’d rather wade the edges of the river in steep little valleys, where hills and tall hemlocks and white pines block most of the wind and make accuracy in casting take precedence over shotputting a sliding 1-3 oz wt. as far as you can throw the sucker within the limitations of your rod, strength, and coordination. We use 8.5-foot steelhead spinning rods for this, and for chunking spinners further up the river. Best river mouth conditions for spawn seem to require some 1-3 foot waves slopping in from the north.  Glassy conditions don’t bring many fish to the bite. Wading out in waves to cast ain’t easy. I remember God and I late one late September wading in Huron near Cheboygan, using our 9-ft flyrods to pitch big streamers to cruising browns, but standing in 2-3 foot slapper waves that finally drove us out and back down into the swamps and cricks.

Discretion is the better part of valor, yah? BTW: Billy the Bard gave us that saying, as he did many, many more.  45 degrees, south wind and raining as I write this. Definootely not picnic weather.

All to report from here. Back to work. Over.

Local Weather Writing, and Naming Winter Storms

DAY 144: Monday, October 15, DEER PARK –The rain has finally lifted here: 1.6 inches since Friday, boosting us to 12.5 inches since the end of May. Lake and river coming back up. Superior today has north winds, 20 G 30 mph, but waves don’t look that big near shore. Finished going through Editor Keith’s work on HARD GROUND and finished my adjustments. Will type in changes tomorrow and return, well before Oct 25 deadline. After that the manuscript moves to copy editor (technical side) and thence to the fact-checker and I’ll have one more look before it’s declared final and accepted for publication. Will come out in April. Thursday we’re going to Newberry to attend and Eastern Upper Peninsula Advisory Committee meeing, a tool for the DNR to get input from the public on various issues. Always wanted to attend one to observe, but this is first one where the timing will work. Confirmation today from friends fishing the Two Hearted. They are seeing eagles on the river, and we’re not seeing many of them here. My analysis, it appears was right! Heard a houndsman truck go by this morning with singing dogs. Haven’t heard them in the swamp yet, except for during the practice period when they had a bear treed somewhere west of us. Photos follow for your viewing pleasure.

As an aside, have you read that the Weather Channel is going to start naming winter storms. Sort of interesting. And they posted a list of the names, the first eight of which follow and which I find a bit on the goofy side. Athena; Brutus, Caesar, Draco, Euclid, Freyr, Gandolf, Helen.  Photos follow for your viewing pleasure.  Over.

Snow morning.



Color with Snow



Thursday Sky



Hail to the Leaf.



Through the woods



Gray Lady making her presence known.



Shanahan’s Path



Needs a haircut.






Don’t point that thing at me.”



Undecided on color directions?



“Okay, wait, let me think…”



Agatized driftwood.



Beach alien?



Logjam on the beach. These are BiG logs, which affords some notion of the power of Lake Superior in one of her snits.



This birch looks like Terry Sawchuk’s face at retirement from the NHL. (No masks, eh?)