Sometimes the Strong Don’t Eat

Or maybe we’re weak.

This year’s squirrel hunting wasn’t so successful, so I have no epic tales of glorious battle to recount.

I’m guessing Calvatia gigantea

But we did spot an epic mushroom.  And I just so happened to remember seeing one of these before on a hunting trip.

Looks like it’s later in its lifecycle

That was 6 years ago.  Apparently it made an impression on me.  Mushrooms are cool.  and creepy.



We went up to the Biggs’ Family Reunion this last week (Dad’s Mother’s side).  As expected, there were a lot of people I didn’t know, and just as many I only vaguely remembered.  I guess I’m bad at networking, even when it’s my own extended family.  Then again, I’m currently hiding from my nuclear family in the basement, so judge if you must.

I suppose that, when the world ends, we should know our kin, so that our collective clan can band together against violent wasteland raiders.  Blood ties!

Amusingly, few of my photos involved this extended family, but rather the activities, so I present to you a montage summary:

The rainbow was a sign…that it would be really hot and humid while we all posed for that group photo
A goby–apparently an invasive species that have to be euthanized upon catching (killed with the Mora)
Dad’s fish–I don’t remember what it was
One of Leigh’s many catfish, which we cleaned and tried to eat, but they tasted like the bottom of the channel in which they were caught. Pity.
My cousin, Jonathan. We give his family a lot of grief for disliking the outdoors, but here’s proof that he had fun anyway.
A catfish of my own
A trip to the Toledo Zoo
More fishing
I caught a nice bass
Look at that packed Honda. That’s a commercial-worthy photo there.


Down to the River

Memorial Day saw us into the unofficial start of Summer, not that we needed the reminder, as it’s been swelteringly hot for weeks now.  But with Summer comes Summer activities, and the old man paid us a visit for some granddaughter time and fishing.

The Mad River provided some relief from the heat–ambient temperature drop from its evaporative cooling effects, though the kid chose a more direct approach (having quickly lost interest in fishing–not as easy as pulling out packs of ravenous bluegills).  I remember being indifferent to the discomfort of wet clothes too as a kid.

The chubs were biting, and I pulled in a satisfying number.  Dad got a shiner, too.  It was much more successful than last year’s attempt at the local metroparks.

Plus, it’s a lot more pleasant to spend the afternoon in a clean and more secluded body of water.  The metroparks are just dirty and I wouldn’t eat anything that came out of those ponds.  Although that hardly matters, as we’re generally catch and release anyway.



There’s an incredible amount of dandelions this year.  And I can’t deny their charm, as their happy yellow blooms dot the landscape–a prelude to my daughter’s romp through their seeding masses, almost colloidal as they hang in the air.

Yet a part of me cringes as I watch countless potential dandelion progeny drift throughout my yard.  I’m conflicted.  Do I despise them as a blight, or tolerate them for their aesthetic/medicinal value?

Like all exotics, they’re unstoppable

I considered buying an herbicide, and I admit, I use Roundup.  But despite the dandelion’s invasiveness, I’m opposed to fighting nature with such overkill tactics.  History has proven that such measures always yield unforeseen, and undesirable, consequences.  So I began removing them manually.

What is this, Chinese steel?

But the weeding tool proved inadequate.

And so I debated.

Many times have I learned that fighting the natural world results in only temporary victories, that instead I should either appease or compromise.  Such was it that I’ve preserved many a garden crop by planting instead tastier alternatives for the neighborhood rabbits.  So why should I dwell on the humble dandelion?

Nay, I shall harvest this plant.  I will use this formerly unwanted bumper crop to instead experiment with salad and tea.  Stay tuned!



People are really weird about crystals.  There’s the crystal cult goofs who I guess think they channel divine essence or something.  And was it crystals that gave Merlin his magic?  I dunno.  I’m not terribly inclined to research it further.

But anyway, I was at some outlet with Liz and noticed a bin of geodes.  I recalled geode-hunting once in New Mexico, an old memory from my Texas years, and while I found some fragments, no one in the group discovered an intact geode.  And here was a pile of them as if they had been simply scooped up somewhere.  Maybe they had.  I didn’t know how common they were.

Wikipedia revealed the obvious answer: they are (the biggest one being a cave in Ohio) and no doubt $10 was a large up-charge for the small rock.  Still it was cool and dredged up a childhood memory, so I bought it for the kid.

The cashier helpfully informed me that I should break it open gently, rather than wail upon it with a hammer, as they break easy and hitting it too hard would just crush it.  Apparently that was a common complaint.

I had planned to saw it evenly in half, though it turned out that I lacked the equipment to do so.  So I got a chisel and hammer.  I held the chisel while the kid tapped the hammer, and the geode fell apart into 3 nice chunks.

It was a cool enough experience that even the kid exclaimed in delight, distracting her away from her tablet for minutes.

Then she put it back together.

Weird.  OCD or something.  I dunno where she gets that from.