Archive for November 16th, 2013


Photography: Inside a Cactus Bloom

cactus bloom swittersb

Photography-Macro Lens-Joshua Tree N.P.-Cactus-Bloom-Flower-Desert-SwittersB-Travel


Midge Emerger on a Kernel of Corn

No, I didn’t attempt to photograph this Midge Emerger setting atop a kernel of corn. But, for the uninitiated to fly tying, hook/pattern size it is helpful to imagine that kernel of unpopped corn and imagine the pattern in the picture as roughly the same size…or a little longer and fatter than a piece of cooked rice. The curved, light wired, pupa hook affords a slightly wider hook gape to hopefully facilitate the hook up with such small flies. Annoying to tie, necessary to have.

22 Midge emerger SwittersB


Brushed Leech Pattern: Dubbed & Brushed Out

I started tying this leech pattern back in 2008 after seeing renowned B.C. stillwater angler Brian Chan demonstrating the pattern. I highlighted the pattern in 2008 and then again in 2009 on SwittersB.

I have started tying up more of the pattern for next year. I was down to less than a dozen of the flies. They are a good pattern for lakes and rivers, fished like a streamer pattern. A dubbing brush of longer synthetic fibers can be spun and dubbed, then wrapped around the shank and brushed backward. Also, strands of the dubbing fibers can be tied in, starting at the bend and additional clumps tied in progressing up the shank toward the eye of the hook. Each clump of strands tied in is brushed back over the previous clump of strands…smaller amounts at the rear and larger clumps toward the front.

Brush Leech Collage


Food: The Cringe Factor of Chicken Paws

Turn away Vegans and/or PETA types. Last night, my wife and I were doing some late night grocery shopping. As often happens, we divide up and go our separate ways to grab this and that and rejoin along the way. I was in the meat section perusing the ridiculous price increases over the past few years when I came upon a food item I had personally never seen in my citified life time: chicken paws. Freaky looking! Obviously, my non-farming/ranching/sanitized food prep existence has denied me some realities of food prep. But, the Chicken Paws brought me to a halt. 

My humor button was pushed, so I put the Chicken Paws in the cart and proceeded to look for my wife. She returned to the cart and in her normal distracted manner didn’t see the Chicken Paws. I casually drew attention to the paws and her response was beyond my wildest prankster expectations!

chicken paws swittersb

She became quite verbal, quite audible, quite animated! Wow! Who knew Chicken Paws could draw forth such a response?

drumsticksI mean we think nothing of frying up some drumbsticks and savoring that fine meat wrapped around that bone. But Chicken Feet or Paws do seem to elicit a mind tweak of sorts. So to give Chicken Paws their supposed due, here is the food, cooking, recipe low down on Chicken Paw usage.

Simply Recipes: “The “Eww” factor of chicken feet I think comes from the fact that chicken feet look a lot like our hands. Silly eh? Especially when we consider that making stock from chicken feet has been a human activity for thousands of years. Most of our grandmothers or great grandmothers used feet in their stock as a matter of fact. They would laugh at us today to see us cringe. Stock made from chicken feet is fabulous, and incredibly good for you with all that gelatin.

Now no offense to any visitors here from China/Vietnam, but if you are going to try the Chicken Paw recipes, buy locally produced Chicken Paws!

Chinese police have uncovered an illegal food storage site in China’s southern city of Nanning that reportedly contained chicken feet nearly a half century old. According to the South China Morning Post, more than 20 tonnes of expired meat were seized in the raid, including beef tripe, cartilage, and the aforementioned chicken feet, some of which dated all the way back to 1967. The site was busted back in May, though the details of the operation have only been made public recently.

A Xinhua report cited by the South China Morning Post notes that the chicken feet were smuggled across the border from Vietnam still frozen. Once in China, they were processed with various chemicals, including bleach, to add weight and improve their coloring, making them appear fresh.” (The Telegraph UK) & HuffPo


Children: One of those clarifying moments……..

I have four children (3 boys, 1 girl), who are adults now. So, I have observed their changes in time as they grew up and transformed along the way. Suddenly they were grown and out the door. And one pauses to catch up to the realities of how old they are and, of course, how old I am. But, it seems we often consider these realities after the passage of time…looking back.

maddox sbMaddox

The other night, I was watching my grand daughter, Desi (almost 10 y/o), in a volleyball tournament. Her brother, Maddox, is always there playing about, absorbed in all manner of distractions, but not watching the games. He is a busy, energetic little boy that seeks attention and gives love and moves in and out of the my mind’s focus. So when I took this image, and looked at it, I was suddenly captivated by his eyes.

He suddenly doesn’t look like a baby eyed 4 y/0. His eyes looked older and dare I say beautiful. My mind flitted ahead ten, twenty years. Bittersweet to consider the changes that will come. So, in the moment, I will look closer and take in the love and joy.

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November 2013

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