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  • Monday, July 27, 2009

    Yard Work


    It's Green And Overgrown
    The Weeds Are Knee High
    it needs periodic tendingEnormous images - some suitable for wallpaper.

    .. Weekends are the traditional time to pay attention to yard work. Our backyard has been neglected for at least a month and it looks it. The weeds are too tall and about to go to seed.
    .. The bushes have grown together and look like a jungle. There are bugs everywhere and some of them bite.
    .. So we did our chores and spent a full day in the backyard. We got up early, tromped through the weeds, slashed through the bushes, and allowed a few bugs to bite us: it was worth it.
    .. The fish were appreciative of the attention and greeted us like they hadn't seen another soul in a week or two: they probably hadn't.
    .. From it's origin at Dry Creek in Yellowstone National Park, to it's truncated termination in Hebgen Reservoir, the South Fork of The Madison River is a gentle and friendly stream.

    .. It is full of surprises but it's secrets are willingly divulged: just ask. The water is hidden in meadows of dense willows. It tumbles across breaks and it glides, (at grade,) in sinuous curves and meanders. There is a "fishy" place every few feet, and the fish are small, (usually!)
    .. All Summer long the little fish grow as they snag the sparse nutrients from this creek. They are perpetually hungry and eat anything that fits in their mouth. It's a typical nursery fishery with ample adults to discipline the youngsters.
    .. Of course the adult residents occupy the choice spots: deep and dark undercut banks, holes of dark glassy water in longish runs and riffles, in the shade of dense overhanging bushes, and amongst the downed timber sweepers that seem to be everywhere.

    .. This is our backyard stream. Measured in "city terms" its about 16 blocks away. Here it's just part of the neighborhood. The kids have campfires and cookouts on it's banks. Many residents have been conceived along it's secluded shores. This is where the neighbors go to catch a bit of dinner - it's automatic.
    .. We spent 14 hours strolling around in our backyard. No one was there to interrupt our hard work. We saw a wandering neighborhood pooch - he was headed in the right direction and we didn't have a chance to pass some time with him.
    .. A bit of bushwhacking, a little up hill, a little down hill, a brief ride to another section, two lunches and a dinner on the shore in the shade: exhausting but fruitful and satisfying work was accomplished.

    .. This year's fry are just a bit over an inch long. The schools are currently breaking up into size classes. Buddy groups of 3's and 4's are everywhere. A few phalanxes of 20 to 30 were seen. As near as we can tell, they are healthy.
    .. Fish from the last three or four years are still hanging around. These 4" to 7" speed demons darted from beneath the banks as we approached. A few impaled themselves on monster flies when we were sneaky enough to get close.
    .. Some of the adults, (to 11 inches,) chose to dance with us. They were fierce and untutored in the rhythms of the mambo, and they did leaping pirouettes along with their best imitations of sprinters and hurdlers.
    .. The evening was full of caddis and mosquitoes. The fish and the swallows were eating both. The mosquitoes were eating us. We left as the sun dropped behind Lion's Head and called it a successful day of gardening in the backyard.