Friday, October 2, 2015

Salmon trip interrupted-Injury to wife

I've packed and re-packed for my fall salmon trip. This year I thought for sure it would happen. In the past, we've been out of the country visiting our children and grandchildren. But this year we were free.
My original trip; the one I thought I would be taking part in didn't happen for me. Some others made it. I don't know of they had any success or not.
Then another chance came up. I had to cancel practically the last minute as wife was seriously injured in a bad fall she had.
When all was said and done, we found she had broken three bones in her wrist. The left side of her face and chest are black and blue but turning hello.
She's pretty incapacitated, requiring me to care for her. So my next move with salmon gear will be to stow it for another year.
As she gets stronger, I plan on getting in some fall fishing here in Oakland County. Sometimes things don't work out as we think they might, even after careful planning. Such is life.
My wife Pat in the emergency room. I don't know how she cold smile.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Busy, Seasons, Caring for Spouse

This year has flown by for us. It certainly is true that the older you get the faster time moves. My wife and I can attest to that.
I'm caring for my wife Pat after she had a nasty fall one week ago. She was entering an office building for an appointment when she fell, full body, landing almost directly on her face and left hand.
The result was three broken bones in the left hand, heavy swelling to her left eye about the size of a lime, and lots of swelling with black, blue and now yellow on the left side of her face and down through her chest.
The palm and inside of the wrist of the left hand are black from bruising. Her poor, tiny hand is swollen and looks nasty.
The orthopedic doc is keeping it wrapped in a bandage and wants her to mover her fingers and thumb as a form of therapy. The rest will take time.
I was able to get out today on a local lake with my new Wilderness Ride 115 fishing kayak. Just a test run to see how she worked.
This thing is considerably stable to any of the other yaks I have owned or paddled. You can stand in it, which I did in shallow water close to shore, but it would take practice for an old guy like me to be able to do it with consistency and confidence.
This boat has a new, adjustable seat that is very comfortable. I had it in the high position most of the time on the lake which made casting a lot easier.
We  are in the midst of busy outdoor seasons. You can do just about anything you are interested in from hunting to fishing, bird watching and camping. There's something for all of us just outside the door.
Take care and have a safe fall.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Boots, Camo, and Hunters Orange Signal Fall Seasons

The true angler still has the boat on the trailer or tied up to the dock ready to get out for another go at the fish.
But some have put fishing on hold to take up fall hunting. Small game; rabbits, squirrels, turkey, waterfowl, and upland birds are some of the hunting to be had. Some of seasons are open while others will soon follow. Check the hunters guide for details or read my column this Sunday in The Oakland Press.
Anyone hunting with a gun by now should have taken it out of the case, check that it is unloaded and run a brush and cloth with a little oil down the barrel.
Likewise, a light coating of oil on the outside of the long gun will do wonders to keep it in good shape. Be sure the action works smoothly. If not give it a slight squirt of good gun oil and try again. If it's still not operating good, get it to a gunsmith.
It would hurt to shoot a few rounds through it before hitting the field. Pontiac Lake range is open and Oakland County Sportsmens Club invites the public to tune up on their range.
In any event, all of these things, cleaning the gun, working the action and taking it to the range, help remind us to be safe in the field. Be safe and enjoy the fall.
Hunter and four-legged friend enjoy some bird hunting. Photo courtesy of the DNR.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall is Definitely in the Air

Whether we have officially arrived at the first day of fall isn't important to tell fall has arrived. (The first day of "autumn is Sept., 23.)
What is important are the signs that are being shown to us that the weather is changing. Sundown occurs sooner, cutting the length of daylight slightly more each day.
A big indicator to me is the sour cherry tree in our front year has started shedding leaves. There are probably other tree species that are beginning to lose their leaves, but because this one is right here at home, I notice it when it begins.
The other factor I've noticed is the lack of birds singing. From very early dawn-before early light-they  can be heard chattering and singing.
This pleasant sound is around all summer as sort of background music that accompanies us whatever we are doing outside.
Although for the most part the birds aren't singing, there are more of them feeding. Hummingbirds especially are plentiful around the few remaining flowers we have with the color red in them.
All summer long, one hummer shows up to feed either on it's feeder or the Baltimore Oriole feeder. Now there are as many as a dozen or more scrapping for a turn at flowers that are losing their bloom.
Both females and males are present often attacking each other at the feeder, on tree limbs or phone wires, and even in the air. Hummingbirds are known to be very territorial.
Check out my column this Sunday in the sports section of the Oakland Press for other changes signaling the arrival of fall.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kids and Fishing

Kids grow up so darn fast. Those of us with children and grandchildren know this only too well. This Sunday's column is about our grandson Josh. He's 17 and a senior at Waterford Kettering.
It seems like a week ago we were seeing him for the first time, lying in a baby bed with his diapers on, as medical staff gave him a check up.
Fast forward to a few years ago and our youngest grandson, Ewan was born. He's now 5. Next came his sister Lily. She's 3.
Joshua lives near us but the other two live an ocean away. The kids, along with my daughter and son-in-law make their home in England. It makes for infrequent visits.
The many activities Josh is involved in through school keep us busy. He plays many sports, works part time and has just gotten his learner permit.
This is the year he's supposed to check out colleges to get an idea of where he may go in a year or so to further his education.Time flies. It's great to see these little ones grow up and begin learning so much of the world and life.
But for us anyway, we still wish they were all babies, making the sounds little ones do. High school was still a long way off. So were sports, travel baseball and other events in their lives.
Keep them close while you can. Time really does move way too fast.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Graying still caught on the Annan River in Scotland

The Annan River in southern Scotland runs through the Dormont Estate, all 500 hectares of it. That amounts to a little over 1200 acres of land that has been in the same family for 600 years.
"My official title would be Land Master," Jamie Carruthers, the current member of the family managing the estate, said.
The slice of Scotland is six miles south of Locherbie known for the PanAm flight 103 crash 27 years ago killing 270 people,  including 11 on the ground.
We were here visiting relatives that live on the Dormont Estate. "We keep the land as a farming feature," Carruthers said.
He "lets" land out to farmers for dairy and beef cattle grazing and raising some feed crops. "You can see from how green the grass is from all the rain we get, that this is excellent for dairy cattle," he said.
But this part of the river is known for fishing, namely Atlantic salmon, brown trout, sea trout and grayling.
"We have generations of people coming here to fly fish for trout, mostly brown trout. Many people that stay here have been coming with their dads and granddads. They always book the same week every year," Carruthers said.
No other fishing is allowed while people have rented or let the cottage near the river. During their period of rental, they have exclusive rights to fish the river.
For more information on Dormont Estate and fishing the Annan River visit
Read more about River Annan in this Sunday's Oakland Press.
 View of the River Annan, Dormont Estate, Locherbie, Scotland. Photo by Donald Heermans II.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

So far, no news is good news on the chronic wasting disease front!

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer is about like having a life-threatening disease in humans. In the case of deer, veterinarians are constantly looking over their collective shoulders to be sure all the bases have been covered lest the disease becomes more prevalent.
On the other hand, human beings with cancer, in remission or supposedly cured, always have the thought or fear in the back of their mind. Will this come back?
Speaking from experience on the cancer level, every new ache or pain, small bump pr bruise, gets the mind to shifting gears thinking, ah, yes, the cancer has returned just in a different form. No matter what the medical people tell us, its difficult to relax once you have gone through this crappy disease.
Nothing new has been heard from Lansing. And so far, no new cases of cwd have been discovered. But as we move closer to the fall hunting seasons the mind wanders and wonders if more deer will be found to have been contaminated.
Because more people will be in the fields and woods, if there are sick deer about, this should be the time they will be found out just due to more observers.
Wildlife Biologist Tim Payne who covers southeast Michigan and now days probably even more has said more deer will be closely examined for cwd this fall.
"Look for road killed deer and those brought to check stations to be thoroughly examined for cwd," he said.
In the past, DNR officials have encouraged hunters to have their deer checked at one of the many deer check stations around the state to help manage the deer herd.
This year and on it becomes even more important to make a quick stop and have your deer checked. The one you have strapped to the roof may be disease-free but on the other hand, it could be a new case in a different area.
By you stopping for an inspection, heading off a larger field of contamination for cwd or other diseases may have saved the day.