Life is Simple... Eat, Sleep, Fish
Kelly's Vacation - Introduction
If I had to come up with one thing that is most missing in today's American society I would have to say rituals. Rituals provide a connection to our past and continuity through an unsure future and
bind the people participating with stronger bonds than they would otherwise feel with the other participants. We all have our routines but too few have any rituals to speak of. A routine can become a ritual when special significance is attached to it. Beach and boat people seem more inclined to participate in rituals than the rest.
I grew up with a strong set of rituals, most of which were of my own creation, but many of which were influenced by my grandparents. Kelly grew up with a very strong sense of ritual influenced
heavily by her grandparents. Her grandmother remains the matriarch of a large extended family due in part to her adherence to rituals that have shaped the social behavior of her family since they were born.
These rituals have helped steer Kelly through difficult and trying times in her life as have mine. When times are good adherence to ritual becomes a De facto celebration. When times are bad the ritual can
raise otherwise damp spirits to a neutral baseline and may even provide a stepping stone to happiness and contentment. That's a lot to ask of some often simple behavior but... It works.
That brings me to the point of this entry and the beginning of a recap of an important new ritual... Kelly's yearly Connecticut vacation. It first happened in the winter when she came north with her friend Lauren for a long weekend at The Church.
Over a few years it has grown into a two week summer vacation that never seems long enough and has us ranging over two or three states fishing and touristing and kayaking and hiking and
cooking and eating and enjoying the best of what this slice of the world has to offer. We've been to all kinds of restaurants from a new Indian Fusion in Providence to the Viking feast of the Nordic Lodge and
everywhere in between. We've survived the worst weather and nonsense from every direction and always come out better for the effort. This year was no exception. The weeks are tough to come by. Kelly has school and work to deal with
until well into May and then has to get the most recent crop of Russians trained and ready for the summer surge at the Crabs Claw before she can take off. But it all came together again
this year... Earlier than previous years but longer by three days than the previous record. This is the introduction of the recap of those events that will carry the vacation spirit through to the next beach trip.
Stay tuned for day one.
The Rez Lives
The barren water is now teaming with life.
The Rez, also known as Quinebaug Pond State Park, is just a few minutes drive from the Train Station in downtown Danielson.
It's a beautiful spot any time of year, but nothing soothes the need for nature in short notice like an afternoon paddle around the perimeter in a kayak or canoe.
I did just that on a warm Sunday afternoon the last day in May.
Since Kelly was coming up to Connecticut the following Tuesday for her only real vacation of the year, and since one of her favorite activities is fishing the Rez, I figured I'd do a little recconaissance
and check out the fish situation.
The results were alarming. I only saw a three sunnies. One of them was dead and floating on the water with some sort of parasitic looking disturbance on its side and another of them was struggling near the surface on its side apparently suffering from the same.
Kelly fished it the first full day here while I was at work and we fished it again at night the first weekend with not a single fish caught. We gave it one last chance ten days later on her last night in Connecticut.
We usually cook burgers and dogs on the grill and fish the Rez as a last night tradition since that's her favorite fishing spot... Or WAS anyway. After more than an hour and not a single bite we loaded up the kayaks and headed to "Lower Ross Pond"
to finish the night. Kelly caught and released seven bass and a large perch before dark and we had a great meal of burgers on the little gas grill with coleslaw, potato salad and chips from Big Y.
We saw the Raven-like birds fly back to roost on the cliffs for the night and saw a decent sunset before the rain started as we were loading up the gear. The Rez had let us down for the first time.
Ten days after that last night I took an afternoon paddle around the Rez as a break from the day's chores. The transformation was amazing. I saw six largemouth bass up to twenty inches long. I saw schools of young bass and perch and sunnies swimming everywhere.
I saw a fleet of big healthy sunnies guarding their nests at the far south east end and even spotted the big snapping turtle I've been seeing for three years now. Spotted and painted turtles were everywhere
and in places the water surface foamed from tiny fish fry panicking as I paddled by. It was a Rezurrection at the very least. Like sunny weather, I wish this had happened just two weeks sooner but it was not to be.
Kelly was pleased at hearing the news. I could tell she was a little disappointed that she missed all the action but was relieved that the Rez wasn't dead.
I always try and figure out why things are the way they are. I think the Rez had a few issues last year that may have lead to the bad fishing last year. One was the extremely low water level that
left most of the spawning areas dry, probably before the eggs had a chance to hatch. The other issue was a pair of blue herons and a cormorant that had taken up residence there in the spring.
I can't imagine how many fish three large birds could eat in a season but it must be a lot. The cormorant was there late in the year to boot. Those two factors may have decimated the fish population
last year and that may have carried over into this year. The sudden flood of fish later than most other ponds and lakes may be related to the weather. Parts of the Rez are deep and may stay colder longer
as a result. Add to this the colder than normal spring and constant flood of cold rain water and conditions may not have been hospitable for fish egg hatching until now. The Rez may also have been stocked recently which may explain the populations of bass and perch.
The water level is still the highest I've ever seen it and that may well be doing good things for spawning and egg hatching and the like.
If anyone has more than just theories I'd be happy to learn more.
This is one of the best places in Killingly, CT. If you haven't been there you should make a point of checking it out. You can hike around it, paddle around it and fish or swim in it.
Please don't leave garbage there! Can you manage to enjoy something without leaving bottles and cans and bags and used diapers everywhere you PIGS???
56 Degrees on the Wing Bridge!
The State of the Situation
Sunday Jun 28, 2009
The Wing Bridge is the little porch outside the second floor apartment at the Train Station. It's a great place
to have "a sit" with a cup of tea or coffee and watch Main Street Danielson (Darwin's Leach Field) go by. It can be a good place to watch freight trains from the Providence Worcester Railroad
and I check the outdoor thermometer there every morning. It's sunny in the winter and nicely shaded in the summer and can be a great place to pursue some of life's simple pleasures.
June has been a tough month weather wise and today is no exception. I'm not complaining about the cool temperatures mind you... Just less rain would be nice. I'm usually energized by bad weather but it's been like this for nearly a month straight.
I did manage to get a paddle in the water yesterday at the Rez before the threatening thunder storm clouds
came in fast from the East. There were two other kayaks, a canoe and a fishing boat on the water when I arrived. I would have thought there would be dozens of folks taking advantage of a break in the misery. It seemed like Danielson was clear and sunny but all around was cloud cover... Until it covered us like the aperture of a camera closing.
When I was ten years old it was like this all summer... except for ten days, so I guess I can't complain too much... Yet.
When you're ten the summer seems short enough.
When you're stuck inside at the beach all summer the situation is almost intolerable.
The folks what think global warming is a leftwing conspiracy determined to deprive them of their H2s are using the cooler weather as evidence of the falsehood perpetuated by the NOAA, climatologists, meteorologists and their fact and statistic based agendas.
We should really start referring to it as Pollution Based Climate Change (PBCC). Besides... For a technical concept to gain traction in the media and public forums it needs a good acronym.
It seems to me that as the increase in ambient temperature disturbs normal circulatory patterns of wind and water, that the result will be a greater trend towards an equalized global temperature with horrendous day/night related highs and lows.
The Cold places get warmer, the hot places get colder... Like a McDLT in the microwave.
The concept of entropy, that systems move towards states of lower energy from higher energy when left to their own devices, would apply and... Just look at the day/night temperature extremes in most deserts.
This scientific concept seems so obvious it should transcend politics and religion but don't count on it. Science=Mo, Religion=Larry, Politics=Curly. What about Shemp and... Dare I say the name... Curly Joe?
Enough of that... It's cold and crappy and I'm going for a second cup of coffee.