Tag Archives: wild asparagus

Distracted by Shiny Objects

While out wild asparagus hunting the other day, the asparagus wasn’t up yet so I kept getting distracted by shiny objects.

Okay, and not so shiny objects, but objects none the less.

Let’s just say I’m easily distracted.

Wild Asparagus, a Bridge, Beer and Leaf Burning

Who are you? Carnac? What does any of that have to do with fishing.

Everything is related somehow. Sometimes you just have to wait awhile till they all catch up with each other.

Saturday was a work day. There were things that needed to get done around the yard and it was going to be a gloriously beautiful day. Mid 60s, mild winds and plenty of sunshine.

The house I rent sits on a 100 X 150 foot lot. I guess that’s big. It’s bigger than anywhere else I’ve lived. By neighborhood standards though, it’s one of the smaller lots. On the lot and immediately bordering it to within a few feet are a dozen trees. A couple of big maples that refuse to change colors or drop any leaves. A couple of big old oaks that aren’t having that problem. A couple of big black walnut trees and a few that defy identification, mainly because I’m too lazy to look it up.

Except for the two maples, most of the other trees are almost done shedding their leaves. Most of the leaves wound up on my roof, in the gutters and covering just about every square inch of the yard. Starting on the leaf removal process had to wait though. We had a heavy frost over night and everything was covered with a thin layer of ice, including the roof. My wife may like to refer to me as the idiot, but even I’m not dumb enough to go climbing up on an ice covered roof.

I knew it would take till at least noon to dry everything out, there’s no point in trying to rake and blow around soaking wet leaves. This left me with a bit of spare time to kill.

On the side roads I take to get to the main road to work, I’ve found a stretch where wild asparagus seems to be growing quite well in that strip of land between the road and the corn fields. I decided to go do a little more exploring.

It’s much better than I thought. For over a mile, both sides of the road have one wild asparagus plant after another. This time of year they’re pretty easy to spot as they go to seed. Considering the amount of traffic this little two lane road sees, I’m surprised it hasn’t been picked clean. But then, I guess those living in the subdivisions not that far away would probably prefer getting their asparagus from a grocery store.

Over the summer I found a massive bunch of wild asparagus on an island in the middle of the Fox River. If nothing else, I know nobody will get to that bunch. It’s a shame I now have to wait till spring.

On the way home I stopped at the Marge Cline Whitewater Course. There sitting on shore was the new bridge that is to span the whitewater course so people can walk out to the small island between the dam and the course.

I was hoping this was forgotten about and the bridge was never going to be put up. I had sung the praises in a previous post of the benefits of having fewer anglers in this stretch. I’m afraid putting in the bridge will bring them all back along with all their garbage. I was just starting to get used to seeing this stretch of the river nice and clean.

Back at home everything was dry and I spent the next 4 hours blowing leaves out of gutters and then moving endless piles of leaves out to the curb in any way that worked. Blowing worked up to a point, the point where the leaf pile was 3 feet high and still had to be moved another 20 feet to the edge of the street. At that point it was quicker and easier to move it all with a rake. Low tech is some times better.

Of course one big pile was collected around the fire pit. It was time. A good beer was brought out and all it took was one small flame on one leaf to begin the next hour of burning.

And burn I did. To build it up even more, I went through the hoard of mother-in-law junk that’s stacked in the garage. Anything that was busted and broken and made of wood got tossed onto the pyre.

Too soon I was out of things to burn.

I settled into a lawn chair. Flames in the fore ground, waning light as a back drop, I opened another good beer and sat staring into the flames until they died into a pile of smoldering ash. I looked up into the maple that refuses to give up its leaves.

Sure looks like I’ll be doing this again next week.

View from the Porch – Hummingbirds, turkeys, squirrels, fishing and asparagus.

I haven’t seen the hummingbirds in a few days. The water level in their feeders looks like it hasn’t moved either. I’ll leave them up through the next coming warm spell in case there are a few stragglers out there, but I think that’s it. Summer is definitely over.

The cut corn fields around me are being over run by geese. Big flocks are disappearing in the tall stubble. Now and then a head periscopes up, rotates and disappears again. Fattening up for the coming hunting season. They’re returning to the river well after dark. Good indication to hunters on where to be at the end of the day.

The squirrels are everywhere. I pegged a couple of ears of corn to the trees in front of my house a few days ago and they’ve been ignored. My neighborhood is filled with massive oaks in the 100 to 200 year old range. They’re filled with acorns.

Mixed in with the oaks are a number of old black walnut trees. The walnuts are everywhere.

I believe the squirrels have been rolling them out into the street to make life easier on themselves.

A couple of times a day about a dozen turkey wander around the neighborhood.

Just about everybody puts seed out for them. They tend to stick around till the first snow, then disappear till spring. The neighborhood rule is that any one caught messing with the turkeys will be run out of town on a rail, whatever that means, but it sounds painful.

The fishing on Saturday sucked, ’nuff said about that.

The wild asparagus this time of year is tall and willowy and all over the ditches around here and easy to spot. I travel a lot of back roads on a daily basis and the strips between the road and the fields of corn and soybeans are filled with it. I’ve been making mental maps of all their locations for spring of next year.

I’ll make actual maps for anyone that asks, for a price.