Columnists

Fri
08
May

Trout Whisperer - A bag limit

I was lying on the bank, to stay below the cool breeze, trying to stay warmer, and when the wind was not blowing, it would actually feel warm. Those warm moments, oh they felt so nice, but the wind would take my bobber out past the crappies, so I would have to sit up, then tuck my neck in my collar like a recently un-hibernating turtle, reel in, re-cast and then retreat.
I asked him, since I found a warm spot on the gray grasses from last year, if he would not mind just tossing my bobber back out since he was standing up anyway.
He said, you got any more of them Reese’s peanut butter cups, I said sure, I got a whole bag, he says, ok toss me one, and I will toss your bait back out.
And then my bobber started to slide slip surface and then into a dipping, I jumped up, caught a decent crappie, rebaited, cast back out, and retreated to the warm bank. The fish was fun, but I was more into the warm, and I think he knew it.

Fri
01
May

From the miscellaneous drawer

It’s lovely to live in the woods. Winter is my favorite time, even though four foot snow piles I wish were not are along the driveway, from plowing.
It’s marvelous to watch fox and deer wander and feed on the yellowish-green soon-to-be green grass.
What’s not lovely is the influx of eight-legged creatures who are faster than my foot or hand can assail them. Spiders are not welcome, nor are mice. Human visitors are welcome.
I’m spending less time at the office. The Echo crew: Nick, Tom, Lisa, Cam, Ann and Terri continue efficiently carrying on the work of delivering Ely area news. Guess that’s why we have more than twice as many subscribers in the area than any others.
* * *
The world as we have known it is changing. The classroom interaction of students at all levels is missing and schools and universities are empty.

Fri
24
Apr

Hook and Bullet Club

There’s a new dog in our lives. We’ve still got Morgan, our 14 year-old Yorkie, and Megan’s golden retrievers, Millie and Maverick. The new pup on the block is Hank, a black lab owned by Evan and Nella.
Being a puppy Hank kind of gets the run of the house, at least as much as Morgan will let him. Get too close to her at times and Hank will get a snarl and a good barking.
But puppies are resilient and Hank finds another toy or something else to gnaw on. He’s a big fan of Kleenex so the garbage can in the bathroom is now stored on top of a table.
Evan and I took Hank and the goldens out to the shack a couple weekends ago. All around our shack trees were harvested over the winter. It’s been 20 years since we bought Camp Cholesterol and we always knew this day would come.

Fri
17
Apr

From the miscellaneous drawer

No doubt it is important to stay in touch with family and friends. I prefer email for this, since I am not a Facebook fan or member. It seems to allow more personal info than I care to share.
Subscribers also contact me through email and it’s good to hear from folks who have become friends over the past 40 years or so. And it’s good to know of Betty M. and others like her who are preparing for another tourist season, whatever it is.
I’m not in the office as much as I used to be, so any and all contacts are welcomed.
Staying sequestered in London, my niece and her husband greet me through Skype. The last two attempts though, have been spotty and often what is said disappears, even without the visual sight.
We all have so many projects which could be accomplished, but the motivation to do so may be lacking as my friend Linda noted.

Fri
10
Apr

Snap Tales

by Ken Hupila
When I was young I would listen to my folks talk about growing up, and heard about things that they lived through that I had only read about. Stories about The Depression, before electricity came to the farm, WWII, my Dad using a chain saw for the first time, mobsters that would hide out in the northwoods – all kinds of great stuff! It seemed so distant and long ago, I felt they had grown up and “Lived History”. Little did I know that at my present age, I’ve lived a bit of history myself.

Fri
03
Apr

Someday When I’m Social Distancing

I once wrote a column with the prophetic title, “Someday When I’m Quarantined.” In it, I vowed that if I were ever unable to leave my home for a few months, I’d finally do all of the things I don’t normally have time to do. I’d put my old photos into albums, clean my closets and take up my guitar again, much to the annoyance of anyone quarantined with me.
It was just big talk though, because I never thought it would really happen. But here we are and I’m happy to report that all my closets are now clean, my photos are organized and I’m practicing my guitar for an hour every day. You don’t believe me? I dare you to drop by and check. No. Don’t do that.

Fri
27
Mar

Trout Whisperer - Dirty work

I can’t take it anymore, I’ve had too many wood shed days in a row. My snowshoes look tired, last November, December, January they looked fun, that’s over, and the icicles of late are pretty long in the tooth - what an eave crop of them we’ve got growing. It’s all too much, so, heavy sigh of, oh my, so, today while the rest of the world does Lord knows what, I talked my Mrs. into letting me plant one pot of sugar snap peas for me to grow in the windowsill.
I get happy thinking about it. New shoots, maybe some leaves that offer potential. And if all goes right those soft white flowers that will allow for tiny sweet peas. It’s a little thing, but in my world, it’s becoming a big deal.

Fri
20
Mar

Snap Tales “Spring”

Spring came today. It was a bit tardy this year, but as they say, better late than never. There is no doubt when the first day of spring arrives. One senses a change that is almost indiscernible. Calendar date has nothing to do with it. Temperature isn’t the only factor – if it was, a January thaw would lead to a lot of heartbreak. A general feeling is in the air. Maybe it’s the angle of the sun, maybe a difference in the song of the chickadee. Possibly it’s the feel of a chinook wind as it catches your face from the west. Whatever the signal, it is unmistakable.

Fri
13
Mar

I can hear it leaving

Where the river departs the lake, all winter long the water flowed and when a fellow like me has spring fever worse than any other year I can recall, I needed some of that open water view, and so to it, I did go.
I liked knowing before I arrived, it would be what I saw many times this winter. I knew before I’d go there, it would be moving water. Gurgles would occur to my ear, if I listened close enough from the snowy bank. Truly I couldn’t wait.
I hobbled along a deer trail tucking under budded alders. Snow would slush below my boots and then there in front of me - a winter’s rut of deer tracks making their way. That helped my way be easier to hike as they must know as I did, what was up ahead. It hastened my step to be sure.

Fri
06
Mar

Hook and Bullet Club

The first day of March and we went looking for signs of spring.
Our friends at the National Weather Service said it was the first day of meteorologic spring. Of course they told us the other day it was going to go from -18 degrees in the morning to 40 in the afternoon. When I questioned this on Twitter, I got a great response: “We’re marketing, Mother Nature handles production.”
Marketing or not the calendar tells us we’re closer to the walleye opener every day. But fishing wasn’t the plan for the day, I wanted to get Mary out to the shack so she could see the change in the scenery.
This past winter the area around us was logged off. After 20 years of seeing the same trees we can now see a lot farther in nearly every direction.
“Wow!’ She said as we came up to the driveway.
“You sure can see a long ways away now.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Columnists