Archive for April, 2010

Early Turkey Dinner?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

PhotobucketEarly this morning my buddy Ed and I were on the way to Deme Acres Golf Course.  We were almost there when I said “I can’t believe we haven’t seen any turkeys around here this year!”  Almost immediately we spotted these three jakes, and a hen that was near the fence row.  As I got my camera set for a picture, a coyote appeared from the thick tree-lined fence-row.  I was able to snap several pictures, and I have one that shows the three jakes warily keeping an eye on the coyote.  We had a car coming up behind us, so I had to move on, but I think I may know why we’re not seeing many turkeys in this area.

Once our (not so great) golf game was over, we headed back past the field those turkeys were in.  Now mind you this was over three hours later.  There was no sign of any birds still around, or was there?  Off toward the end of the field stood a lone (statue like) coyote.  It was to far away to see exactly what he was doing, but my guess is that he was enjoying an early Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s amazing that the turkey population can continue to grow with the likes of “Wily Coyote” picking them off, one by one.PhotobucketPhotobucket Mike

Old Friends Old Memories

Monday, April 26th, 2010

 mce_href=PhotobucketJust last week I went to pick up a pizza, and ran into an old neighborhood buddy.  Rod Millhouse was a couple years behind me in school, but my best friend Mickey Hunten used to live next door to the Millhouses, so I saw Rodney and his family a lot.  In fact an old school chum (Charlie Marlow) married Rod’s sister Sharon.  Rod’s mom and dad used to do a lot of square dancing, and would have the neighborhood kids come over for some “square” fun!

Anyway every now and then my family would run into Rod, his dad George, and Charlie while deer hunting in Lewiston.  We’d always put on a few drives, and Rod and I reminisced about some of those times while waiting for our pizza.  I asked how his parents were doing, and he said George was out in the car.  He’s in his 90’s, but his mind is clear, and he remembered many of the details about our deer hunts from long ago.  George just hung up his gun and bow a few years ago, and the picture above is of one of the nice bucks he took with his bow.  Rod explained how they moved their hunting operation down state, as Rod’s friend (Glenn Hotchkiss) kept shooting huge corn feed bucks, and it was only an hour and a half drive from home.

A couple years ago George took his last deer, which happened to be a big doe.  George was so excited about it that he took off running through the cut cornfield where it laid.  By the time he got to the deer George had fallen down three times, but the grin on his face said it didn’t matter.  Man I hope I can keep that vigor and excitement, for the hunt, as long as George did.  In fact I hope I can just walk in my mid-eighties, let alone run.  I wanna be like George!   Good seeing you guys.  God bless and keep you always.Photobucket Rod and George deer hunting Southern Michigan.

“Are You Smarter Than A Raccoon?”

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

PhotobucketYou’ve probably seen the t.v. show “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”   Well I was beginning to wonder “Am I smarter than a raccoon?”  As you can see by the picture I won this contest, but not until the ninth inning!

This raccoon has been tearing up my yard for over a week.  I tried to borrow a live trap, but had to go buy one ($75.00 bucks) as I couldn’t locate a loaner.  My sod was being ripped up, as Mr. Raccoon went looking for grubs, and I was getting tired up patching things up every day.

The first night I set the trap I used a cut up hot dog for bait.  The coon simply stuck his tiny hand through the wire mess and pulled his “offering” out without going near the entrance.  (I watched him do it!)  The next night I put pieces of chicken at the entrance and had a little “chicken road” going back to the trap trigger.  Next morning I found the trap door sprung, all the chicken gone, and no raccoon.  Now I’m getting frustrated!  I then snuck into my wife’s pantry and opened one of her expensive tuna cans.  I left part of the lid attached, and pushed it to the back of the trap.  I knew this would work.  Next morning, after I got chewed out for “wasting” our groceries, the trap was empty.  This old rascal had turned the trap upside down, setting off the trap door, and dumping the tuna cans contents to where he could reach them.

Wow I’m dealing with the “Raccoon from Hell!”  Not only is he getting fat off my free dinners, but he’s still tearing up my yard.  It was time for some serious action!  I placed a black nylon bag over the end of the trap, so it looked more like a cave or tunnel.  I then staked the trap in the ground, so he couldn’t roll it.  I put the half can of tuna back in place, and the greedy fat bandit was mine!  In his last act of defiance he chewed my nylon bag into little pieces.

Ah, now I can go after those pesky grubs that started this whole scenario in the first place.  Anyone got a “grub” trap I can borrow?

Mike

Kids and Fishing Memories

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

PhotobucketAfter reading Arts post at “Simply Outdoors” about his daughter catching her first fish I started thinking how important that first catch is.  I mean it might not be the most stupendous thing to ever happen to a kid, but it just could rank way up at the top of the list.  Especially if the child is somewhat older, and has never caught a fish before.

That’s my grandson Keegan (Bubbie) McNamara fishing 16 mile lake in the U.P.  His dad isn’t an outdoors person, so the only opportunity Keegan gets to fish is when were on family vacation.  He can tell you all about the first fish he ever caught, and he’ll go at it for hours, even when their not biting.  All my kids started fishing as soon as they knew how to turn a fishing reel handle.  Most of the grandkids have be initiated, and they all love to fish for sunfish, bluegill, and the occasional bass.  Bubbie and his sister Nadia both caught bass last summer in a little lake just outside of Manistee.  My family not only loves to catch fish we love to eat them as well.  Just two days ago I fixed a mess of Lake Erie perch.

I’m really looking forward to this summer, and fishing with the grandkids.  Now if only Art will show me how he got his little girl to kiss that fish I’ll be all set for a Kodak Moment.

Mike

Be on Guard Around Kids and Water

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

PhotobucketGrandson Kyle and son-in-law Glen at the ocean in Cocoa Beach Florida.  We were only there for a day, but we had a blast playing in the huge waves.  In fact there was a surfing contest going on that Sunday.  A couple of times the waves literally knocked us off our feet.

Ah, but that is not what this blog is all about.  It’s about our first day in Orlando as we enjoyed our condo-side pool.  It was a zero entry pool so the little guys could start off nice and shallow, and it gradually went to 5 feet on the deep end.  Around 1:00 o’clock Monday afternoon I was playing catch with Kyle in the pool.  Two little brothers were playing with us for awhile.  One was 5 years old and the other 2-1/2 years old.  They got tired of playing with us, and wondered off to play elsewhere.

I was sitting in about 1-1/2 foot of water with my back resting on the side of the pool, as Kyle and I continued to play catch.  All of a sudden a woman jumps up from her lounge and yells” Bubba!”  I looked to my left, and little 2-1/2 year old Bubba was bouncing after a ball in water over his head.  I don’t even remember moving, but I was there in a millisecond!  I grabbed his arms and hoisted him above water.  He spit out a stream of water, and started to cry.  His mother was there by then, as I handed him off to her.  She thanked me, but then scolded Bubba for not wearing his “floaties!”

My take on that is “Hey your the mother, you should of made him wear a life jacket or floaties!”  If you notice Kyle has his life-jacket on in the picture, and always had it on in the pool.  Another point of interest is that there were at least 40 people in the pool when this happened, and one guy was only 4 feet away from a drowning child.  Don’t count on others watching your kids when their in the water.  Most people are preoccupied with their own activities, and a tragedy could happen right next to them and they wouldn’t know it.

Summer is just around the corner.  Pools and swimming are great fun, but can also be very dangerous, especially when little ones are around water.  Be diligent, and never let your guard down when planning water activities.  Teach your kids to swim as early as you can, and make them wear some sort of flotation when enjoying summer fun.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Mike

A Robins Revenge

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

PhotobucketOne of the white pines in my back yard died over the winter, so I decided today was a good day to cut it down.  I borrowed my son-in-law’s chain saw, and went to work.  I had to drop it in my neighbors yard, as a power line prevented me from dropping it in my yard.  After trimming several lower limbs I started on the trunk.  A robin was making an awful fuss, but I saw no nest in the dead tree.  I figured she had one in the live pine north of this one, and that I was desturbing her nest making.  Once I got the pine on the ground I saw she did have a nest high up in the branches.  She screeched and squawked like she was really mad, and I guess she was.  Oh well there were plenty of other trees to build another nest in.

My son-in-law (Tony) was power washing my deck, and I was planning on cooking us a couple elk steaks on the grill.  I wrapped them in foil after seasoning them and sliced some onion to go with it.  I put some tatter-tots in the oven and sat back to wait for a hot juicy steak.  Tony had to leave for a Dr. appointment, so I took his off the grill first, and got him set to eat.  I retrieved a plate for myself, and returned to the grill for mine.  I opened the tin foil to reveal a very nice looking elk steak and onions.  I picked up the tin foil and slide it onto my plate.  At that very instant a big glob of bird crap splattered on the plate getting me, and my steak.  I looked up to see a robin looking down, as if to say “How do you like me now?”  I know it seems too coincidental, but I couldn’t help thinking about a mother robins revenge.

Its a good thing I had put a third steak on the grill, cause I had opened a package of three.  I played it safe and didn’t take that one out of the tin foil.  Mrs. Robin might of rained on one parade, but she wasn’t getting double the revenge.  I sat in the garage and enjoyed the fruit of my labors, minus the extra seasoning!

Mike

Alligator Encounter

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

PhotobucketThis 6-7 foot alligator was patrolling the waters of the little lake we were bass fishing in while in Florida.  This is not the only one we saw in this lake, surrounded by houses on about half the shore line.

While trolling offshore from one such house, the family pet came out into the water to play and get a drink.  We assume the owners let him out to go to the bathroom, as we saw no humans in sight.  The gator was about 75 yards of shore keenly watching “Fido” swimming in enemy territory!  Our guide, Captain Reno, said the gator would probably ambush this dog, if he kept to his schedule of early morning swimming.  He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the dogs owners were soon running an add in the newspaper reporting a missing dog!  The gator would first get a good hold on the animal, then pull it out into deep water and drowned it.  After that he would dine at his leisure.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Division will not even mess with a gator this size.  They usually have to be larger for them to get involved in trapping and relocating them.  Therefore a 6-foot gator has it made when it comes to the dogs, cats, ducks, geese, cranes, and a multitude of other lake dwelling critters at his disposal.  Truthfully I wouldn’t want any little kids near one of these opportunistic prehistoric reptiles.  If you have a body of water, it’s a good bet there’s an alligator close by.  Some of the golf courses even have alligator warning signs for your safety.

Oh well, it was a cool experience seeing these wild reptiles in their native habitat.  I’m sure they were there long before Mr. and Mrs. Fido set up shop, and will probably remain long after the dogs are invited to dinner!

Mike

Florida Largemouth Trip

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

PhotobucketI don’t know if I’ll get this posted or not!  We were on the road 14 hours yesterday and 10 hours today, and I am tired.  The traffic was the worst I’ve ever been in, and this may of cured me from ever driving to Florida again.

The picture is me and my grandson Kyle with the biggest fish of the day.  I caught a few others that were smaller, but this one was a blast to reel in.  A fish this size can really put up a fight, and fight he did.  No wonder there are 1500 bass fishing shows on t.v.  I missed a couple others, that should of been hooked, and so did Glen.  We opted to try our hand at bigger fish this year, rather than going after quantity, we went for quality.  Last year we landed 23 fish, but the biggest was only about 4 pounds.  This fish went between 6-7 pounds and felt like a 10 pounder when I reeled him in.

Again we used Captain Reno Alley from “Memory Making Guide Service,” and greatly enjoyed out time on the water with him.  Jan-April is the best time to fish for bass, and if your in the Orlando area give Captain Reno a call at 1-800-749-2278.  All you need is your 3-day Florida fishing license.  Captain Reno supplies the rest, including drinks and snacks for your time on the water.  Nice boat, great personality, and knowledge of the local lakes will put you on fish.

Ok I’m headed for the shower, and then to my nice warm bed.

Mike

Coming Home

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Sorry about the absence of any post during the last week and a half.  We are on our way back from Florida, and I finally found a place with internet service so I could let readers know whats going on.  That’s if I still have any readers.  It’s been a long 10 days, but it definitely flew by.

When I get back and can post some pictures I will.  Caught a nice 7-8 pound bass on our fishing trip, and got to see a couple alligators on the water.  The weather was beautiful (the 80’s) the whole time we were there.  I saw where Marquette had gotten a foot of snow, and it made us all cringe.  Looks like were coming home to much cooler temps, but hope we get to at least see the sun.

This is a long drive, and the traffic was awful!  Construction along I-75 was bad in Tenn. and especially Georgia.  Many delays and traffic backups.  We’ll the gang is calling for me,so we have to hit the road again.  Be back in Monroe this evening.

Mike