Thursday, July 29, 2010

Garden On Steroids

Don't really know where to begin talking about the garden this year, it's been proceding at ludicrous speed!

Here are the highlights;

Already harvested bulb onions (though I confess I started them in six packs a couple weeks before going into the ground).

My Bhut Jolokias are three foot tall, three foot diameter, and already outgrew a five gallon bucket--they're in a ten gallon now.

Harvested my bucket grown Yukon Gold potatoes already.

Four kinds of mint--chocolate, pineapple, apple, and spearmint.

Stevia--for the first time, going to try and use some to make juice. Thought about wine, but don't know if it will work, has anyone tried by chance?

Everything is at least two weeks ahead this year too, I'm going to try a second crop of super sugar snap peas, radishes, and mayber even new potatoes.....we'll see.

Try and get some new pics up soon.

Garden on!

VT State Parking It!

Been major slacking in the blog dept.....working on it, but busy, and no internet @ house.
Anyways, been gardening like a mad man, and lovin life.

But hey, my newest favorite thing to do this summer--Vermont state parking it!

Honeymooned in VT state parks a couple years back. Maidstone SP in the kingdom, and Coolidge SP in south-central VT. Had a great time, but hadn't gotten back into the swing of it till this summer.

Discovered it was a great way to get away for a couple days, and bring the dog along too! Been to Half Moon SP for a weekend, frequently @ Grand Isle SP (did you know there's one in Louisiana too?), and headed to Gifford Woods SP this next. Nothing like peace, quiet, campfires, and cast iron skillets.

Well, hope everyone else is enjoying the great summer weather this year also!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Gardening

Think this is the earliest I've gotten the garden uncovered. Raked off/out all the leaves and dead plants from last year. Looks much nicer now. Air got into the soil and dried it out a bit.

Have to add some amendments and get it rototilled. Some sand/decomposed seaweed mix, and some compost. Last year it was peat moss that was added. Heay clay soil is fun to work with. Be awhile still before I can plant. Lake Chanplain is still around 36-39 degrees. Still a chance of a killing frost for a month.

Could probably get away with putting some rutabaga seeds in the ground now, but don't want to push it. Don't care that much about having rutabagas sooner than fall anyways.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Note To Deb Markowitz--2010 Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate

The debate last night between all the democratic candidates wasn't too bad. I must say many of the answers were thoughtful, and some quite on the mark. All around everyone did well, though I thought Senator Bartlett did impress me the most and Senator Schumlin the least.

However, last nights debate in person must have been quite different in Barre than for the viewers at home. They were treated to a real spectacle.

Poor Deb Markowitz had a light right in front of her, and boy was it bright. Just about made the pink top she was wearing glow. Made her eyes look beady, and gave her a reflective face. It was downright scary at points.

I felt bad that I found the whole situation comical. It was just a perfect storm, the bright colors she was wearing, the bright light too close, and the camera that was right in front of her.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Peek-A-Boo Buck!!

After twenty years of Vermont's annual rifle deer season, I finally got one this year. A four point, hundred and twenty pound trophy, a long time in the making. It was weird on two levels; actually getting one, and getting it the opening morning. It ended my season the earliest ever!

I started my morning about an hour and a half before dawn. It was a twenty minute walk into my stand, and I startled a whole flock of roosting turkeys along the way, when I walked under them. Startled me pretty good too at first!

Got to the stand, climbed up and got myself harnessed in. All situated and waiting about an hour before shooting time. Leaves plenty of time for things to calm down and all. So I hoped.

The sun came up and wildlife was everywhere! Owls made their last hoots, flocks of geese flew over. The turkeys I disturbed on the way in came walking by behind me, as well as another flock in a far off field that were talking up a storm. A Pileated woodpecker flew by, and one very fat squirrel ran up the tree across from me. About then the crows started landing in the corn field next to me, and within a couple minutes must've numbered a couple hundred. The noise was astounding!

About then rustling leaves behind me alerted me to something behind me. I saw two deer go run into the field and then cut back into the woods. I got my scope up, and the first one was bald, no horns. Second one was coming right at me, and stopped dead behind a large maple tree at twenty-five yards. I was leaned right up against the tree, looking through the scope as he peeked from around his tree. All I could see was the main beam, with what looked like maybe a nub?? Darn, a spike.....but still, he wouldn't come out from behind the tree.

Ten minutes went by of this, until he shifted his weight to his other leg. When he did, he turned his head and I saw the second horn on the main beam. I put the crosshairs on his vitals and dropped him. After a hour drag out, I got it checked in, and had it hanging.

Best Shotless Hunt Ever

Went out duck hunting the other morning, it was a very foggy day, and calm. Warm though, not a bad day overall. After I got the dekes set, about 10 min before shooting time, I had two otters swim by the blind at about a hundred yards. They were diving for clams and then coming up and swimming on their backs.

About a half hour later a very large bird of prey appeared overhead out of the fog. The wingspan was huge, I knew it was an eagle instantly. It was so foggy the white head of the adult was invisible in the fog, and it looked like there was a headless bird flying around!

Another twenty minutes passed, and out from the fog beyond the decoys appeared a Canada goose. But even in the fog something wasn't quite right, the beak was too long, and the neck too short. It came to about forty yards beyond my furthest decoys and I realized it was a Loon. Made a few more passes by the dekes, and dissappeared back out into the fog.

I ended the day with two drake Mallards landing out of range, a Goldeneye flying very high overhead, and two more unidentifieds that I got to circle back once. All in all not a bad day. Wish I'd had the camera though!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mill River Falls State Something

Can you think of a place along Vermont's town of Georgias' shore where it’s forested and there are no cottages in sight? A place seemingly unspoiled by development where waterfalls lead to the shore of Lake Champlain . Somewhere you can stand in the shadows of tall trees while wetting your fishing line. I can, quite simply Mill River Falls is a natural paradise.

In the hundreds of times I’ve driven by it, I never really thought that much about the place. It was just always this bridge over the road that a bunch of people parked around. Occasionally I’d see a fishermen scoot across the road with a pole and bucket. It’s a relatively small area that contains a lake floodplain ecosystem, old river oxbows, mature trees, and about 1800 feet of shoreline. The Lake Champlain Land Trust press packet quotes Rod Vallee of Georgia as saying that “ Mill River Falls is one of the most important natural areas left in Georgia . ”Thanks to the diligent work of the LCLT and Georgia Conservation Commission the public will always be able to access this site.

Future generations will forever be able to access this property as it is one of Vermont ’s newest additions to the list of state lands. “We had discussions with Anna Neville about conserving her property stretching back seven years before she generously donated her land to us in 2003,” states Chris Boget, assistant director of LCLT. He continues, “We retained a conservation easement and donated the land to the State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.” The Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation website lists the 35 acre parcel as Mill River Falls State Forest .

The area provides more than permanent recreational opportunities for paddlers, hikers, fishermen, and hunters on Lake Champlain . It is habitat for many different creatures at different times of the year. Mill River is one of only a few places where Steelhead, or lake dwelling Rainbow Trout, are known to spawn. Four rare plant and three rare fish species call the Mill River Falls home. Large dead snags provide nest sites for wood ducks and mergansers. The marshes in spring are productive fish spawning and feeding areas. Mill River Falls is abundant with wildlife habitat.

When I first visited the place, two fathers had spread their kids out on the banks with fishing poles. Rock Bass and Pumpkinseed were biting today, the crappie action hot the day before. I rounded a corner in the trail to see fresh deer tracks, and was overwhelmed by the bird calls in the canopy above. It seems the place has enough to please everyone, except for parking.Right now everyone has to pull off on Mill River Road or next to the bridge. The LCLT website says that a sign and better parking are in the works.

Access is a bit hidden, one has to walk a bit down the Pines Road a couple yards to access the trailhead on the right. What a splendid place for a short stroll it makes. Apparently the only question remaining with the property is what to call it. The LCLT lists it as a natural area on it’s website. Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Forest, Parks, and Recreation lists it on their website as a state forest. I figured I’d ask whether it will be a state forest, park, or natural area. The folks at FPR told me to get in touch with their forester, the people at LCLT referred me to the same person. So I got in touch with Gary Sawyer the State Lands Stewardship Forester who said, “I don’t know what designation the Mill River Falls parcel will receive.” With natural beauty abound, Mill River Falls will forever remain publicly accessible, whether it be state forest, park, or natural area.