Beyond the Rod and Reel

Share life with others. Make new friends in the outdoors. Lead by example.

Summertime fun from the clean sand of Lake Erie surf includes such treasure as colorful sea glass, great for a new adventure with kids young and old.  Forrest Fisher Photo

Kayakers are searching for places to try out their new toys, birds are looking for places to wet their wings and cool off, and for anglers, hunters, hikers, campers and even outdoor photography buffs, the climate is testing their limits too. Tell me something I didn’t know, you say.

In the northeast United States, which includes Western New York, Cazenovia Creek, Buffalo Creek, Cayuga Creek and Tonawanda Creek are all feeling the swagger of the hot, dry summer we are experiencing.

Creek water flow all around the northeast is slow and low, almost nil, though the eastern Lake Erie beaches and surf do allow relief from the heat for swimmers and there are collections of colorful sea glass treasures to be found along the surf line for extra fun.

The dog days of summer are good for many things and one of them a tasty chicken dinner from the grill. It’s a good time to support local organizations, the VFW and Legion Posts, Boys and Girls Clubs, many others.

My bride and I enjoyed every tasty bite of just such a dinner recently and as we consumed our tasty morsels of goodness, we watched a blue heron search for his dinner in the nearby creek. Wings spread wide as he soared down the nearly dry creekbed, his search did not appear successful within our view.

A Blue Heron in search of the lunch while sailing and hovering over a nearly waterless creekbed in New York State. Jim Monteleone Photo

Then two hummingbirds buzzed by and a half-dozen doves started cooing away in the shade of a nearby tree. A crow cawed once or twice downstream and above all this adventure in tasty chicken consumption, oohing and awing on our end– it was that good, I felt safe and content, and surprised that we didn’t render a surprise attack from a hungry coyote or fox while we were making all that savory noise of palate-satisfying jubilation.

Summer days like this are a good time to catch up with old friends too and share musings and memories in conversation about life, the outdoors, kids and the fun of new challenges in the modern adventure of surviving tomorrow.

Our outdoorsy conversation did not escape the topic of the presidential election, taxes, titles and time-honored traditions too. We also talked about many new things in the outdoors that more people need to know much more about right now, namely, Lyme disease.

An increasing number of people have been stricken by this affliction in the northeast United States and the disease appears to be spreading westward at an alarming rate. It all started in the early 70’s in Lyme, Connecticut, hence the name of the affliction. Lyme disease is not curable once it is established in a person, they can only hope to find treatment to attain remission. It’s nasty and what’s worse, it appears that many health insurance companies do not recognize the disease for treatment, so folks have to pay out of pocket. Go figure that one out!

Many outdoor folks know that deer ticks (black-legged ticks) are responsible for the bite that can infect people with Lyme disease, but many do not know that the ticks are carried and spread largely by mice, not deer. No matter where you live, we all see mice. If you have mice around your home and yard, get rid of them and stay safe from attracting the Lyme disease carriers.

Thought for this week:
Share life with others.
Make new friends in the outdoors.
Lead by example.