Recognition should be given to all those who have gone before; family members, friends, and others that may have influenced me in their own quiet way.

Special recogition should go to my father Kenneth (Kenny to all who knew him) and my grandfathers Selby and Chester (Jake), both born in the 1890s. All of these gentlemen influenced me in their own way...with time fishing, hunting, trapping, or just time spent togeher.....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Early Spring Hike

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to get back outdoors again. I took the dogs and headed out to the woods and the bluffs along the river. It was about 25 degrees when I started, but when the morning sun got a bit higher, it was comfortable enough.

The woods are still just about as bare as in the winter, but if you look closely there are signs of Spring.

A few plants are beginning to grow.

This is Mullein, a quite hardy plant. Herbal books list a number of medicinal uses for it.

New Stinging Nettle. This is quite unpleasant stuff to walk through later in the year. I have read that at this stage it is edible, but have never tried it.

Wild Onions. I have eaten these; and they are very strong and hot. On a campout once, I used them as a mixture with potatoes and mushrooms that I had picked that day.

I hiked along through the prairie grass.....

entered the wooded area; and stopped for a while to enjoy this view. This is one of my favorite spots along the river. If you click the picture, you get a better idea of the spectacular view from here. (Just use your "back" arrow to then get back to blog.)

From here, I headed back North (to the right in the picture); worked my way down a very steep wooded hill to the field that is visible down along the river. As I was leaving the wooded border area at the field's edge, I stopped to just survey the open area before stepping out. I could see a dark shape moving near the other side of the field. With my binoculars, I could just make out that it was a turkey. I watched him for about 20 minutes, did my best imitation of a gobble finally...........which got his immediate atttention.....tail fanned out and he started running in my directions...stopping after a bit...still far across the field. I finally moved slowly toward him when I could. He finally got nervous enough that he went running to the woods. He was too far away for my camera to get an image.

Along the river, the beaver have been quite busy as is normal.

Near the beginning of the hike, I spotted a rock that caught my always, I was scanning the ground as I went looking for arrowheads, stone knives, scrapers, etc. I picked it up; looked it over...was about to drop it and move on...but the more I studied it, the more convinced I became that it was a quite old hand axe. It is worked to a symetrical wedge at one end; and the other is rounded.........and as is very typical with the old stone implements I worked so that it fits your palm and your fingers can fit comfortably on it. I had gone far enough that I did not want to take it back; and it was heavy enough, I did not want to carry it along for the next couple of hours, so I placed it under an Autumn Olive bush and picked it up on the way back.

All for now................get out and enjoy the outdoors, whenever you can......