Archive for September, 2009

Photo Fest!

September 26, 2009

What a week!  The weather is STILL so beautiful!  I have taken back all bad things I said about no summer.  Our temps are in the mid to high-70’s and the sun just shines and shines.  It affected fishing a bit–our new group realized they needed to low-light the walleye–but Steve and I went out Tues. and returned with our limit in a couple of hours (we threw back quite a few as well).  Steve caught first and most; I’d say we tired for biggest.  We had some die-hard northern anglers here as well.  They lost track of how many fish they caught although they didn’t find any trophies.

I’m still picking blueberries and was able to get out three times this week.  I’ve also been closing cabins as they become empty.  I have only one cabin left.  We have a couple of guys coming in Tues. thru Fri., so I’ll leave that cabin alone.  I will head back to Iowa Oct. 7 and still have a bit to do around here. 

Steve’s been goofing off as usual!  He’s been pulling boats and winterizing them, as well as getting ready to antifreeze the cabins and lock ’em up.  He’s also putting a new floor in Cabin 5; Cabin 6 got one a couple of weeks ago.  We’re road-tripping tomorrow to Winnipeg for a couple of days to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary:)

I have a lot of great photos to share.  I’ll start with Neal and Marji’s.  They’ve been coming for four years now and seem to enjoy it more each year.  They had their best fishing yet this year!  Marji enjoys photography and does a nice job:

They said this otter was really cussing them out!

They said this otter was really cussing them out!

I loved this reflection photo of floating sticks.

I loved this reflection photo of floating sticks.

margie'srock

Looks like you can touch the sky...

Looks like you can touch the sky...

Little, tiny minnow on a great big lure.

Little, tiny minnow on a great big lure.

Whatcha' got there, Neal?

Whatcha' got there, Neal?

Here come a slug of bird photos:

Goofy looking cormorant

Goofy looking cormorant

Margie'seagle

Margie'sheron

You can take my picture if you give me bread.

You can take my picture if you give me bread.

The mergansers really seem to flock up in the fall.

The mergansers really seem to flock up in the fall.

margiesvulture

Something ruffled this loon's feathers.

Something ruffled this loon's feathers.

Thanks for the photos, you two!  Hope to see you at a sports show and again next summer.

John and Brant from home left us a bunch of photos as well.  I have no idea how many photos of John I’ll have to send to the webmaster for Conservation Awards–I’m sure he released at least five walleyes over 24″–but I decided to use some of their scenery photos here.

How cool is this photo???

How cool is this photo???

goodskycomp

Steve got some fishing lessons from Ben.

Steve got some fishing lessons from Ben.

Tony and Erik...real action or not?  You be the judge.

Tony and Erik...real action or not? You be the judge.

How cool is THIS photo?

How cool is THIS photo?

Father and son at day's end.

Father and son at day's end.

greatrockcomp

I take my cues from the geese...time to head south.

I take my cues from the geese...time to head south.

Erikwalleye

gilkysguyscomp

We feel the same way, Tony!

We feel the same way, Tony!

Sorry, ladies, he's taken.  Brant's getting hitched in May.  Nice stick.

Sorry, ladies, he's taken. Brant's getting hitched in May. Nice stick.

Well, that’s enough for now.  I have plenty more to share…hang in there.

Friends & (Their) Families

September 18, 2009

I had completed this entry last night–probably a bit more than an hour’s work–and it just disappeared.  So here I go again.

Fishing has been phenomenal!  Newcomers as well as old timers have been catching walleye.  Bob, who’s been coming for about five years now, released a nice 26″ walleye a couple of days ago.  You can view it from our website.  Harvey and Worm, two new guys, have had a great week of walleye, northern and perch fishing.  These guys are true anglers; they don’t use a GPS or a depth finder–they just fish.  Sandi and Eldon have had their best fishing yet–spring or fall!  Charley and Nancy made their first fall trip and really liked the less-crowded lake.

The weather has been as good as the fishing!  We’re in our third week of an incredible Indian summer.  Daytime temps are in the 70’s, and the nights cool off into the 50’s.  We have beautiful blue skies with fluffy white clouds.  I took a 6-mile walk today and just marveled at how gorgeous it is.  I guess it makes up for the cold, rainy, windy May, June and July.

I’ve been picking like a crazy woman!  I’ve been out three times this week:  twice with guests and once on my own.  I’ve decided to try my hand at blueberry jam when I return to Iowa.  In the meantime I’ve baked some blueberry zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread and made a nice bear back strap stir-fry for dinner the other night. 

I want to catch up on some recent guests’ stays.  I’ll start with a great friend of the Camp, Ron.  Ron visits every spring with his son and grandsons, then returns in the fall for a month with his wonderful wife Karna.  Their good friends Bob and Ann (who hooked up with me in Florida a couple of years ago) come up for two weeks during Ron and Karna’s stay.  We ladies have a good time together–berry picking, shopping, road-tripping.  They are really good company for me.  Here are some photos I swiped from Ron’s camera:

Karna likes going after big northerns!

Karna likes going after big northerns!

Bob got a bit of northern action as well.

Bob got a bit of northern action as well.

Looks like walleye for dinner that night.

Looks like walleye for dinner that night.

This eagle kept a watchful eye on Ron every morning.

This eagle kept a watchful eye on Ron every morning.

Ron enjoys capturing sunsets

Ron enjoys capturing sunsets

and is really, really

and is really, really

good at it.

good at it.

Here's to a couple of great people.

Here's to a couple of great people.

Our good friends from home have been gone a week and I still have quite a few of their photos to post.  They treated us to shore lunch one day which has become a tradition.  They won’t let me lift a finger!  There were 14 of us for lunch.

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.

Mule skinner Ben shared stories from his life's work.

Mule skinner Ben shared stories from his life's work.

Good friends Frank and Bender got to fish together

Good friends Frank and Bender got to fish together

and cook together (while John fired up another stove).

and cook together (while John fired up another stove).

Frank has fond memories of his dad making shore lunch.

Frank has fond memories of his dad making shore lunch.

Frank and John are both unbelievably devoted family men.  This year they were able to share all their guys with us!

Frank, Frank and Tyler together at Tall Pines Camp for the first time!

Frank, Frank and Tyler together at Tall Pines Camp for the first time!

John brought son Brant (middle two) back and added sons-in-law Erik and Tony.

John brought son Brant (middle two) back and added sons-in-law Erik and Tony.

Here's to good friends--old and new!  Thanks guys!

Here's to good friends--old and new! Thanks guys!

Catching Up

September 14, 2009

I plan to do a couple of posts again this week.  I have a lot of great photos from guests.  Our friends have all headed back to Iowa, so I should have a bit more time this week.  It sure was great seeing them; Steve and I both needed a little shot in the arm to finish out the season.  Visits from home do us both a lot of good.

Andy and Virginia were newcomers last week.  They took home their limits of walleye and northern, as well as some perch.  Andy released a few very nice northern.  He knows how it’s done:

Catch...quick photo...

Catch...quick photo...

quick measure...

quick measure...

release!

release!

He and Virginia also got to see a couple of moose swimming:

Andysswimmingmeese

I liked this photo of Camp:

What great reflections!

What great reflections!

We were able to go fishing THREE times last week!  We went twice with our good friends–more on that later–and once alone.  Well, the fishing gods were finally smiling on Andrea (probably ’cause they felt bad about my birthday fishing).  Anyway, I caught first, biggest and most each of the three times!  Plus, I get points for style (as always)

fuzzy slippers

and variety (a new category I stole from Ron, Karna, Bob and Ann):

Now that sucks (a big shout out to Marie)!

Now that sucks (a big shout out to Marie)!

I even released my first ever slot northern (29-30″ish).  The camera battery died, though, so no photo:( 

Steve declared that the fuzzy slippers were bad juju for him.  When we returned home, I tossed them in the garbage.  Thank God Sandi had my back!  She surprised me with a new set of footwear just in time for me to go fishing Sunday evening:

newshoes

I intend for my new “moose flops” to be my dress flipflops; however, I had to wear them fishing just one time.  Steve and I both ended up with good fishing; however, as I stated previously, I caught the first, biggest and most for the third consecutive time.  I even got a 2-for-1 special:

That northern would not give up that walleye until they were in the net!

That northern would not give up that walleye until they were in the net!

Da Bears

September 9, 2009

What a week we’re having!  First of all, fishing has been very, very good for most of our guests.  The walleye have been plentiful, and many large ones have been returned to the Lake!  You’ll see new photos on our website within the next few days.  I had a good day of fishing Monday…more on that later.  Let’s get to the good stuff.

The nuisance bear was continuing to be a nuisance.  You may recall that he had punctured some oil jugs and left his “sign” in our front yard.  Steve kept forgetting to bring in his popcorn oil (used for bear bait), so the bear kept coming in.  Our guests saw him last week around 9:00 p.m.  He was becoming quite a regular.  Steve set up the trail cam so we could see what goes on around here after we’ve called it a day:

Jason left several poses on both of our cameras:)

Jason left several poses on both of our cameras:)

Apparently we have a lot of ghost activity after hours.

Apparently we have a lot of ghost activity after hours.

Ah-ha!  There's the culprit checking out Gruper's truck!

Ah-ha! There's the culprit checking out Gruper's truck!

Steve was getting concerned about the level of bear activity.  Our guests were reporting more and more sightings of the bear–the whole Camp was in a turmoil.  It was time to call in a professional:

Meet Ben "Dead Eye" Taylor, a retired mule skinner from Pleasant Valley, Iowa.

Meet Ben "Dead Eye" Taylor, a retired mule skinner from Pleasant Valley, Iowa.

Ben arrived Saturday.  Steve brought him up to speed about our nuisance bear and the possible danger to everyone in Camp.  Ben formulated a plan to frighten the bear enough to leave us alone.  Ben would fish by day and stand sentinel by night.

Ben fishes and talks strategy with his able-bodied assistant Greg.

Ben fishes and talks strategy with his able-bodied assistant Greg.

An all-around outdoorsman, Ben released a nice walleye here.

An all-around outdoorsman, Ben released a nice walleye here.

Then came the big moment!  Sunday night–only 36 hours after his arrival–Ben heard a commotion on the deck of the Bear’s Den cabin.  He carefully looked out the window to find the bear right outside!  He raised his rifle and shot the bear in the butt…

...right through the screen!

...right through the screen!

We’re very happy to report that the bear has not been back to bother anything or anyone since.  Thanks to Ben, everyone is resting a bit easier around here.

restingeasy

Speaking of bears, Steve got one Monday night!  He had seen several in just a couple of nights.  Here are some photos.  CAUTION:  some of these are a bit graphic and may not be suitable for all audiences.

steveandbear

stevebearmuzzle

gregandpaw

It’s always good to have a mule skinner around when something needs to be skinned.

benandbear

guysandbear

steveandsaw

That's fat...

That's fat...

Something dies every year when Ann visits...and she likes it.

Something dies every year when Ann visits...and she likes it.

Ben still has a few days with us.  We’ve found the next nuisance for him to eliminate:

geese

Fishing, Weather, Happenings

September 6, 2009

Summer, Phase II, is happening!  All of last week and today the weather has been outstanding!  We’ve hit 80 a few times, the sun shines a bunch, and the nights cool off for perfect sleeping.  The warm temps and blue skies do not seem to have affected the fishing much either.  The walleye have gone deeper–Ron and Bob have fished 40+’–but they are being caught! 

Mary and her family visited last week.  Here are some of their fish photos:

Mary herself with a nice walleye.

Mary herself with a nice walleye.

Mary's hubby Ron got a piece of the action.

Mary's hubby Ron got a piece of the action.

Daughter Lori caught some fish (and sun) as well.

Daughter Lori caught some fish (and sun) as well.

Lori in fish housecomp

Ron and Ken showing their goods.

Ron and Ken showing their goods.

The happy crew at potluck.

The happy crew at potluck.

Lori befriended some ducks.

Lori befriended some ducks.

Mary took these photos of, like, a gazillion mergansers hanging out together.

merganserscomp

mergansersonrockcomp

It’s always fun feeding the northerns!

me feeding northernscomp

See the northern on the right?

See the northern on the right?

Mary snagged a great sunset as well (we had many last week):

Hope you get some sunsets like this next year!

Hope you get some sunsets like this next year!

Cabin 3’s crew was a good batch from Kansas…one new guy and three used guys.  Their fishing was good and they had a great time overall.  John is an awesome angler.

I sneaked this photo from his camera;)

I sneaked this photo from his camera;)

His son Jeremy released a big piggy perch for the Conservation Program.  You can view it from the website.

John also took some great scenery photos:

I thought this was awesome.

I thought this was awesome.

How intense is this???

How intense is this???

johnslillypadscomp

The guys were fishing on 1st Lake (where Camp is located).  A cow and calf moose came running out of the bush.  Not far behind them was the reason…

Two wolves were in hot pursuit.

Two wolves were in hot pursuit.

Here, the brown one slipped into the Lake.

Here, the brown one slipped into the Lake.

John's wolves5comp

My sister would call this a "Movie Star Wolf."

My sister would call this a "Movie Star Wolf."

John's wolves3comp

I have more to report about our Camp bear, and we have two bear hunters this week (Steve is one of them).  I have some more nice nature and sunset photos as well.  I’ll do my best to do a double entry this week!