January 7, 2010 – Deep freeze

We’ve been nearly housebound with the cold temperatures and snow.  Tuesday Stacey worked in Lewis County.  We went to a nursing home to pick up some paperwork.  We took Gretchen, who enjoyed meeting the residents.  We went to Kiwanis for the lunchtime meeting.  Wednesday I did get out to Lowell’s.  I couldn’t get any bait for ice fishing.  All we accomplished was loading my truck with firewood we had cut last February.  With the ground being frozen, I could drive my truck around back there without getting stuck.

Thursday I finished compiling my year-end statistics. 
Days afield: 138 – highest ever, mostly because every day in Ruby counted.
Largemouth bass: 144 – second highest total, and includes 4 fish over 5 lb.
Northern pike: 12 – most ever, all because of the Wisconsin trip.

New additions this year included a couple of saltwater species: white sea bass and sculpin.  After 15 years of keeping records, I’ve caught 2754 fish.

I took 18,996 photos, about 5000 more than last year.  There’s been approximately linear growth over the past 4 years.

Gretchen lost two fairly large teeth in one day.  We noticed when she was bleeding on her favorite penguin toy.  She did seem a bit slower than usual that morning.  With the additional 6 inches of snow we got on Thursday, she had to jump around outside during her walks. She has no fear of the snow.  She thinks she’s a malamute.  She continues to grow.  We weighed her on the 7th and she was 13 lb.  She was 6.5 when we got her.  She is quite strong and still extremely resilient.

Saturday morning I went out early to photograph eagles.  There were plenty of them but they weren’t very active.  There was a huge flock of ducks, but they wouldn’t come in range.  I gave up after getting really cold.  It was -3 that morning.  In the afternoon I went to the high school basketball games.  Our girls team came back from 15 points down to tie the game with three seconds left.  I thought for sure we were going into overtime, but the ref called a foul on us with no time remaining.  We lost by one.  I never saw the foul.  Our boys lost too.

From Winter 2010

Overflying eagle.

From Winter 2010

Cedar waxwing with berry.

I’ve been wanting to photograph this bird for years.  I got some distant/poor images last year.  One day I was walking Gretchen and I heard/saw them in the back yard.  I ran back for my camera and sneaked up on one.  Then another came down and landed very close.  They were feeding on the berries of bush honeysuckle.  Good thing I didn’t pull them all out.  It’s quite an attractive species of bird.  Too bad about the one twig in front.

From Winter 2010

Best cardinal shot I’ve gotten in awhile.

Monday morning I stopped down by the river to check on the eagles.  It’s a good thing because they were putting on a show.  I had just read some tips for photographing birds in flight and changed some settings on my camera accordingly.  The birds were plenty active, and two caught fish right in front of me.  I got some of the best results ever.  Afterward I went in to the office.  It had been awhile.  I watered my plants.  None had died.  I filed a report on the prairie grant, but the email bounced back.  What now?  I went to a meeting on main campus, which was over fairly quickly.  I stopped at the pet store before leaving town.  They were out of crickets, and I got mealworms and superworms (both are beetle larvae) instead.  The lizards may appreciate the change in diet.  I went through La Grange on the way home and stopped at the bait shop.  He was open, and he had some nice waxworms.  I got three dozen.  Time for ice fishing. 

From Winter 2010

My best eagle shot ever?  As usual, click through to the web album to see them bigger.  And more images.

From Winter 2010

Gretchen has not lost her affinity for toilet paper. 

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