Friday, August 22, 2008

Mud In Your Eye

Last week's visit to the cottage has already begun to feel like a distant memory and I hope that we can get back there sometime soon.

You might remember that last September, we took the boat out and tried to fish for walleye. I kept on hooking and reeling in catch after disappointing catch, with nary a walleye in sight. At that time, Frank insisted that I learn to hook my own worm and remove my own catch from the hook - and I did. This year he added one very nasty task to the routine. I had to "blow up" my own worm. It took me a couple of seasons to even stomach watching while Frank injected his worms with air and now he wanted me to handle that job myself. Gulp!

Here's what's required. After piercing the slimy, wriggly creature with the hook, the worm is held steady with one hand, while inserting a syringe-like needle into its body. The needle is attached to a small, empty plastic bottle. A quick squeeze of the bottle injects a puff of air into the worm so that it will float above the sinker which otherwise weighs it down to the bottom of the lake. This makes the worm more enticing for curious, hungry walleye.

I was beginning to get the hang of it after a few tries, and began to relax a bit. By the fourth or fifth time, it became routine. I hooked the worm, and held it in place while finding and unscrewing the safety cap from the "worm blower." I inserted the needle into the worm and casually squeezed the bottle. The worm immediately squeezed back and squirted me right in the eye with - I don't know - worm guts! It was unattractive to say the least. So was Frank's laughter. Really unattractive, Frank!

I managed to survive it, rinsed my fingers and face off with lake water and proceeded to catch my one and only walleye.

Here's my walleye under the knife. Frank's skillful fingers had it beheaded, filleted, skinned and wrapped in no time flat. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

We were treated to several beautiful sunsets during our stay - like this one. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

The setting sun lends such lovely light to everything it kisses. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

We drove into a nearby town one afternoon, where we eventually did a bit of shopping. On our way out of this general store, Francis spotted this little chipmunk feasting on some spilled sunflower seeds atop a storage shelf. It scarcely gave us a glance while it greedily filled its cheeks. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

The Hummingbird feeder was like an airport with incoming flights and frequent departures. This little one thrummed past my head and posed briefly for a photo. It appeared to take notice of a wasp which was anticipating its own taste of the sweetened water. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

A couple of parked Kayaks offered a splash of colour to the view seen outside the back door. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

Benny spent many hours honing his swimming skills. He also perfected his water-biting skills. Rather than wait for waves to roll in...

.. I accommodated him by splashing and kicking the water his way. He obliged by jumping up to bite as many droplets as he could. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

On our last day, we fished until the sun began to set. The rising moon and clouds reflected some rich colours. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

Back on shore, the sky exploded with colour for the last sunset of our holiday. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

As we were cleaning out the cottage and packing up the car to go home, we noticed this bug sunning itself on the railing of the deck. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

We left the cottage on a perfectly sunny day. The sky was a brilliant blue with only occasional wispy clouds. We packed up the car without concern about rain. Canvas bags and other not-so-water-resistant items were secured to the roof rack and off we went.

As we headed for home, the sky changed considerably. All around us we could see pockets of angry weather and each slowdown on the highway was nerve-wracking to say the least, but we managed to make it home with moments to spare before the sky opened up. (Click the photo to enlarge it)

Benny does not like it when he doesn't know where we're going. He's pretty good in the car if it's a routine trip, like when Frank comes to my place or home again, but the trip to and from the cottage was different and wrong! Here he is doing his distressed chimpanzee imitation. (Make sure your sound is on!)

But eventually, all becomes right in his world again. (Click the photo to enlarge it)


Travis Erwin said...

And there is no better eating freshwater fish than walleye in my opinion.

Reb said...

Spectacular! That beetle photo is grea, all the textures and the shadows you can see.

Glad to see that Benny is restrained while in the vehicle. You should try to get him a seatbelt maybe, that is what eventually shut my dog up. I had to make one for Sibu too, which keeps him from howling. He can move a bit on the seat and stand and look out windows, but he can't climb on my lap or under my feet.

Michele said...

Beautiful and wonderful reading. Sunset was gorgeous.
I was a little hesitant to enlarge the big beetle photo but thought, oh what the heck! I'm glad I did... very nice.
Mountain Retreat

A Cuban In London said...

Every single photo was a treat and there were a coupel in particular that made me go Wow! The first sunset one was breath-taking and the one with the moon encapsulates the sun-moon relationship perfectly, so near, yet so far.

Greetings from London.

Anonymous said...

I thought Benny was great and he also looks great. In spite of blowing up your worms, I suppose you all had a great time. I know the places you photographed sure looked inviting to me.

gary rith said...

you know I love that dog, but ALL the pics are beautiful aren't they?

Crabby McSlacker said...

Another lovely gallery of photos that makes me wish I could have been there!

And glad you beat out the storm.

Kerri Farley said...

Your photos are amazing! I am in awe of those spectacular sunsets.
And Benny has captured my heart :)

Suldog said...

As always, your photos are tremendous!

You know, when you first mentioned "blowing up" the worms, I truly thought that meant somehow putting your lips to one and blowing air into it. I was very glad to hear about the syringe.

SandraRee said...

Your photography once again is stunning Hilary, always love your words too! And ewww with the blowing up of the worm! Soooo funny with the distressed chimpanzee imitation from Benny! :D

Louise said...

First, I have to comment on the pictures. The first sky one with the golden clouds is breathtaking. And is the final sunset reflected near the boats on the water. just beautiful. I also love the "angry sky," and the Benny completely wiped out.

Now to the worms. O.M.G. OK, I have an irrational fear of worms. But fear it is, and even as I type this, I have butterflies in my stomach. There is NO WAY I would perform those tasks without a minimum of goggles and gloves and preferably a hazmat suit. I'm not even sure I could do it with gloves. I would still be able to feel that squishy slime. O.M.G. What a woman you are!

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful photos. Love the sunset and you did a great job capturing hummie at the feeder.
I never knew about blowing up worms, but I've never fished with live bait either.
I've eaten walleye a few times in my life. Oh, my they are good.

the Bag Lady said...

Great post Hilary!
Loved all the photos, but am especially fond of the Benny photos! And the video is a hoot!
Not commenting on the are a better woman than I!

Frank Baron said...

Sheesh, such a fuss about a little needle!


You did a great job out on the water and a greater one showing & telling. :)

Kat said...

I was reading your post when Joey walked into the room and said, "That's up at the cabin, huh?" It really does look similar. I'm so glad we are going up this weekend because your pics made me miss it. Just beautiful! As usual. :)

Hilary said...

• I might have to agree with you there, Travis. It's pretty tasty. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Reb. The seatbelt would be Frank's call but truthfully, I can't imagine trying to secure an anxious, squirming dog into that kind of restraint. We might have better luck harnessing a worm. ;) Certainly, it's a wise thing to consider but so is space. Benny would take up another seat in the car that way. We still need to bring his crate since it's where he sleeps. Thanks for stopping by with your always-thoughtful and encouraging comments. :)

• Thanks, Michele. The beetle was a pretty innocuous-looking little thing after all, eh? It's not like he was covered in.. worm guts or anything. ;) Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Welcome, Cuban in London, and thanks very much for your encouraging comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and hope you'll be back again soon. :)

• Thanks, AL. We sure did have a good time in spite of occasional blowups. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Gary. I'm glad you liked them. :)

• Thanks muchly, Crabby. No doubt if you're posting from Acadia National Park at the moment, you're in one of the most beautiful spots I've ever seen. So the location-envy is mutual. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Kerri. I feel the same way about your wonderful photography, with every photo you post. Benny tends to capture most hearts. He's a great little dog. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Sully. Ya know, I knew someone might have had that visual and somehow I thought it might be you. You didn't disappoint. Thanks for the laugh.. and the always-kind words. :)

• Thanks so much, Sandra. I appreciate your kind words. Benny has a whole range of crazy sounds and octaves. He's absolutely hilarious at times. I hope I can capture his whole repertoire in time. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much for your kind comments, Louise. I'm glad you like the photos. You made me laugh out loud with your worm remarks. :) I totally understand your fear of worms. For me, it's not even the slime so much as how strong they actually are between pinched fingers. I won't go into further detail lest I gross you out once more but suffice to say that I really do enjoy the fishing and I have to force myself to de-wuss if I want to continue doing it. So yeah, I'm at risk for occasional worm guts in the eye. Thanks for stopping by and enduring the worm talk. :)

• Thanks very much, Leah. And you're so right about how tasty it is. Lightly coated and pan-fried alongside a fresh salad.. yum! Worth every bit of enduring the worm thing. ;)

• Thanks, Baggie. I'm glad you enjoyed Benny's antics. And you've got to be kidding me. My encounter with a worm's excretions are nothing compared to what you must shovel daily on the ranch, but at least cows don't aim for your eye. ;)

• Thanks, Frank. :) I have no problem at all with needles. I'll have blood drawn, donate said blood or sit through injections without a blink. It's the squirmy, squirty recipient that makes me fuss. But thanks for not making me break the worms in half.. yet. At least I won't have to blow those ones up. ;)

• Thanks very much, Kathryn. I'm glad that you'll be able to get away this weekend, and it's cool that Joey saw the similarity between the photos and your own space. Hopefully we'll be seeing some pics of your time away when you get back. Have a great time! :)

elasticwaistbandlady said...


elasticwaistbandlady said...

You should market your own line of Worm Gut Facials. :)

Daryl said...

What a lovely time 'we' had .. I am enjoying your time at Frank's cabin almost as much as you two do. And Benny .. if he is ever missing I have him


Cedar said...

What a great place! And of course as always wonderful pictures.

I see you don't abide by the "you catch them you clean them" law of fishing. That is a law right or did someone lie to me?

RiverPoet said...

Hi Hilary! Thanks so much for your recent visits to my place. I've been trying to catch up with everyone, but it's been a very busy week.

I'm so happy you had a good time at the cabin, but I've never heard of blowing up the worms! In all my fishing youth, I never blew up worms! :-) I guess one of them got even with you, eh?

Peace - D

Clowncar said...

I fins all this talk of "blowing worms" rather disturbing. I thought this was a family blog!

A question about that wonderful moon picture: I thought the moon took up much less actual size in the sky. How did you do that? Telephoto?

imbeingheldhostage said...

Stunning photos! What a wonderful escape (and I agree with Travis, Walleye is YUMMY)

G said...

What beautiful pictures. I had that stomach-flip feeling, missing cottage life. :) said...

Oh my! If Benny's ever missing, he's with my puppies and I at RoseCreekCottage!! He's precious!

Your blog is thoroughly enjoyable!!

steviewren said...

Worm guts splashed in my face would have put me off fishing forever! I love that picture of the moon rising. It is so serene.

Anonymous said...

Impressive, and that isn't meant facetiously. In many years of fishing i've never "inflated" a worm (albeit, most of mine has been done in saltwater and my experience with fresh is seemingly lacking).Interesting stuff. Great photos as well.

Shammickite said...

I've never heard of blowing up the worm, but after your description of the process, I'm not surprised that the worm fought back.
Lovely photos, as always. And how nice to spend some relaxing time at a cottage. You both deserve it for sure.
I've been unlucky with my humming bird feeder this year... not many around so I'm obviously doing something wrong.
And that Benny is a hoot.

Woman in a Window said...

That first shot is perfection.

And worm blowing. Sounds X-rated. I have to say, I live in the north and I have never heard of it. But then I don't really ever fish much...

Unknown said...

hi hilary, i came by yesterday, twice actually, the second time with a cup of coffee to enjoy the read and lovely photos...

great sunset photos and the wee chipmunk is such a cutie.. Bennie is a character... "water biting skills".. too funny...

loved the story of the worm... hey, we do what we have to do, right?... :)

as always, i enjoyed!

Cath said...

Awwww! Love that last one of Benny and the video! Poor Benny.
Poor you with the worm! I did not click to enlarge the fish. Yuk. Thank you.

Great sunsets. Great holiday by the look of it. The one with the cloud coming over - I wondered what was in the sky. When I enlarged - it is a reflection of your arm (while driving I think) LOL

Cath said...

Looking at Suldog's comment, I can now admit that he is not the only one who thought that and was relieved to discover that a syringe was used....

david mcmahon said...

Wonderful, Hilary. It is a special treat to visit you.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

These were all beautiful Hilary, but once again, I find myself totally smitten for Benny. He is just adorable.

Kappa no He said...

A worm blower! People are amazing creatures. Who thought that up?

Hilary said...

• EWBL, I could get hooked on worm guts facials! :)

• Thanks, Daryl. It appears that there'll be a long line of suspects should Benny boy ever go missing - but we'll check in New York first. Thanks for sharing the holiday. ;)

• Thanks, Cedar. Shhhhhh don't tell him about that "law" Isn't it enough that I'm touching, inflating and hooking the worms? Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, Riverpoet. Yes, it was a vindictive little squirmer! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Clowncar, it was a family blog, but now that you're here... The moon was just beginning to rise, so I guess it appeared larger than it does during the usual later night sky. But I did also zoom in a bit, but that doesn't change it's relation to the sky. :)

• Thanks muchly, Hostage. And I won't argue with you about walleye. :)

• Aww thank you BP. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Carol. So if missing Benny can't be found with Daryl in N.Y. I'll check RoseCreekCottage.. got it! Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Thanks, Steviewren. It WAS pretty gross, but I got over it. ;)

• Thanks kindly, BK. I don't question any of Frank's fishing methods, strange as they may be. When it comes to this sport, he wrote the book - literally. Unfortunately, worm-blowing it is.. ugh! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Shammy. I've learned to hold the worm and syringe far from my face when engaging this practice now. I don't know too much about hummingbird food, but there's a particular ratio of sugar to water that's supposed to work best. Maybe a bit of online sleuthing will start you in the right direction. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much for your kind words WIAW. Have you met Clowncar? ;)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, Carol. I'm glad you're enjoying the photos. Yes, Benny absolutely does bite water/attacks waves. This video is from last year. I hope you enjoy it. :)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, Cath. You're quite observant. That is indeed the reflection of an arm - it's Frank's. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, David. :)

• Thanks, Mamageek. He tends to have that effect on people. Thanks for the visit. :)

• You'd have to ask Frank, that one Terrie. It's pretty clever though. Thanks for stopping by. :)

photowannabe said...

I have never heard of air-blowing the worm for fishing. If I didn't know your style better I would have thought it was a fish story. Of course I have never fished for walleye either. Don't have them around here.
Absolutely love the moon picture.

hebba said...

Your pictures are beautiful. Summer in a nutshell

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh my stars, how cute is Benny?? Such a zippy fellow! What lovely photographs of your cottage holiday...I know you have to re-enter the real world.

I don't think I could have done the knife thing with the fish, however!!

Hilary said...

* Thanks, Photowannabe. I kid you not about the blowing up worms. I kind of wish I was.. but no. :) Thanks for your kind words.

* Welcome, Hebba and thanks so much. :)

* Thank you PT&E. I'm more inclined to cut into a dead fish than to blow up a live worm. Thanks for the visit and for your kind words. :)

Anonymous said...

This reminds me why I don't fish. I am totally grossed out by YOU being sqirted with fish guts, much less ME!

Benny is darling. And you got some absolutely beautiful photos.

So, except for bug guts, a pretty good trip, huh? Good for you.

Jo said...

I thought that last sunset photo was my favorite--so incredibly beautiful--but Benny in his usual way stole the show...what a ham.

I'm glad you had such a great really looks dreamy (minus the gushy worm LOL).

Hilary said...

• Thanks muchly, Addhumorandfaith. Yes, a very good trip, maybe even partly because of the worm guts.. at the very least it was blog fodder. ;)

• Thanks, Jo. It truly is a small bit of Paradise. The gushy worm and manic dog just keep it interesting. ;)

Anonymous said...

Never met a Canadian I didn't like!!

You talking rain Ha Ha !!

Florida is RAIN!!

Nice photos however :-)

Hilary said...

Thanks Dr. J, eh? ;) And so true - this is nothing compared to what the southern, east coast has been experiencing. Thanks for the visit and stay safe. :)

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

awesome !!!!that sunset pic is precious, Hilary.

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, Moi! :)