Thank you Mother Nature, and Father Time, for another great March day
A little over a month ago, I wasn’t sure if my father would ever hold another fishing rod. He recovered nicely thanks to the great care he received from doctors and nurses…speaking of which, if you are a doctor or a nurse or any other part of the medical field, thank you for what you do. My dad had been (not-so) patiently waiting for warmer weather. On March 4th, Mother Nature delivered a gem of an early March day. 60 degrees by noon, high of 75, south winds of 8-12 mph. I thought to myself, “thank you Mother Nature…and Father Time…for getting us to another fishing season with my dad.
We went to one of our favorite locations to fish, the “double-check” southeast of Brady on the canal system. Things started pretty slowly, fishing in the middle of the day with bright sunshine, but eventually my dad hooked into his first channel catfish of the year. A good fight ending with good help from the netter, Matthew (my son), produced a 12 pound 3 ounce male, that is still swimming in the canal. Following the release of the fish, we all gained more interest in staying close to our poles.
With dad in a lawn chair, me on the tail gate and Matthew lying on the ground looking up, the south wind gave us quite a few things to look at. Small flocks of Sandhill Cranes passed by from time to time. We would hear them for a minute or two before we would finally see them. Behind one flock two white birds with black wing tips had Matthew excited briefly until he realized they were just Snow Geese, definitely NOT Whooping Cranes. At least one American White Pelican flew by, nearly at 747 cruising altitude I think, as a little white speck in the sky. We also watched Ring-billed Gulls, Red-tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles soaring by overhead. We nearly got sunburnt as we eventually managed to catch some more catfish and some largemouth and smallmouth bass. Then we had to head home to clean a couple fish (for next Friday’s meal) and eat supper.
Wasting Time…And Making Memories
What a great day of wasting time…and making memories. We never know when our time will be up. With my dad, we have some idea that it may not be long, but we still really don’t know. I was very thankful for the chance to get him out to the canal again and to watch him bring in “a big one”. I lost my next door neighbor (for 15 years) last month, best neighbor in the world, to cancer. I would have given a lot to have had one more “beer thirty” with him, and I regret the times I missed with him. I don’t want to feel like I should have caught “one more fish” with dad. You don’t know when your time will come and more importantly, when the time will come for your loved ones. Get out there and enjoy this weather folks, enjoy the bird migration, enjoy the great fishing opportunities that are available in the Chicken Dance Trail region. And enjoy all of this with friends and family, making memories with time well spent.
A New Resolution Update
February was tough and March hasn’t started out any easier. Lots of meetings and family obligations – hoping to change that pattern this coming week. I did have some interesting walks in February though. I had a three-day conference in Lincoln, staying in a hotel 1.2 miles away from the conference facility – definitely a different walk for this “country boy”. I walked around Lake North near Columbus, where tens of thousands of Snow Geese and other waterfowl, along with gulls, gave me plenty to look at. Two walks up North Brady Road produced sightings of mule deer, some sandhill cranes, a Golden Eagle and a coyote. In total, I had 11 “exercise” walks in February for a total of 33.3 miles. According to my phone app, I walked 66.6 miles during February total. As of March 1st, I was down another 2.6 pounds, so I have lost 10.8 pounds since January 1st. Hope some of you are “walking with me” and having some success of your own – for me it has been time (and calories) well spent.
Biologist, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission