Sunday, January 27, 2008

Snow walker...

Well to-day I got inspired by the sunny skies, despite the cold temps, and headed out for a little bush walk. There is a nice little creek not far from my place that will be getting a lot more of my attention this year. That's where I ended up this afternoon and even in the winter, it's real pretty there...CoolCreek

Last spring I found a patch of Wild Leeks growing in a section of this creek, where the hardwoods live. Maples, Oak and a few Ironwood trees guided me to the spot and I dug a nice handful of the heavily scented little tasties to bring home in my bar bag on my bike. I'll be back there in a few months to do the same. Today I located three old dried up Ostrich Ferns, which now mark a new Fiddlehead spot for me too. :-)

Got pretty close to a few ducks just before I left the water and they didn't seem to be very camera shy, so I shot them. Digitally of course. ;-)Quackers

How about this ham? It's No Fear Ducky! :-}


Lots of very fresh air, plenty of sunshine, a passel of live critters and a nice clean little stream to explore. All enjoyed with a simple little walk on a January winters day... Still can't wait for Spring though...


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


O.K. here's a verification code for mybloglog.
Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification

Now, there, that is done, and now we're Rockin' over here!

O.K. a little update...

Upside down, topsy turvy world this past week. I've been out of my element a lot and doing stuff I don't normally do, just to keep things going. To-day I worked on a truck, doing pick-ups and got a darn good work out from it all. Poor ol' bod's doing a bit of whining this evening to be sure because of it. On the way home, I stopped off at the Ministry of Transport and picked up my Drivers Abstract, good for 3 years. It cost me all of $12 and that made me wonder why I hadn't got one of these before this? Probably could have been driving a truck somewhere by now if I had gone ahead and obtained one, months (years) ago! Sometimes, I confess, I'm not that swift and it usually causes me much grief when I do stupid stuff. So anywho, this little slip of processed tree, could start opening some doors for me, real quick. :-) I'll keep you updated...

Over the years I have amassed quite an extensive collection of Outdoorsy flavored books and magazines. For instance I have all the years from 1980 to the present of BassMaster Magazine, THE Magazine of Bass Fishing. I am a LIFE Member of this fine organization and have been for over 25 years now. I could not begin to tell you how much I've learned from all those awesome issues...

Way back in 1977 I attended the New York State Invitational, out of Alexandria Bay and had the opportunity to meet a good number of the touring pros. I thought I had touched heaven, rubbing shoulders with those guys and I was really impressed with how sociable they all were. I was even more surprised when they said I had an accent and that they knew I was a Canadian before I had introduced myself. :-) Talk about your "Proud to be a Canadian" feelings oozing through me after hearin' that stuff. Many of the guys you see in the tours these days are guys that grew up watching and learning from those cool boys that I so fortunately met, those many years ago, in Alex bay. One of the men that really stood out for me was Jimmy Houston. He had just come in off the Mighty St. Lawrence River with a good string of bass and was talkin' about how he had spinner-baited most of his bag that day, to a few folks gathered around him. It was drizzling out steadily as he talked, it had been for the last three hours. Even though the weather had put a damper on most of the contestants, Jimmy was just beaming. He had like a permanent grin on his face, a man in love with life and just a glowing. Now Jimmy's not real big on ball caps as you may know, or even fishin' caps as far as that goes, but here he was out in the rain all day long and now, STILL No freakin' cap on his slighyly balding melon, as he happily enlightened the handful of folks (me included) hanging on his every word! I knew right then and there, that there was something way more to this cool, gentle, smiling man than just spinner baits and catching bass. For this man, it was about attitude and not letting stuff get to you and keeping focused and positive...

Now, after many years, it all really came into focus when I received his wonderful hardcover book on Fishing, as a gift from my best friend. What a BEAUTIFUL book! What an INSPIRATIONAL book! What a MAN!

So, if you want a fantastic Fishing book for your library, I recommend this one, above all others out there right now. As a matter of fact, I'll go out on a limb here and say that this book may even change your life...


Sunday, January 13, 2008

In the bush again...

Pretty busy last week and I'm just starting to get caught up in here now. What a slacker, I hear someone say in the background. :-) Oh how Time doth fly! So anywho, yesterday afternoon I finally made it back out into the bush again. The original mission was supposed to be to set-up a little temporary shelter/survival campsite out in the snow. However, the thick brushy area that I was in, as you can see in the photo, didn't quite allow enough sunlight penetration for good photo work. With time working against me and with the quickly fading light, I skipped a few parts of the mission.

For the above reasons, I kept it fairly simple and stuck to just gathering a few of the local fire starting materials nearby and went to work to see if I could get a little fire going, at least. I peeled a few little strips of well dried Birch bark from a dead stump and gathered a small hand-full of White Cedar bark that was hanging loose off the side of a towering ancient forest brother. Snapped off another small hand-full of toothpick sized dry branch tips from a stunted Maple and a long dead Poplar tree.

Wanting to repeat a test I did a few months back, I had brought along a 35mm film canister with my new "secret weapon" aka three real cotton balls in it, to be used as my only "society" tinder. Well, again, without a doubt, real Cotton balls are the best thing that I have ever used to catch a spark from any kind of flint type fire-stick. I have three different sparking rods and a Magnesium bar too, so I know they all work real swell with this most EXCELLENT, "society" fire-starter material! DO NOT leave home without a ball or two of this life-saving stuff in your pockets or bag with your other fire gear!

I laid a few little pieces of green Cedar branches on the compacted snow and then a little layer of skinny, bone dry branch tips, criss-crossed to make a little dry platform for the fire. I then ruffed up the Cedar bark in between my palms until it was all bushy and hairy and wispy-like and laid it on the platform, flattened out to about three inches across and a quarter inch deep. Next, the BBark was slit into fine strips with my razor sharp key-chain knife, seen here in this picture. Everything has to be kept fine and airy so I then rubbed the thin strips lightly between my fingers and it all got just right and fine the way I like it. Don't try to powder it though, fine fluffy strands is what you want here. The tiny branch tips from the Maple and dead Poplar were then placed, willy-nilly over the whole thing, yet leaving as much space as wood, over the tinder.

Finally, I slipped a carefully stretched, ruffled, and fluffed up, HALF of a genuine, as in real, Cotton ball, under the shredded Cedar layer, so that only a one inch square or so of cotton was sticking out. I touched the tip of my little chunk of worn hack-saw blade to the edge of the cotton sticking out of the bottom of the pile. Then, I carefully placed the end of the fire-stick under the edge of the hack-saw blade and pressed firmly against the stick, while drawing it up and towards me, in one smooth motion. Fifteen or twenty medium sized sparks flew from the rod into the tinder pile but 7 or 8 of them were enough to ignite the cotton right away. Within seconds, the Cedar and BBark flew into flame and the beautiful smell of home-made woodsmoke drifted past my nose. Man, I'm not sure what that is but I'll never tire of that wild smell as long as I live. :-)

So all in all, I didn't have time for the shelter part but at least, now you know what you need to ensure that you will be able to have fire out there using these simple little objects and methods. If you don't own a Fire-stick as I love to call them, Google them and track one down for your bush jacket pocket or your trekking pack or whatever! They can and will save your life and will last a LONG time after lighters have run out of fuel. Pop quiz... Your new bush fuel again is what? That's right, the one you learned about in here to-day. Cotton Balls Rule! :-)

So here's the results of yesterday's woodsy adventure mission and the gear used to create the fire...

Hope y'all Enjoy your Sunday out there to-day folks!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Jeepers creepers, what kind of winter is this turning out to be? Just before Christmas Ottawa got blasted with more snow in a few days than we got all told, all winter, the year before. Now, a couple of weeks later, it's 10 degrees outside and the white crap is rapidly disappearing. Three days ago there was two plus feet of snow right outside my window. This morning, there are patches of green grass showing on the lawn, right out in front of me. What a change! Part of the global warming effect? Could be. I know the last five or six winters have been NOWHERE near as wintery as I remember as a kid. Less snow, milder temps and just plain, shorter winters. Not that I mind, now that I'm a little older and have mellowed out a little about being out in the freezing cold all day. :-)

I used to ice fish a lot in the winter and I've spent many New Years days in the past, out on some frozen lake or river somewhere. In the last four years, I've cut holes through the ice a total of two times. Looks like I'm slipin' a little, eh? Truth be told, one day of open water fishing, is worth to me at least, three or four out on a frozen lake. In terms of efficiency alone, one good cast in the summer, covers more water than you can fish in one day, from a hole in the ice, easily. What are the odds of you cutting a hole through the ice, right over the top of a spot that has fish right there?

Nowadays, I use this frozen water period, spent indoors, to work on some of my fishing tackle and to build my deadly little killer jigs that will plain spank the Crappies, Perch and Bluegills in my home lake, come April and May. Winters have also become my time to write in my blogs more and to dig out pictures from my archives to be readied for inclusion on my websites and blogs for the benefit of all my friends and readers. Because I am also a bit of a collector of many kool tiny little thingys, I also use my new Digital camera to photograph some of my goodies, to be sold on my two favorite FREE ad boards. If you'd like to view some of these neat little items which I have been releasing to the general public at crazy low prices, then just take a tour over to Kijiji and/or UsedOttawa.

This sweet little Pentax camera which I've been using since late last summer, is the totally coolest and smallest recorder of still life, that I have ever had the pleasure of using and owning. Over the past thirty years I've shot an awful pile of 35mm film through Pentax, Cannon and Minolta bodies and lenses. This tiny but very powerful new little Digital camera is again, a Pentax and did NOT put me in the poor house. A MAJOR consideration for this ol' puppy! :-) For about the price of a good accessory lens for one of my past 35mm's, this light-weight and VERY awesome unit, surpasses whatever I've used up to this point so far in my long Photography education. Because of it's weight/size or instance, it's so small that I always have it with me. That alone translates to MORE pictures being taken. It travels in it's own slick belt pouch and is barely noticeable there. Don't need any gadget bags loaded to the brim with heavy junk, in order to shoot Super pics with this sweet little kooly boy. Another plus? It's easily as "smart" as any camera I've owned, when in any of it's auto modes. It's light calculation system is totally bang on as is it's color rendition capabilities of real life and low-light situations that I put it through!

So, after all that, if YOU want a really hot yet totally cool new-tech camera, highly recommended by this ol' outdoorsy photog, then check this little bad boy out when you get a chance. It's official name/model is a Pentax Optia E30 and remember, it will not put a very big dent in your cash-flow. Oh ya, it also easily plugs into my USB port on the computer, for fast and easy downloads of any or all of the pics, so as to free up the 2 gig card I've got her stoked with! :-) Man, that's a sh__tload of pictures in such a tiny camera. I LOVE this new-technology, as long as the power doesn't go down...

Here is another sample picture of a little group of neat old soda pop bottles from yesteryear, shot with this amazing E30, that are now looking for a new home on the ad boards mentioned above. :-) So, from outdoorsy shootin' of flowers and bugs and fish and scenes etc all the way to doing indoor studio work, this sweet little digi-cam ROCKS! Anyone remember any of these neat old bottles? The Coca Cola bottle is an old, short, embossed model, date stamped on the bottom with '57, meaning 1957.

Some Old Pops

Hey, that's older than a lot of you out there, reading this. Kool! :-)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Well Happy New Year! 2008 already. Awesome! To cap off '07 I've just gotta mention my wonderful Christmas gift in here. Santa, dressed as my best bud in the world, left me a beautiful pair of great outdoor boots. I haven't worn anything that felt this good on my feet in over twenty five years. They are are called Predator, and are made with Mossy Oak waterproof uppers, and lined with Thinsulate Ultra. These Herman Survivors are fitted like a ski boot. Total support, with firm, all around cushioning and yet really flexible as well as super-light. Man, I couldn't have scored a better Christmas gift. Thank You so much Big Bruce and pretty wife Elaine, for these simply fantastic boots! I've already tested them a few times and they ate up whatever I threw at them so far, including a five mile hike in slushy slop. No Problem with wet feet and no cold feet either. Love it!

Sold a few more items off my two free ad boards last week but need to lose a whole lot more yet. Sure are some nice people out there. Well, there are also a few donuts too, but it all balances out in the long haul.

Applied for a full time day job yesterday and sure hope I get it. Lord knows, I need the steady cash flow, if I'm to remain housed. The interview went well, I thought anyway, so I'm optimistic about it. :-)

I waited behind a big tree for a good shot of this little fella while he was touring around in the rocks along the Rideau River last summer when I spotted him. Closest I've ever been to a live wild Mink! Very Kool! :-)