Into the Outdoors - A Potpourri Column

It has been a good many years since I have done a potpourri column. This will be one. It will consist of things which the old idea mill churned up, but which are not sufficient for a column of their own. I hope you like them.

First of all, I have referred a few times to magnet fishing. Here are some YouTube channels on the subject that you might find interesting. The first, and maybe best, one is called The Fisher. The guy is somewhat irritating, but he does haul some amazing things out of the water. At times, I just turn the sound down to avoid listening to his blather. He really catches some neat stuff. Another is Daniel Bowens, as well as Outdoor Influencer. Treasure Vixens is also quite entertaining. If you watch enough of these channels, you might very well wind up buying a magnet and giving it a try. It is truly amazing what can wind up in the water. Just remember not to magnet fish if you have a pacemaker or other implanted medical device. Use a grappling hook instead.

I have noticed that there are very few lightning bugs this summer. I don’t know what’s causing it. The same holds true for grasshoppers, which should be around by now. This is very disappointing for my outside cat, Syracuse, as he loves to feast on those things. I can only think that the weather has something to do with it.

If, like me, you like to fish in ponds for panfish, they’re is another problem at this time of year. That would be green algae and other weeds. My dad used to refer to all of that stuff as frog crap (although he didn’t say crap). While it is a genuine nuisance, you can still catch fish. You just have to clean off your hook and sinker every time you reel in. The same is true of a bobber, if you use one. Also, panfish have a tendency to get wormy at this time of year.

This seems to be a good year for porcupines. I have seen a lot of them splattered on the roads. These are somewhat remarkable creatures. As everyone knows, they are covered with sharp, detachable quills. Contrary to popular folklore, they cannot throw their quills. If cornered, however, they will try to get against you to release the quills. These critters are the bane of coonhunters, or rather their dogs. I once had a big bluetick named Blue Lou, who came back with a facefull of quills. Fortunately, the guy I was hunting with always carried the necessary tools, and knew how to get the quills out. After a porcupine releases quills, they grow back.

I was talking to an old friend the other day, who was just getting over a case of Lyme disease. This is a really bad year for ticks. Be sure to check yourself regularly. The deer tick is not the only one. I have had to remove a number of the bigger ones from Syracuse.

While I have had a number of sightings of bald eagles this summer, even they don’t seem as common as they were in previous years. I did, however, see two at once, which makes me think that there is a nesting pair.

And finally, here is a surprising one. Canning supplies seem to have dried up. My son and I had planned to can venison this season, provided, of course, we get deer. Now, it looks as though that won’t happen. I guess we will have to make room in the freezer.

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