Winter Storm Warning – Yeah, Right

So, a winter storm warning is in effect up in my trout camp neck of the woods, which they’ve modified at least a half a dozen times in the past 36 hours, changing snowfall total amounts, wind warnings to no wind warnings, etcetera, etcetera. While it is snowing, it started about 7:30 a.m. EST, and it’s been mixed with a bit of sleet and rain, I do not think it warranted being rated a winter storm. It’s some early spring winter weather. We’ve gotten about 4 inches of snow in total so far. We’ll see if the weather guessers are right in regards to their 7 – 12 inches prediction. It’s northern Michigan, one has to expect this in late March, not to mention the entire month of April and into May.

My Black Capped Chickadee friends, along with the White Breasted Nuthatches, and the occasional Darked Eyed Junco, have been chattering at me for peanuts whenever I step outside, and a few other creatures of the forest have, surprisingly, been moving around a bit too. I’ve seen one of the beaver’s babies munching a bit of streamside greenery, a deer scampering back in the woods when I went to replenish my wood for the stove, and a pair of wood ducks showed up, I think they may be the ones that use our nesting box each year. I’ve also tended our bridge, which just the other day I had cleared of ice in case my propane guys show up, as they won’t cross the bridge with their rig if it’s icy. I think it’s a beautiful day, but not a day to step in the water and fish. It’s snowing quite steadily at the moment, still. Here’s a few pics.

Black Capped Chickadee on knee

Baby beaver munching

Keeping the bridge clear

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Just A Peek at the Setting Sun

Though the pine trees which proliferate my trout camp effectively block my view westward of the setting sun, they do allow an eye-catching peek which dazzles.

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Black Capped Chickadee Joie de vivre

After recently adding more permanent quarters to my trout camp holdings, I hung a couple of suet cakes for the year long bird residents in northern Michigan such as the Black Capped Chickadees, the White and Red Breasted Nuthatches, and the various woodpeckers which are about.

For the first couple of weeks the suet cakes hung ignored and unmolested, at least during the times I was able to be up at my trout camp and monitor them. About three weeks after the suet was hung, the Black Capped Chickdees noted their presence, and would peck away at them multiple times a day. It’s a lovely activity to watch.

At first, it was just a few chickadees, but those few must have been out spreading the word, because in a few days there were over a dozen of them vying to peck at the suet, mostly politely, but there always seemed to be one or two of the chickadees who, when they swooped in, would scatter those already taking turns at peck, peck, pecking the suet cake.

It was a real treat to sit on the deck and watch the chickadees feed on those cakes, especially the suet cake which hung not six feet from me as I sat in a chair smoking a cigar. First one would swoop in and take a few pecks, then another, and another, paying me no mind whatsoever. My wife said, watching from inside the cabin, that it looked like I was some kind of Dr. Doolittle or something with six to eight chickadees flying around me as I sat in my chair.

Having to do some traveling, I was unable to keep watch over the suet cakes for about four weeks, and when I came back up to trout camp the other day, not only were the suet cakes gone, but the cages which held the cakes also were missing in action. I know the chickadees did not make off with them, so I’m suspecting a raccoon, or other intrepid four-footed critter, of which we have many wandering around.

On Monday night, shortly after 6 p.m., I stepped out to the deck to sit for my evening bourbon and cigar, and within 15 minutes I had a few chickadees flitting around me, wondering, I guess, why, if this human was sitting on the deck again, there wasn’t any fresh suet to peck. Not wanting to disappoint them, I went and grabbed some dry roasted peanuts, and scattered a number of them on the deck railing, thinking that the peanuts would certainly interest them. I was surprised, spying the chickadees in the trees, that they did not fly in and investigate, so I just sat patiently, thinking any minute one of the chickadees would lead the way for the rest.

Fifteen minutes went by, and no chickadees came to the railing, though I could see them, and hear them, clearly in the trees. A change of tactics of enticement was called for, so I picked up seven or eight of the nuts and put them in the palm of my left hand, and stood by the railing, arm extended, with the offering of peanuts. I did not stand for more than 5 minutes before one brave chickadee swooped in, perched on my thumb, and plucked a peanut from my palm and flew off to the trees. Then another, and another, dived in, perched on my hand, grabbed a peanut, and flew to the trees.

After those first brave chickadees came and took a peanut from my hand, the peanuts on the deck railing grabbed their attention, and pretty soon I had a dozen plus chickadees swooping in, lightning fast, grabbing a peanut, and then flying off to the trees with a furiously soft fluttering of wings, and happy chattering. I think it was the happy chattering which drew in the nuthatches, though they lack the boldness of the chickadees.

Now, whenever I move to the deck to sit, the chickadees spot me, first one, then a few, and pretty soon about a dozen, and if I do not set any peanuts on the railing, they chatter at me rather reprovingly.

I take as much joie de vivre sitting and soaking this all in, as the chickadees seem to possess in their lives in the pines. It’s quite wonderful!

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A Well Sanctioned Psalm and Prayer

In 1774, in America’s pursuit of freedom, the first Continental Congress was held in Philadelphia, PA at Carpenter’s Hall. And while numerous individuals will claim that America was not founded as a Christian nation, there is no denying that the majority of men attending the first Continental Congress were indeed Christian men, whether of Congregational, Catholic, Episcopalian, Baptist, or deist leanings.

It is well worth noting that the men of the first Continental Congress, after agreeing to procedural rules for the congress, unanimously agreed that the official opening of the Congress should be sanctioned by prayer, prior to the actual business at hand being taken up to redress their grievances against the tyranny of England.

The psalm chosen to buttress the men of the first Continental Congress, and the American people of faith, was Psalm 35, the words of which ring as true today as they did in 1774, not to mention when Israel’s King David penned them. Considering the dire straights America is in today, perhaps Christian men and women’s prayers should be woven with the words of Psalm 35.

35 Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.

Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.

Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them.

Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.

For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.

Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

10 All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.

12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.

13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:

16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.

21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

22 This thou hast seen, O Lord: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.

23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.

24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.

26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.

27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Amen, and amen.

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Vox Day Misinterprets Proverbs 13:22

Vox Day is a fairly intelligent and successful individual, but his hate of so-called Boomers, individuals who just happened to be born between the years 1946 and 1964, leads him into foolishness quite often.

His most recent foolishness in this regard is displayed in a post titled Boomer Shock, wherein he not only derides individuals who just happened to be born between the years 1946 and 1964, but totally misinterprets Proverbs 13, with emphasis in particular on verse 22.

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

Vox seems to think that Christian parents who were born between the years 1946 and 1964 are obligated by the words of this verse to leave their children money, worldly goods, and if they do not, either intentionally or because they’ve used their earned income to provide for themselves, they are evil.

Perhaps Vox Day should read the entirety of Proverbs 13 to better understand the revelations which have been transmitted to Christians in this Proverb, paying particular attention to the admonitions in verse 3, and in verse 11.

The inheritance which God desires to be left by a good man to his children’s children is a love and fear of God and His Son Jesus Christ, not in worldly goods. In fact, Jesus Christ often reminded believers to lay up their treasures in Heaven, not in worldly goods.

Perhaps Vox Day should stick to building his online comics empire, and stay away from misinterpreting Scripture.

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Why I Fished on Wednesday

Took a wade in the Holy Waters of the AuSable river, near Grayling, MI, this past Wednesday. The skies were clear, the water low, and the temps were in the low 40s. I did not land any trout, though I had one nice bump at the streamer I was throwing, but the wade itself was a pleasure. There were trout landed, just not by me, and others chasing, as the fishing report articulates, and shows.

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Plans Sometimes Go Awry for the Best

For 28 years I’ve owned a few acres on a blue ribbon trout stream in northern Michigan. The property sits on a hill above the creek and my sons, brothers, and I would sit at the top of the hill, facing eastward, and take a path we cut down the hill to check on whether the mayfly hatch has started, and to see if the trout had begun to rise. Many wonderful memories have been experienced here.

Eastward view.

Path to the creek.

The plan, over the past 28 years, had been to build a cabin, and we had finally decided on a design 4 years ago, but then the Gain of Function Flu, more colloquially referred to as COVID-19, interfered with not only building, but the expense to build due to lumber costs. So we decided to wait a bit longer.

Well, I come home from northern Michigan in mid-December and my Lovely Melis says to me, “I found this property for sale on the creek,” the creek I’ve looked at and fished for the past 28 years, “and you should buy it.” She then pulls up a listing for the property on her computer and it is the property directly across the stream from our trout camp. So I bought it.

I now own both sides of the creek, and my trout camp is now a full on retreat, not just a camp, complete with guest quarters and 1,400 square feet I can still finish above the guest quarters, work shop, flowing artesian well, etc. My sons and I wanted our original property purchase to be a legacy, and it has turned into a legacy beyond what we imagined. I’m pleased our plan over the past 28 years went awry, because it turned out for the better. Our view now is westward, looking at the hill and the trees we looked over for the past 28 years.

Westward view.

The cabin (actually an A frame chalet)

We’ll keep our original trout camp property, and our old 1968 Fan trailer, which has served us well over the past 28 years, and build new and greater memories in the years to come.

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Nature Displays God’s Hand

Genesis 1:31 informs us that when God had completed His creation, He looked upon it and it was very good. It’s difficult to argue that what enthralls us when we see nature’s beauty, in all it’s manifestations, is not very good. Mere wind and sand makes the point.

Sand Sculptures at Holland, Michigan

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Mundane Dirt or Miracle Dirt?

When Gerard Van der Leun posted this at his site KA-CHING!:

I sent him a short email about the discovery of the drug Ivermectin, which was isolated from a bit of mundane dirt on a golf course outside Tokyo. It, meaning the properties of that bit of dirt, have NEVER been found anywhere else in the world, so I suggested that such a sign should be posted on that bit of dirt on the golf course outside Tokyo. Gerard did not reply to my email, but did respond to my note by referring to my note as Venlet Mediation Target. I like it.

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