Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rich beyond belief

Went onto the ice today, as I have not been out there since King Day, which was a winner and resulted in three fat jars of pickled tullibees and good times with the old crew from the north shore. Cold but manageable, I nearly got lost trying to find my way off the lake at the end of the day - rewards and adventures indeed. But today's excursion was of the "I can't believe I am so freakin' lucky shit" kind of thing. The dogs and the Piscator walk but a quarter mile from the house, drill two holes, drop down a little spoon, festooned with wax worms, predicated by a droppered, x legged fly - and whack, whack, whack bluegills at will and a couple of fat crappies to boot! Most of the sunfish came on the dropper. The intention was to make some meat, but there was already red meat thawing in the kitchen at home, so it was just a pure bliss kind of a thing. Windsor and water as a boost wasn't lost on it either. And trumpeter swans were flyin' around on the hoot.

Like an electrical switch thrown, the fish turned off just as the western sky went all red under grey. Daylight became darkness as each fish went back down its respective hole. So to home then.

Venison backstrap steaks and wild rice tabuli in the place of fresh fish.
And a full glass of Steelhead Red to besot the Piscator further.
Lucky, lucky shit!!

So starting with a lump of butter in the pan - that can't be bad..........

    Add in the seasoned backstrap steaks. 
Cook about four minutes on medium low heat. Flip and cook about two minutes more. Too long and it's tough like your boot - so don't get distracted.
Plate with wild rice tabuli
Wash down with full goblet of Steelhead Red

Exclaim aloud, "Great Googly Moogly!"

Oh, of course, the tabuli..............

2 or 3 cups of authentic cooked wild rice (not the black paddie shit) seek out an Indian friend or knock it yourself
2 medium tomatoes diced
1 stalk celery diced
I red bell pepper diced
2 green onions chopped
2 bunches fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 small bunch  fresh mint chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon fresh squeezed
salt and pepper to taste
mix well

The deal here is fresh, fresh, fresh!!!

Oh and bye the bye.............
48 degrees Fahrenheit today

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Owls and such


The barred owl that provided the UFO freakout in the dark of the opening morning of deer season last November, is still in the woods on the home place. At least I like to think its the same bird. We see it a couple times a week, mostly on the five acres across the road. Night and day it silently flushes from various low branches before the dogs during our rounds. They are so used to its presence now that they hardly give it notice. Lately though, it has taken up residence close to the house. Close to where we feed sunflower seeds to the birds. The mice and voles profit from that feeding as well.

Two days ago, as I arrived home from the daily grinder, I went around the side of the garage for some relief, and while the day's problems and issues were draining, the owl went "Thump" into the snow from an unseen perch about thirty feet from my position. Yikes. That was unexpected. The owl seemed pretty unconcerned about the lack of space between us, as it looked first to me and then to its catch and back again, finally killing a little black shrew. A couple of flaps brought it about ten feet up into a low aspen branch. The black shrew dangled for several minutes from the beak of the owl before going down the gullet in one gulp. A fair amount of work for such a tiny reward. 

Chel Anderson talked the other day, about some of the owl issues this winter as they relate to the quality of the snow. The conditions are tough now, as a thick crust prevents the owls from getting at most of the mice and voles down below. You can hear it here  on WTIP Grand Marais.  This morning the owl was on the south side of the house, posing.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Critter attractant


Sometime in late November, after removing all the meaty bits from the buck's carcass, I hoisted some of the remainder in a tree behind the barn. High enough and away from my always hungry dogs, it helps to sustain some of our our woodsy neighbors through the harsher parts of the winter. The list of pickers who have pretty much finished the task is notable:

White breasted nuthatch
Red breasted nuthatch
Downy woodpecker
Hairy woodpecker
Red bellied woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Flying squirrel
Grey squirrel
White footed deer mouse
house cat

At the base of the tree there are tracks in the snow of both fox and weasel , but I have not had the pleasure of an eye witness encounter.