Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Poem About an Owl" by Deborah Garrison

Francesco Renzi

I've never seen an owl
Not a real one

But often enough at night
Have started up at the wingbeat:

Long, with loaded silence between lengths
Like velvet ripping

The children's-book eyes
Saucerish and startled with wisdom

Sweeping the forest floor
For a little something, a little something

And I leapt from sleep
If indeed I was sleeping

Belted my robe like a mother of old
And rushed to their beds to see

If it got them, the skidding talon,
Where they were quietly

Breathing in their own
Animal dreams.

"Poem About an Owl" by Deborah Garrison, from The Second Child© Random House, 2007.

"Vocation" by William Stafford

Oregon Trail Ruts National Historic Landmark, Wyoming

This dream the world is having about itself
includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon Trail,
a groove in the grass my father showed us all
one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell
something better about to happen.

I dreamed the trace to the mountains, over the hills,
and there a girl who belonged wherever she was.
But then my mother called us back to the car:
she was afraid; she always blamed the place,
the time, anything my father planned.

Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world's whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them a part of me:
"Your job is to find what the world is trying to be."

"Vocation" by William Stafford, from The Way It Is© Graywolf Press, 1998. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

River Report: In the Eye

If you think of Winter as a hurricane, Saturday was a day that felt like we were smack dab in the eye. The sun was brilliant and the temperature broke 40 degrees. And the first thing I noticed was that the river was open.

I walked down to see it close up. It was open alright, bank to bank. And it was beautiful.

I hurried back to the house and got some work done as quickly as I could, then geared up and went back down to fish. I swear the sun was warm on my back.

The river was open, but, as you might expect, a little high. I fished the same areas as the last trip. I started searching out a way across at one point, but the current was strong and the footing treacherous, so I played it safe again. I was just glad to be in the river at all.

It gave me a chance to swing one of my new flies. Until I hung it up and broke it off.

All this time the wind had been picking up, and dark clouds had rolled in from the south and covered the sun. The last of the blue sky was disappearing in the north. And I had dressed for Spring and was getting a bit chilled.

So instead of tying on a new fly I made the climb over the shelf ice--my exit was more graceful than my entrance--and headed for home.

By the time I got back to the house Winter was back, and within an hour it was snowing. There's a Winter Weather Advisory posted for the next two days.

It was nice while it lasted. We were in the eye of Winter, until Winter came back and hit us in the eye again.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fly Tying: Thinking About Rocky Ford Creek

We've got a spring creek over here in eastern Washington, Rocky Ford Creek. It has been invading my thoughts more and more recently. It's two hours away, but it's my best shot at some bona fide fishing here in the January doldrums.

Rocky Ford Creek, at this time of year, is the kind of place that makes chironimid fishermen pee their pants in anticipation. Me, I'm thinking about swinging bead heads. It's trout we're fishing for, big trout, and it seems to me they just might be interested in a chunky morsel flitting through their lie. The very first trout I caught there--a big one--took, guess what, a muddler.

I was thinking about Rocky Ford Creek tonight and found my feet wandering over to the vise. I tied up a couple of size 10's--they might pass for chironimids, but big chironimids--and a couple of size 8's.

So now that I have some new flies, I've got to go. Right?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Signs of Cabin Fever: This Post

This photo was released recently. It shows what scientists believe may have been a lake on Mars. Looks like a lake to me.

This view of layered rocks on the floor of McLaughlin Crater shows sedimentary rocks that contain spectroscopic evidence for minerals formed through interaction with water. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded the image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona.

Someone even claimed that this photo shows petrified fish on Mars. Maybe they were scientists, too. Or maybe not.

It's fun to think about, though, fishing on Mars. But alas, we're a few millenia too late. Or are we?

I got real excited when I saw this headline.

But, after a little thought, I realized that's ridiculous.

No, I'm pretty sure there aren't fish on Mars---yet.

So here's what we need to do. Just get the Army Corps of Engineers up there. If there's water in the planet's core they'll damn well find it, and, with a shitload of heavy equipment and high-powered explosives, before you know it they'll transform Mars from the barren planet on the right to the Fisherman's Paradise on the left.

Yep, from this...

To this.

Very soon the MDFW (Mars Department of Fish and Wildlife) would have hatcheries going. We could raise millions of stockers from some of earth's more exotic species. These, for example, just scream "Mars."

And there's always the possibility of retrieving DNA and cloning actual Martian species. Imagine wading into this lovely little Martian canal...

And hooking up on one of these Martian Steelhead.


The entire fly fishing industry would be rejuvenated as it rushes to develop the specialized gear for the Martian fishery.

Fly tiers would go nuts coming up with strange new "Space Flies."

And once the fish are there and you're all geared up, OK, time for a "road trip!" Yeah, it would take a little longer to get there. You'd need more than bad coffee, smokes, and junk food to keep you going.

What's not to like? So get ready. Make your plans. It will soon be time to conquer Mars!

But you know, I bet even there you'll just be wading in and shaking out your line when this asshole comes along and tells you to get the hell off his land.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bide Your Time

It snowed again. Another two or three inches. Brightened things up. I crunched down to the river under the watchful gaze of an eagle.

I tried to sneak up on him, but he was quickly up and gone. He'll be back. It's a favorite perch.

The river was flowing again. Sometime during the night it had bent its back under the weight of ice and snow and broken free. I wish I could have seen and heard that.

I watched for a long time. I, too, am feeling the weight of the ice and snow. I, too, am ready to break free.

Then this morning the river was once again covered in ice. But it's there, still flowing. Bide your time, it says. Bide your time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Speaking of Grand...

Rodrigo Sebastian, 21 hours, 38 minutes old


Just checked in at Tetoncam. They're still there, and looking good.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dude, Check This Out

For you young dudes who may not have come across this yet. And for you old dudes who may have heard this in the 70's but forgot about it. Which happened a lot in the 70's. A taste of a tasty 1975 salmon-fishing-inspired debut solo album by guitarist Steve Hillage. Let it flow, man.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Family Post: What a Beauty

Our daughter Lidia put in a hard day's work on Sunday.

And our fourth grandchild, third grandson, was born. What a beauty.

He was a week early; couldn't wait to see Grandpa, I guess. He weighed 8 lbs. 4 ozs., and taped out at 21 inches.

We don't know his name yet. The parents will announce that.

Mother, baby, and father are doing fine. Grandparents are as proud as could be.