Outdoors Column: Spring Activities

It was not quite daylight when I opened the door to let the dogs out this morning. The first sound I heard was a booming gobble from a Tom turkey, coming from somewhere toward the lake. The dogs and I looked but could see nothing in the pre-dawn light. The echo of his gobble reverberating down the valley would just die down when he would gobble again. The dogs were interested, but not enough to venture out to find him at that time of the morning. They did what needed to be done and wanted back in the house. Jag promptly returned to his pillow in the garage while Billie followed me into the house, taking up his daytime position on the couch. During the night, he guards the house from his pillow at the foot of our bed. During daytime hours, he watches over us from the couch when he is not eating or sleeping. It is called a dog’s life. If only we all could have it so good.


He seemed to be sound asleep when his head popped up and he jumped down from the couch, going to the window. He stared out intently, apparently still listening to the noisy gobbler. It was beginning to get light enough to see, so I went to help him stare out of the window. We could just make out the gobbler as he strutted across the top of the dam. He would stop occasionally to gobble and continue strutting in circles while making his way closer. This is one more sign that spring is here, and we have survived another winter.


My wife and I spent most of the day working in the yard and doing anything we could to be outside enjoying the nice weather. By late afternoon, we were both feeling muscles we forgot we had. My wife wanted nothing more than to sit on the porch, so I decided to try my luck at fishing. I had not wet a line since early last fall. The fish were surely missing me.


The dogs ran along the top of the dam, enjoying the warm sunlight while smelling the tracks of the earlier gobbler and many other animals that had passed that way. From the shore, I cast toward the island using a colorful plastic grub as a lure. Nothing seemed interested so I moved down the bank through a patch of water-grass. On my second step into the tall grass, a coot went fluttering out and landed about fifty feet away. I stopped and looked around carefully so I would not step on her nest but could not find it. Since she waited until I almost stepped on her, I am sure she had a nest there somewhere. I could not find it, so I backed up and walked around the grassy patch while she watched me from a safe distance.


The new fishing spot was more productive. I caught two bass in just a few minutes. When a few more minutes passed without a bit, I decided to go help my wife sit on the porch. The point had been made that there were still fish in the lake, and they could be caught. The dogs got everything examined and smelled. It was time to rest my sore muscles and enjoy the sunset from the porch.