Archive for May 23rd, 2012

23
May
12

Runoff Catch Basins + Plantings = Filtered Waters

Seemingly, they could have built a damn or bridge for the time it took to build 16 catch basins (Watersheds and Stormwater Basins/Planters) on my neighborhood street. But, I gave the City of Portland the benefit of the doubt re the projects. This past early Spring the construction was finished with signage that promised plantings (Columbia River Habitat: Portland Green Streets Project). This morning, I noticed the plantings were staged for planting.

Catch Basin full after heavy rains with plantings standing on edge ready for plantings.

Upper, smaller basin full and ready to spill over into larger basin with plantings.

Here, a few miles away are catch basins that are still awaiting their plantings. These catch basins drain off a much steeper gradient. These basins seem to draw much more water at a faster rate and drain sooner into the nearby sloughs.

23
May
12

Winona Fly Factory Account Suspended

Awhile back, I stopped by the Winona Fly Factory blog. There was a message from JC that he was taking a break for a bit…a ‘hiatus’. I checked back this morning to see the entire blog account has been suspended. This is deeply saddening. 

I came upon this sign last week. I took a picture of it. It was on a wall in a cabin. It seemed hopeful of making it through a struggle, a journey.

Without knowing the circumstances, I do want to say that Justin’s work at Winona Fly Factory was some of the best out there. His site was innovative, real and inspiring. Sometimes life dishes out such overwhelming, mind/heart crushing events, that we come to a screeching halt to survive…to hunker down, to endure, to grieve, to process, to slowly rebuild, to re-emerge. I do wish the very best to that inspiring young man. 

23
May
12

Fly Fishing: Suspended Midge Pupa

I so rarely use a floating line on a lake. So, when the surface activity is there…out it comes. The fish were working in two to six feet of water, cruising about for emerging Chironomids. Big tails and dorsals swirled inches above the surface. A size 16 pupa pattern was suspended a few inches below the surface ( ‘greased’ the leader/tippet to within 6″ of the fly with floatant).

23
May
12

Every Day in May Challenge: Safety First…Life’s a Blessing

EVERY DAY IN MAY OUTDOOR WRITER’S CHALLENGE TOPICS LIST

A Warning Safety Sign in a bar’s restroom. The bar being in close proximity to the Light Rail System (passenger train of sorts) warns that walking while intoxicated near the tracks could be deadly. The sign was assaulted as most signs are in restrooms with spit marks, etchings and some felt markings by ‘artists’.

I have written here at SwittersB enough times about safety and forethought because I am an expert. I’m an expert because I have fallen, stumbled, submerged, tumbled, crashed, tripped….slipped….and smashed. I have broken numerous rods and I have broken bones. And, this is just the fishing outings. Throw in hiking, backpacking, working on ladders (very dangerous for men) and roofs and believe me when I say the old admonition of “be prepared” or Semper Paratus is sound advice, especially if you stumble about sober as I do. 

Let’s simplify it for the now youthful risk taker and the old wheezer like me….risk assessment, fitness assessment and as a Dirty Harry (Callahan) said “I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

No, no..not that one..this one…”Well, you’re a good man, lieutenant. A good man always knows his limitations…” Well, Harry said that in a sarcastic, condescending manner to Lt. Briggs, but the point is know your limitations. 

Life experiences, outings, mistakes, other’s experiences should teach you to size up the risks in a certain move. That two hundred foot descent down a hillside to the river will not happen these days. Too many injuries and tumbles. And my fitness level, despite my efforts to stay fit, has diminished with age. For me, that greatly influences wading safety through the course of a day. Stumbling about while wading or rock hopping the shoreline will eventually result in a broken something. Yes, know your limitations. It is not giving up the pursuit. It is looking before you leap. Eventually, even the young risk taker will learn this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On a more somber note, I am attending a funeral this morning for a dear, departed friend. I worked beside him for many years. He was heroic to me. Older, fearless, tough. He repeatedly had my young ass covered. He saved my life on two occasions when “stay alert, stay alive” actually resonated with me nightly. God’s Speed Mac

Tomorrow’s Every Day in May Challenge Topic is Memory




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