Sunday, August 16, 2015

Good Days

I love good days. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are lazy. Some are long. Some flyby and they're gone before you know it.

Saturday was a good day.

We enjoyed a night in on Friday, and Saturday morning we walked to the park after a fresh pot of coffee and a quick breakfast. I had to run into work for about an hour but made it back in time to play befor a midday nap. While Sara and David slept, I went for a long run. Longer then I've run in a couple years. 9.75mi. It just felt so good to be out in the hot August sun, so I kept going.  I came home to a well rested house, and we headed straight to the neighborhood swimming pool for a hour of water play under the fountains and bubblers. We walked home in our suits and the little guy in a diaper and towel drinking a bottle of milk. 

The next stop was the Salem Glen Winery just 15 minutes south of Rochester. All the grapes are grown on site. The property rests on a hill where the observatory waits for nightfall. The wines were wonderful. Typically I think most northern wines end up being very sweet, but these were much more of the traditional variety with something for everyone. My favorite was the Marquette. It was dry, cherry flavored and peppery. Sara liked the LaCrescent and the Cygna. 

David paired his milk and matchbox cars with cheese crackers. He is wise beyond his years. 

He quickly moved onto the red wagon and explored the grounds. 

Not in the mood to cook dinner and hankering for smooth custard, we stopped by Culvers on the way home. A satisfying dinner was topped off with a game of Choo-choo while standing in a wok. Sara and I still aren't quite sure why David enjoyed this so much, but good things don't always need explaning. We just rolled with it. 

Tempting fate with a day that was already perfect.  I rushed out to the stream after putting David to bed. I haven't used my new rod yet and I wanted to fish a section of the stream I hadn't tried. I had a limited window before dark so expectations were low. 

However, this day could do no wrong. The Walton Powell Hexagraph casts beautifully. I was tossing a mini hopper into spots I shouldn't be able to. It felt like all I had to do was look where I wanted to cast, and I could make it happen. Still, I hadn't seen a fish in the 30 minutes I was there and darkness was upon me. 

There was a downed cottonwood that was creating some great structure, but it was the type of structure you normally pass up because it is understood you will lose every fly you cast anywhere near the tempting pools. (It brings to mind ships wrecked on the rocks after hearing the sirens call.) Today, however, a last chance at a fish seemed well worth the risk. 

I ended up walking out on to the cotton wood, balancing on the beam, mid stream. I landed the fly in a stretch the size of a 10-gallon bucket and the fish hit immediately. He hid under two trees before I finally got him to the surface. My balance got me so far as to net the fish before I fell backward chest high in the cool water. On a hot August night, with a big brown trout in your net, it is hard to be upset at something like that. I laughed because Sara had just gotten me a new waterproof case for my phone.  I smiled because I couldn't think of a better way to initiate my Hexagraph. 

Not all days are good, but when one comes along it pays to relish in it. It even felt good to walk back to the car soaking wet. So good I tried to give my very best Breakfast Club fist pump to the sky, fly rod in hand. 

Another one in the books, I guess. Tomorrow, we start all over again. 

Here is to another good day ahead of us. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rest Easy, Friday Night: volume 18: go fishing edition

It has been a busy month but on Friday I finally made it out to the stream for an hour fishing for sunset. I trudged through the tall weedy banks with my tenkara rod and was able to pick up a couple driftless area Browns the mini hopper pattern. 

I was able to land one more nice fish before the full moon rose with the fireflies. I then stumbled my way back to the car to drive with the windows down back to Rochester. 

After a little Mr Pizza and Summit Brewing Company beer, it was time for bed. 

I sure do love July. 


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Return to Southeast Minnesota

Below are a few photos from this gorgeous corner of the state. Also a shot of the replica made of a big northern my brother caught ice fishing a couple years ago. David and I went exploring the streams as well. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Part V: Interlude or In Which We Find Ourselves A New Home

Our Virginia residency chapter has come to a close. 

After a couple flights and a timely in-air nap, we flew into Rochester, Minnesota. We officially begin our year in Rochester. 

Forget what you hear about cold winter. Forget mosquitoes and snow accumulation. All four seasons are beautiful here. Well, to me anyway. 

We stayed at my parents condo while our rental needs to be cleaned. With a free day for the three of us, we woke with the sun and set out to explore our new neighborhood. 

The Soilder's Field park is two blocks from us and located on the corner of awesome and spectacular. This park is great. With separate areas for different ages of kids, Little David had the pick of the litter in the truck playground. 

Mom and Baby nap on the plane. 

A fly over of Southeast Minnesota.

David woke up to start the day right with some barn yard toys. 

Mom and David head into the park. 

David in the truck sand box. 

Since we got there early, the "tot-lot" was his kingdom.

Mommy and David enjoying the swings. 

A quick stop at the local co-op.

Bananas, scone, and figs. 

The summer breeze through the window with the scent of echinacea on its shoulders.

Naps for all after such a long trip.

A local eatery for a drink and the adventure begins. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Painting Through Prosek: Black Skimmer

I wanted to do at least one more painting before we move and a Virginia Coastal bird seemed appropriate. I love these birds. They glide long distances skimming the surface of the water with only their mandible/beak dragging below the surface fishing for food. So cool to see. They often are in pairs. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Norfolk Staycation: days 3 and 4

Day 3:

Wednesday we grabbed life by the horns and ran out to the shenandoahs for a quick hike followed by a stop at a favorite BBQ spot in Gordonsville, Va before returning to get david from daycare. He would not have done well in the car for the 6.5 hours. Did we feel a bit guilty? Yes. It turns out we would get to spend the rest f the week with him home from daycare. 

We hikes humpback rock which was short and fun. We had a great view from the top. 

David has really got into books lately which has been fun. He has such a great sense of humor. 

Day 4:

It turns out God wanted us to know we were spending too much time away from baby david on staycation so he helped out by having david throw up a couple times. The bunny and bear were collateral damage. Fortunately David rallied and we have been having a great time. He seems to be doing just fine now.

We haven't made it to the zoo like we wanted but we have gotten lots of botanical gardens and beach time. We did bring david to the Virginia beach oceanfront but I failed l get pictures. 

We did make a second trip to Bay Local and I had a soft shell crab grits combo which was delicious; however I feel the vacation diet is catching up with me. I think I need to loosen the belt a bit.  

Behind David in this last photo is our local fisherman. He is a nice guy who is working hard to find the fish. David likes his gear.