The Writer Fisherman

George J. Lambert

Ramblings of a Maineiac


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Yard Sales?You Can Keep Them!

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 3:06 PM Comments comments (0)

Over the Labor Day weekend, on Labor Day itself to be more precise, the Lambert household held its second yard sale, the last taking place about 10 years ago after which the Pater–I–vowed never to indulge in such an endeavor again.  But persuaded by my lovely daughter that indeed this would be an excellent way for her to get rid of much of the stuff that she left behind when she got married last year, against my better judgment and my solemn vow, we had another yard sale. 


After spending a day schlepping stuff out of the basement and attic, pricing everything with $1 or $2 stickers, rising to a chilly morn to discover that overnight some thief had absconded with several items–that's another thing I don't understand, people stealing junk–we greeted perhaps 10 people all day and converted these treasures into $51 of cold hard cash!  What a deal! The next two days, I ltook the unsold goodies  to the Treasure House at the transfer station.  There I discovered the real cognoscenti of attic and cellar goods.  Before I could begin to unload, I was circled by individuals that recognizing the true worth of my junk wanted to releave me of the burden of transporting the stuff inside the Treasure House building."Are you getting rid of that lamp? Can I have it?  What about that votive? And the linens?"  In a matter of minutes, like ravenous vultures the treasure pickers had hawled away all this valuable stuff.


Again I vow: "While I live and breathe, I will never again host a yard sale!" Unless my daughter again convinces me otherwise, that is.

From Fresh to Salt

Posted on July 5, 2010 at 11:54 AM Comments comments (0)

At this time of year, coincident with the arrival of the tourists, the stripers began to appear in greater numbers in our southern Maine coastal waters.  As the freshwater streams, rivers and ponds warm to levels not well tolerated by the coldwater loving salmonids, I replace my delicate 3wt and 5 wt trout rods with my trusty salwater 12 wt cannon that can throw a 6 ounce fly a country mile, if you will permit an old fly fisherman a slight exaggeration.


Yesterday I tried my luck at Parson's Beach where the Mousam empties into the Atlantic. With the 85º plus temperature, I decided to forego my waders in favor of wet-wading.  Although the waters shimmered with thousands of sand eels, my sand eel imitation fly fail to attract any wary striper, not even a schoolie.


But next time I'll do better! Hope always springs eternal for the avid fly fisherman.  That or perhaps it's heatstroke!

Spring

Posted on March 23, 2010 at 5:41 PM Comments comments (0)

With the 70º weather of last weekend, it seems that we might actually enjoy spring-like temperatures this year.  Too often, however, Mother Nature has dashed our anticipation of fine spring weather with unwelcomed snow in April or even May.


For someone like me who hates the cold and snow of a typical Maine winter, I rate the winter of 2009-2010 as great.  I have no sympathy for my fair weather friends who left Maine before the first snow for the sun and warm of Florida or even the Carolinas then proceeded to complain via emails about the terrible conditions in their winter refuge.  Maybe next year they will have the fortitude to stay here with their fellow Maineiacs and enjoy a fine Maine winter.  What are chances that we will get 2 great winters back to back?  Maybe I should plan to head south also, next year.


I think I will just enjoy our nice spring–if I can overlook the flooding that is currently plaguing us for the third time in just over a month.

Deep freeze

Posted on January 30, 2010 at 10:28 AM Comments comments (0)

Brr! As I glanced at the reading of 0º on the thermometer this morning, I could not help but think of my wussy friends that abandoned Maine for the pleasures of Florida or the Caribbean islands and wish that I, too, had followed the lure of sunny skies and warm temperatures.  Just then I listened to a voicemail from one of these fair weather friends telling me how bad the weather was in Florida…45º and torrential downspours!  Seems like paradise is very illusive this year no matter where one might be. 


On the positive side, the days are now nearly an hour longer than just a month ago. So we hardy Maineiacs, the ones that do not leave the state as soon as the temperatures dip below 40º,  can see the light at the end of the tunnel...or maybe it's the train we see coming at us in the form of major February blizzzards?


No matter what the weather holds,  the open water fishing season begins on April 1 only some 9 weeks from now. Hallelujah

Winter Cometh!

Posted on September 25, 2009 at 12:27 PM Comments comments (0)

As the local meteorologist predicts widespread frosts overnight and the maples and oaks have begun to shred their summer greenery for mantles of reds and yellows, my mind turns invariably to thoughts of winter, that dreaded, dreary season that seems to grow longer with each passing year.


In my youth, winter was a time to enjoy skating and hockey on a pond or lake, buiding snow forts in preparation for  snowball fights, or shusshing down a slope newly blanketed in ermine snow.  But that I am a  senior citizen, winter has morphed into the time of year when one must  negotiate icy roads and slippery walks without breaking a limb, clear driveways of 10+ inches of heavy wet snow while avoiding a heart attack, prevent rooftop ice dams that damage ceilings, and endure bone-chilling cold and exorbitant heating bills.


Winter has not changed but my perception of it surely has.  I can no longer see the joys of the winters of my youth but can now only focus on the drudgeries of the chores engendered by the cold weather.


As Horace said:

Denique non omnes eadem mirantur amantque
(All men do not admire and love the same things)

And that is a good thing for if ski resorts had to depend on my financial support they would all surely go bankrupt.


Enjoy fall and think spring!

Changes!

Posted on August 9, 2009 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Relationships do not remain stagnant; they change over time.  For a father one of the most dramatic changes occurs when he hands over his lovely daughter in marriage.  His brown-eyed girl with the infectious smile that stole his heart just a few years ago it seems will now leave his side and accompany another man, her husband, down the unknown path of life, while her father will view their journey from afar, happy for her joy, proud of her accomplishments, and yes a bit melancholic for the evolution in that special bond between father and daughter.


Next Saturday, I will walk our only daughter Celeste down the aisle and I will smile as I remember the wonderful moments we shared in the past, captured in the photos  below .                                                     

 

                       




And I will also share her pleasure as we officially welcome to our family that new man in her life, her husband.  Welcome to the Lambert clan, Nathaniel!




April Fool=Fishing Fool!

Posted on March 31, 2009 at 2:14 PM Comments comments (0)

There is something oddly appropriate that the beginning of the open water fishing season should begin on April Fool's Day here in Maine for who but a fool would abandon the warmth of a downy bed and venture forth into a freezing dawn to pursue an elusive trout while standing in a frigid stream, swollen to a treacherous level by the melting snowcap; for who but a fool would trudge through belt-high snowdrifts on the slippery shore of a favorite pond or lake, seeking a hole in the ice  to cast a lure or worm in hope of deceiving some hungry salmon; for who but a fool would tolerate frostbitten hands, frozen feet, frosty ears, chapped lips just to brag that he had another great opening day of fishing!


Piscator caveat!



Who was St. Valentine?

Posted on February 14, 2009 at 8:53 PM Comments comments (0)

On this celebration  of Valentine's Day so adored by florists, candy makers, restauranteurs, wine peddlers, the real beneficiaries of this day dedicated to demonstrations of  true love, we wonder why the feast day  of St. Valentine became associated with affairs of the heart.


According to some ancient texts, St. Valentine was a priest martyred sometime between 269 and 273 A.D.  when he tried to convert the emperor Claudius to Catholicism and buried in Via Flamina outside of Rome.  Other accounts  maintained that he was a bishop in the Umbria region and others still, that he was  killed in Africa.   Sanctified by the  Catholic Church , Valentine's name  appears in the Martyrologium Romanum the official list of martyrs and saints. Yet little is known about him.   Even when Pope Gelasius I estabished the feast of St. Valentine in 496 A.D. , the Pope stated that "his acts are known only to God".  So Valentine became a  heavenly allstars as an unknown.


It is generally believed that the feast of St. Valentine on February 14th became associated

with romantic love in the middle ages yet the reason for this linkage remains vague and contested. One curious twist about St. Valentine is that he is not only the patron saint of lovers but he also serves as patron saint of the plague and beekeepers.  The Saint that we identify with romance, also elicits thoughts of stinging insects and a deadly disease.  What a strange juxtaposition!


No matter who was St. Valentine and why he became the paron of love, don't forget your sweetheart on this, his,  feast day!  Or you might receive some stings but they won't be from bugs. And you may just wish you had contracted a fatal sickness.

Where Is Global Warming When You Need It?

Posted on December 22, 2008 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

As I pulled off icy boots, soaked jeans, and frozen gloves this morning, after spending over 2 hours  clearing away 15 inches of snow from driveway, walks, landing, I could not help but wonder where was this global warming that politicians, environmentalists, and scientists alike have been touting so loudly for several years now.  Again, as I tried to rock my Volvo from that snow bank on a base of thick ice left by the town plow that no longer spread pure salt but an ineffective mixture of sand and other chemicals designed to save municipal treasuries and not to improve the driving experiece, I longed for that devasting warmth that has afforded Al Gore a global stage but that has somehow neglected to visit Maine.  This afternoon, as I reloaded the feeders and watched puffed up towhees, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice fill themselves with seeds in a valiant attempt to consume sufficent calories to ward off the effects of a thermometer stuck on 10ºF and wind gusting to 20 mph, I cast a glance at the teak table on the patio now covered with nearly 3 feet of recently fallen snow and again prayed  for a cloud of CO2 to park in synchronous orbit over Kennebunk so that I might enjoy that evil heat so maligned by so many. 


And so while I wait and wait some more for global warming to finally arrive in this icy sector of the US, I'll bid you all a Merry Christmas.  May 2009 be better than the waning year and may all your wishes come true!  My wish for warmth will indeed come to fruition but most likely not til May or June!

Chickens!

Posted on October 29, 2008 at 6:51 PM Comments comments (0)
When one travels in the Caribbean islands, one fully expects to find wild chickens doting the countryside. But, one does  not expect to discover the same fowl presence on remote Kauai in Hawaii. At least I didn't. 

While the Caribbean birds owe their presence on St. John, Anguilla, or Cayman to the pirates and conquerors of long ago who released the birds to island freedom from their confinement aboard ships, the wild Hawaiian chickens are a recent addition to the landscape of those islands.  Although some sources indicate that the Kauai chickens descended from the escaped stock of fighting cocks and eating chickens  introduced by laborers from the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century,  most locals say that the  chickens on Kauai gained their freedom when Hurricane Iniki damaged much of the island and   destroyed most of the chicken coops on the island paradise in the fall of 1992. Finding adequate food sources and lacking any predators, the fowls have proliferated and adapted well to their new freedom.  They are everywhere!  Even restaurants cannot  keep the intruders at bay as the picture below attests. 

They have even taken to living in trees.

The roosters though noisy and belligerent are nevertheless quite handsome.             So when you visit the Garden Island, and I would urge everyone to spend some time on this magnificent tropical paradise, be aware that you will be sharing paradise with boisterous chickens.

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