Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Fishing Season!

I'm currently at "Ketelsen East" in the western suburbs of Chicago, enjoying some "real" Springtime weather! After already threatening to break 100F about the time I left Tucson 10 days ago, the cooler temperatures, rain, flowers and outbreak of green here is a welcome sight! And we've had it all - 4" of rain over last weekend, and tonight there are freeze warnings in the area, so Summer still seems a long way off!

But with the downpour this weekend, on Monday the Fox River jumped out of its bank and got within about 50 feet of the house here! The image at left shows the water as it came up the "canoe beach" at far left and filled a depression in the middle of the lawn as shown. As the water drops back down, usually carp, some of pretty good size (I've seen up to 20" long!) are trapped in the "yard pond"! Somewhere I've got pictures that Melinda took of me trying to catch them by hand (hard) or with a large fishing net (easier) to dump them back in the river. After I gave up that earlier time, the herons and egrets move in and they were gone in a day.

So I wasn't really surprised, but startled when I saw my first great blue heron appear just before sunset tonight. The only telephoto I have is a 500mm Nikon mirror lens of '70s vintage given to me by a friend, and I rushed to install the adaptor that lets me use it with my Canon camera. Unfortunately I missed his playing with a sizeable fish, but got a nice portrait at left in the "yard pond" before he moved back over to the main river channel for some fishing where only his head is visible.

It started raining pretty hard again, and my last view of him was standing on the bank looking across it, or perhaps looking downstream at a kayak that was bearing down on him as he took off a few seconds later as they passed going upstream. If there are still fish in the pond, they will be back, though other than the one I saw the heron play with, I've not spotted any...

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