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Recent entries


Through the Lens

3 Chicks and Few Hens

Thu, October 21, 2010

Monday I made a trip across the Mississippi to visit with my niece Heather and her daughter Nicole to do Nicole’s senior pictures. After we were finished with the photo session we decided it was a prime day for mushroom hunting in the hills and bluffs that surround their home. Even if we were to find nothing, the love of just wandering around the woods is something that all 3 of us have inherited from “Gramma Mueller”

Although in general the woods were pretty darn dry, and I wasn’t holding out much hope, my niece thought we should check her favorite “shroom tree” . That girl knows her woods - lo and behold half way up the steep bluff she was shouting - “They’re here!”

The three “Mueller Girls” had a super day in the forest, snagging senior photos that as Nicole said , “No other photographer would think about taking” and gathering up a good many hen of the woods.

Nicole in her TeamSILO attire for her senior pictures

Maybe I’m a sappy old lady, but I like to think that my Mom was watching from somewhere and was smiling as her girls cut and hauled out enough mushrooms to feed half the neighborhood.


Where Are The Trout Hiding?

Sat, October 16, 2010

Opening morning of fall trout season at Peabody River King Fish and Wildlife Area‘s Willow lake didn’t exactly start out with a big bang. Where are the trout? was a common question as anglers threw a variety of baits and combinations at them in the early post dawn hours. It was so slow initially I began to despair that I might not be able to actually get a photograph of anyone with a fish.

Orion Rutkowski readies his pole in quest for a BIG TROUT

Bob Rutkowski of TEAMSILO said ” I saw lots yesterday evening - some nice palomino ones as well as the rainbows - but they seem to be sleeping in ” Rutkowski and his son Orion had arrived just before daybreak and were still unsuccessful an hour later. “It’s just been slow- slow - and that’s unusual for this lake. Usually it’s just bang, bang, bang.”

Rutkowski’s sentiments were echoed by the larger than average numbers of folks fishing Willow Lake. Everyone seemed to be stymied. Servio Garcia of Smithton, IL lamented that he’d thrown a variety of things with no success and was tempted to try one of the Fruit Loops that his grandson Elijah Garcia of Columbia was snacking on.  ” I’ve seen trout bite on crazy things ,” he laughed “We can’t do any worse than we already are”. In spite of the poor fishing during the first few hours Garcia admitted that just spending a beautiful autumn morning with his grandson was reason enough to be lakeside.

Garcia and his grandson Elijah pour over the available items in their tackle collection in search of a lure that would attract the elusive trout.

At last as I strolled the banks of Willow Lake looking for a successful angler I found Jerry Gass of O’Fallon, Illinois.

Jerry Gass, Ofallon - the first successful angler of the morning

“Well I have one, but it’s not a giant” Gass laughed “Maybe I should have gone to the deerstand instead this morning.”  Gass reported that he’d netted his trout on a rooster tail. A little further down the shore I encountered Edward Weber of Troy, IL who also had caught a small rainbow on a rooster tail.
Echoing the tale of morning Weber told me that usually this is a great place on opening day - “it’s almost always hit after hit, but that wasn’t the case this morning”

Edward Weber of Troy, IL testing his luck from one of the small docks

Edward Weber’s success with a rooster tail.

Although the fishing wasn’t exactly stellar - the folks that I visited with all along the banks of Willow Lake were still happy they’d made the pre dawn trek to Peabody Fish and Wildlife Area in New Athens, IL . They commented on the beautiful sunrise, the loveliness of the mist rolling off the lake, the good times spent with friends and family.  Bob Rutkowski summed it up - “Anytime outdoors with my boys is special - we’ve seen geese, cormorants, lots of wildlife, we’ve enjoyed talking with other anglers.After all,”  he smiled, ” That’s why they call it fishing not catching”


When Enough is Enough

Sat, October 16, 2010

Photo taken By Gila Rainey - Todd of Gila’s Place Photography and Design

I received this from friend and fellow photographer Gila Todd just yesterday. It would seem that the subdivision has had a round of burglaries of late and the residents have simply said - enough is enough.

After I had a good laugh - I talked with my friend Gila - to get the whole story. Yes, there had been burglaries and yes most of the residents in the somewhat rural subdivision in Missouri we locked and loaded and just waiting for the burglars to strike again.  Not that anyone was advocating armed violence of any sort. But they were sending a clear message. They won’t tolerate this mini crime wave a moment longer. They are exercising their right to keep and bear arms, to defend their property. They own guns, may well be carrying them, know how to use them and are not bound up by a series of gun laws, rules, regulations and FOID cards as we are here where I live in IL.

Illinois - take heed; we’d like to be able to advertise so plainly that we are locked and loaded and intolerant of those who would trespass on property, violate and invade our homes, and threaten our safety and well being.

I’ve always loved the area where my friend Gila lives, and this is just another reason why.  Buying a gun is simple, owning a gun is simple. Feeling safe is simple.

Maybe the criminals who have been harassing those in this neighborhood will take heed; then again, maybe they’ll just hop across the river where it’s easier pickings and the residents aren’t always so safely armed.


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