Search This Blog

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Squirrel Hunting on a Saturday afternoon Blog 279)

One of the most pleasurable activities possible on a January or February Saturday afternoon is to walk out our backdoor and squirrel hunt for a few hours on our 38-acre Southwest Virginia land. The snow that fell a week ago was so deep and it has been cold for so long, that I have not been able to hunt bushytails until today.

I had been outside for about 45 minutes without seeing or hearing any gray squirrels, so I decided to make some squirrel barks with my mouth.  A squirrel about 75 yards away answered, so I tried to still hunt toward it through the still, deep snow.

Despite my best efforts, I made too much noise, and the animal spotted me, as did the next squirrel, I tried the barking gambit on.

Meanwhile, my son-in-law David was also afield, and he was able to kill a silvertail.  Tomorrow afternoon, we are going again.  The goal...kill four squirrels between us and have Elaine and Sarah fix us a squirrel casserole.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Happy Birthday, Elaine (Blog 278)

Today is Elaine's birthday, the snow is falling heavily here in Botetourt County, Virginia, and accumulations could be several feet.  Snowed in with my sweetheart is not a bad thing to contemplate.

When Elaine woke up, I had a series of Youtube birthday songs cued for her, leading off with "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby," followed by "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen," and others.

Yesterday our grandson Sam and I made the birthday dessert (wineberry cobbler) for today, and this morning Elaine and I put the makings for her birthday lunch (venison roast) in our cast iron pot to simmer throughout the morning hours.  The recipe comes courtesy of friend Doak Harbison.

This evening, we'll have homemade strawberry jam on bread and perhaps some lunch leftovers, then play Scrabble for the evening entertainment.  All in all, not a bad day.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Wintertime Turkey Hunting or Snowed in? (Blog 277)

This coming Saturday, I am supposed to take two friends turkey hunting.  One of the friends has never gone afield for turkeys, so I am very much looking forward to taking him. Virginia's two-week winter turkey season in January is a great time to introduce people to the wonders of turkey hunting.

But the forecast for Friday is for five inches or more of snow, so I spent part of my time today bringing firewood from our outdoor woodpile to our garage where we store wood.

 I have to confess I will be quite content if there is snow or not.  If the snowfall does not happen, I will have a great time trying to find and call in birds for my friends.  If I am snowed in for the weekend, I will start the wood stove on Friday and be content to sit by the fire, work on stories, and play Scrabble with Elaine.  I think she is planning to bake a blackberry pie for the weekend and prepare some kind of wild turkey dish.  It's a win-win situation for me.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Saturday after Deer Season (Blog 276)

The first Saturday after Virginia's deer season, Elaine and I fall into a comfortable groove, which is one of the reasons I enjoy the winter season so much.  I spend Saturdays behind the house either cutting wood, doing wildlife habitat improvement projects, or squirrel hunting.

Then on Saturday evenings, we have a locavore themed dinner, play Scrabble, and listen to Prairie Home Companion. Elaine almost always cooks dinner, but as a way of saying thank you for her being so understandable about all my deer and turkey hunting, I was the cook last night.

My two major efforts were baked venison burgers with sharp cheddar cheese and wineberry cobbler, the former from a deer I had killed on our land, the latter from berries picked during our rambles.  We then had a rousing game of Scrabble (our Scrabble tournament is over 25 years old and we have had 64 best of 11 matches) and listened to the radio.  All in all, it was a wonderful evening with my wife.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Downton Abbey Comes to Botetourt County, Virginia (Blog 275)

It is the launch weekend for the final season of Downton Abbey, and as part of the preshow hoopla, I was given an afternoon of royal English treatment.  Bruce had told me to vacate to the upstairs around 3:00.  Shortly afterwards, I heard the clomp, clomp, clomp of footsteps in the hall, and there, making an appearance, were two black-clad footmen presenting tea and a muffin.  The taller of the two was Bruce, and the mystery of the clomping became clear when I looked down and saw his leather wingtips, worn at our wedding 37 1/2 years ago and sporting almost that large a layer of dust. 

The shorter footman was our grandson Sam, carefully carrying the muffin plate. 
I dressed for dinner in all my jewels, some of which Sam had to alternately wear or place on the  toy train track for crashes and other excitement.  After an appropriate time of puzzle play and trains, dinner was served informally in the kitchen with all household members eating together.  The dowager would be shocked, but after all, times are changing.