Thursday, August 4, 2016

Who Are You?

Who Are You?
I can’t believe I started with that. But it is fitting. Long ago when I could stand to listen to the radio; The Who and Queen were two of my quickest channel changers. Now that Shania is appearing on Classic Country stations; I am pretty much radio free America. I learned a long time ago that if you don’t like what you are hearing; you don’t have to listen.
Really, who are you? I know what many of you are thinking right now. Why I am a __. That isn’t what I mean. I’m not referring to what you do to eke out a living. Everyone has to do that; although some find a way not to. I mean who are you in reality? What do you enjoy doing? What do you sit and daydream about while eking? What do you do for relaxing and relieving stress? What do you find interesting?
We were not built to quit learning once we walk out of whatever we graduated from. I know many who quit right at that point. They quickly settled into a routine that they will never leave and they think that is the way it works; forever. I really feel sorry for them. You have heard the saying many times that you learn something new every day “you should. It isn’t really that hard.
Have you ever actually taken the effort to find out what that funny looking bug crawling on your milkweed plant is? The resources are there for all to use. It isn’t really that hard to find the right answers anymore. The only requirement needed is a little effort put forth. First you find a closely matching photo and go from there. Inquiring minds will not stop at just a name. They will wander to native or introduced and then to life cycles and habitat. Before you know it; you just learned something new today! Keep on going.
My mind tends to wander from day to day and season to season. Primarily it functions in two stages. Getting ready for winter and getting through winter. Producing and procuring food is pretty much number one. I always have something else going on too. I need to do something other than eke and watch tomatoes get ripe. That is where birds, bugs, damselflies and wildflowers come in handy. There is always something out there that you have never taken time to identify and learn about. You don’t have to go far.
Some believe that the outdoors is only hunting and fishing. That is so untrue. Besides hunting and fishing have seasons and limits. I need to do something interesting every single day that doesn’t cost much of anything. How about you? Recreation does not have to cost, neither does learning. I’m old and I have stuff to make alone time more enjoyable, It was all acquired over time and really as the big picture goes was not that expensive due to the enjoyment it has given.

The photo with this article is the stuff I had behind my truck seat on June 10. That is my stuff. Let’s face it we are all just getting older and poorer. So who are you? I guess I am a real outdoorsman and life-long learner.

This is my August 2016 article for Two-Lane Livin
(c) 2016 High Virginia Outdoors  Photo (c) 2016 High Virginia Images ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


I had a lot of fun when I was young but was sent off to prison when I was about six. I never enjoyed summertime much after that time. I always knew in the back of my mind that summer would pass and I’d soon be locked up for another eight months. My bright spot was wearing out Golden Guides, catching crawdads & salamanders and damming up the crick. Summer vacation soon passed away. It was back to staring out the windows time/ Hard Time.
I just returned from a dog walk on the lower Shavers Fork, near Bowden. I call it tin can alley. Campers parked alongside each other; hundreds on them. I cannot imagine why people would want to leave one city just to go sit in another one. The two biggest campgrounds were absolutely crawling with people. I don’t quite understand why you need a fire when it is 85 degrees, either. Must be fun.
Fun to me doesn’t require spending money. I drive all week therefore I sure don’t travel more than a few miles if I don’t have to. I’m old, I’ve already seen it .Buying gas isn’t fun. You can’t drive down a country road anymore without someone riding on your bumper. There isn’t any wonder that people do not see anything anymore. They are in too big of a hurry.
I guess I could charge an expensive trip for a vacation to somewhere I’ve never been and work all the rest of the year to pay it off. That doesn’t sound like much fun, either. I worked at a place a few years ago that closes down the first week of July every year. That would be one of my last choices for a week off. I think the most exciting thing I did was change brakes on my truck.
I’ve gotten to the point where I actually have to make myself go fishing. I’m fine once I get there but some become bored with the whole process. Biting flies, mosquitoes and gnats stuck in your sweat isn’t much fun. Plus, the cost of gas and ice takes away from the enjoyment. It seems as if anything interesting to do is a sixty or seventy mile round trip. I guess I just can’t enjoy my time away when I know there is grass to mow, tomatoes to tie and critters to feed. Have you ever taken the time to read the WV Fish Consumption Advisories? You should.
I do make the attempt to take an hour out of every day for enjoyment. It is my shutdown time and I have become very adept at finding interesting things. I may steal that time with walking the dogs or it may be somewhere alongside the road. No matter where it is it is cherished time. It doesn’t cost a thing and it helps maintain sanity.

There are many things out there to discover for everyone. The only requirement to participate is a little bit of free time. I can just tie the dogs off to a tree and go sit along a ditch. You would be amazed at the lifeforms you can see in just a small location. Just sit and stare. Dragonflies, damsels, butterflies abound and you never know what bird may appear. To me that is fun and free. Try it, you might like it.

This is my July 2016 article for Two-Lane Livin
(c) 2016 High Virginia Outdoors. Photos (c) High Virginia Images ALL RIGHTS RESERVED