|Chad Smith loves to hunt and fish, but when he travels to fishing tournaments, he doesn't fish. He makes sure competitors are on the water.|
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I'm a bluegrass junkie. I love the music. I love the atmosphere. It's just good listening and fun.
Again this year, Dennis Howell is hosting the Cedar Valley Festival. A release I wrote for Dennis follows. Sure hope to make it there on Saturday.
Cedar Valley again will host a three-day bluegrass festival July 5-7 in the shaded woods three miles west of the Ohio River.
Among the top bands featured at the event will be Karl Shifflet and Big Country Show, and Tommy Brown and County Line Grass.
Other bands scheduled include: Cowan Creek, Kings Highway, Don Stanley and Middle Creek, plus Blue Lonesome.
According to the group’s website, Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show is best known for their highly entertaining “retro” stage show. It captures - quite winningly- the irrepressible bounce and down-home, audience pleasing, good-naturedness of classic country & bluegrass acts of the 1940’s and 50’s.
Hailing from Texas, a state with a rich musical heritage, they have managed to insert their own unique perspective, cultivating a sound that has brought them acclaim as one of the most identifiable and recognizable names in bluegrass music.
With family roots traced to Bill Monroe's home place of Ohio County, Kentucky, Tommy Brown cut his teeth, so to speak, on classic traditional bluegrass. A third generation musician, Tommy began pickin' the five-string banjo at age six. His musical abilities were recognized when he garnered both the Kentucky State and the Tennessee State Banjo Championships. In addition to banjo, Tommy is a masterful guitar and mandolin player.
The Cedar Valley Festival was started by Dennis Howell in 1993, and in recent years, he has partnered with Mark Hargis of bluegrass group Kings Highway.
The festival will open July 5 with an open stage for both individuals and bands. Shows begin Friday evening and will continue throughout the day and evening on Saturday.
Tommy Brown and Kings Highway will play both nights. Cowan Creek is scheduled to play only Friday, while Don Stanley and Carl Shifflet will plan on only Saturday.
Camping is available and visitors should bring their own chairs. Food service will be available.
For more information on the festival, call 812-836-2311 or 270-314-3399, or visit the festival’s website at: cedarvalleybluegrass.net
Monday, June 25, 2012
Photo by Phil Junker
Poplar tree scale disease results from insects which secrete a sticky, sugary substance. It's not sap. It.s bug "poop".
An old green lawn chair sits at the end of my lot on the bank of the lake. It is located beneath a couple of poplar trees.
I often slip down to the chair with a container of worms and try my luck for bluegill. Sometimes my grandkids accompany me. The gills usually cooperate.
Several times when I had been in the area late in the afternoon, I noticed the grass looked like it was wet. But with the hot dry weather that didn’t seem possible, but I didn’t give it much thought.
A few days ago, wearing swim trunks and a tee shirt, I headed for my chair with worms and a rod and reel in hand. I noticed the chair looked a bit damp, but the old man (me) ignored it. That is until I started to get up and head for the house after catching a half dozen bluegill.
Opps! As I stood up the chair came with me. It was stuck to my large posterior. No, it wasn’t too large for the chair. The chair was stuck to my swim trunks. Well, I started to pull the chair from the trunks and down started the trunks. Glad no one was around or I probably would have been posted on You Tube, or maybe America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Once the swim trunks were pulled from the chair, it was obvious further investigation was in order. It was sticky everywhere under the poplar trees, and the leaves seemed to be shinny with “goo”.
In all my years wandering in the woods, I had never seen anything quite like it.
Arriving in the house, I first removed the trunks and my wife, Phyllis instructed me to put some spray stuff she uses before placing them in the laundry basket. Next, I headed for the computer to post a query on Facebook.
Within a couple of minutes, my grandson, Denver sent me a note as did a fellow from Canada, explaining it is a common problem with poplars with what is called tulip tree scale insects. According to Denver, it is especially bad this year because of the warm winter and dry spring. Apparently, Denver learned about the poplar scale insect problem from a Boy Scout outing.
According to Garden Guides.com, the tulip tree scale (insect) sucks the tree's sap and is especially harmful to saplings. Even in mature trees, the scales are a nuisance. They secrete a sticky, sugary substance that attracts ants and wasps, which can exacerbate the scale damage with the harm they themselves do. Additionally, this sugary mix generally leads to mold growth that can damage the tulip tree's leaves and twigs.
But, it said nothing about sticking to your swim trunks and tee shirt.
The poplar is the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee.
I since have learned numerous friends have had similar problems with the insects and sticky goo in the past, but not the the extent of this year. Now, I note my neighbor’s poplars also are infected. Just seems to be the poplars.
Several sources have suggested spraying the trunk of three and any limbs I can reach with a systemic insect control chemical. Anyone have any specific suggestions of a brand to use? It also has been suggested to use a dormant oil spray in early spring.
Guess, I’ll have to cover the old chair with newspapers the next time I head down to bother the bluegill.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Well, we made it. Wife, Phyllis and I now have been married 50 years. It hardly seems I’m 50 years old. Maybe, I was born married.
Anyway, according to the calendar and official records, we were married 50 years June 9. Today, I consider that an accomplishment of which to be proud, but must acknowledge some luck. I found a country girl, who would put up with a stubborn writer nerd.
Both of us love the outdoors, and I’m convinced that has to be a major contributing factor to hitting the half-century married mark.
On a Friday, Phyllis and I were at my cousin’s wedding. On Saturday, Phyllis and I were married and headed to Lake Shafer for our 12-hour honeymoon. The next day, we drove to Indiana State for my graduation, and Monday morning I started a new job as a police and city hall reporter for the Terre Haute Tribune.
A couple months later, we managed a long-weekend honeymoon, this time to Lake Michigan and Chicago.
We have always camped, fished and enjoyed the outdoors together. We took our son, Erik tent camping before he was a month old.
However, about half of our anniversaries have been spent apart. For 25 or so years, I spent our anniversary with my fishing buddies on trips to Aerobus Lake in northwest Ontario. There were exceptions, on the anniversaries that ended in a zero or five, I had to be with Phyllis. The guys were kind enough to postpone the annual trip a week or two.
One year when we still lived on our small farm, we headed out for an anniversary dinner only to find that our cows had found a hole in the fence and were on the gravel road. We spent most of the evening with a roundup and repairing fence.
On our 25th, Phyllis announced we couldn’t go out to eat until her Putnam County 4-H Council meeting ended. There was important business on the agenda. Yeah, it lasted to 10 p.m., and the only thing open was serving burgers. But, I do remember it.
A couple months later and after my return from Canada, we took an anniversary trip to Ontario and stayed a week at Timber Point Camp at Lake Aerobus. Phyllis loved the beauty of the place, and enjoyed trolling for and catching lake trout after dinner.
Unfortunately, midweek she developed a sinus infection and we made a two-hour trip to the nearest and only doctor in Ear Falls. He wasn’t there for the appointment when we arrived. He had an emergency and had been flown into the bush to set broken leg.
When he returned, I went into his office with Phyllis. He checked her and provided medication. The wall behind his desk was covered with lures.
“Do, you collect lures?” I inquired.
“No, they all have been removed from fishermen, and I keep them as part of my payment,” he responded.
Phyllis recovered quickly. We managed to catch more trout before our return trip south.
This year, I just wanted to slip off with my bride of 50 years to a small cabin somewhere to watch a few sunsets over a lake, and a dinner or two of walleye. But our kids decided otherwise and slated an informal get together of family and friends. Must admit it was wonderful, especially seeing people we hadn’t seen in some cases for many years.
Now soon, we plan another trip north in search of that cabin and a plate of walleye.
So, if you have found a potential new companion, it would be good to determine if he or she is outdoor compatible, but don’t try to teach them to fly fish on a first date.