Happy Saturday morning:

especially on a reflective morning

Maybe you paused, “for a minute of silence at 1 p.m. on Monday, September 1, the centennial of the moment when “Martha” – the last Passenger Pigeon on the planet – quietly kicked the bucket at the Cincinnati Zoo.” ~ Bird Studies Canada

Passenfer PigeonThis, probably the most infamous extinction of a species, occurred 100 years go. There was a time when the skies were darkened by multi-millions of these birds and in less than fifty years they were hunted into extinction.

So what is all of this, you ask? One week you’re attending a Trappers Convention and this week it’s thoughts on “Martha.” First some coffee then we’ll continue.

Managing excellence – The first thing I heard on the radio this morning was from an unknown powerhouse station somewhere east of the Rocky Mountains. Here the host came out with a thought that applies. He stated that; he was a conservative not interested in maintaining the status-quo, but in maintaining excellence. I loved that line—especially since change for (mostly) a personal or financial gain is not my style. It applies to just about everything we see happening these days.

As an example, seven years ago it was Al Gore beating the man-made planet heating drum and the release of his Inconvenient Truth movie. In that movie he predicted that the polar ice caps would be gone in seven years. This past week NOAA and NASA released photos and data pointing out that the ice cap has expanded by as much as the state of Alaska.

So it’s the shrill voices clamoring for change coupled to new revenue streams rather than common sense and real science which I object to. Whether this is a President announcing that; “the science is in” when it clearly is not (and never has been) or U.N bureaucrats shutting down all thoughts not in line with their program.

How about a PETA fanatic’s spray painting day-glo paint on a piece of fur to gain press. Or even as innocuous a something such as a blanket edict to manage school lunch programs– then watch as many including the nation’s second largest end up dumping it as unusable.

How many really think that our progressive driven move on the ACA path has really improved medical care in this country? Could, what we had, be improved on? Certainly! Did it need to address availability and run-away costs? Undoubtedly! But shrill voices on the airwaves and deals and votes cast during the still of the night to select financial winners and losers was not the way.

Now back to Martha versus my trapper friends. As humans we are an integral part of nature. I have not heard of any group more in tune with or caring for the environment than these folk. They are fully aboard with nature and excellence in wildlife management. Management not as envisioned by any group which ‘feels’ a certain way, but management that offers demonstrable success. Had these folk been listened to a hundred years ago and had “best of” practiced been applied we’d still have ”Martha’s” offspring fill the skies in 2014.

School’s in – and we’ve turned the corner towards autumn (at least in these parts). DSCF0564-sWatching our grandkids slip into gear and begin to move along their learning path is wonderful – even from a distance. Soccer has started and the team schedules for Dinah and Marin were posted. Dinah in goal and as forward, Marin will switch between mid-field and offense.

In Texas, Derek has begun to get familiar with his Tuba as the instrument of choice. Derek, instrument Tuba 2Music has been added now that he’s entered middle-school. Kellen could not wait class to begin. With a bit of nervousness and trepidation Vai stepped out and into first grade. Vili is now the big fish in his little pre-school pond – music and geography are at the top of his list.

At the cabin Marcia landed on a recipe which is exactly what fall should smell and taste like. So, yesterday, I smoked (with apple wood) a large chicken. She roasted a new variety of squash; Sunshine squash. The squash and chunks of the smoked chicken were coupled with roasted Brussels sprouts, fennel, leek, some fresh corn, and yoghurt. Then, wrapped in a crust will be served as a pot pie. With the temperature now barely climbing to 70 the time is perfect for such a meal.

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Fall is a great time and formally entered with Marcia performing her version of the Haka, a Polynesian war dance. I don’t know why, but it just seems appropriate.

Marcia Haka

Tweaking the toys: update – Chris-the-marine-engine-mechanic performed his magic. DSCF0903Earlier this week we picked up our vintage (1955) outboard engine from his shop; now finely tuned and with 4 out of the 5 lower-case seals replaced. This week was horrible, cold, windy, and lots of rain. The day we brought the motor home it was bright and sunny and so I hooked it up to the little Sea Nymph and took a ‘maiden’ voyage. It was wonderful.

Animal Planet – The Hummingbirds have been pouncing on the feeder – as many as six at a time. Being very territorial they constantly fight for space at the feeder and can be seen diving and zooming around. This all a prelude to bulk up and get ready for the migratory journey south – probably around mid-month.

Bob-the-forester has relocated his bear hunting site and now has activity. His hunt continues.

Fifteen or so miles away by the old grist mill the salmon have started running. This week the run will swell into almost a solid wall of squirming bodies working their way up the rushing waters to their breeding pool.

Not to forget the trees – DSCF0891more than early signs that the trees are turning. Slowly the sugar maples have begun to show off their crimson red. The twentieth is a color tour/art show and the forest knows that it’s got to look as spiffy as possible for this event.

Fini  – Happy Birthday to Vince who celebrates mid-week. Also, congratulations to finishing your Triathlon last weekend.

Make it a great week. Stay safe.
Cheers.

Dirk

3 Responses to “Martha”
  1. Pieter Pastoor Says:

    First of all that chicken looks awesome – last time we “smoked” chickens for a large gathering we used a 55 gallon drum.
    Now to global warming – you got to check your sources – here is this years executive summary of the NOAA http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/exec_summary.html. We can’t look at a year at a time. Check it out my friend

  2. Kirstin Says:

    Mom is doing a war dance? It looks more like she just pooped out some knitting 🙂

  3. Kirstin Says:

    Haka or Kaka? Sorry, we’re cracking up here….