When Fishermen Retreat

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” (Henry David Thoreau)

As a commercial fisherman, I am after fish.

However, sometimes we need time away from “The Sea”, to absorb “The Land”.

It was damp morning, but not soggy enough to keep me home. It rained substantially yesterday, and there was still a light drizzle at times at 6 AM. With a cup of coffee in hand, I sat for some time looking out the window wondering what to do, until I just got up, packed my bush bag, and headed out the door.

The forest floor and old unused trails were very slippery, mushy even.  I was not able to make fast miles simply because I was navigating puddles and bog holes that wanted to eat my boots. At one point I finally abandoned the old trail and bushwhacked my way through the woods to find a dryer routes.

I was able to capture some good Macro shots with my Smartphone. Without any stand, so only hand shooting, it is very difficult to obtain clear macro images, but here are a few that I enjoyed.

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Signs of spring on the East Coast, finally.

“The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not.”
~ Gene Amole

Here is L’Amour, nature style.

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Four slugs snuggling up to some slime Lichens on an old branch.

About 6 km out I found a log and set up my wood stove, made noodles and drank some tea. Sitting there all I did was look around. I let the images of wilderness fill my soul. I needed this.

I listened to see if I could hear anything unnatural, and I couldn’t. All my ears were able to register was the heavy damp east wind bowing through the trees, squirrels, wood peckers knocking on trees, and other birds chirping.

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Split small twigs and branches with my bush knife. You have to do this when the wood is wet

As I walked, I heard three different ruffled grouse thumping their wings, seeking to connect with some other wilderness babes.  At one point I finally laid eyes on the actual ruffled grouse himself.  The walking was so silent on the damp forest floor, he did not hear me coming. I watched him from 50 feet away for half a minute until he finally exited the open path, and disappeared into the woods.

Since the forest floor was saturated, I was able to walk very stealthy without any effort. I actually walked under a large tree with an Osprey perched. Not hearing me until he saw me under his legs. I gave him a terrible scare, as he did me. He jumped from the tree, entering into flight, offering some very heated whistles.

Speaking of Osprey, As I bushwhacked I eventually emerged on the edge of a blueberry field. There were two Osprey with a nest there, and they started circling me and coming lower and lower with whistles warning me. Osprey are normally very timid. I have seen thousands over the years. But I have never been as close to as the three I encountered today.

This morning was a rejuvenating experience.

As I made my snack over my little wood fire,  a squirrel was foraging along the forest floor. It did not know I was there until he came around some tick bush. He squeaked, and in flight, ran up the first tree, which was only 10 feet away from me. Te problem was it was not close enough for him to hope to another tree to get any distance. He was for all intents and purposes, treed.  He chattered at me, and I chattered back at him, we replied back and forth every time. He was putting on quite a show, as was I, for several minutes. Eventually he descended the tree and off he went off out of sight seeking refuge, or so I thought. About a minute later I was startled as I hear this irate squirrel chirping very nearby. I took the the tea cup form my lips, and turning my head,I see the red fireball was on the very same fallen tree log I was sitting on. He kept coming up the log toward me as we continued the chattering war. It was the funniest thing.  He was not very timid. He was as close as 10 feet to me again.

I’ll not bore you, but if you check my Instagram feed the next few days I will post pictures of the various fungus, buds, lichens, plants, slugs, and slime molds I encountered during this damp wilderness get away. Received a mind topped up with riveting images of natures beauty, and i needed it.

I came home smelling like smoke, forest, damp leaves,  tea, and with one very muddy pair of boots. –  which is just the way I like em. The way it’s supposed to be, right?

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I actually got on my hands and knees on the wet forest floor to get this shot. They are about 1 millimeter in size.

 

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