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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Good morning for smallmouth bass

Fished just over an hour and a half this morning in the Potomac at the Mouth of the Monocacy. In that time I hooked seven smallmouths and landed six as well as a couple of bream, all on a surface slider. Walked back upriver to the kayak where I had lunch and then paddled up to the next gravel bar. I tried a couple of casts but didn't catch anything there which was fine because I was more than satisfied with the action I had.

Day was in the upper 80's, very humid, mostly overcast, and still. Water levels were 1.4 at Point of Rocks and 2.9 at Little Falls.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Looking at the sky

"Watch the skies!" So warned the newsman at the end of the classic 1950's science fiction movie The Thing from Outer Space. If my pictures here  are any indication, I've been watching the sky a lot lately.  If so, it's a trait inherited from my mother who often called our attention to an interesting-looking sky.

Interesting or not, here's what the sky over the pond looked like yesterday evening:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Living in the moment

A few years ago when I was riding with my friend Lou back from a fishing trip he mentioned that he was trying to live more in the moment. I had enough familiarity with the concept to answer only that it was sometimes difficult. For a number of years Lou has been a practicing Buddhist, and I know that living in the moment is something that religion stresses.

This subject is on my mind because lately I found myself dwelling too much on the future. The future isn't a cheerful subject for a man close to 70 years old because the little he has left is often unpleasant because of age-related physical problems or loneliness. Likewise, too much reflection on the past often leads to pointless regrets and Monday morning quarterbacking. Better to appreciate the surrounding world and people as time unfolds.

It's ironic that this problem should occur now because I've generally had a natural tendency to live in the moment. To me, living in the moment doesn't mean ignoring prudent planning, financial and otherwise. It means to appreciate the now rather than hopefully anticipating better times in the future or attempting to recapture some perceived golden past. I'm invariably in the moment while I'm fishing, and vocationally I was fortunate enough to find work sufficiently challenging to stay focused. My friend Bill once brought up a neighbor who for years when Bill called out a greeting would respond with how many days he had until retirement. Bill and I agreed on how pathetic a statement about that person's work life that was. Beyond the financial aspects, I never thought about retirement until I actually retired.

From her studies of Buddhism, Pam is going to look over her books to find readings that may help me. Like many situations, recognition of a problem is an important first step, and I already feel I'm getting better.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Another pleasant evening on the Chester River

As on the June trip, Stan, Jay, and I shoved off from Jay's dock on Kent Island at about 4 yesterday and stayed out until sunset, pictured below:

I seem to be taking a number of sunset pictures lately. Yesterday, I mostly had my hands too occupied with bating hooks and then soon removing white perch from the hooks in addition to smoking cigars, so I didn't get around to taking a picture until we were ready to head back.

 Great fun.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A lily which rarely blooms

I believe this was a Mother's Day lily which we put in the ground long ago. Since it's probably been a decade or more since it's bloomed, I nearly forgot its beauty. The blooms are probably a little past their peak, but I'm glad I got around to taking a picture.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Good hike but not so good fishing

Since I decided to skip my usual walk in the park to go fishing, I decided to combine fishing and hiking by driving to Pennyfield Lock on the Potomac and walking up the C & O Canal trail to Seneca Breaks rather than driving to Violets Lock which is right on the Breaks.

For a while on the walk up this morning, I thought this plan might not be a good one for a man approaching 70 on a day with a forecasted high of 96 degrees, but the length of the hike, about five miles round trip, turned out not to be excessive. The water looked good for smallmouth bass but produced only a couple of small bluegills in about an hour and a half of fishing. I cut it short because I didn't want to press my luck by going too far into the heat of the day. I stopped briefly a couple of times on the way back and took this picture at Mile 21 just below Seneca Breaks looking downriver:

Just as well I cut the trip short because a couple of heavy rains have come in soon after arriving home. Water levels are 1.54 at Point of Rocks and 3.1 at Little Falls.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

After a thunderstorm

It wasn't a violent one with downed trees and power outages, so I enjoyed being out on the porch drinking bourbon and listening to the rain falling on the roof. In the evening I walked over to the park and was greeted by a rainbow to the east:

Returning home, I took a picture of the sunset:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Nice summer day

Breezy with low humidity. Temperatures will climb to the upper 80's, but walking this morning was very pleasant.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Three images

Last Wednesday and Thursday we toured four art museums in New York City with daughter Rebecca. Two paintings in particular, quite dissimilar, reminded me how different it can be to view originals as opposed to reproductions in books and on the internet.

The first is Picasso's very famous Les Demoiselles D'Avignon.
Although I've seen this work before, this time I really stared at it intensely and let it flow over me. Whether I focused on the women or the surroundings, I found it a very satisfying visual experience. Even if the painting had been a total abstraction without any recognizable content, I'd find the design and overall effect pleasing, and I think I could look at it everyday without tiring of it.
The second is a painting I hadn't seen or heard of before, Landscape with a Footbridge by Jacob van Ruisdael, a 17th century Dutch artist.
Apart from the scenery and the lighting, my attention went to the human figures in the lower center, not the humans and horse to the left. The two who would attract the attention of any outdoorsman are lost in the shadows and are barely visual on my computer monitor. One is on the riverbank fishing, and the other is carrying a gun and is clearly in a stalking posture as if intently in pursuit of game. The prey may be in the woods on the other side of the bridge or could be the ducks which appear only as dots under the bridge in this small reproduction. The fisherman has his head turned as if surprised by the presence of the hunter. Maybe he's afraid the commotion might spoil the fishing. It's another painting I'd not grow weary of.
The final image is a photo of son-in-law Sean, Rebecca, and Pam in Brooklyn along the East River with the Williamsburg Bridge in the background. It was taken before dinner, and I liked the early evening light.