Friday, May 30, 2008
I have no idea what's going on in the weather. We had a very mild and warm late winter/early spring, and then a straight month of rain and cool temperatures (April), and now we are essentially into summer weather. I'm perplexed: all of our blackberries (6 different varieties, 20+ plants) have set fruit.
And the elderberries are 8' tall (I cut the stalks to 12" every February), and ready to bloom.
And the spiderwort has grown so tall that it FELL OVER.....and then bloomed.
The herbs, especially the mints, are all growing out of control. It begs the question - what next?
I'm anticipating a hot, dry summer.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Wonderful nest pic stolen from lakework.com
Very slow morning but it was great to be fishing with no deadlines, no traffic waiting, and nowhere else to be!This Boomhauer - type individual kept hauling ass up and down the lake in his totally awesome pontoon boat from 1977! Don't scare them danged ol' bass, ol' boy! At least once the pontoon boat sinks, there will be a little bit more submerged structure out there for the fish.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
From the air....
Thursday, May 22, 2008
OK enough silliness. After a RUTHLESS but short week (47 hours in 4 days), we are taking friday off and driving to western North Carolina, the land of (besides, apparently, hip hop) large trucks (my tacoma on offroad 31's doesn't rate!), largemouth bass, pulled pork BBQ, and people who are intensely serious Southern Baptists. I am talking 36 baptist churches in one county (according to churchangel.com). Anyway, I am looking forward to some good fishing. We've been rained out over, and over, and over again up here in Maryland over the last two weeks.Some words from Mojo:
Gonna go back home, back to Carolina
Gonna go back home and see my Dad
Gonna go back home, back to Carolina,
Gonna go back to those things I had
I wanna back where the barbeque's good
Racecars run like they should
Wanna go back where the trees are green
Ain't no hipsters makin' no scene
Friday, May 16, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Oak-pine is somewhat of a climax forest out here, so here's how it gets that way: a forest stand is destroyed or "highly disturbed" by one of our four major natural forces here:
- saltwater flooding during a hurricane - kills most plant life
- wind throw - opens canopy for more aggressive pioneer species
- ice fall - same as above
- forest fire (lightning induced) - total destruction and soil fertilization!
The first (native) trees to come back on the coastal plain are Loblolly pine. Due to their tolerance for disturbance, they often are the only trees to immediately recolonize an area. This colonization historically resulted in a now rare habitat on the east coast: pine savannah.However, since flooding and fire are mitigated to some extent in our current society (think dams and Smoky the Bear), this habitat is being replaced with less disturbance-tolerant plant communities, such as Oak-Pine forest. As the canopy closes in, some really neat understory plants and wildlife recolonize the site. These forests are productive in extremely poor soils (flooded to xeric), and the plants tend to exacerbate soil conditions by shedding very acidic leaves. In vernal pools, you can see the tannic acid:
Here are some shots from today's hunting spot (an oak-pine forest managed for occasional pulp production):
Swamp Azalea. This one has been mangled by the large deer herd in this forest stand.
Sweet Pepperbush. One of my favorites.
American Holly. What a great songbird plant.
Red-backed Salamander - rare leadback phase!!! Would have been an amazing score, had my camera been interested in focusing....time for a new camera.
Other species I was really looking for but couldn't immediately locate are Northern Spicebush, Sassafras, Black Oak, Club Moss, and Poison Ivy. And one more...what was it? OH YEAH, the Eastern Wild Turkey! Maybe next spring.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Heard two gobblers, but one was headed down into the swamp, and the other one was already down in the swamp.
Saltwater fishing on the shallows of the Poquoson River was not much more productive:
Bye-bye, $7 swim bait. A bluefish apparently thought it would be tasty. We (the boat) landed one fish, an 18" flounder (legal minimum is 19"). That's it.
Oh well, I am going to make like Tugg here, and take a nap until the weather clears out a little more. 5 straight days of much-needed rain!
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