Monday, October 25, 2010

Chasing Sturgeon Some More

Maybe its the great weather, or maybe it is the impending dark, rainy gloom. Whatever it is, we've been out fishing for sturgeon pretty hard the last couple of weeks.

Fishing, but not catching.

Still, it is great to be on the river.

It seems that the river traffic has also slowed down on the Big C... not as many big cargo ships.

The little girls got to get out on the boat, and were pretty excited - even if the nice weather has slipped away.

Even with the overcast clouds, the trees are still pretty and give the river a new, colorful look.

Not every bend in the rod is a big fish...

... this was a big snag. Not very common, but when you catch one, it is usually BIG!

OOps! Too Big!

There are still some silvers being caught at the mouth of the Lewis River...

These little girls are training right! Not only do they enthusiastically get their own bait, but they are willing to test that bait!

Must be the Norwegian blood in them!

Another favorite on the boat during the colder, wet weather is the JetBoil. This small burner heats up alot of water FAST.

A hot snack or lunch is a big hit.

Be sure to check your "cup-o-noodles before digging in, though!

Some of these have been in the boat a while...

The hot cocoa is another favorite.

Saturday the blue sky re-appeared a few times, too!
Unfortunately, none of the keeper fish did.

We caught 2 shakers - the little girls were able to catch their first sturgeon!
Look at that effort! You'd think it was an oversized fish!

This little girl had the right idea - keep the pole in the rod holder, and let the boat do all the work.


Success times 2!
The slow fishing was offset by the flat river and fun times.
The poor bite was likely caused by the Barometric pressure drop - from 1010 mBars to 980 during the day...
... that had to be the cause, right?

The Trap is Getting Busy Again

The cooler change in the weather has really sturred up the animals again.

We've started catching critters at the chicken coop. This opposum was lucky - no one wanted to skin it for a pelt, so we let it go.

Cool weather has this fellow thinking its time for ducks...

... never mind the cold water...

Teenage boys don't mind helping with the trap, which is especially nice when it is full of an "undesirable".

Unfortunately, there isn't a good way to get rid of a skunk in the trap.
The dog tree'd a family of racoons - the momma was so big we thought it was a lion at first!
The deer have been in the yard alot more, too - even a few small bucks. The deer are gearing up for the rut, and have the boys watching the apple tree and garden close!

Enjoying the Fall

The last couple of weeks have been fun. While the weather was nice, we've been out getting the last of the garden and yard ready for the long, dark to come.

Alot of the birch trees around are shedding this time of year, and the bark is a fun new medium - we took some large sheets and wrote old Norse poems (about birch trees, of course) in Norse Rune. A coating of varnish flattened them out nicely.

Most of the garden is done, too.

We picked the last of the late corn - it was really great getting fresh corn-on-the-cob in late October! We ended up with more than 200 ears this year... much more than we expected.

We fired up the tiller and plowed under much of the old plants.

We also rounded up most of the leaves that have fallen, and lit 'em up!

The smell of leaves - especially burning leaves, really makes it feel like fall.

The grapes have all turned yellow, and dropped most of their leaves, too.

We put a sturdy lean-too on the garden house to house the mower and tiller out of the rain...

It is much more convenient than using the ramps.

Plus, it has given us much more room in the Garden House now.

The grapes are a great seasonal indicator. Very vibrant colors, and welcoming greens in the spring.

Soon, they will be empty twigs.

The girls had a great day playing in the leaves on the tramp.

Leaf fights are much more fun when the leaves are dry and free of worms or slugs!

At least for the girls, anyway - the boys are waiting for some good rain to make the leaf fights more... gooey!

Some really big, unusual mushrooms are pushing up all over, too!

We've had a beautiful October this year - almost makes up for the nasty Junuary we had.


Huntin' Shrooms

One of the last days we had of really nice weather (and its been really nice!) the little crew wanted to go mushroom hunting.

So, we took a hike to a favorite little lake to hike, fish, and hunt.

No one else was around, which made it all the better.

It really was a warm, sunny day.

The water was murky, but the trail was dry.

We even did a little fishing... though it wasn't much more than throwing out the lines, and having the kids pester to reel them right in.

We did find a few really cool mushrooms, some fun puff-balls, and lots of interesting things in the woods to explore.

This new crew also started learning the drill about local trees, birds, and plants.

We didn't catch any fish, but did get a nice, juicy salamander... but no one was interested in keeping it.

A great day out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Astoria Trip

This was a fantastic weekend - fishing, a great time at the Portland Temple, good food.

A trip with the girls out to Astoria on Sunday was 'icing on the cake.'

After church, they wanted to get back up the Astoria Column. The weather was just starting to break and get sunny, too!

So... up the tower we went.

Today we could see the ocean, and its great, foaming breakers at the mouth of the Columbia.

The column doesn't look so tall from the ground...

These girls did great sitting quietly in church... but in the car with Dad, they got pretty rowdy.

Traffic into and again out of Astoria was tough - a big giant crane rolled over.

There were 3 other cranes on-hand getting ready to pull their buddy out.

That was a big crane!

We stopped at Gnat Creek Hatchery again to say 'hi' to the fishes... but the troughs were so mirky we couldn't see anything.

So... we fed the sturgeon we did catch a glimpse of, and decided to hike the trail up to the falls.

It was a beautiful hike in the warm sun up to the barrier falls above the hatchery.

The girls enjoyed racing the trail and stretching those legs.

Even these small adventures make for a great day, living in paradise.

Saturday Sturgeon!

Sturgeon fishing finally opened up again last week on the Columbia river... and so we took a couple hours to hit it.

Its been a long time since we've been out after 'gators... and it was a great day!

Pretty warm out still, and a little wet - perfect for fishing.

The water temp was warmer than the air - almost 64*F!

Fishing was a bit slow, but the first fish we connected on was a line-peeler!

Hang on!

The first fish was a keeper! Nice, fat, 48" fish.

We used smelt and squid in various combinations.

And "blue goo" too.

We only ended up landing 4 fish in the 2 hours we fished... a couple of shakers, and another nice keeper that measured 43" at the tail's fork.

A great day with friends back on the mighty Columbia River.

Mushroom Hunting Season is Open, too!

The kids had an afternoon off from school and sports, so we took the girls out to find new digs for mushrooms.

Its been a while since the girls have been in the woods, so it was fun!

... except for all the spiders...

We found lots of new and interesting 'Mushies".

Lots of pictures to go back and figure out what we found!

We never did find any Chantrelles we were hoping for, but mushroom hunting is always an adventure, and it was a great day out!

We did help with the mushroom food - and kicked over all the rotten stumps we could find.

Good fun on a warm, fall day.