Saturday, June 30, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
With the help of my daughter Jen, I was able to finish up enough projects on the boat to take it out for a few hours of fishing the day before yesterday. By the time I got started, it was already after 2:00 PM, but I was just glad to go out. The cloudy, rainy weather that I was cursing when trying to paint finally dissipated and was replaced with brilliant, hot sunshine. The temp went from 55 or so to over 80 degrees overnight. Lovely. I felt like a Russet potato baking away in an oven. I looked at the thermometer on the wall and it was working it's way past 90. Thunderation it was hot! I spent a few hours dragging around the bay with only a couple of shaker kings and a grey cod for my efforts. Yesterday I went out again, but again it was afternoon before I could get away. The sun was just as hot as the day before, but at least there was a breeze to cool things down a little- it was only about 75 in the pilot house. Of course I'm sitting there with a long sleeved flannel shirt on to keep from getting sunburned and sweat was pouring off of me like a fat man in a sauna- which in a way I guess I was. Anyway, after about three and half hours, just as I was reaching the height of disgust at the fishing, I caught a fairly decent king. Of course that energized me and I mistakenly thought I might catch one or two more so I made a few more passes to no avail. When I finally realized that I needed to go home I pulled the gear and found a dog salmon on one line. For the time I spent, this really wasn't a very good haul, but considering the poor fishing for everyone this year, I'll take it. It's pretty unusual to see so many trollers tied up at the dock this time of year. There was a large fleet that showed up from Sitka to take advantage of the dog run, but so far it hasn't materialized. I don't know if that's attributable to the cold water or the number of sealions that have multiplied many times over or if its from illegal fishing out on the high seas. The dog salmon I caught was net marked, meaning it passed through a net and escaped out on the ocean somewhere. I spoke to the local fish and game officer who went out fishing on the coast several days ago. He said a sealion as big as a skiff took three kings off his lines, plus two flashers and a downrigger cannonball. I was thinking that it would be nice to have one of these huge lures like the one hanging at Grandma Nina's coffee shop. I'd like to load the tail with some kind of explosive and then when a sealion tried to chomp it he'd be in for a pleasant surprize. There are several hatcheries up and down the coast of Southeast where they raise salmon to turn loose into the wild. The commercial fishermen help to support these hatcheries with a three percent fee for every salmon they catch, whether or not they are from the hatchery. I think it would be money well spent to raise killer whales and feed them sealion meat from the time they are small until they get released into the wild. It would bring a balance back to the ecosystem that is sorely lacking because of all the environmental and animal rights groups- most of whom don't live here and aren't impacted by their radical beliefs. I do so wish that we could return to a simpler time where there is a balance to things. Don't cut down all the trees or catch all the fish-save some for future generations, but don't restrict good harvesting practices. People need jobs and lumber and toilet paper and fish that isn't raised in a pen. I can't help but wonder if the wildfires down south wouldn't have been less severe if some of the trees in those national forests had been logged. I guess that's just a matter for discussion at another time.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Frequently I don't have the slightest idea of what I'm going to write about until I sit down and start to do it. For me, writing the blog post isn't like sitting down in the morning and knowing that I'm going to have a bowl of corn flakes, and that for the next five or six days I'm going to sit down and have a bowl of corn flakes- unless of course the breakfast fairy shows up and magically produces a plate of ham and eggs. I like to take pictures of various things from wherever I'm at to possibly use for a post in the future. For today's post I was able to draw on some photos I took several weeks ago. The top picture is of Alaska's state flower the Forget-me-not. I love them. They grow wild all over the place and add a bit of beauty to a hillside or garden in the spring. Chances are, if you gave someone a bouquet of Forget-me-nots, they'd never forget you - even if they wanted to. Wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, they're thinking of you. Studying for an important exam- they can't get you out of their mind. On a date with that special someone who you've been waiting to ask you out- guess who you're thinking of. The next photo is of Salmon Berries. I didn't look up the Latin name for them. It's probably something like Pinkius Berryious Tastyious or some such thing. The hummingbirds seem to like these pretty well. They seem to be attracted to red or bright pink flowers. I'm pretty fond of them myself. The berries get larger than raspberries and are either red or yellow. They have a sweet flavor, but are somewhat watery. Mixed with sugar and pectin, they make a delightful jam. When the berries are ripe there are usually paths through the bushes where the neighbor children are stocking up. I don't know if bears eat them or not, but since they're omnivores, I imagine they do. Speaking of bears, last week one came down between my house and my next door neighbors during broad daylight. That's kind of unusual. We've never had any problems with bears in this neighborhood before.He ran across the street and was scared by a lady who was yelling at it from inside the house. I guess she literally scared the crap out of him. When I came home she was outside hosing if off the street. Last night a bear got into a garbage can from the neighbor who lives behind us. Of course he dragged it into our backyard before he apparently pounced on it causing the trash bags to fly out of the can like a choking person launching a hunk of meat after receiving the Heimlich maneuver. I think if they're going to get into someones garbage, they ought to at least have the decency to consume it on the premises, instead of acting like they've ordered take out. Some people's cubs, I swear.
The bottom picture is of Astilibe. This particular plant isn't really wild, it was planted in our backyard. I think it was a gift from our daughter. It does grow wild here though, all along the road down towards the cannery. When I hear the word Astilibe, I'm reminded that my dad wanted to name my sister Trillby. My mom absolutely wouldn't hear of it. Women have a lot of sway when it comes to naming the kids. I'm actually glad. Who knows what my name would be otherwise. I might have been Elmo or Horatio or Jeeves. Personally I'm kind of fond of Zeke- although Jeeves wouldn't be so bad. Probably not many fishermen by that name. With a name like Jeeves your fellow boat stall owners might expect you to bring them tea or tidy up their boat for them a bit. You would always wonder if they were inviting you over to talk fishing or serve them orduorves. Guess I'll stick with the name I've got.