Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ethics and the Environment, Worth the read.

As I surfed the information Highway I came across a blog title that made me fear I may have found a blog based on emotion instead of science. The blog is Ethics and the Environment (with some economics and politics thrown in) I must say it is worth the read. Not because I agree with him but he uses sound facts to prove his point in a well written manner. The Author Josh is from California but don't hold it against him. He has another blog that seems to be more personal experiences which is a great supplement on his perspectives. I highly recommend reading one of his latest blogs, Up in arms over junior deer hunt, which put into words several things I have thought in my own head. Make sure and click on his picture below or one of the links above and enjoy the read. Author of Ethics and the Environment pictured above.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


We slipped through the tall grasses silently and single file. The darkness of night has long since closed in shrinking visibility to a couple of feet. Deep throated croaks in the distance dance in my ears like a siren song. We approach the pond less by sight more by memory. We take a minute to collect ourselves and organize. Ron checks the three pronged gig at the end of a 7 foot long laminated bamboo stick while I familiarize myself with the on/off toggle on the spotlight. I locate the general location of a larger croaker by the sound of his call. Ron (without a word to each other only the familiarity of the activity) starts moving in that direction. I turn the light on and begin searching the shoreline and almost immediately I see the tale tale glowing eyes of our official state amphibian the bull frog. I hold the light as still as possible in our prey's eyes blinding him to Ron's approach. In one fluid motion Ron drives the gig home like a spear. The next couple of seconds are tense until the gig is raised from the water with our first pair of succulent legs hanging for all to see. Several similar little dramas played out that night before we loaded up our trash bag full of frogs and left. While the act of frog gigging is fun, it pales in comparison to the feast we will enjoy after dropping the breaded legs into hot oil. If you haven't ate frog's legs you haven't lived.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sideways snow and a doe!

The only reason I was on a ridge top in Jackson Co. during a blizzard was the doe tag in my pocket, which is a rare thing during high powered rifle season. I had positioned myself opposite the wind from a saddle between to ridges which the deer used to access the valley to the east of the land I was hunting. I had walked up the ridge with Bob who had tried to give me some of his frozen Mcdonald's hamburgers he had purchased earlier in the week for 69 cents. We parted ways and I sat down in my makeshift blind built from dead fall. The snow was blowing so hard that I couldn't see very well and I was becoming miserable. By the time I had decided to give it up for the day I realized my boots were froze to the ground and it took some tugging to pull them free. I needed no more reasons and I headed down the hill while the snow storm pick up its force even more. By the time I reached the field that lays between the cemetery and the old clapboard sided house we use as camp, the weather could be described as a blizzard. I needed meat bad and we would probably start driving home as soon as the weather broke, but I didn't care I was looking for shelter. By the time I reached the porch of the old house I saw Bill sitting in a chair(I don't think he ever left the porch that morning) drinking Diet Dr. Pepper and occasionally stoking the warm morning stove. Before we had a chance to swap pleasantries Bill whispered "I think there is a deer behind you". I spun dropped to a knee and leveled my 30-06 and squeezed one off. The deer went down immediately, it had just entered the field about 80 yards from us. I apologized to Bill for walking up to his deer stand (the front porch) and shooting a deer. He is one of my fathers oldest friends and told me not to sweat it he would have gave the deer to me anyway since my family eats so much venison. I gutted the 1 and 1/2 year old doe where she laid. It was snowing so hard that when my father and Bob finally came down off the ridge they had no idea what had transpired since the blood was now covered by snow. Sometimes luck is better than skill when it comes to filling up the meat freezer.
Your pal The Envirocapitalist.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Raspberry pickin

We had a great time picking berries in Cove Creek WMA. My Son (below), my father, and myself left out for a leisurely berry picking day and came back with chiggers and a few berries.
We had more success finding Raspberry bushes this year, which is odd since blackberries have been more prevalent in the past. I love raspberries, it was a shame that the ones we found were small and picked over. Which made filling our buckets harder work.
We were surrounded by ragweed and widow's lace at the edges of the overgrown fields where we found the berries. It turns out that while it was a pretty setting to spend the day in, it was also infested with chiggers..........................................................sorry I needed to scratch.
Even though we came back with less than a gallon of berries, the memories and time spent together was priceless. The photo below says it all. A very good little boy learning about the outdoors from his Big Papaw. Thanks Dad.
If you don't hunt, forage, fish or farm, it is probably hard to understand the way the world works and what a miracle God's creation is. Everything you need to survive is out there at the end of the concrete. Just waiting for someone to get of the couch and retrieve it. I love the outdoors.
Your pal The Envirocapitalist.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Expedition Melton Hill

I get off work at 4:30pm. (I know your jealous, I understand.) So I have the ability to grab my intrepid son "The Fish Slayer" and head over to my Dad's whom my son calls"Big Papaw" to take short fishing trips to Melton Hill Lake. I like Melton Hill Lake because it has less residential property along its shoreline than most East Tennessee lakes due to its proximity to a nuclear plant (don't worry it is upstream of the plant). It has pretty good fishing to go with its beautiful scenery and a diversity of fish to catch, you never know what you will hook. Our latest endeavour found the three generations of outdoorsmen putting in at about 6:00pm which allowed us 3 hours of daylight fishing. It was crowded at the ramp for a weekday, but its been that way ever since Bob Hodge, a local outdoor writer, spilled the beans on how nice and uncrowded the lake was. It is still nothing compared to the skiing and boating nightmares of Norris and Loudon lakes which lay nearby and have more boat docks than most Island nations. We had more fun than success if you measure success by how much food was collected from the water. My 6 year old son, of course, pulled in the most fish from the green water (2 bluegill and 1 channel catfish) and most of them were from one cove we call Stumpy Hollow, my father nicknames most everything to the point I don't know the real names of some places I go. The Scenery itself is often worth the fuel spent getting there. My son yelling go faster to my 65 year old father as he drives a modified v-bottomed boat through choppy waters is probably my favorite part. Peaceful cove where Ryan caught the Fish (Stumpy Hollow).
First of two bluegills
Small channel cat which later got stocked in the pond next to Big Papaw's house.
It is like the Envirocapitalist always says "Take a kid fishing so your wife can't hassle you for going fishing to much". After all, it is for the children......right.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fireworks and Tomatos

Independence Day was great this year. My family and I went to Norris to watch a great fireworks show in a small town setting. Not to mention My Tomato plants seem to be doing great this year (amazing what a little rain will do). Here is the first tomato of the year ( think softball). I am almost as impressed by my green thumb as I am by the fireworks.
Happy Independence day.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cades Cove

Cades Cove is one of the most beautiful places in the eastern United States. I rarely go there for fear of a crowd. I am so glad my wife made me go this time. It is truly breath taking and I successfully ignored the people who know nothing about the outdoors or wildlife and tried to enjoy each moment for what it was. If you do not know what Cades Cove is, it is a huge valley in the middle of the Smokey Mountains. It has a diversity of flora and fauna and has fertile valley soils surrounded by the eroded rocky mountains. It is truly a wonder of the world, but it also has a nicely maintained road around it for people from all over to come and drive around stopping in the middle of said road for what seems like hours every time they see a deer. What scares me the most however is the proclivity of the city slickers to run up to a mother black bear and cub to get a picture putting themselves in mortal danger (thanks Disney). I digress, the outing was very enjoyable and the children got to see some wildlife (pictured below).
We also got to spend time exploring a cold mountain stream. I found a penny, the kids didn't. If you are wondering why my wife takes all the pictures, it is because she is deathly allergic to having her photo taken.
How can you not love the outdoors, it is truly a family playground. .... Your pal the Envirocapitalist