Spring has sprung
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.
Oh, my gosh. Spring has sprung. Ice and soil frost is gone. Mud has “set up” and not sloshy. The robins are passing through in force. The killdeers are back in the driveway and at the pond. The geese have headed north. I put my purple martin houses up yesterday. I planted radishes on the only piece of dry garden ground I could find.
Plus, since ol’ Nevah is spending a week in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to visit our daughter and family and to enjoy the Quilt Festival of the Smokies, I’m batching this week and my good ol’ college friend from Bea Wilder U, Claude Hopper from Pratt, is headed this way as I write for several days of early fishing and card playing. We might even find time to cook a steak and imbibe in a few of our favorite spirits.
Last week there was just a little spot of open water on the pond, and that spot was packed with ducks and geese. So, a splendid bald eagle decided to have a little bullying fun.
It spent a half-hour just harassing all those waterfowl. It would dive and sweep in low over the ducks and geese. Every time it did, the geese would make a horrible racket and snap at the eagle with their beaks. The ducks would simply dive beneath the surface to escape.
From all appearances as I watched from our kitchen window, the national bird was just having fun in the cold and not trying very hard to kill a meal. It could easily have grabbed a bird to eat if it wanted to. I guess it just shows that bullying is not a distasteful trait delegated just to humans.
Yesterday I fulfilled a promise to my two young neighbor men. Since they have never hunted pheasants and chukars, I promised to take them to the Lone Pine Shooting Preserve near Toronto, Kan., which is owned and operated by my long-time friends, Mr. and Mrs. Peytoo Hunt.
We got up early and ate breakfast in Emporia and arrived at the hunting grounds at 10 a.m. After renewing our friendship for a half-hour, my buddy released the pheasants and chukars we purchased. We used my Brittany, Mandy, and one of the preserve’s Brittanys, old Bill, to find and point the birds for us.
We had a great 4-hour hunt, but sadly to say, we harvested just a shade fewer than half of our birds. But, we had a great time, and I figgered that the meat I brought home with me cost at least $70 a pound. But, I’m glad you can’t put a price on a good recreation with friends.
Since the days are getting perceptibly longer now in spring and with daylight savings time, we were in no hurry to get home after our hunt. So we took a mini-Old Boars’ tour through sparsely populated areas of Greenwood and Coffey counties. Problem is, I wuz the only “Old Boar” in the pickup.
We hit the almost ghost town of Quincy; went through the “near vacant downtown” of the former oil boom town of Virgil; stopped and visited with my nephew near Gridley, ol’ “Cat” L. Herdsman; stopped to share a favorite beverage with friend Parker Loosely; drove by and checked out the water on a couple of favorite fishing spots, and overall killed enuf time that we ended up eating BBQ for supper in Emporia.
When I finally settled in for the evening, my eyes were heavy, my right knee ached, my stomach was full and I was full of contentment.
Well, now it’s two days later than when I began writing this column, so I can give you a first-day spring fishing report. Friend Claude and I took our minnows to a clear watershed lake to try our luck.
As luck would have it, the pace of the fish biting wuz slow, thanks to the cold water, but we still came home far from skunked.
Our total for the afternoon were one 3 3/4 pound bass, one 3.5 pound bass, one 7 pound channel catfish, and six medium-sized crappie. The fillets will be delicious thanks to the cold water they came out of.
Claude and I will soon be on our way to try our luck in another watershed lake close to Americus. It’s a beautiful, clear day with little wind, so our hopes are high.
Yesterday we had a record crowd for the weekly Old Boars’ Breakfast Club, formally knows as the Saffordville Gentle Men’s Club. Twenty-five aged souls showed up to share B.S. and breakfast of ham, scrambled eggs, English muffins, hash browns, fresh watermelon and oranges. It was a delightful gathering,
I’ll close this column now so I can head for the ol’ fishin’ hole. I’ll use helpful ideas and a social observation.
To avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables, get someone else to hold the veggies while you cut, slice and chop with abandon.
Irritating people are like slinkies — not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
Enuf drivel for this week. Have a good ‘un. ❖