We’ve been back at Aftermath for four days now, planning on staying for a whole three weeks, and it’s been great being here again, but the weather has not been ideal for some of the activities one dreams about when not here—on the other hand, it’s been good for others that one doesn’t try to dwell on too much during between times, mainly maintenance stuff. We arrived close to sundown on Saturday, unpacked everything and put clean lake clothes and linens away, and had a quiet evening. I didn’t try to convert the car to fishing mode yet, looking forward to a chance to sleep in and enjoy a quiet day of getting ready to do what needs to be done. Sunday morning was beautiful and still. There had been quite a bit of rain, so the forest was wet enough that I’d have needed to wear my hip boots to keep my jeans dry, and there was enough work to do around the cabin anyway, so I didn’t make any major forays into the woods, but just savored the little beauties close by–one of which was the chipmunk who remembered me and was eager for another handout!
The morning would have provided lovely fishing weather so, full of optimism, during the afternoon I put the new canoe-carrying apparatus on the car, topped up the charge on the little electric motor, and loaded up the car to go out in the morning. Monday dawned gray and overcast, and the stillness was gone. Still, I was up at 5:30, took Limo for his morning walk, made myself a cup of good coffee, and drove to my favorite little bass & bluegill lake. I was very happy to have the little motor, because there was a fair breeze and accompanying chop. The day started well—not with lots of fish accepting my offerings, but rather with other companions. The first to invite me to share was a snapping turtle that had chosen this morning to lay her eggs—I was sad to see that she had chosen to do so at the very side of the road, and hoped that any other people who might pass this way would leave her in peace and go on their own ways, as I did. On the lake, several loons came fishing quite close to me (it is so good to see them back again after their migratory adventures through the Gulf oil spill fiasco!), but when they’d rise from their dives they didn’t stay surfaced for long enough for portrait shots with my little camera, so I just relaxed and enjoyed their presence. I’ll bring my bigger camera next time and see if I can include some of them in a future post. An eagle soared overhead for about a quarter of an hour, swooping to within maybe 80 feet of me at one point, and my personal favorites, the chimney swifts, were there as well, performing their lovely, perfectly silent acrobatics so close that I felt I could reach out and touch them. For me, the fishing is always good, regardless of traditional “results,” which I consider to be bonuses, but I was rewarded with five catches, which included the first crappie I think I have ever caught (sorry, no photo) and a very nice bluegill indeed. I might have kept it, but there was an abrasion on one side, just behind the gill, which I interpreted as the badge of a successful escape from another predator, probably a northern pike, so I gently removed the hook and released it as well.
Yesterday and today, the longest two days of the year, were full of rain, rain, and more
rain, which gave me the chance to work on repairing winter battens for the TreeHouse and continue my work from last autumn on organizing the contents of the WoodShed, in anticipation of adding a considerable new supply of green wood, to begin its process of drying and seasoning before it will be fit for use for firewood. I rented a 6-ton electric
log-splitter today to help with that project, and found it so useful that I am looking forward very much to adding one to the permanent arsenal of tools here. The weather is supposed to improve tomorrow, so there may well be more new photo ops. We’ll see…