Archive for August, 2015

Back By Popular Demand: Hanna the Guest Blogger!

August 30, 2015


Remember me?  I’m Hanna and I’ve visited Tall Pines Camp many, many times!  My friend Andrea asked if I could stand in for her this week as she’s been very busy and needed a break!  Rumor has it that she had “home” at Camp last week.  We all know what that means…

We visited a few weeks back and had a great time as always!  Nick was able to put a 24″ walleye on the Big Fish page during our visit


He released it of course, just like Sue did with this nice one a few weeks ago:


I wanted to let you know it’s not always like that with Nick…


That’s a good seed though!  Here he is with a nice bass


We had a good time catching walleye.  I like to inspect the bounty


and photo-bomb when possible


Check out this cool underwater photo


It looks like Jeff’s stringer from a few weeks ago!


Mary loves to take pictures and has an inquiring mind.  She had a spare wildflower book and shared it with Andrea.  We are learning more about the area:)  Here are some newly-knowns

The spotted touch-me-not


the common tansy


Some type of aster (they all look very similar)


Of course, this is a lovely pic of a water lily


Rose hips perhaps?


Some type of thistle or forget-me-not


The book called this “flower and red berry.”  I could have named it that…


This was cool


Forget the flowers in this pic–I love the log that looks like a Flintstone Bone!!!


Get it…’cause I’m a dog who likes bones (wink, wink)


This is a highbush blueberry


and these are WONDERFUL, PLENTIfUL blueberries!


Kind of like the ones Jeff and Sue picked



Mary was into mushrooms a bit this year as well.  Andrea has a mushroom book but has been too busy to check out the specifics.  She does like to point out, however, that with mushrooms there is a fine line between delicacy and almost certain death!

mushroom2 mushroom3 mushroom4 mushroom1

Doesn’t this eagle look like a totem pole?


This gull does not


I enjoy taking boat rides to check out the scenery:

scenery5 scenery4



As I was saying, I love boat rides…the wind flapping through my ears and all.


What’s that sound?


Oh, yeah, it’s me practicing retrieves!


I make quite a splash!  The pet northerns make a pretty good one themselves at Camp


We went for a drive.  Guess what we saw????  Yup, a moose.  You gotta’ look quick ’cause it dashed into the bush!


Andrea loves this reflection Mary caught:


as well as this sunset:


Check out this cool rock!


This is a lovely shore lunch spot:


Is it just me or do you see a big set of moose antlers here:


I think Mary was taking a rest when she took this pic:


Andrea reported that Lee released a big bass last week (Lee, she wants to know where the 3rd lizard is??) and Curt released a 13″ perch!  Curt and Katelyn both celebrated their birthdays on Andrea’s birthday last week!  How cool is that???  She said she has some photos to share from last week’s craziness as well!  She thinks this week will be a bit more relaxed….we’ll have to wait and see;)

This is Hanna, signing off.

Foto Fest of Family Fun!

August 23, 2015

Hi there.  I hope your week was wonderful!  We had a good one at Tall Pines Camp!

Fishing was good last week.  I had been telling people to start at, like, 20 ft. and move deeper for walleye.  Apparently I was wrong!  We had reports as shallow as 11 ft.  I trust the folks who told me ’cause Joe released a 24″ and a 24.5″ walleye!  I’ll add his pic to the web site soon.  We had two smallies and one northern qualify for Conservation Awards as well.  One thing I know for sure:  everyone seemed to have enough fish to eat all week!  I had lots of grease cans/pans at week’s end.

Marty and Scott returned and brought friends!  The guys seemed to enjoy themselves immensely.  Dennis (I think) caught a couple of lake trout for eating:


Wayne and LeaAnn returned after a 3 or 4 year hiatus.  They tent camp (special kind of crazy, eh?)!  When they first visited they discovered they were blueberry-pickers!  This year they came prepared for serious picking and took home around 5 gallons!  That’s how many I have so far this season, and I live here!!!!  They are both dirty pickers who enjoy sorting their berries at day’s end.  LeaAnn has tried to clean up her picking habits but realizes it costs her in volume.  Not only did these two pick berries, they fished as well.  During the course of the week, they caught 612 perch!  They kept fewer than 50 but thoroughly enjoyed setting daily goals for how many they would catch.  Fun!

No bears yet.  Brandon experienced being quite close to a bear, though;)  Cross your fingers for Kraig who’s still patiently waiting…and playing a bit of chess with a couple of bears.  During the day he, Jenny and Marlin go fishing.  They’ve been doing just fine.  Here’s a nice bunch of piggies:


Wayne and LeaAnn weren’t the only berry pickers in town last week.  I was able to guide a few times.  I have been very good at putting us right on them this year!  Here are two of my tour groups (you might notice that Jenny is in both pictures…she has a berry problem):

bbpicking2 bbpicking

We had several HUGE storms yesterday afternoon and evening.  Gruper and I pumped a ton of water from the boats this morning.  I plan to guide a hunt this afternoon and anticipate even plumper berries because of all the moisture.  Wish us luck!

We are entering one of our favorite weeks of the season!  Why, you ask.  The Red Hats are here (sans Rich) and brought friends.  Kraig and Jenny hang around for a second week of fun as well.  Add to that a fantastic representation of home–Pat, our matriarch; Sally, my BFF; Mike and Dawn, friends from way-back; and other new and used faces–and we have the makings of more fun than a barrel of monkeys!  This shot in the arm should give us our 3rd wind, enough to make it through season 12 in one piece!

Brett and Karen brought their kids back for another visit a few weeks back.  It has been fun for us to see this family in action.  Brett and Karen know how to make a fishing vacation a fun all-around experience for their children, helping them develop a love of the outdoors that will be in them forever!  Karen always takes great photos during their stay, and she is the featured photographer of this week’s Foto Fest!

During this year’s trip, young Master Trent added two northerns to our Conservation Awards page!  He released a 30″ musky as well that week!  Here’s a reminder of one of the northerns AND his perfect release stylings:


All that work tuckered him out!


Tricia caught her first perch all on her own a few years back!  She has certainly evolved as an angler!  Check these out:

triciaswalleye triciasperch triciasnorthern

AND, when she’s not catching she’s netting:


With her help, Brett actually gets to spend a bit of time fishing;)


I’m not being very fair!  Brett does just fine as an angler:

brettsnorthern brettscrappie


Karen is an educator at all times.  She allows the children to explore their environment, make informed decisions, and just be kids!  I think her parenting approach is spot-on and contributes to the success of this family’s vacation time.  Here are some other-than-fishing moments:

Critter examination:


Berry picking (of course):

berrypicking berrybounty

Wildlife observation:



Loony behavior:


loon herd

S’mores for lunch (how cool is that?)!!


I love this picture.  Tricia was feeding ducks like a crazy woman all week.  Here she is delighted to be so close to them.  Check out Brett’s hand–holding onto her just in case…

triciafeeding ducks

They also appreciate the beauty of our area and, of course, the sunsets:


sunset3 sunset

sunset 2

I’ll end with Karen’s silver sunset.  We’ve not seen many of these this year and I do so love them!

silver sunset

Next week…we may have the return of a guest blogger;)  Have a splendid week!

Falling Behind!

August 16, 2015

First of all, I’d like to point out that I’ve not missed a single Sunday blog entry all season!  I can’t guarantee such a hard-core work ethic for the remainder of the season but I will certainly try to maintain the standard to which you have become accustomed:)

We’ve got it goin’ on at Tall Pines Camp!  We had a really good week last week!  I had to write down all of the Big Fish Award recipients for Wednesday’s potluck!  Pictures are supposed to be coming.  For walleye 24″ or greater released, we had Nick (24), Jennifer (25.5), Gene (26.5 x 2!), Karly (27); for northern 36″ or greater released we had Mark (36″); for smallies 18″ or greater released we had Austin, Natalie and Emma; and for musky–yes, you read right–we had Colten with a 51″er that he is going to have made into a replica!  Here he is with his brother Cody:

both boys w musky

Those guys had a great time with that fish!  Here’s the best pic, though:  Grandpa Richard (who celebrated his 80th birthday while here) was caught by the camera when that fish came in


I’ll try to nudge people for more pictures for our page.

Weather was much improved last week, until Thursday.  The humidity arrived Thursday and stayed until last night.  It was awful–so thick and close:(   We were supposed to have incredible nights for viewing the meteor shower and Northern Lights Wed. and Thurs.  I stayed up “late”–a relative term–both nights.  Wed. I saw nothing; Thurs. I did see many meteors but no Lights.

Luckily, berries are affected the same as fish by weather conditions!  I was able to guide Sun., Mon., Tues., Wed. (because I had a guest chef for potluck), and Thurs.  The berries are schooling up so nicely this year!  Alice and Joyce and Dean and Andrew all joined me one day:


Dean and Andrew gave almost all of their berries to those nice ladies!  How sweet:)  I was able to pick enough raspberries to make Gruper a full-sized pie:


The raspberries are beautiful this year.  I looked like I’d been to war when I finished picking, though.  The bears are enjoying this year’s berry selections as well:


Good thing there’s enough to go around, eh?

Check this out.  I was picking bb’s when I heard a scraping noise.  I glanced up to see what it was (because I’ve learned to do that over the years), and there was this big, fat caterpillar!  I scooped him up for a photo op:


Notice that I did not pick him up.  That’s because he had an angry thorn on his butt and was fully prepared to use it:


I’m going to get in two photo fests today:  Bob’s and Vicky’s!  I still have Karen’s and Mary’s for sure and probably a couple I’ve forgotten!  That is where I am falling behind!  Let’s start with Bob:)

Bob and Joyce have been visiting us for many years.  They are a lovely Iowa farm couple.  Over the years we’ve met their son and three of their four grandchildren.  Bob has always wanted to get all four grandkids up here together.  They’re all involved with different activities and Matthew is heading into the Air Force next year, so the time was now!  Kevin brought his boys from Missouri and Matthew and Megan rode along with their grandparents.  Here’s Kevin:


His boys are Kyle and Seth.  They did some good fishing during their stay:



Seth caught–and released–a nice crappie off the dock!

seth crappie

I loved this pic of him fishing in the evening:

seth sunset

I previously shared this pic of Matthew with a beautiful walleye:


and what looks like some dinner:


He and his sister Megan live in Minnesota.  They come from tall stock!  Here’s a great pic of Meghan in the boat:


Here are all four kids hanging together:


and enjoying a vacation as cousins should:


Of course we did some berry picking.  The whole family enjoyed the results:



Bob always manages to get some beautiful scenery photos for me (probably really for him, but I enjoy them as well)!



Hopefully he and Joyce will get to have all four grandkids with them again soon.  We’d sure love to see them all again at Tall Pines Camp!


Unlike Bob and Joyce, Vicky, Jeff and Ceranski have only visited us twice.  These people have a very fun time while they’re here:)  Ceranski brings his best Coach bag for the trip:


Jeff tries really hard to be an angler:


OK…he does catch bigger fish than that!


as do Ceranski and Vicky:

ceranskibassvickys smallie

Rumor has it Vicky does her best hook-set in trees!


They also enjoy a bit of exploring:


and time together:


I hope they come back so I can ask about this pic:


Karen is up for the next photo fest.  I’d like to promise a mid-week session but seriously doubt that will happen.  We have bear hunters, friends, berry-picking, etc., all happening.  I might even get my first pedicure of the season tomorrow!!!  Let’s shoot for next Sunday.

Trent Had A Very Good Week!

August 9, 2015

Yes, you could say that!  I just added THREE pictures of Trent to our Conservation Awards Page!  The young man released a 38″ northern (we know it was bigger), a 36″ northern, and a 30″ musky last week!  Here’s the bigger-than-38″er:


Here’s Trent releasing that fish!!!


Good job, Trent!  Some of you may recall that Trent was quite the small mouth angler a few years back.  Now, he enjoys fishing for northerns!  His dad enjoys fishing for anything!  Here’s Brett with a nice crappie:

bretts crappie

Trent’s little sister Tricia released a 24″ish walleye.  I added the pic of Brett holding it to our Conservation Awards Page.  Both Gruper and Natalie released 24″ers as well!  Northern were the hit of the week, however, and Rich caught 38″ and 39″ers two days in a row (pics, please).  It’s safe to say the fall bite is on!

In hunting and gathering news, the blueberries are AWESOME this season!  I was able to get out and guide a couple of days last week.  This was a group of naturals!


Gruper has been preparing for bear season.  We robbed some photos from the trail cams.  Here’s a tall bear:


Here’s a pretty bear:


A bear among the ferns:


A just plain good bear:


We believe this is a familiar bear.  Check out the chest…


Here’s a shot from last year of a bear that never got taken:


Hmmmm.  They get that big if they’re smart;)

I liked this shot of just ferns:


I did not like this shot:


and found this one to be particularly disturbing:



Gruper and I went to Dryden on Tuesday.  A minion waved at us from a field:


I’m honestly not sure what’s creepier…

Steve, Bruce and Jean were here a couple of weeks ago.  They always enjoy themselves at Camp.  They are first up for this week’s photo fest!  Their photos reflect their love of the lake itself…



Check out this glitter!


I LOVED this photo…not sure why…just loved the perspective:


They found some incredible reflections out there, too:



They get a little squirrelly:


Here are a couple of nice eagle pics:


There’s been a lot of loon activity lately.  It seems like they had a late (or perhaps second) hatch.  Here’s a baby with its parent:

Loonbaby 1

I think Jean vacations a bit like I do:


Their weather was a mixed bag that week.  She had to soak up the rays when she could!  Here’s a stormy look:

stormy dock

I’ll wrap up with some sunsets.  I may have gotten a few of Bob’s in here as well!  Speaking of Bob, he’s up next for a photo fest!




Happy August!

August 2, 2015

I can’t believe another month is gone!  This season seems to be going quickly.  If you judge by today’s weather, fall is here already.  It is quite cool and very, very windy this afternoon.  Most folks have come in, are cleaning fish, and will probably stay in unless the winds quiet down a bit.

These weather dynamics continue.  Last week started with a couple of days 90+ and not a whisper of wind.  We had a couple of HUGE storms and again felt powerless.  Oh, that’s right:  we were powerless again on Monday for several hours.  By week’s end the humidity had lifted and the nights were downright chilly.  We experienced rain pretty much every day at some point.  Freya spent a lot of time in the basement.

Speaking of storms…when Sonny and Kathy were here several weeks ago I stopped in for a visit (and probably a glass or so of wine).  They had seen some incredible clouds that day.  Sonny seemed simultaneously in awe of and respectful of their power.  He called them “cumulonimbus mamma” clouds and they snapped some pics.  John V. is another guy who knows clouds.  I wonder if he knows these???

sonnysclouds1 sonnysclouds2

They certainly look nasty. Fishing was pretty darned good last week!  Bob H. and family visited.  It was the first time he and Joyce had ALL FOUR grandchildren with them!  Bob played guide most of the week, and they did well on walleye.  Matthew released a beautiful 20″er:


No matter how I try, this pic won’t insert right-side up!  Maybe it’s because Matthew is, like, 6’5″ or so!  Anyway, good job Matthew!!!! Evan released a 20″ walleye as well, a personal best! Greg released a nice 24.5″ walleye and did not have his camera but did have a witness.  Fishing without a camera is like fishing without rain gear;) Bob M. released a 25″er as well.  I believe that pic will be e-mailed my way (hint, hint). Adam and Nick caught a lot of nice piggy perch!  It’s no wonder…Adam has a connection… Someone in Cabin 6 caught a 34″ northern…more on them later;) We saw lots of perfect eater walleye all week last week.  They were shallower than expected early in the week but had moved out to 15-20′ by Thurs. and Fri.  The perch were quite shallow–5-6′–and mostly just inside weed bed edges.

Potluck was a windy, cold food fest.  We had bodies strewn everywhere again!  I served deep-fried turkey and it was gone.  Here’s me giving my weekly speech:



Around Camp things are getting done!  Murray and Gruper finished replacing the overhang on the Bear’s Den this week: BD Overhang

The roofing bid has been accepted, and plans are in place to have ‘er done by August’s end.  Stay tuned. My sign was placed.  I lost the placement battle to Murray (Gruper decided to let the two of us duke it out).  Anyway, here it is fully mounted:


You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but… Since the rose outside Cabin 11 is doing so well, we planted another in front of the laundry shack:



The geranium is LOADED with blooms and flowers!  My gal Sal told me to hit it with Miracle Grow, so I did.  A couple of good rains later…


Carol and Helen shared some paddle boarding picks from two weeks ago.  I went with Ben and Andrew.  I hope weather permits at least another excursion or two this season:

    andrewandme Paddling benben Paddling andrewandrew

Andrew and Ben had a nice variety stringer with Grandpa Tom and Grandma Carol: tomandboys

We’ll see Tom again later this month!  Lucky duck!


I’d like to give a shout out to my seester Rebecca who has a birthday Tuesday and my biggest brother Dan who has one on Thursday!  Enjoy yourselves!!!

There is the potential for a photo fest mid-week.  I have some nice pics from the guests in Cabin 6 last week as well as some from Bob’s bunch.  Stay tuned….