Archive for the ‘ice fishing’ Tag

03-05-2016 Journal–Spring, Here or Not?   Leave a comment

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Here we are, it’s the first week of March and everyone in Maine is in a tizzy about an early Spring.  I’ve been fooled too many times by that little rodent from Punxatawney, PA.  Living in Maine has given me a new respect for good old Mother Nature.   She can make a fool of us very easily it seems.  So I thought I’d come up with a few telltale signals to help me make my own decision. How to tell if an early Spring will be coming to Maine. Here they are.

  • The morning doves arrived this week, a few months ahead of schedule. Maybe they know something I don’t but then again they’re just stupid birds.
  • The daffodils are an inch high and going strong even though the night temperatures have remained in the mid-twenties.
  • I actually observed a number of groundhog loving idiots wearing shorts, T-shirts, and flip flops in the last few weeks. Morons!
  • I’ve also spotted large numbers of maple syrup collection pots going onto maple trees all over the area.

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‘Old-school equipment.’

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‘New high-tech equipment.’

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‘End Result’

  • The ice fishing huts are off the lakes and sitting on shore. The ice is either gone completely or too soft to walk on.

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  • Snowmobiles throughout the area have been parked in driveways with “For Sale” signs attached.  Always a telling sign.
  • The squirrels are out in large numbers already as reflected by the increased number of road kills I’ve been observing.
  • While road kill numbers for squirrels are up so are the number of bicyclists on the roads. Riding through piles of dirty snow must give them some kind of a perverse thrill.
  • Of course the crazy and obsessive joggers and power walkers seem to be everywhere all of a sudden. It’s a real chore trying to drive on the roads filled with joggers, walkers, bicycles, squirrels, and the slowly melting piles of dirty snow.
  • And finally now that the parka’s, gloves, scarfs, and sweaters are coming off I can once again begin my girl watching campaign for 2016.  For most of the winter it’s hard to tell who are the men and who are the women.

I suppose I should mention that when I woke up this morning I walked over to the window to check things out. To my chagrin we had just enough of a snowfall during the night to whiten everything.  This is Spring? I think not.

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Lesson #1 – Ignore weather forecasts made by groundhogs who don’t live in the state of Maine.

C’MON SPRING

09-23-2015 Journal–Snow, Sleet, & Ice!   Leave a comment

I always seem to be talking about Winter approaching these days and with good reason.  Winter in Maine lasts at least six months but it certainly seems longer. Just two weeks ago I was sleeping under a ceiling fan for eight hours a night because it was so damn hot and humid in the house. At the time I thought that miserable hot weather would never let up.  Let me tell you, it’s let up.

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‘Ahhhh Memories’

As of last night I’m convinced Winter is much closer than I thought. The last few nights we’ve  had temperatures in the low forties which are wreaking havoc on what remains of the garden.  I was reminded early this morning when the cold air in the room jolted me awake.  Last night was the first official #5 night for my electric blanket. Unless some sort of Indian Summer happens it could mean an early arrival of the season which includes an unwelcome amount of our favorite white stuff.

Fall is probably my second favorite season of the year after early Spring.  I love the vivid colors of the foliage just like every other photographer on the planet. Maine is already known for it’s beautiful scenery along the coast and inland in the forests and around the many lakes.  Throw in millions and millions of colorful leaves and it becomes for a short time an effing paradise.

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My cameras and lenses are cleaned and ready. My snowblower’ been taken out of mothballs, gassed up, and ready to go. All that’s left for me to do is the unpacking of my unfashionable and ugly winter clothing.  It’s almost impossible to look good wearing three layers of clothing, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and big clunky boots. . . and unfortunately I’m just talking about the women. The men look even worse as they let their beards grow out and suit up with their favorite snowmobiling outfit.  There’s nothing better than hanging around an ice fishing hut with a few of your buddies telling tall tales about fishing, hunting, and sexual prowess and guzzling as much  beer as you can drink.

The never-ending number of hunting seasons always irritates me a little.  There are times when entering the woods around here to take pictures can be a life threatening situation. If you not wearing bright red or fluorescent green you could easily be mistaken for a moose, a turkey, or even a cow.  It’s a little like Vietnam out there if you throw in a few cases of beer to make things interesting. Scary doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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As you can see from my remarks, I’m neither a hunter nor a fisherman. I’ve never been all that crazy about killing helpless animals with high powered weaponry and high tech fishing paraphernalia.  I prefer to do all of my shooting with a camera. I also hate the thought of eating wild game thanks to my father who insisted I try to eat a little of everything he ever shot. Yuck!

Time to Crank up the electric blanket and hunker down for another six months of snow, sleet, and ice.  I only hope I don’t slip and fall this year and break any additional bones. Trust me, it’s happened before.

02-03-2015 Journal– A White & Pink February!   Leave a comment

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Here is our driveway as of this morning. Another foot of snow yesterday is starting to become a bit much, even for Maine.  Unfortunately another storm is scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday but no guesses are being announced as to what the total accumulation will be.

I can once again say “adios” to my current mailbox. Those wonderful snowplower’s have struck once again costing me my third mailboxes in three years.  Those bastards!

My better-half and I made a two hour safari out into the snow just after the last storm passed by.  The following pictures bring the winter season here in Maine in focus.

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‘This is a robust and productive apple orchard in Summer but it looks a bit forlorn now.’

One of the sports here in Maine that has always fascinated me is ice fishing. The lakes in Maine produce a myriad of ice fishing neighborhoods that survive until the Spring thaw.  Little shacks spring up giving all those adventurous fisherman and women a place to escape their families, bond with friends over a beer or two, and repeat those fishing stories to each other that one believes anyway.  I’ve visited many of them over the years but I can’t honestly remember ever seeing someone catch a fish.  I’m sure they do or at least I hope they do.  These were taken on the lake closest to our home.

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‘It’s just a little too cold for me.’

We took a drive along the coast on our way home and stopped at Old Orchard Beach, Maine. It’s our favorite haunts in the Summer when it’s packed with tourists and the amusement park is in full swing. It’s a little different now.

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‘The party pier in winter.’

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‘No bikini babes around here today.’

We’ll be forced to wait a few more months before we can start enjoying this area once again.

My posting for this Thursday will have to wait until I return home from  my colonoscopy.   I’ll catch a nap for a few hours and then post my hopefully good results from that experience.  I’ve decided that getting a colonoscopy at this time of the year is perfect timing.  If you’re going to be house bound because of the crappy weather you might as well let the doctors have their fun too.

09-22-2013   Leave a comment

Our best friend has finally arrived to spend the winter with us. It’s about this time every year that this friend arrives and is welcomed with open arms by us both.  This friend is warm and loving like no one else and my better-half and I are looking forward to sharing our bed  for the next few months with this visiting friend.

Now that you’ve all read that last paragraph and had a few of those off-color thoughts I know you were having let me explain further.  Our best friend is a soft, fuzzy, green, and electrified blanket.  With Fall in the air and Winter on the way this friend makes living bearable while the seasons change. To keep our house heated is the biggest expense of the year other than the mortgage.  Every degree we can lower the level of heat in the house is money in our pocket. We haven’t even turned on the heat yet and I suspect we won’t until sometime in mid October.  By delaying that long we’ll save approximately $350.00.  We’re willing to wear more clothing for a few weeks during the day and to turn up the electric blanket a bit at night each night to accomplish that.

I’ve never had the luxury of living in an area of the country that has mild temperatures for most of the year.  While I really love the season change and the cold and snow I occasionally envy people living in those areas.  Living here is like having to lead two lives.  Hot weather, time on the beach, and tourists over running the area.  Shorts, T-shirts, flip flops, and sun tan and sun burn.  Within a few weeks that all disappears and out come the parka’s, gloves, wool socks, and skyrocketing heating costs.  We’re used to it but I feel bad for any of those southerners who may relocate here. It would be a huge shock to their systems and their wallets.

We can hope for a few more weeks of Indian Summer but that doesn’t always occur as planned.  By this time next month all of us Mainer’s will have made the mental transition from Summer to Winter and will be prepared to move on down the road as usual.  The next six months will be all about, snow, sleet, wind, crushed mail boxes, car accidents, and a general malaise caused by being house bound.  For some of the more hardy folks it will be all about plowing snow, ice fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling.  The kids as always will be throwing snowballs, building forts, snowmen, and praying for a heavy snow fall that will cancel school.  Some things just never change.

After six months of Winter we’ll make the transition back to Spring and Summer with a real appreciation that most southern folks don’t have.  The memory of every minute that I spend sitting in the sun on my deck and every time I walked the beach in my swim suit this summer will carry me through the winter.  It’s all a big mind game that I play with myself.  When I’m out in the driveway using the snow blower and dressed liked a freaking Eskimo I’m actually thinking about that warm beach and those pretty young things in their skimpy bikinis. 

Don’t tell my better-half my little secret or there’ll be hell to pay for sure.

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