Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rain and Solitude


I'm driving home, alone, late, having worked a long day.  It is very dark and all is wet- wet fields, wet roads, wet grass.  I'm wet, the dampness seeming to seep inside of me after days of rain.  I'm in a funk- steelhead funk, as the weather has been uncooperative, with cold wintry weather stretching far into April, and now flooding rains, this the fourth blowout rain in ten days.  In protest I've taken on yet another job, a small one, something to fill my time until the rivers drop.  My friend Luke has sent me a picture from his phone, of flooded fields with a trout stream somewhere in the middle- it won't be fishable for a week.  As I drive home alone in the dark, the fog lifting off the road surface, obscuring it, giving the illusion of flight, and I constantly check that I'm not veering off the road.  As I pull through town, I see that the golf course is flooded- no grass to be seen under the sulferous lights, water standing in the right lane, now running in a torrent I dare not enter down the street.  I stay left and go around it, eventually making my way home.  It's late, but I stop and check on the chicks I bought today.  Part of me wishes they were hackle birds, as Kirk Werner's Weekly Drivel post reminded me to check the price of hackle on Ebay, and I see that some grizzly saddles have topped out at over $400 in the bidding- ridiculous, but I hope that Keough, Metz and Whiting (and whoever else sells hackle) are making money.  Someone has to.  Maybe I should order some eggs from Alvin Theriault. My chicks are fine- they seem quite happy actually, their little home perhaps a bit more cozy than mine right now.  Our relationship will be brief, these are meat birds.  They're only cute for a day, by the way, and in 6 weeks or so they'll be 4-6 pounds and ready to eat, and extremely ugly- I don't get attached, I never do.  Something about mucking out the chicken house a few times that tends to put a damper on my affections.  That and the feed bill.

I don't always mind the rain.  I often bow hunt in the rain, and I fish in the rain every chance I get- it usually gets me some solitude, if not fish (and deer).  This weeks rain, while slightly ridiculous, is a good thing.  The rivers need it.  The fish need it.  It's good for the mushrooms.  We didn't get enough snow this winter.  I pull down my long driveway, shut the truck off and step out.  I can smell the water- it smells like spring now, damp, earthy, and slightly green.  The frogs are out in force finally, trilling so loudly that's it's a relief to go inside.  I want to watch something on TV, but I have flies to tie, so I wander upstairs, sit down at my bench, and get started.

7 comments:

  1. good piece of writing, now I feel cold and damp again and I'm sitting in my warm cozy recliner.

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  2. Terrible conditions for trout & walleye opener alike. I guarantee walleye are swimming around my 15 acre swamp I bought to deer hunt. A culvert runs under the road and attaches the property to the Saginaw River. We're die hard and are hooking the trailer and heading north in the morning for trout! From the reports, every river system in the state is blown out! With high gas prices and high water, I can't see many traveling far this opener!

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  3. The weather just will not leave you guys alone. Maybe an ark would be in order?

    Mark

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  4. I hear you with buying birds for hackle. Damn this new fashion of putting feathers on everything. Sorry to hear the rain is coming down but I am with you on this one. I love fishing in the rain. Except when its messing the streams up...Good ole unpredictable spring time:)

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  5. I hate to say it, but those little chicks are just adorable!!! Ok...we will think ugly...

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  6. This makes me remember our summer in Hungary in 2009, after one year in Kuwait. I enjoyed every rain drop and the tourists around just looked at me like I'm nuts ;)
    Now back in the desert lands since 18 months, I am ready for a week of rain ;)

    But I sure hope you get some real spring weather soon.
    Not enough rain here, again :(

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  7. Nicole-I'm sure rain drops in Kuwait are hard to come by. I don't mind the rain, especially after a long cold snowy winter. I'm going to keep checking your birding adventures.

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