Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
MAY 2000

Jennie on the Columbia.... an upriver bright!

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Springers, summer steelies,trout, panfish! AHA!

FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.


 May 1st

I don't know, but I love this pic! It may be ho hum and boring for Chris, but not for me! Girls, this guy is not for sale.
I guess I am going out in T Bay for Springers tomorrow. I can't wait! I want to go today, but laundry is backed up, and the eternal fact that, yes, I am a Mother is staring me in the face. Things to do!
In the land of a thousand cows, here in Tillamook Oregon, I have found a friend.
When the drive to your home involves a long, winding country road, you watch things evolve. You know when the people in the white house plant a new tree. You notice when the rhodies are in bloom at different intervals down the drive. Kind of a neighborhood evolution watch.
Sometimes you are stopped by the cow procession, going into the barn to milk, or out to the pasture to graze. At this point I collect my observations of the drive.
Along the way one day I witnessed a young black cow, tied to a post in a small yard. Every day hence, I watched as a young man worked on a fence for this single cow so she could roam free. Every day the fence became more impressive, and the cow was still tied up. It became my goal to get to this point in the road to see if "this was the day" the cow would be let loose of her rope. I would slow down.... and the cow would gaze at me. I think we formed some kind of relationship that way.
Finally the fence was completed! The cow was free! I still slowed, and the cow began to walk towards me. "Silly cow!" I thought, and drove on.
But at the store, this cow came to mind again, and as I strolled thru the grocery department I found myself buying extra carrots.
I was with Bill, who also had fondly followed the saga of the black cow, and also slowed down in his rig to observe. We had discussed the cows fate many times, and I had once stopped to talk with the owner and found out, much to my relief, this cow was not heading for the butcher. She was simply a pet. This made it safe for me to become attached to her!
On the way home, Bill and I came to a stop in front of the cows fence and she gleefully, (and I mean gleefully!) trotted over to greet us as if to say, "My friends!!!"
We fed her a carrot or two, and happily drove home.
I now keep carrots and apples in my car daily. It is the funniest sight, and always brings me a smile. That darned cow sees me coming from up the road, perks up her ears, and runs to greet me at the gate! Full barrel run!
I never thought I would have a cow for a friend, but I do. I think we are the highlight of her day, by the way she greets us.
I feel connected now. Tillamook has more cows than people, sometimes I think, and they all look the same.
Except for my lone black friend in the small neatly fenced yard. She knows me. I know her.
She is a true friend.
I wonder if she fishes?

 

May 2nd

Baby Bunnies! What a way to celebrate May! I just had a feeling that today would be the day, and it was! I woke up to four little wiggly, naked bunnies in the next box! Whee! The kids are so excited! (including this one!)
The Willamette was red hot yesterday! Dudley Nelson said, "It was my best season yesterday!" (We know it wasn't though.. He has been known to get twenty in a season....) I guess it looked like everyone was catching fish.
I also heard of several released dead floaters in the river.
PLEASE.... be careful to release these wild (or supposedly wild) fish with the proper techniques. If you can't see the hook, cut the line! Do NOT put your hands in the gills to lift them back in the water. In fact, do not lift them out of the water at all.
Out to T bay I go.... have fun today! I am not going to the Willamette because... I don't like easy fishing? You know, it gets SO boring catching all those Chinook... one after the other... BORING??? I dunno!

May 3rd

I thought that it was seasickness yesterday when I was out in the Bay. Bill and I joined Shana and expert guide Tim Juarez for a day on the bubble.
I don't usually get sick out there. The wind was S.W. and the swell about 6 feet, so as I began feeling ishy, I attributed it to seasickness.
Well, if it was.... I still have it, so chances are it's the flu.
Hey, must be too early for many Springers, because I am sure if they were there, we would have hooked some. Tim knows how to catch fish if anyone does. What a fun couple of people to know, and to fish with! Lots of enthusiasm and great company!
The Willamette slowed quite a bit yesterday, so I am glad I didn't rush for my car and head to the valley.
My baby bunnies are fine. And there are six of them! Wow!
Back to bed this girl goes....Hope you all catch those Springers and save me a steak.
Oh! By the way, I won a T Shirt from Anglerannie.com! Cool, huh? You should enter!

 

May 5th

And we have a winner!
If winds are not to bad today, and I can get caught up, I'm out to the bubble again to try and find a Springer!
As Bill says..... Salmon fever has hit me, and I find myself pacing the floor until I hook another one! I can relate!
So off I go, to get the pages updated... I have to go fishing, see, so that I have something to write about!!
Bye!!!!
Fishless Jennie

May 7th

Gooooooood Morning Spring Fishermen! (Gag... It's 6 in the morning! I'm WAY too animated!)
The Kilchis River is 46 degrees, and what were my kids doing yesterday? Floating it with inner tubes. All the way from our house down to the logging bridge. I was sick with worry the whole time. Hypothermia.... I thought.. and did a net search on it. I figured it would take an hour. I drove down to the bridge, and no kids. It was 5 P.M. So we drove up the other side to look for them, and about 1/2 mile up, I heard giggling. There they were, having the time of their lives, holding on to each others tube, talking, laughing.... What a way to grow up! The river life. They were fine. In fact, they were happier than any two boys I'd seen that grew up playing Nintendo! Although they did take 2 hour long hot baths when they got home! David couldn't even open the car door at the end of their journey.
I have one day tomorrow, kidless. Their Dad is taking them so I get to decide... eenie meenie miney moe..... where to fish. One shot, thats it. I pick Door number three! That would be the Willamette. So off I go in the morning to pursue a hatchery Springer.
Off I go now to pursue the piano in Astoria. It should be a beautiful drive.
New bird in the yard this week.... A black headed grosbeak. We do have one pair of goldfinch. Not good enough for me though. I need lots of my favorite little goldfinch!
I guess the Wind was dead yesterday, and the Willamette not much action either. You know..... sometimes I miss easy fishing. I work hard all year fishing for steelhead in lousy weather...waiting in long launch lines for busy fisheries.... putting together difficult tackle boxes, and tying up rigs the night before.
Sometimes I just want to throw a couple worms in my pocket, drive by a calm lake and pursue something easy. Like trout, or panfish. Sit on the bank and talk to other local fishermen... Non competitive giggle fishing.
But here I go again.... off for the big fish!. Maybe sometime this week I will sit by a placid lake front with a cup of coffee and throw my worm out there and sit. Sit and talk, sit and watch as the day procedes quietly. Knowing full well that no spring salmon will be bothering me that day... and not caring.

Dang! I have to go!!!!!
Oops..... on a quick sad note.... I have so far lost 3 bunnies out of six. I don't know why.... I have attended them so carefully... Maybe too carefully? I have three healthy ones left. PLEASE let them live!


May 8th

Raising bunnies has been the most frustrating, heartbreaking experience I can remember. They are all dead now. One by one, I would wake up to another dead one. I feel terrible! I feel sad for the Mother! I tried everything... I have a 7 dollar jug of powdered baby animal milk, a heating lamp... I've tried warming them with warm water in a plastic bag... Geemany.... I'm exhausted and I feel like I lost a litter!
And because of this, I simply did not feel like going fishing. Staying home to mourn the death of my bunnies. That sounds silly...Bill went to the Willamette and I will give you his report later. Anyway... Hope he catches something!
I may go out and nose around one of the lakes in the rain.
He did take me out to the Coast Guard hole yesterday, but we didn't get a bump. The only fish we saw at all on the finder, that could have been a Springer, was at 6 feet. Hmmmmm.

 

May 9th

It's awesome out here! The rain and the wind and the green! Everywhere I look is green! The alders have turned, the lawn is that neon looking green, the trees a deep forest green. The river is looking like December "can't fish today" kind of color. All the colors of green that no box of crayons could match! It brings to mind sitting in my house in Astoria, staring out at a magnificent sky.. My son was watching also. " Man...." he said "God sure does have neat color crayons!" I loved that!
*******
Teaching novice anglers to find bottom with their herring rigs can be challenging.
Here is a tip I picked up with guide Tim Juarez of Tillamook. It's one I'll be sure to use with my kids!
When herring fishing in the bay, try switching on the reels clicker and advise your passenger to free spool their herring rig to the bottom with the clicker on. The line will peel off audibly until it hits bottom where the rod tip will noticeably bounce when it hits. This way they will "see and hear" bottom. Their thumb should be on the spool. At this point, have them reel up three turns. Wait twenty seconds for the current to catch up with the lure, and repeat the procedure, down to bottom, and three turns up. This should keep them fishing at the right depth without the frustration of "Where is bottom? I think I missed it!" Using this procedure should keep them from fishing five miles down the bay with crabs eagerly chomping their (or YOUR) valuable herring!

May 11th

What a whiz of a way to start the day! I am going to join the Outdoors Writers Association of America, thanks to Bill Monroe.. (Wow! Thanks Bill!) and I was daring to dream about going to their Annual Conference in Greensboro NC in June! This all started at 7 this morning! I have been giggly and hysterically up and down about it, checking flights, etc. Fact is, I plain can't afford it, plus it is right at the time I would go to take advantage of my Dad's family Christmas present to us.. A trip to Black Butte for the week. It was SO fun dreaming about it though! There is SO much to do in life that sounds interesting, fun, adventurous! So many NEAT people, NEAT opportunities!
---
I have been wimpy and non-reactive about fishing issues that I hear about that bug me, but don't stir me to action. I think this N.F. Hatchery 'proposed closure' (See the BB under "Jennie is Mad") hit me close enough to home to stir me to attention. I have to do something. The reasons I have been so complacent about things is partially out of ignorance.... not totally understanding what is happening... and partly out of laziness... not getting out there to learn what I can do to help. I guess part of it is fear also. Fear of hurting other peoples feelings. I really hate enemies. (What kind of statement is that???)
I'll tell you one thing though.. I love the N.F. Hatchery with the same level of love one would feel for a child. I will fight tooth and nail on this one. I also see some things that are ugly here. Some things that I don't want to think people would do. I have a feeling I am going to expose myself to learning things I don't want to know about government and life.
My world, if left be, would be a world much like a never ending trip to Disneyland. The only problem is that people keep trying to attack my Disneyland.
I am going to put up a page of links for you to easily reach people who need to know how YOU feel. E mails are fine and dandy, but there is nothing so powerful as stacks and stacks of real paper on someone's desk. I know it takes more time, but I really feel like paper is more effective. Please, write these people. I am working on the page today.

May 12th

Hoh boy! Whadda day!!! Chickens killed last night, re-did the cage to a stronger Fort Knox. Got a live trap set for tonight.
I am going to do it!!! (Oh scary.... politics...) I am going to the rally at Cascade Locks tomorrow morning at 10 A.M. until 12. It is NOT a protest. (See the BB for more info.) It is a rally in support of Sportsfishermen getting our share of the surplus fish this year, and maybe a better season next year. Please join us! It'll be fun! More than anything, I think it supports Sports fishermen that care. That would be ME!
Is it you too? Then see you there!
My son, Andrew and I are headed out tonight, and first thing in the morning out we go. Should be a BEAUTIFUL drive, and it will be fun to meet the gang! I can't wait! Plus, burgers and stuff after at the local restaurant. Watch out, here we come!
I'm exhausted... Trying to rescue a chipmunk caught in the house, figuring out how to solve the chicken problem, loose rabbits in the yard.... and making signs!
Gotta go put some pizza in the car and run!!!

May 14th

There is something that happens when children can tell that their Mother is truly happy. Something that erases all competition between siblings, that ceases all restlessness, stops all quarreling... something that causes everyone to stop.... turn to one another and smile. (O.K., if ever so briefly....)
I have heard it said that the Mother is the emotional barometer of the family. So it was today. I could feel it stronger than I had ever before. It brought me happiness today, but it will be a watchguard for future bursts of frustration or anger. (Do I really have that power???)
I had a day that was full of fun surprises. The one event that stands out the most is the picture in my mind now.
David, (my 11 year old) captain of the Alumiweld Super Vee Jet sled, cruising across Tillamook Bay at 34 miles per hour. (Yes.. He watched every increment of speed!) He has never driven a boat until today, and that fact was expressly shown on his face. Not a smile of a goofy kid, but of a confident youth who felt especially powerful guiding his Mother across the treacherous waters of the bay.
It was his smile..... It was worth a million bucks!! The camera was not working, but I didn't need one. I will never forget, and as I write this now.....his smile is making me smile.
Happy Mother's day to me!
Besides all that, I woke up to a special gift from the boys.. a handmade crocheted checker game!
Then we were off to fish for Sturgeon. It wasn't red hot, but I got the bite that I needed to hand off to David, who had never played a big fish. He did today! And he did really well! (another smile.)
Then home to play by the riverside.. The boys floating down the river in their tubes and taking breaks to build sandcastles. Bill and I watched the seasons wet, sandy banks evolve into a luxury estate that we would all die to live in! Complete with the usual moats and bridges!
Then back indoors to a wonderful dinner of barbecued Netarts oysters from Tillamook Bait Company, and some fresh halibut given to us by a real sweetheart of a gal from Tillamook Bait... Marie herself!!! (Marie..... it was superb!!!!)
Andrew fixed my plate, complete with drawn butter with garlic, and salsa... and all kinds of goodies, delivered to my couch with 60 Minutes on the TV!
The whole day was a delight... I will never forget the look on David's face. Part of me was worried that Andrew would want to drive, be jealous.. be something....I don't know.... but he kept looking at me, and the smile on my face was reflected in his face too!
It was a Kodak moment, for sure...but we didn't need film!
The rally was a bit disappointing. I think we didn't give enough notice. Please don't tell me that not enough people care. I don't want to think that of anyone! I think what happens is everyone thinks that everyone else will go???
The drive up was beautiful... Stopped with Andrew at Multnomah falls to take in the sights, and then afterward with R.T. and some new friends at the Char Burger for lunch.
I met some people that I have long wanted to meet... (Hi Bev and Dot and Joe and and Jerry... on and on!!!)
I will have some neat pictures to put up soon... So all was not lost.
Anyway.... Mothers day came to me in a form that Hallmark nor Kodak can profit from. But I must thank them for setting up a day that inspires me to think of all the gifts that God has blessed me with.
And remember..... Today is Mother's Day... Clean her fish for her.

May 17th

For some people, it is alcohol, for some gambling. On the flip side, some people can't do anything but think of sailing, golfing, sky diving, all of these things...It interrupts their work, their family time... always on the mind...A sporting addiction...! For me it is fishing.
How cruel is it, then to have to spend all morning working on a web page based on fishing in Alaska? I would read the text, and try to carefully put it into code. Not a chance! I would find myself staring out the window in hopes a moose would stick his head thru my window for his morning treat! Then there were the pictures! I would take the pictures of fish caught in Alaska into my drawing program, and try to compress them so that the fish came out clearly and download quickly. They came out so clearly that all I could do was stare at them, wonder what it felt like to catch a fish like that. What the air smells like in Alaska. What the morning feels like when you slip on a pair of old jeans and join people at first light for a hot breakfast.. How exhausted my hands and arms would be after playing something weighing 50+ pounds, and how my voice would feel after whooping and hollering about it!
I really feel like I went to Alaska this morning... and I'm tired! Funny thing is, should someone call me and invite me to go right now, I'd turn around and do it again! This time for real! (Bye kids!!)
Meet Chris Sessions.... and tell me you wouldn't die to go!
Its 10:22... been one of those weeks where my careful planning collides. I think I can help run an anglers education class, teach piano lessons, volunteer to play for the kids Spring recital, play for church, clean the house, run ifish, put up some new web pages, and keep the chickens safe from the raccoons all night. I think I can feed the kids, plant the garden, do my bills, and wash the outside windows. It was all written neatly on my calendar. My "at-a-glance" said I could do it! There is still plenty of room left to write things in!
Instead... My body decided to go on strike, and I am falling behind!
So if you hand me a web page to publish, and the topic is a trip to Alaska... Don't expect it to get done to soon. It takes me away. Nice Daydream though....

May 18th

Tomorrow I am going fishing no matter what. Period.
Hey! I just put up some great halibut pictures from Tillamook Bait Shop! They are awesome! Check them out!
Off to a Spring Recital for the kids at Wilson Elementary. Wheeeee! Summer is almost here? YIKES.

May 20th

I went out for Springers yesterday and came home with the booby prize of a Ling Cod. I don't know why I say that. I love Ling.... We had the most wonderful fish and chips last night! Any one have any great ideas on how to get the whole fish crispy when deep frying? Mine always get soggy on the bottom. Why?
Anyway... Stan wrote a great column on how to cook your crappies. Still haven't gotten out to catch any, but I may take a rod along tomorrow, using all of his advice, and try my luck. I'm going North, and I think I know where those crappie live....
Spent the entire day with my hands in the earth planting this years garden. I love it. We have the nicest soil here, and everything is all worked over, the rows marked with beaver bones and string neatly strung across. It looks SO nice! I can't wait for the fresh veggies. YUM!
Lots and lots of birds now. Grosbeak, finches, tons of hummingbirds. I am filling 5 feeders every other day. YOUZA...... I think I'll buy C and H stock!
Hey, what do you think of the blazers? I am sad.... I sort of predicted it. I think our only chance is if we hire Tonya Harding on the Blazer team. Can I get in trouble for suggesting this? I am twisted! Anyway...... off to bed, early..... Long days outside make for one tired but contented girl.

May 21st

O.K., I finally finished it, with the help of an article I found at About.com. The net is amazing!! Here is the directory of Senators and Representatives, and how to correctly format a letter to address them.
After all the work I did, I doubt if I will write to them just yet!
As I sit here working, less than three feet away from me are two hummingbirds, a male Grosbeak, and a pair of Goldfinch! (Goldfinches?) Isn't that amazing? These are the things that fairy tales are made of!
I am going giggle fishing today. Trout, that is. I just want to sit back and relax. I don't want to back a big trailer in a long line. I don't want to fish with 10 ounces of weight. I don't want to heave up and down in heavy swells. I can't say that I wouldn't like to hook a big spring Salmon. I would. Very much. Infact.... maybe I do want to stand in big lines, back a big trailer....fish with 10 ounces of weight???
Nope, it's trout for me today. A fish that matches the mood and energy level. You get what you fish for. I wish that that were always true, if it were, I would have many, many, Spring Chinook by now!
For now I am just going to count my blessings that the kids are well and in school, I am fairly caught up in my work...(been at it since 5.) and I have the luxury of going fishing at all!
Watching these birds, planning a fishing trip, hearing the laundry wash itself out in the laundry room, rather than having to do it by hand...(modern miracles, really, if you think about it!) I really am a very lucky, lucky girl! And hey....when I have a fish on the end of the line, no matter the size.....I know that I am really, really ALIVE! That, my friends.... is MUCH better than the alternative!

May 24th
(later)

Go Len Self! A limit by 9:00?? COOL! The sturgeon are IN in the Columbia, and baby..... I'll be there!

May 24th

Spring comes. I hear the plant kingdom say..."This is the year we reclaim our land!"
The roadway in the winter leading to our house, or on any country road, has been cut back of overhanging or wild growing brush. Dead and defeated, the road is wide and purposeful.
Every day I see new plants spring up celebrating the chance they have to cover the blacktop with wild flowers, deep green grasses and overhanging trees. "We will take back our land!" They
scream in bursts of color. The roadway gets smaller and smaller as they encroach upon the blacktop.
I have been thinking lately about people (like me) who opt to live in the forest. I have extremely mixed feelings on many issues concerning this and I would like to sort them out.
Take our new chicken yard. We moved in and brought chickens with us. We thought we built a safe haven for them, but the raccoons knew different. Take it from their viewpoint. (I know.. Put up with me though.) This is their natural instinct to hunt and kill. They lived here far before we did. "Free chickens from the nice people who moved into our home?" They think...."Thank you nice people!!!"
Bill has been trapping them though, live trapping, and relocating them. Will we ever win? I don't think so! Is 'winning' clearing our land of predators? I feel it is our responsibility to make a totally safe chicken house if we bring in appealing food for the predators. I love my chickens... I can't stand to see the bloody carnage they impose on my pet chickens... but this morning I found a very unhappy cat in the live trap. My cat. (GRRR!)
I somehow feel that we need to live peacefully here in the forest as guests.
Of course I don't want the lawn to be a bed of overgrown weeds. I'd like to have easy access to the river. I'd like to have a nicely mowed, weed free lawn. Who chose what a weed is? A dandelion is a fine flower, but we have determined them weeds??? I have been charmed more than once by my kids picking me a bouquet of them!
So where do we limit ourselves in controlling our environment? How much freedom does Mother Nature give us and still smile down on us? There are two forces joined as one that I want to be in good standing with, Mother Nature, and God!
I know one day soon I will drive to town and be stopped by a road flagger and group of workers. They are neatly mowing back the beautiful wild flowers. The same wildflowers have been working to smother the blacktop that eases our way to the city. I know it is necessary, but at the same time I will be sad to lose the lush growth that delights my eyes, as I slowly wind down the road to town.
Mother nature is a powerful force. I see the effort the plants make to live, to grow, to reclaim. I see our effort to live, to grow, and to conquer.
I want both. Both the wild and the tamed. Where is the balance?

----Uh oh! I'm getting controversial---- Lets stop this and talk fishing!


Memaloose point is one of my favorite new fishing spots! I went out yesterday for a few hours. I wish I had gone earlier when the bite was on. A handful of springers were indeed caught by those lucky enough to see the sun rise on the river.
I have been trying to practice something that Bill has been gifted with. He has the ability to stare at the wall and think of nothing. I can't do it! I have tried, but my mind just races! Yesterday, staring at the tip of my rod, I felt it, partially anyway! Now I can relate! I do this all of the time while fishing, and never knew it. I concentrate on nothing but the feel of the rod. I stare at the tip, and nothing interrupts my lack of thought unless the tip stops vibrating, or pulls. Very therapeutic, fishing is! (OHMMMMMMM....)
The day before I went out into the wild country by Lake Lytle to pursue the elusive and prized planted rainbow trout, but was only able to tease the ravenous bullhead. I conquered the heck out of them. All two inches of them! Truth be told though, there was some amount of relaxed fun in throwing a bobber and worm on a sunny day and watching the bullhead try to pull it down.
Today is a catch up day for me. I have some great pics of birds that I have taken that I will try to put up.
On one last pleasant note... We were pulling the boat out and a grown man walked by and said..."when I grow up, I will have a boat like that..."
It immediately sent me to a place long ago when my kids were three and four. We had a blow up canoe, one of those cheapies. We were at the boat ramp at Cullaby Lake. A beautiful boat was putting in. I looked at Andrew and dreamily muttered... "Someday I will have a boat like that."
"Yeah, Mommy," He said in a matter of fact tone, "One that we don't have to blow up."


May 24th
(later)

Go Len Self! A limit by 9:00?? COOL! The sturgeon are IN in the Columbia, and baby..... I'll be there!

May 26th

I came home yesterday from fishing Memaloose and had no chores to do! Bill had chores to do. Fish to clean. (Poor Bill.) A bright beautiful Spring Chinook!
We saw quite a few fish caught yesterday, and I was sure I was going to be one of them! I fished harder than any other time I fished!
It started getting bizarre after many hours on the river. I was desperate!
"O.K.", I said to Bill as I handed him my engagement ring. "If I catch a fish while not wearing your ring, it means I am not supposed to marry you."
He frowned. We fished with awkward anticipation for the next 45 minutes.
"Give me back my ring." I finally gave in. Ten minutes later his line dipped very slightly, and a Springer emerged instantly to the top water! Man, they are biting light!
So perhaps it is not bad luck for him to fish with me, but somehow, I still wonder what has happened to me this year. I can't seem to get into the fish. Ever had a year like this? I have had a week like this, maybe even a month, but a year? My tag looks shiny and new still.
He reminded me of the 14 steelhead I caught in one week on the Kilchis.
"Yes. But I was fishing alone." OWEE! That got him!
I think I am losing my touch. This makes me want to go back to fishing my old waters just to prove to myself that I can still catch fish.
I don't know. I am in a negative, kind of blue mood today. Guess it kind of matches the weather.
I'll get over it. I'll catch one of those Springers.. I will. I have to.
This just in from Ron Blyeth! Cool!
And a happy picture from Len Self!
I'm getting eager for Columbia River Sturgeon fishing!


May 27th

Congratulations to my Nephew, May 26th">Eric Logsdon, who is doing super in track! He made the front page of The Oregonian Sports Section..(Again!) I'm so proud of him!
Just got back from throwing some lures around in the river. YAY! The rivers are open again!
It didn't really tickle my fancy because I caught a steelhead smolt. I didn't hurt him, but catching it made me selective in my gear. I don't want to hurt anything that could come back longer and stronger to grab my drift rig next year!
It did feel good to get out there and throw some tackle around. It is strange though, with the river wearing all different colors than last I fished it. Everything is so darned green! The wind was whipping around and everything was dancing in motion.
I have finally identified a bird song that delights me both in the morning and in the evening. The Black Headed Grosbeak. I have heard it ...(OH! I have two beautiful male goldfinches visiting!!!) ... Anyway, I have heard it every morning. Finally one came three feet from me on my feeder to sing his song. "Oh! It's you, is it?" and he flew away. I think he wanted me to know just who was talking. Now whenever I go outside and hear him, or those like him, I feel a little more involved in the forest chatter.
I would love to identify more bird songs. If anyone has a tape, or knows where to get one, let me know.
Off to the day. I think we should all make a tradition that on rainy days, we bake chocolate chip cookies. My, but we would have a lot of cookies!

 

May 30th

Off to the school for Davids spelling bee. He won the school competition so now he goes to the county level. Proud Mom!
Fishing.
Hmmmm Haven't done it lately, what is it like?
There are tons of opportunities though. Tis the season: We have crabbing, sturgeon, trout, spring salmon, bass, shad, summer steelhead... you name it. It's a great state, Oregon. Now let's just get rid of these dang jobs we all occupy ourselves with. There has GOT to be a way to make ends meet by fishing, and I am trying!
Spooks! Read Stans new column. I can't wait to travel to the South Coast to fish with Stan Fagerstrom. Fishless Jennie I may be, but I will fish with him! And I won't keep um all.... Really!
Speaking of Birth Control..(we were weren't we?) Try an 86 pound black lab in the middle of your bed.
O.K., back to work. Byeeeee!

May 31st

"Fishin?" I lift up his ear and say louder than normal, trying to reach that wagging tailed response. "Walkieee?? Leashie? Treat!?!?" His head flops down, lifelessly on his bed. "Hershey?"
There he lays now, outside my window in the cool grass. He is looking around with this kind of peaceful, lost expression. Like.... "Gosh, this is a nice place... look at the birds.... Where am I?"
He hasn't eaten much in three days. Treats don't do it for him, and when he comes inside he tends to run into things. He gets up, you can tell he is heading for you, but he veers off sideways. He trips, his feeble legs shudder to hold him up and often fail. He can't lean over well to reach his dish, his front legs collapse and his back legs slide forward.
Last night I couldn't find him and my heart stopped as I discovered him laying totally still outside in the rain by the pump house. I ran to him, still no movement. I reached out to him and felt his heartbeat, and his head slowly raised.
It is like the ticking of a nightmare clock.
This is the friend I have had for 14 years. The friend that has followed me faithfully to every river, every lake on the North Coast. Nose to my heels, wagging his tail optimistically, how could we NOT catch fish with this attitude?
Hershey was old last week. Old, but his personality was still apparent. He still followed me to the river, still barked at raccoons, ate treats, welcomed me home. Something has happened now.
I suppose it is somewhat like watching an Alzheimer patient slowly decline.
But he is only a dog, some would say.
I am so afraid. I can't imagine life without this dog. I can't imagine fishing without this dog. I can't imagine even making it through the first day without this dog.
I divide myself between praying that he will live longer and praying that he will die before it is too painful for him.
I took him to the vet, and we tried some steroids and some antibiotics. Maybe they will work. Maybe Hershey will be better.


They say that heaven is a place where there is no unhappiness, no tears. That means to me that Hershey will be there. It couldn't be any other way.


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