"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Mini-Melodrama from a Vast Winter Wilderness:

Merganser finds herself trapped in an ever-diminishing circle of water.   

She is the only living soul within 20,000 leagues.....


Like Pauline tied to the railroad tracks, the unforgiving ice encroaches minute by minute....

Is there no one to come to her aid? Will the ice freeze her in its deadly embrace?


 She turns around and around, trying to keep the small puddle of water open.


There's always that one itchy feather.... It takes her mind of her plight just briefly.


Whatever shall I do, she sobs.


Snow falls lightly, muffling her cries for help. There is no one to hear.


Her long serrated bill with the hook on the end is made for catching fish, not acting as an icebreaker....


She dives, seeking an escape route.....


Again and again and again....



Until..... She's gone.

What the little stinker does is come up behind me, quack so loudly I almost drop my camera, and then flies away on a wing and laugh.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Incredible Adventures of Dipper continued

"Okay, Dipper.   Yesterday you said you’d tell me how you helped Hemingway write a book.   Anxious to hear it."

“Well, I didn’t actually help him write it, you see.   I don’t have opposable thumbs so I can’t pick up a pen and write.   But, I did provide the inspiration for Papa to do it.    See, it all started when my friend Mike and I were tipping a cold one in a little taberna in Pamplona after the run. And in walks….

“Dipper!   What do you mean, “after the run?”

“After running with the bulls, of course.   Why else would we be in Pamplona?”

“You ran with the bulls?”

“No, Mike ran with bulls.    You think I ran?   I’m not that crazy.   I flew.”

“Oh, okay.   Go on.”

“So, this guy walks in and he looked down in the dumps, I think you humans call it.  Mike bought him a beer and the guy said he was a writer but he had writer’s block.   Even worse, he’d come to Spain to do research to incorporate the fiesta of San Fermin running of the bulls into a novel, but after he got here, he saw copies of James Michener’s books on sale that included the running.   Now, in addition to writer’s block, he was also depressed.
“Well, after a while, I came up with an idea, something that always cheers me up.   Before you knew it, the three of us were on a little boat off Cuba.   I caught a huge marlin.   It was so big, the deck hand had to lash it to the side of the boat rather than bring it on board.   Then the darn sharks started taking bites out of it….”

“Dipper!   No way!   You’re describing The Old Man and the Sea!”

“That’s the one!   Papa was so grateful to me for the inspiration that he gave me an autographed copy.”

“Can I see it?”

“Oh, sorry, no.   It got water damaged when the beavers dammed up the creek last summer and flooded the spot where I kept it.   It should be out in Cook Inlet by now, unless it got snagged up along the way.”

And, with a wink, Dipper flew off to search for caddisfly larva.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Incredible Adventures of Dipper continued

Dipper’s entry in the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament so demoralized the rest of the contestants,  that the organizing committee cancelled the tournament before noon on the first day of the week-long fishing contest.

The judges offered the first place prize—a diamond-encrusted gold ring—to Dipper, who politely declined and suggested they sell it and donate the proceeds to charity.

Not until Dipper left town on the jet stream did the judges note Dipper’s entry was not, in fact, a billfish, but a stickleback.


Contacted at his home near Tern Lake in Alaska, Dipper told reporters, “How was I to know?   A fish is a fish is a fish.”


To me, Dipper said, "Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you how I helped Hemingway write a best seller.