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Posts Tagged ‘Hickory trees’

A Night Walk and A New Squirrel Pocket.

I don't know why I put my camera through this, but can you make out the deer?

It has been a long week, my friends, and thought that I might get some reprieve from life’s responsibilities by going for a little night walk, letting the light of the nearly full Thunder Moon and the faint luminesce of the Milky Way impart their gifts into me through the pores of my skin – if it could make it past the Deep Woods Off, that is. And I truly hope it did. I really cannot wait for the end of mosquito season, even with the knowledge that the little bloodsuckers need their time to do whatever it is they are supposed to do. They seem very out of control this year.

Critters have been scrathing at the top of this bolete.

But before I was enveloped in darkness, surrounded by the sounds of a summer night – the chirping of various things; crickets, cicadas and tree frogs – a walk under the trees was made along game trails, hoping to find mushrooms I have never found before – chantrelles and king boletes. There was no luck to be had on that front (the mushroom pictured was not a king bolete in my opinion – the stem was not bulbous), yet there is time before late fall sets in. So there is still a chance of finding a specimen or two. That is if I have a mind to concentrate on mushrooms instead of the hunting seasons fast approaching. The soon-to-be Hunting Moon brings with it squirrel season, and an early duck season. Then the deer bow season starts, followed by the rest of the duck season. Then trapping starts. In between all of this, the brown trout will be spawning, giving me a good shot at netting a larger one – my personal best only being 16-17 inches long! One of my favorite critters that Nature has devised.

I guess my pack will be stuffed to capacity real soon!

This wasn't the only clump of shagbark hickories on this hillside.

In the fading daylight, I found a real nice pocket for squirrel hunting, most of the squirrels I saw were greys. This hillside has a generous share of hickory, oak, and locust. Just a ton of mast. And some very playful chickadees! Squeaking and flitting from oak twig to oak twig, raining small acorns down on this intruder. Thank goodness their territory didn’t include the stands of shagbark hickories I found! This hillside is very easy to get to, and should be a great spot to walk my kids into during the darkness just before dawn. This makes five good pockets I can use for putting squirrels in the freezer. I should start stocking up on barbeque sauce.

A critter crossroads.

Also, though it’s too soon to tell, I may have found a decent stand for this late muzzleloader deer season. That is if I can come by a rifle this year like I did last, thanks to a very good friend. It is kind of hard to describe this spot. It seems to be a crossroads of well worn paths that come and go between features that deer visit. A field to the north, a stream to the east, a stand of cedars to bed under to the south, and mast trees all round. Looks good to me anyway, but I’ll have to keep tabs on it as the year progresses. And who’s to say I will make it out come deer season? I cannot make that promise to myself or to you. But I do have the squirrels and ducks and trout covered, so there, at least, is the making of an awesome fall already.

Until I can write again (which will be soon – I have most of next week off and plan on going trout fishing at least once) –

Take care –

Casey

P.S. The pics I have been taking lately have not turned out well, but I did get a good BEER shot this past Monday. And it is highly recommended by this beer drinker. Also, Oktoberfest will be here soon, and Sam Adams made a high quality one last year. So I’m recommending that already, too.

A guzzler, I assure you.

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Ol' Trapper

Sticklebacks! It’s been hot!! And very rainy, too. A person would think, if they had never been here in the winter, that the Countryside Round were a part of the tropics instead of northeast Iowa! And still I get the urge to wander around outside?

I could have stayed in the shade offered by the inside of my house, complete with air conditioning, and enjoyed the simple, delicious comfort that comes from kicking your feet up and watching a baseball game while taste-testing the day’s freshly baked zuchinni bread (and chocolate zuchinni bread!). But I feel deep down, that when conditions seem to be more than what you prefer, you should test yourself against them a bit, just to see where your limits seem to be set lately.

I love the blues and greens of a marsh.

And so, with Trapper’s company, I did. I am not a fan of temperatures above 90 degrees, but by the time I had finished supper and prepared us to go, the temperature had dropped to 88, and there was a steady breeze to offset the oppressive humidity. Off we went to visit the marsh where I shoot most of my ducks. I like to visit the marsh a couple of times each summer, just to get a feel what it’s like during the times I’m not normally using it.

June berries? More study needed on my part.

A sad reminder overwhelms me as I walk the trails here. The times seem farther between and fewer that I make trips specifically into the wilder edges to collect foodstuffs that are overlooked by most people. Everywhere I look, plants stand out that are known as edible. I’ll admit that I have not tried them all, but there is a list in my head that I run through every time I’m out, and many were on display during my short walk. But, alas, my time available is short, and I wish to spend this time with my mind trying to absorb all it can of the sights, sounds, and smells.

And there was a smell, let me tell you, on the trail through a piece of low-lying woods we walked through. Something smelled dead, and sure enough I found it’s source as I was dodging the puddles on the path. The woods must have been under water for quite some time. Earthworms, large and small, decomposing into the warm, wet earth lent their perfume to the still air under the trees. Some of you may know the odor of rotting worms from the days you used to spend fishing with them, and then forgetting and leaving them somewhere inconvenient. This was how the woods smelled. I hope it’s long gone before squirrel season gets here, as I harvest some from here every year.

This one has some meat on it. Hopefully it, or one like it, will be around yet this fall.

But there is a lot of life still happening! Trapper and I jumped several wood ducks and mallards from the cattails, and heard wood ducks squealing away on the creeks meandering through the timber. We also moved off some Canada geese from the trail. They didn’t seem too worried about us, but still kept a distance far enough away that the photos I took did not turn out well. The same applies for the ducks. It is hard to sneak up them when I’m letting Trapper play more than hunt. And the insects are doing EXTREMELY¬† well right now. Our ears and eyes were constantly swarmed around. Funny to think that they won’t be around this coming Long Night Moon (December) when I’m stalking the woods for a whitetail.

If this heat keeps up, I will have to make a trip to a cold, spring fed creek near me to wade and get cool, and perhaps spin for a few of the trout that swim in it. Well, I was planning on doing that soon anyhow, as my freezer is getting low on it’s supply of fish. Catfish, bass, and walleye fillets (bless the generosity of my brother) are thawing as I write this, so replenishment is on the order. Hopefully, I’ll have something of that to share with you soon.

Until then – Peace, Cheers!! and enjoy a few more photos I took during our walk.

Your friend –

Casey

A sign of autumn approaching? This maple is standing in water, which may have something to do with it's turning color sooner.

Young sumacs! Berries to make sumac-ade and trap dye.

The hickory nuts are swelling!

Wild grapes, still green.

I sent Trapper into the water to cool off, but he was trying to lap up scent! Atta boy!

P.S. – And after getting home and washing up, I was able to enjoy some of that chocolate zuchinni bread! Mmmmm.

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