Local Lake Outing 12 Sept 2021…

I was talking to my Dad last night via Facetime and he was giving me a little grief about not fishing. He said, “you say its too hot yet you’re running around all over doing other things.” He was right! We were trying to come up with something to do today so opted to hit both of our local lakes. We got up early to beat the heat and headed out.

The first lake was a bust since it is completely overgrown now and fishing from the shore is virtually impossible. We caught zero fish after walking all the way around it. As usual I was on the lookout for plants. Here is just a few of what we ran across.

After getting skunked and picking all of the burs and stick-tights off of us, we opted to try the other lake near us. As we were driving down the gravel road we were witness to a Bobcat crossing the road carrying a rabbit in its mouth. We watched as it loped across the road and coursed up a steep hill. We thought that was pretty cool…especially with how big it was.

We reached the next lake and chatted with a local. He was out on his 4-wheeler with the grandkids and was letting them burn off some energy. We know the feeling all too well.

Managed to catch a Crappie here.

All told we caught 5 largemouth bass, a perch and a crappie. I wanted to get a few pictures for the blog and quit fishing after an hour. Remember me mentioning that this area was covered by the Western Interior Sea during the Cretaceous Period 145 million to 66 million years ago? I took some pictures of the fossils that cover a large portion of this area.

As we were roaming around the area just looking, we ran across this guy!

Eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
It was pretty docile despite the flared hood. They come in a remarkable range of coloration.

After interacting with the snake we decided to move on and see what else we could find. As usual, there were numerous plants in bloom in the area.

Field thistle flower.
Winged elm (Ulmus alata Michx)
Common whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia) When reeling in I hooked some weeds and it rode them all the way in.

We had fun with the few hours we were out. We tend to free-range the chickens on the weekends so we decided to head home to let them out for the day. As I sit here typing, I’m surrounded by foraging chickens. There is shade at the moment and a breeze blowing through the tree tops.

They do a good job of keeping the raised beds tilled up…so I don’t have to do it!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Shore Exploration 11 Sept 2021…

Both of us had a really busy week and wanted to get out and relax for a bit and stretch our legs. The high temperature for today was forecast at 99F so we opted to go early in the morning. This particular area is relatively close to our house and it’s generally quiet without too many people around. We ended up seeing more Whitetail deer than people.

When I’m not fishing, I tend to just roam and explore. As I’ve stated previously, I am always curious about what’s around the next bend or over the horizon. And both of us continually learn something new every time we get out and look around.

The shoreline is covered with Willow trees, Buttonbush and Cockle Burs. We like to pick our way through it all and see the animal tracks and anything interesting we might come across.

Heron track.
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Buttonbush flower.
Halberdleaf rosemallow (Hibiscus laevis)
Rough Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium)
Always observing!

We had fun even though we were only out for about 3 hours. We covered 4.91 miles and collected 8 bags of trash on the way out. I managed to find two other plants I wasn’t familiar with so didn’t include those as it will take me time to identify them. Below I will show 2 books that I use most often. If anyone from Oklahoma is interested-they are available from the Oklahoma State University bookstore.

One of the better books I have seen and used in relation to my area.
Taxonomic key. Not for the easily frustrated!
A few of the things we found (Knife is for scale).
A few feathers we ran across.
The belt-kit I was using. I really like the Maxpedition Roly-Poly Dump pouch. It’s perfect for storing things when exploring or even foraging.

Thank you for reading. When the temperatures cool off a bit we plan on doing more fishing…but until then, we’ll keep exploring.