Wednesday, October 19, 2016


When the grouse season opened a month ago, I rambled around the forest up at the cabin in the wolf country with all three dogs and no shotgun.  The idea was to see what the boys could find in the way of coveys and try to gauge what might be shoot-able later in the season. The condition of the forest was pretty much as if September and July were the same season. The dogs did their job, flushing what I can only assume were multiple birds. Being pretty hard of hearing anymore and not even being able to see the dogs at 20 feet into the brush, I just assumed there was a good crop of grouse to mess with later on down the line.  At one point there were four grouse in the trees craning downward watching all the canine mayhem beneath their safe perch and then two more flushes before I called the boys back to heel. Pretty hopeful, that.

Over the past weekend, I returned with the intention of hunting and picking cranberries. 
Much had changed. Most of the leaves were down and the woods had opened nicely.


Where in August there were oodles of green cranberries, I picked exactly nine. 9!
And with shotgun in hand exactly one grouse was encountered. One! Mysterious indeed.

But then...............

The sunset was killer, the whiskey in the glass was mellow, and  anytime in that wild place is great grand stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Too cool

Cold at last
Fifty-two for a high
Stiff north west winds pushing low grey scuds ahead
a chill conveyor moving the first true pulse of migrating raptors
Broadwings and sharpshins
redtails too
here a kestrel
there a merlin
everywhere masses of blue jays
to keep them fed
and loads of fledgling eagles
clumsy yet in this grand soaring autumnal air
Oh but to be among them in the brisk sky today
needing only to stretch out
and ride !

Friday, September 9, 2016


The big-toothed aspen are discarding the first few bits of color from the canopy, providing nutrition for fungi upon fungi, and the first colorful hints that the change in seasons is upon the land.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blazing Sky Woman

The western sky was going down all red and gold and purple
and I was going to be about two minutes late
if I didn't get off the highway and into
the little remote lake shore spot to catch
a sanpshot of sunset

I'd been on the road a while
heading home from the wolf country with
highbush cranberries and brook trout on board
needing a break

I wasn't out of the car ten seconds
when she came flying in behind me
skidding to a dusty stop on the gravel
bouncing out of the old beat car
striding right up close with smart phone in hand

me too, dude
had to catch this light
had to stretch
good spot
wow, dude"

She was about 19 or twenty
long black Indian hair
swirling around her face
in the fading glow of
the stiff evening breeze

pulling up her hoodie
she told me about going to Watersmeet in the U.P.
heading back from Bismark
long trip
How long's the drive, I asked
Don't know she shrugged
long trip though, eh

She asked a lot of questions about
places and spaces
between here and there
and said wow and cool and dude
a lot
she seemed to be formed of pure innocent bliss
I asked another question about time

And I think she knew then that
I was not an Indian
despite the long white hair and clean face
and standing alone on the shore
of a lake staring
into the radiance of the west
my voice and mode of speech did not possess
her lilt

Wow, dude, nice
gotta go
Wow, dude, cool

The old car made some awful noises
as she fired it back up
and lurched twice before
she blew off into the darkening east
"Be careful out there" I said after her dust

I didn't catch her name

Monday, August 22, 2016

Quick chicken recipe

One of my pals called me a mushroom junkie the other day. He could be on to something there, but I prefer the term fungal addict.

Here's a quick little dish of decadence then:

1 lb thin sliced chicken of the woods laetiporus, sulphureus
2 Tblsp olive oil
4 Tblsp butter
1 medium shallot
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
four or five fresh basil leaves
couple pinches coarse grated parmigiano cheese

melt half the butter in a heavy skillt with the olive oil
add the shallot, finely chopped and cook until translucent
add the fungi and cook for three minutes
add the second half of the butter and cook covered for three minutes
uncover, add the wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated
add the heavy cream, cover and cook another three minutes
add the fresh chopped basil and the cheese
cover and cook one minute or until the cheese just begins to melt

You can plate this with seasoned toast, pasta, wild rice, or just eat it plain
Junkie stuff, indeed............

Friday, August 12, 2016

Good things from wetness II or Similar patterns of behavior

mushroom foraging is like fishing the spate
ephemerally pulsed
through a protracted season
the catch dictated by
the amount of water in the system

As children we learned to expect stocked rainbows
to be hiding under every rock
in the guts of the pools and the log jams especially
probing every pocket
with wriggling night crawlers
that still flexed their peristaltic muscles
as if again being captured
during the last night's flashlight raid
sometimes a brook trout
a native
a red meat fish
but always the limit once located

As an old timer I expect the black trumpets
to be emerging from every patch of moss
in the heart of the mixed hard wood forest and
the darkest gloams especially
scanning every piece of decaying ground
twice and more
sometime a bolete
an edilus
a king
occasionally a butt load if located