Photo by J. Harrington
The shelter and picnic area where we gathered are surrounded by floodplain forest along the Minnesota River. The heavy ground cover includes some truly impressive examples of one "naturalized" invasive species, burdock, and another that I think is Canada thistle. Once again, I'm at a disadvantage because neither plant was in flower yet. Once again, my Better Half bailed me out. Did you know that burdock, but not thistle, is listed in Midwest Foraging as a source of nutritious greens and roots. That book also include a creative suggestion about developing partnerships among park managers, organic farmers and foragers as a management strategy for burdock control. That's the kind of thinking we need more of.
Photo by J. Harrington
On my way to the Fort Snelling State Park activities yesterday, I stopped by the Patagonia store in St. Paul to take a look at their Simple Fly Fishing book. I succumbed to the temptation to get a copy, plus some flies and a line and leader package for the Tenkara rod the Daughter Person and Son-In-Law gave me for Father's Day. I want to get a better understanding of how much Tenkara fishing differs from the "regular" fly-fishing I've been doing most of my adult life (if I can use the term adult loosely). The connecting knots suggested for Tankara line to rod and line to leader are quite different than I'm used to and I want to figure out if that's "just because" or if there's a functional reason. There is a good reason (easy disconnection) for the line to rod connecting knot, so I now have to violate most of what I've learned about tying knots and learn to perfect my slip knots. I'm still ahead of Billy Collins in fishing, if not poetry.
Fishing on the Susquehanna in July
I have never been fishing on the Susquehannaor on any river for that matterto be perfectly honest.Not in July or any monthhave I had the pleasure—if it is a pleasure—of fishing on the Susquehanna.I am more likely to be foundin a quiet room like this one—a painting of a woman on the wall,a bowl of tangerines on the table—trying to manufacture the sensationof fishing on the Susquehanna.There is little doubtthat others have been fishingon the Susquehanna,rowing upstream in a wooden boat,sliding the oars under the waterthen raising them to drip in the light.But the nearest I have ever come tofishing on the Susquehannawas one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphiawhen I balanced a little egg of timein front of a paintingin which that river curled around a bendunder a blue cloud-ruffled sky,dense trees along the banks,and a fellow with a red bandannasitting in a small, greenflat-bottom boatholding the thin whip of a pole.That is something I am unlikelyever to do, I remembersaying to myself and the person next to me.Then I blinked and moved onto other American scenesof haystacks, water whitening over rocks,even one of a brown harewho seemed so wired with alertnessI imagined him springing right out of the frame.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.