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This Week’s Catches

22 Jul

There have been lots of catches this week.  Here are some of them.

Lots of frogs were caught over at Dad’s pond.  But also caught was this year old painted turtle.  It resides in the water barrel here at home now, being fed worms and insects and flies.
It left at least 8 of its friends or family to travel here.

The girl decided she was going to catch this wildish kitten at the cousin’s farm.  And she did after two tries.  I kept its attention while she snuck up on it. Daddy said we could not bring it home.  It is skinny as well as being cute.

He gave her some scratches then howled incredibly miserably when he was first caught.

And seemed glad to be released back to his lair.

At the next cousin’s home some neighbors were exercising their horses in the 25 acre pond. Here the Belgian draft horses are swimming.

One thing the girl has wished for a long time is to ride a swimming horse.  She was able to have that dream fulfilled.

The mare really liked to swim and when she had to stop and visit would splash impatiently to get back into the deeper water.

Then of course there was the mess o’fish jay and I caught.

And yesterday I caught this woodchuck who had the temerity to think it was going to live under my front porch.  Not for long.

Hawthorne wished he had caught the woodchuck. It was fortunate, though.  Jay took it down the road several miles to abandoned fields, where the coyotes might find it for supper.

What We Eat in the Country

20 Jul

For lunch today we had yellow sweet cherries (grown by Jay’s aunt and uncle and picked by us yesterday), mixed fillets of fish caught yesterday in a cousin’s pond: striped bass, bluegill, largemouth bass), lettuce, homemade root beer and homemade cookies (the last three my Mom grew or made).


Sweet and Sour Fish

18 Jun

When Rose was here Jay took her fishing twice.  Once they caught some little rock bass and perch.  Rose fried them up nice and crispy:

And then made a sauce of vinegar, ketchup, ginger matchsticks, garlic scape bits, onion crescents, Thai chili sauce, and a tad of water.  Cooked down together and poured over the fish.  Rose says carrots and green peppers, etc could be added.

Served with rice and fresh lettuce.

It was incredibly delicious.

Week in Review

28 May

Yesterday 13 red efts were out in the newly planted corn field when Hawthorne and I went for our morning walk.  That brings the May sighting total to 15.

Lots of rain and thunder and lightening.  About 1.3 inches the past two days.  Loss of power one night.

And now sickness so am not doing so much.

The tree peonies have been blooming, and quickly since a sudden heat wave has shown up.

The red bush was first and is almost done now.

Jay went fishing up the other end of the lake Thursday and caught perch, rock bass, sunfish and a gar.  The gar has lots of pointy teeth (see the blog header) and a skin so tough Jay was able to only get a small portion of flesh from near the tail, even using a filet knife and an electric knife..

I have modified the cooking on the last of the catfish and this new batch:  the pieces are rolled in mayonnaise  then in a spiced cornmeal/flour mixture and either baked or pan-fried.  The mayo has oil and egg and lemon and salt–all help to flavor and prepare the fish for the coating.

At Mom M’s the wisteria are blooming beautifully.  And lastly, a photo of Alison, Susan and me last Sunday before they had to leave.  What good friends to come to celebrate with us from far away!  We all went to Cornell together and along with about nine other ladies lived in apartments around the county in various groups for about a decade–or more–during and after college.

Spring supper Wednesday was fresh lettuce and green onion salad, baked fish and rhubarb custard with ice cream.  All but the ice cream we grew or caught.  Last night was the same with addition of a tomato-carrot-herb soup.  Only the carrots were store bought.

20 Cats and 5 Efts

19 May

Jay caught these down at the falls today before work and during lunch.  He is fileting and skinning them now.  He gave two away that are not here.  They are catfish, sometimes called bullheads.

The corn jumped up over night.  And in the fallow corn field from last year some clover is coming in.  On the northern edge of that field this morning were five red efts all within 10 feet of one another. Here are three:

The spots make them individuals. To us.  That and their varied behaviors.

These bring to six the number of red efts I have seen this month.  The first I carried home.  Here it is on the new bench Jay bought us for our anniversary–a week beforehand.

And up close.

Little lizards.


12 May

This week has been so warm that trees are leafing out rapidly.  Lawn mowing.  Weeding.  Planting. Transplanting.

The gnats and black flies are out and biting.  Every outdoor surface is covered with a layer of yellow pollen from the spruces.  The beginning of the week I could still hang out clothes. But not now.  I took Goldilocks (the snake) outside for a couple hours yesterday.  It was interesting how she watched me.  I put her in the grass just near the edge of the garden where there was plain soil to see which she would choose.  She chose the sun-warmed soil and slithered over to the cold frame and proceeded around its perimeter.  When I would walk over from my weeding to see what she was up to she would freeze when she caught sight of me.  After I was out of her sight for a couple minutes she would proceed her slow way.  She eventually turned the second corner into shade, started to turn around, then just went up and into the cold frame.  After awhile she started coming out but I walked over to see where she was and she froze.  Like a small child–“maybe if I don’t move she can not see me”.  She went back in the cold frame under the lettuces and poppies and coiled there.

Pounce came walking over.  He smelled that snake, following the path she took and eventually jumping himself into the cold frame.  Which I put a stop to. Which makes me wonder, after reading an article this week: scientists have “discovered” that mice “sing” in voices too high for us to hear.  Can snakes hear mice sing if cats can smell a snake’s passage?

The Orioles have been back for about a week.  They are eating the nectar from the flowering quince.  Earlier this week one was catching small insects in the blossoms of the plum tree.  Can you find it?  This is a close-up of the photo taken about 40 feet away.  I sat at the base of one of the large spruces and waited for them to return to feed.

For those who are squeamish: do not look at the next picture.  It shows the snails that were in the large brown trout Jay caught yesterday.  They are on newsprint for relative size.  Is that not interesting?

Up in one of the small trees being grown for some Christmas  a robin keeps making a noisy exit each time I am near weeding the flowers.  This is why:

The three fish are in the process of being ready to be smoked.  The flesh of the last is bright orange-red–like a wild caught salmon.  Jay attributes this to crayfish in its diet.  And perhaps living in a spring-fed pond?

This is another kind of currant.  It is a shrub: the flowering currant.  The small flowers are incredibly fragrant.  They have a clove-like scent which wafts over the lawn all times of day.  Wonderful.

The first clematis.  A shrubby kind and the first time it has ever bloomed.  For years it got trampled and barely survived; it lives just above the garden too near where we walk.  So I have been pampering it the past couple years; this year it seems happy and has a couple dozen blooms coming.

Morning Hunts

11 May

Early this morning Jay went turkey hunting.  He did not see or hear anything.  When he came home he decided to go throw a few casts into the neighbor’s pond.  Several years ago he put four little brown trout there to live.

He tells me he did not expect anything to bite and just cast half-heartedly out into the weed thicket.  On the third cast he had a bite.  And what a bite it was!

The fish immediately swam into deeper weeds. Jay debated with me whether to go get the kayak and leave me holding the rod.  But after seemingly long minutes of futile pulling (but not too hard since the pole was bent right over and Jay was afraid of breaking the line), the fish himself swam out and a grand fight ensued.

Jay is delighted.  “I have never seen a Brown with so much color!  He is so green!” 

The fish weighs 3 3/4 pounds and is 21 inches long.  He makes the salmon Jay caught yesterday seem smallish by comparison.

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