Tag Archives: water

A Walk in the Woods and the Water

With a weekend where both days were at 80 degrees, a walk in the woods and the water seemed to be called for. Spring days like this should be taken advantage of.

On March 12th I had waded down to the mouth of a creek and on the point where the creek meets the river was a nesting goose. That’s the blurry shot at the top of this post. I thought this was far too early, but what do I know about geese. I do know I haven’t seen another one on a nest till a couple of days ago.

Saturday I thought I’d go check out the goose. I had made the decision to fish my way down to the point, but the fishing got boring and I decided to just stroll. Off in the distance I could see a goose in the water below the point and swimming around it were little yellow objects. As I got closer they all jumped up on the point and when I got to the point, all I could see was a goose head and neck sticking out above the brush keeping an eye on me. I’m sure the gosslings were tucked up under the goose.

Turning around, I became very aware that I was being watched. This one was giving no ground and I gave it some distance out of respect. Those that have followed this blog along for a few years have probably seen the stories about my run ins with nesting geese in the past.

I had no interest in reliving those moments.

I wandered along a shore and took a gratuitous shot down the river on a nice day.

As I started to wander down the shore again, I heard a low hiss. I immediately stopped in my tracks. My previous run ins with geese have burned that hiss into my memory. I stopped a few feet shy of stepping on this.

I’ve seen that look before too. I didn’t have much time to get out of the way before all hell broke loose.

Sunday I decided to go wander a big flood plain on a small creek to see if the Virginia Bluebells and other wildflowers were in bloom. If you like to wander around in the woods and you know a place where the Virginia Bluebells cover the forest floor like a carpet for as far as you can see, next weekend should be perfect.

Today there were a few blooming, but most were still thinking about it. An unknown little white flower was less shy.

And no, I won’t tell you my spot. As far as I can tell I’m the only one that goes there. For well over a decade, I’ve never come across another foot print and I like it that way.

On the way out I walked along the base of a steep hill, I guess you could call this a bluff, it’s that steep. Flowers on the hill caught my eye. I’ve never noticed this before, but there’s a good chance I’ve never walked along the bottom of this hill in the spring before. I’ve never seen these anywhere else and they were only growing on this steep slope.

I have no clue what they are and don’t have a clue on how to even start searching for what these might be. I’m hoping somebody that sees this (ahem, Walt Franklin) will know right off the top of their heads.

I’ll be back here next week and expect to see the bluebells in full bloom. That weekend I’ll also be making my first foraging foray for wild asparagus. If time allows, I’ll also be checking out a potential treasure trove of fungi, morels and chicken of the woods.

Funny to me, I have your typical full time job and with commuting and working, I’m gone twelve hours of the day. If I were to retire tomorrow, this time of year my wife still wouldn’t get to see me for twelve hours a day.

I’m sure I would be out wandering around somewhere.

Every day.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

I have no choice but to go fishing as often as possible. I’ll do whatever I have to do to squeeze in a couple of hours on any given day. If you go through what I’ve written about for the past month, plus go to my original blog and do some reading, the reasons become self evident. Pay attention to some of the things I’ve been saying, sometimes for years. There’s actually science that backs up the benefits received from wading rivers.

You shall see.

My ability to get out as often as I like has just changed, but I’ll find a way.

It’s been over a year since I’ve had regular work in the Graphic Arts Industry, the industry I’ve been working in for 28 years.

In the past year I’ve had numerous people tell me, including a couple of head hunters, that at age 55 I’m too old for the industry and I should find something else to do. They haven’t mentioned it, but I also happen to have the wrong genitals between my legs. A cursory glance around any company that has anything to do with the graphic arts will show that this is no longer an industry for old men, or men in general.

I’ve tried numerous things over the past year. Some not bad if I don’t mind working for under $10 per hour, about a quarter of what I used to make. I don’t need to pay my bills, and I’ve been pretty good at not doing that. I call it trickle down lack of economics. This is what happens when you fuck over old guys in the work force. Everyone below us in the economic food chain suffers. Most of us are now at the point where we simply shrug our shoulders when people start whining at us about money and say “tough shit for you.”

They don’t like it, but it makes us feel just fine.

This week I was finally able to land a full time freelance job that may go on indefinitely. It pays pretty close to what I used to make, which ain’t bad. I may finally be able to start paying some bills, which should stop all that annoying whining.

There are two problems though. I have to drive 50 miles a day one way to get to the job and that severely cuts into my evening fishing ritual.

But I have a solution.

On the way home I have to cross over the Fox River in North Aurora. I’ve timed my arrival to be between 6 and 6:30 PM. For the rest of the summer, that leaves me some decent sunset time to fish that area.

I know the stretch between North Aurora and Aurora like the back of my hand. It’s almost a 3 mile stretch of the river and I’ve waded the whole thing a few hundred times. Since moving to Yorkville 6 years ago, I hardly ever go there any more. Most of it I haven’t fish in over 5 years. This will give me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the section of the river where I first fell in love with fishing rivers.

It’s not like I haven’t caught fish there in the past.

It will be interesting to see if old familiar holes still hold fish or if it’s all just memories.

Will also be interesting to see if the other species are still around.

To get back to my need to be out fishing…

Years ago I read a number of articles about the effects negative ions can have on us. Particularly the negative ions that come from water. If you’ve followed along with what I’ve been writing for the past 13 years you’ll notice a pattern in the things I write. I’ve recently written about how my brain relaxes in tune with the running water. Another mentioned how relaxed I am during lightning storms. I knew all this, but I found an article that pretty much sums up everything I’ve been saying, only from a more scientific point of view.

Water Generates Negative Ions

Have you ever thought why we feel so good walking in the woods, on a beach or near a river, breathing the fresh air in the mountains, or just breathing the fresh after rain air?

That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

This probably explains why I have this obsessive need to be outdoors in general and near water in particular.

Explains why, to me anyway, why I’m usually in a pretty damn good mood and rarely have any real bouts of depression. I recently wrote about how calm I get during lightning storms and how I love standing out among the flashes as they hit the ground not far away. Didn’t know that besides killing me, it might actually have health benefits.

Real coin toss on that one.

An astute reader and follower may have seen my references in past stories about how I never get sick. I just don’t. It annoys the hell out of some people as they lay there wheezing, hacking and blowing their noses as I shrug and say “that shit don’t happen to me.”

That is the one real benefit of all my fishing, hunting and wandering around, all the money I’ve saved on therapy and doctors visits.

Not that I would have paid them anyway.

(I finished writing this about 10:15 PM and before posting it I went out for my evening ritual of smoking one last cheap shit cigar and a good half mile hike around the neighborhood.

Far off to the west was a light show, lightning was flashing. Since I live on a dead end street I stood out in the middle of it to get away from the trees and to get a better view. A couple of bolts flashed into the clouds over head. I could hear the faint sound of rumbling thunder.

I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight).