Friday, December 24, 2010

Details on previous story

The previous story I left unfinished so here are some of the details. The experience was unlike anything I'd seen before and quite riveting as I watched it unfold.

A deer had jumped out of the thick cover just after I'd approached the edge of the undergrowth silently and unseen. However, my first couple steps into the waist high grass had given my prey notice that something was in it's backyard and although it didn't know what, it ran a few feet into a field some 70 yards away and then stopped to look back and survey the area. I fired through some brush and perhaps that was a poor decision or maybe my aim was off slightly but to my chagrin, the deer ran wounded out into the field too distant for a shot. The noise alerted an obviously older doe I'd not previously seen and it followed the first .

My wounded doe soon lay down about 150 yards away and while I wished to get close enough for a second shot to finish her off, it just wasn't possible as there was no way to approach unseen. I was sure she still had enough strength to get back up and run. Perhaps, even enough energy to run off the property I was hunting which would make it difficult to track and recover her. Meanwhile, this second deer which had followed was now curiously observing her downed comrade with no apparent intention to leave the area.

This guardian deer soon started looking intently in another direction from where I sat, but at what, I didn't know. That is, until a coyote came trotting in to check out the situation. I found it surprising and completely fascinating that in less than five minutes from this deer laying down from it's wound, a coyote would be aware of the situation and coming to see if this was his lunch. The part where I wished for a video recorder came next when the second deer, obviously disturbed at the coyotes presence did not run but rather put it's head down and chased the coyote away. Not that the coyote went away but as it circled it was kept at bay by the doe as she stayed between the predator and prey. I've never seen anything like it before in all my outdoor experiences.

After about 15 minutes of this the coyote decided things weren't working out or possibly decided to come back later for it's planned meal. It left the deer and came back to the brushy area where I was hanging out. This allowed me to prevent it from carrying out either of these two options with a 12 gauge slug to the front shoulder.

With all that had transpired and my wounded deer still stationary in the field, I thought her strength would be low enough by now that I could move from my cover and she would stay right where she was. Wrong! She totally surprised me and bounded off to a wooded area at least 200 yards in the opposite direction. When I went to the woods to try and track her, I had no trail to follow. My hope was to find some point of entry where there might be blood. As noted in the previous story after searching for an extended period of time I found a single drop of blood that eventually led me to a fresh supply of delicious roasts and supremely tender grilled steaks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hunting story # 1

The last morning of this years deer hunt was perhaps the most interesting of any I've experienced over the past 24 years. The deer I shot ran about 1/8 mile through an open field and I completely lost the blood trail among the corn stubble and freshly overturned dirt. I knew she'd entered a wooded area over a ridge and out of sight but didn't know exactly where. After walking the perimeter of forest for about 100 yards, then reversing direction and starting to do it all over again, I found one drop of blood on a leaf. Following this clue into the underbrush, I found a easier to follow trail and soon recovered the deer. This was about a 4 hour process in total. In addition a deer, I bagged the coyote shown below.

This photo shows the drop of blood that caught my eye and eventually led me to my quarry.

No, that's not all the story - not by a long shot. The rest of the story is here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whee, it's nice and cold this morning.

On the way to work this morning I saw two rabbits pushing a squirrel trying to get him started!

Actually the camping trip last January was slightly colder than this morning. If I remember correctly all of us winter camping enthusiasts hinted after last years negative double digit temperatures we now had our story to tell... and in the future, we'd be happy to go back to the positive side of 0 degrees for our next cold weather klatch.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Deer Season 2010 - Done

Back home after a day and a half in the woods.
Good weather: 30's both Fri and Sat
Good hunt: Brought home 3 deer for the freezer. Left the coyote.
Few photos: Don't like to take my good cameras in the woods. Don't own a cheap one. I should.
Great story: I'll try and do that soon!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I don't have so many photos of the Thanksgiving holiday festivities. Several others had cameras going non-stop so perhaps if some of those photos end up in my possession I can post a few of them. I did get a photo of the birthday girls who celebrate over a 10 day period starting with Karmen on Nov 26, Becki on Dec 1, Kamela on Dec 2 and Catie on Dec 5.

A really good effort at blowing out imaginary candles. They got them all on the first try!

The massage train

Kyle dropped his cookie. But didn't have to pick it up off the floor because it stopped right here on the side of the table cloth. The cookies were good, by the way, even if they did taste a little like velcro.

Parker decides not to take a chance of it dropping and being contaminated. He's ready!
Some cookie bakers roll out their dough but apparently these are drop cookies.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ah, Finished Revisited

Since I've been accused of not always finishing what I start, perhaps it would be a good idea to publish this photo showing that the project addressed in Ah, Finished but wasn't really completely finished despite the blog title indicating that it was actually finished, did indeed get finished unless we decide to add a planter by the window and do some landscaping which Brenda would like, in which case we still aren't actually finished but for now I think I'd like to just say it's finished and be done with it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wild Game Dinner 2010

Since last December when Don & I made a trip to S. Dakota pheasant hunting we've been planning to have a wild game dinner sometime. We finally made good on our plans and here are some photos from last Saturday.

Brenda and Leann setting the table for 13.

Leann had a very nice fall theme and things look mighty impressive. Hopefully the chefs will be up to the task at hand. Several recipes for tonight's meal have never been tried before and it would be a shame to have things looking so exquisite and then be let down.

First, some appetizers. Don diced pheasant breast for dipping in Teriyaki sauce or egg batter and cracker crumbs then stuck in the fondue pot. Or in the background you'll see some "Pheasant Poppers" which is pheasant with jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon and grilled. Don thought these would be delectable and so did I but it was the ladies we had to convince!

So as Don (above) looks on wondering what will happen, Leann studies her first bite...
and thinks about what it might taste like! Since I don't have a photo AFTER she ate the first morsel, let's just say that was the first of several she ate and she traded this look (below) for something much more pleasant!
Our first dish was an oriental pheasant salad. Brenda fixed this and it was a hit. I have the recipe if anyone wants to give it a try :)

Next we had a serving of Barb's venison chili. First time I'd had it and hopefully not the last time.

In the spirit of the wild game theme, Barb also fixed some "Monkey" bread. Great idea! It too was delicious.

Don is preparing to dig into the main course which was pheasant a la creme over buttered noodles and stir fried rabbit & vegetables with rice. Yum!

Now for desert! What Don has going here in his cast iron dutch oven is a berry cobbler. Key ingredients? Berries and cake mix! Majorly key ingredient? Butter! (used unsparingly)
Anyway, the heat is on although you can't tell it so much with this flash photo.
With the flash off though, you can tell things are cooking!
Augmented with ice cream and ready to serve.
I understand this is camping fare when Don & family go camping. No doubt this is part of the reason his family enjoys camping so much...
Finally, although Marina and I don't have all the crumbs off our face yet, we thought you should know just how much we enjoyed the evening!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ah, Finished!

Finished the construction part, that is. Still need to get some sealant to put on the wood, do some landscaping around the shed and the fun part... taking some of the bulk from the garage. Having some elbow room when exiting the car will be a good thing!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Barn update

The previous photos probably didn't make clear exactly where this yard barn is located so this photo probably clears that up. This is where we left off on Friday night.

With a very busy week upcoming, it may be a couple weeks before completion.

Thought I'd take a photo of the pear tree. A bumper crop is breaking branches this year.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Many years ago I made myself a promise I'd never let the garage get so that I couldn't get the cars inside and I've been able to keep that promise so far. But it has gotten pretty cozy from time to time.

As a matter of fact, it is a bit cozy right now so after several years of "talk", today we started the "walk" and a yard shed is in progress. Here are photos from today.

Kyle and our neighbor Kirk, start early this morning placing the 4 - 4x4x16 treated timbers on which we'll build.
A trailer load of rock quickly disappears as they set the timbers.
About 10 AM the floor joists are in place.
Kyle nailing the first 4x8 sheet of 3/4 inch treated plywood flooring as Kirk's son watches.
Right after lunch the first wall is in ready to lifted into position.

Mid-afternoon and two walls up.

The end of day 1. Ready to start with the roof tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Having seen dozens of illusions I find this one quite fascinating. It moves, then doesn't move, I even see it rotate yet the dark red doesn't move at all......

Believe it or not, this image is not animated. The effect persists only in your peripheral vision; if you focus on any one of the spirals, it will stop moving.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Patio - with lighting

Thankfully installing the lighting today wasn't too strenuous because even with a nice breeze and a 16 inch fan about 16 inches from me as I worked, my clothes were drenched by the time this project was completed. Humidity levels were maxed out today.

I had a photo shoot in Peoria this evening and was afraid I'd get home after dark - too late to shoot a picture of the finished product. However, getting home in time wasn't the problem, but rather the rain that was just beginning. So, this shot was hurried and the grill is still in the photo but at least I got a quick shot.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rain, Heat and Flowers

Good year for flowers!

More patio, etc.

Approximately two feet separate the old fence and where the new patio starts. That area was originally planned as a space for flowers. This plan would frugally save from purchasing about 25 square feet of flagstone. Then we decided it would be a good idea to have a raised flower bed. Then we saw and liked the idea of building a column. And oh yes, these we might as well put a light on the column (not yet installed) and you can see what is coming can't you. That 25 square feet cost more than the entire patio stone cost!!

Oh well, at least we like it so far. The project designer has chosen to mix stone colors a bit and so we hope when it gets all done, it all works together. The stones are glued so redesign will be a bit rocky!

These flower beds were hurriedly finished Sat morning before we headed south to spend some time with my folks. Brenda is ready to travel but came out and planted some flowers while I finished watering other plants.

Opposite side

Brenda persuaded me to pose quickly before heading in to clean up for our trip. A bit more and this area will be complete. Then on to the next area.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Patio Progress

Rain slowed progress for a few days but this morning the final pieces were installed,
locking sand put in and now on to the next phase which is borders, plants, etc.

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