A walk in the woods this week yielded these gifts. The moose shed is a bit damaged from too many years in the weather. The morels have already been eaten. The picking was tough. There will be so many more next week. The rain keeps coming. That's what we need. Salmon are still hard to come by.
Halibut fishing is showing some life. There's talk of salmon already in the streams. Morels are nearly popping. Let's hope at least some of these things pan out. My writing is slow going. So far I have only written one sentence: "She was a yurt of a woman."
I'm fixing up my condo in Homer, AK this summer. The salmon aren't in the rivers yet. But the eagles, ravens and cranes are. Every day begins with a dog walk on the beach. The morels should be popping soon.
It took me ten years to go out and see my old hunting buddy Jason Heil in Southern Oregon. He's a river guide now who runs many of the finest rivers in the west. He can guide you around the wineries too, but we were after wild steelhead. Jason said the run was petering out. But we were in fish all day. Fish and mimosas, that's how they roll. It was great to see some new country and catch up with an old friend.
We missed you the other night at the Jonathan Richman show. No doubt you had to miss it because, after all, it was a school night. But how many more chances to see him will you get? Here's a musician who doesn't perform concerts, but holds "parties". Jonathan and drummer Tommy played their hits and did some improv. Jonathan frequently put his guitar down and picked up shakers. He danced and tried to get the Denverites to party. But we were too uptight, I'm afraid. People don't understand Jonathan Richman in a world where we are constantly offered thirty dollar massages, craft beer, fantasy football. He doesn't quite fit because he freely gives from his heart. He gives so much that it makes the experience awkward. What's the catch? People are waiting for the scam, but there is no scam. It's real. When the show ended, the workers outside were already taking the letters down from the marquee.
The Platte River is in full flush mode. Only fools and parvenus fish during the flush. So Dave Brown and I headed to the Green to throw streamers and get Henderson some boat time. The big browns liked the streams (Peanut Envy in Olive) but hated our midges and dries. Henry growled at passing middle-aged men in kayaks and corresponding beards. He jumped ship at Little Hole and Dave had to haul him back over the gunnels. Otherwise it was a great trip.
I landed a short story in the March/April issue of Gray's. I'm so lucky they continue to support my work. I read the whole issue cover to cover. There's some great stuff in there. I am honored to be in the same issue with Don Thomas and Miles Nolte.
I had a frozen goose and a frozen sharp tail that I kept thinking about. They were in my thoughts as the winter persisted and the small disappointments of living in a Western oil town accumulated. Jason Veggie Burger, who is from Texas and knows a bit about Cajun cooking, kept coming up with excuses. So I soldiered forth and did it myself. At 3 a.m. I put both birds in the pot with the usual suspects (carrots, onions and such). By noon the meat was falling off the carcasses. I let the meat cool, then I built my gumbo. It was terrific and not nearly as difficult as the Coonasses tell you. Here's a photo of the roux and the half-complete gumbo.