An accounting of some ventures in the life of grandma and grandpa for the kids, grandkids, friends and those who drop by for a visit.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

4-H Day Camp for 10-14 Year Olds

This morning the Indianhead Fly Fishers taught six young curious wannabe fly fishers how to tie a woolly bugger and how to cast with fly rod and line. A brother and sister from Spokane were visiting Grandma and Grandpa and were happy to have a chance to join in on the 4-H day camp. Thanks to Melissa for arranging this day camp for now the third year. I should have taken a close up picture of their flies, but I was busy helping one of the young tiers. Many thanks to Perry who led the class. He is truly a master tier. He also tied a beautiful Woolly Bugger for each of the campers.

We did not have much success catching fish at the pond. Spencer had one on and lost it. That was the grand sum of our success. He was happy because he outfished his sister. He said it was his secret competition. Sorry, Spencer for letting the cat out of the bag! The trout are showing signs of stress as the pond heats up. The F and G did drop a truck load of bass and catfish in the pond. A twenty inch catfish gave quite a thrill to an older gentleman who hooked the cat. He had no idea the catfish and bass had been dumped into the pond. He was used to catching the 9-10 inch rainbows, so when the cat took off on a fifty foot run, he was flabbergasted.

Sorry not to have pictures of the youngsters fishing. Again I was busy like all the other Indianhead Fly Fishers working with the youngsters as they learned to cast a fly rod.

One young camper, Hunter, told me how much fun it was to learn something new and how he looked forward to finding a fly rod and reel. I told him have Mom and Dad keep a watch on

If you click on a picture you will enlarge the picture.

So long for now,
Hope your lines don't suddenly go slack,
Papa Coyote

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Fathers' Day Celebration

Five fathers and their families gathered for a campfire and cookout over the fire. Kids and fathers had a great time. I think the moms were enjoying themseleves as well. After all they are an integral part of this father gig. Thanks to all for making the day so much fun.

Sometimes one has to experience modern technology, e.g., the digital camera from a kids point of view to truly understand the importance of the invention. Remember standing in front of the mirror making faces when you were a kid? Digital pictures makes the experience even better.

What is for dinner??

Brother and sister

What wonder this rain! Why do these silly grown ups run in from the rain when the rain is sooooo delightful.

Contemplating the days gone by?

Roasting some hot dogs and pocket pizzas over a campfire.

The two Papa's on Fathers' Day checking out the fire.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thoughts on the Perfect Engineer

Happy Father's Day! 2010

If our legacy is what we leave to our children and grandchildren, then what will be our legacy?

I am thinking American society here, not individually.

And how can the sum of the parts, ................?

Reading Troutbirder's latest entry inspired me to go through some pictures taken this spring while on a Oyster mushroom hunt and write about nature's wonderful engineer. Native American people held the beaver in high regard for his wisdom and work ethic. Duh! Oh, yeah, most native people did not differentiate between people and animals. They are all part of the whole and have their importance in the Big Picture. Some how our people have not comprehended such a basic concept of survival.

You can visit Troutbirder at (

This is some of the damage done by our local beaver or beavers. I have yet to see them at work. They have placed a dam on the slough that runs near our house. These poplar trees that have been chopped down are up to sixteen inches in diameter. A few winters ago I was exploring through this area and realized that there were several trees partially chewed through. Evidently, a beaver has to spend a few days cutting down a tree. I had recently read a book about a fly fishermen who was attacked by a beaver and suffered some life threatening cuts to the leg by the beaver's razor-sharp teeth so I was a bit edgy thinking of a sudden attack by the local beaver whose territory I was sloshing through. Then I hear a rustle that increased in loudness. Geez! I thought I was under attack. But, it was only one of those partially cut through trees falling. The branches brushed against me as the tree crashed to the ground. Wow. That was close. So when prowling through a beaver's territory on a windy day, BEWARE!

Mari Sandoz in her book about the history of the beaver trapping and trading industry tells of a beaver dam reported in Canada to have been over 2500 feet long. Now, that is some serious engineering and a lot of steady work. Maybe even teamwork. They are a marvel.

Incidently, if anyone is interested in Mari Sandoz' book on this subject see ( I have to say that she is not the very best of writers so reading through the book can be a bit of a struggle sometimes, but the information is well worth the effort.

Hope all you fathers have a wonderful day. Enjoy your families. My wife cooked a wonderful breakfast. The day is starting well.

Papa Coyote loves you all

Monday, June 14, 2010

Strange Find by Bryan

Ever see a fish that looks like this? The fish at Bryan's feet was frantically trying to get out of the lake. There was a pretty heavy duty thunderstorm creeping over the Owyhee Mtns. toward us at the time. Seems as though this is standard behavior for these fish when the baromoter takes a sudden plunge; hence the name Oriental Weather Fish. Some people like to keep these fish in their aquarium because they forecast storms. They are of the loach family. Bryan and I were fishing on the shores of Halverson Lake ( when Bryan looked down and saw this weird looking fish. He was thinking that he may have seen his first Snake Fish. We collected it and I brought it home to identify. I called Mark Sands, our area conservation officer, and started to describe it. He finished the description. I asked him if he wanted to see it, but he said no. He knew what it was but could not think of the name off hand. He called the state office first thing the next morning to get the name. He said that Charlie Daniels had found one in the drainage ditch across the street from his house four years ago. They are now throughout the lower Snake River valley. They most likely have been dumped by owners of aquariums who are moving and have no one to give their fish to so they dump them in some nearby body of water. These fish manage to survive and can grow to 20 inches. They are natives of Asia and Africa. The Idaho F and G is not too worried about them because they don't compete for food with our popular game fish. In fact they probably provide a meal for bass. The loach is an edible fish, but then so is the carp. I talked to Charlie about his finding of the fish. He said that he put it in a jar and took it to a regional public meeting held by the Fish and Game. Turns out that he was the only citizen to attend the public meeting. His fish caused quite a concern at that time because our fisherery people had not seen an Oriental Weather Fish in Idaho waters yet.

For information Google "dojo loach" or "Oriental Weather Fish"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Barbara and Millie's Birthday Celebration

We spent the afternoon at Barb's celebrating Millie and Barb's birthday. Just before we got there Millie's ten year old son had his fingernail partially torn off. That resulted in a trip to the local Doc in the Box, but William did well with the injury. Halibut, Bryan's salmon that he caught in the Boise River, steamed clams and hamburgers were had for dinner. Lisa and I even managed to beat Chris and Jason at a game of Corn Hole. I think the underdogs got lucky. I left immediately after claiming victory scuttling any chances of a rematch. Great Partner that Lisa!

S likes these big, plush green table grapes. She had to take several breaks from the kiddie swimming pool for a handful of grapes.

I did a pretty poor job of getting pictures of all the participants. My apologies if I have offended anyone. I was tired that afternoon and not functioning on all four cylinders.

Got to go and see what I can do about cleaning up the pond. Truly a yucky job. Oh, and smelly, too.

Papa Coyote LUA

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Busy Saturday at the Community Pond for Free Fishing Day

Nathan came over to learn and to practice on four separate occasions. His ten year-old brother, Ryan, tried once and did quite well, then Dad decided to have a go after watching a couple hours of lessons. Dad did real well. Dad decided to send the boys to the 4-H day camp on June 29th so that they can learn to tie flies and cast. The Indianhead Fly Fishers will provide the instruction to ten boys and girls between the ages of ten and fourteen.

The Indianhead Fly Fishers assisted the Idaho Fish and Game who brought their trailer of rod, reels, tackle and bait to the pond so that families could enjoy and learn fishing. The pond was stocked earlier in the week. Families were having a great time on a beautiful 75 degree day with a mild breeze. Perfect!

Saw this little guy when I was out looking for morel mushrooms. Since the Middle Fork of the Weiser River road was closed due to the flooding last weekend, the mushroom hunt failed. Bummer. I think it is time to turn my attention and efforts to fishing

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hanging out in with the granddaughters and their Mommy

L looking into the pond. She is about to lead me on the mushroom tour of her property. She knows I like to find and try to id mushrooms so she has all the mushrooms located before my arrival. She is a great mushroom scout. We found several varieties.

D and H and the girls built two garden boxes last Sunday. J and I spent the day helping H and the girls build the raised strawberry bed. D and H chose redwood lumber which looks very pretty now, but it will weather to gray in a year. But, redwood will weather very well and should give them a lifetime of use. They will eventually build some more boxes in the future, but for now strawberries, tomatoes and possibly herbs are planned. H has started many types of tomatoes and Alpine strawberries from seed and the plants are ready to be planted. Our neighbor Susan bought 8 tomato plants from L who plans to put the money in her piggy bank. Last month she tapped into her bank (she is a fanatic saver skimming whatever pennies she can find to put into her bank) to buy with the help of Mom and Dad a bicycle which she rides around with the aid of training wheels.

Above you can see my scout checking the amanitas. Very poisonous. May be the Amanita ocreata or the Death Angel. It has the volva and veil on the stipend are apparent in the picture below.

Checking out a huge flush of Coprinus. I have not identified these yet, but there are hundreds here along with polypores attached to the rounds of cottonwood trunk.

Grandma helping the girls get some water in the swimming pool. We have not had but a few, very few, days of 80 this year and it did get into the 70's on this day. So the little one just plopped right down in the pool diaper, pajamas and all. Grandma got the clothes off and she was a happy camper.

G checking out the water before sitting in the pool. She might be checking for spiders. The girls can find the most minute spiders. L and I took a picture of a tiny green spider with my macro lens, but then I inadvertently deleted it. Bummer, it was a great picture that I would have liked to have posted.

Helping Mom transplant some seedlings to sell to Susan.

One of the best parts of transplanting seedlings is that you get to get your hands dirty!

Working hard at printing the names of the tomatoes on the popsicle sticks so Susan will know the name of her tomatoes. This is pretty hard work and takes a great amount of concentration when one is only four and writing on little popsicle sticks. She stuck with it and got it done. When L and I drove to Home Depot to buy some lumber and supplies for making the raised strawberry bed box she was telling me the importance of having a list when one went shopping. (We had a list that her Mom had given us of what she needed at Home Depot) I agreed and asked her if she made a list when she went to the grocery store. I was just kidding and was surprise when she told me that she did. She was pretty firm about that answer, so I am thinking okay, whatever. At dinner that night I found that she did indeed make the grocery lists when she and her Mom went shopping. Her Mom would spell out the item and L would write it down on the list. The current list was posted on the refrig and J commented about H's nice printing, but was told, no, that was L's printing. Wow! L really does make a list when she goes to the grocery store.

Enjoying a Rocky Road ice cream cone after dinner and a hard day of mushroom guiding and building.

How about an ice cream cone for this cutie? If you overlook the fully clothed plop into the swimming pool, she has been a real good girl today.

No, this is not racoon vomit. This is another form of a fungi known as slime mold. It really is slimey--just touch it. No smell.

Studying an Agaricus. Agaricus campesteris has flushed out all over the Weiser golf course after the recent rains. Agaricus campesteris is the better tasting wild version of the white mushroom sold so prevelantly in the super markets.

Papa Coyote has to go call some wood working pals to try to solve a wood working problem.

See you all later,
Papa Coyote