I spent the day outdoors on a walleye pond--again. This one was more a shallow lake than a pond, a shallow lake more infested with Northern watermilfoil--the native milfoil--than any other I've seen. Even now in late fall, with cool water temperatures, it was still growing strong. Walleyes, however, were hardly anywhere to be seen: a few eight-inch yearlings, one fifteen inch fat and happy adult, and one puny, very dead fingerling. Lots of small bluegills, bullheads, and crappie. But that doesn't get a lake stocked with its quota of walleye fingerlings. I got my exercise pulling all ten trap nets out of the lake. It was a mediocre day to be outdoors; cloudy with temps in the upper thirties, and snow showers in the morning. But on the lake there was no wind, and riding in the front of the boat I was mesmerized by the mirrored reflections of almost bare trees and oaks still holding on to red leaves. I saw a bald eagle perched in a tree, just watching us motor on by.
When I arrived home late afternoon, I glanced out the window by the bird feeder just in time to notice a small hawk-like bird alight on a branch. I ran for my binoculars and my Sibley's field guide, knowing it had to be a Cooper's hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, or merlin from its size and markings. After observing its activity, with it occasionally swooping and going back to a perch with sharp wing beats, and reading about the usual habitats of the species, and deciding it was too small to be a Cooper's, I made the call of sharp-shinned hawk. It was beautiful to watch, but it made the chickadees anxious.
One very good observation of the day, as if an eagle and a sharp-shinned hawk aren't enough, is that I seem to have finally lost some weight, or at least inches, in the last week or two. I put on a pair of jeans that had had a slightly tight waistband before, and they were just out of the wash which usually means extra-tight. The waistband actually had an inch or two of room to spare! This is great news, since I have managed to gain nearly forty pounds in the last three years, during which time I have been extra-conscious about diet. I rarely eat sugars, have no unavoidable food cravings, and my appetite is rather small. My only weakness is beer, but everyone's gotta have an Achilles heel. :) My secret? I have not changed my eating habits except perhaps consuming more bread since I got my bread machine. Homemade, whole grain bread is a real treat. But I have been doing some Internet research into possible causes. I suspect thyroid issues; actually the other night when I thought I might have a fever I was taking my temperature and could not get the digital thermometer up to 97. I thought something was wrong with the thermometer so I gave it to Calvin, who promptly registered 98.8! I have started taking a couple of carefully chosen supplements (not miracle diet pills!). It's probably too early to declare cause and effect, but at least something positive is happening!
A crew is coming on Monday to start working on the roof of the new house. Maybe, just maybe, we'll be in there by the new year. It can't happen soon enough!
So that's what's happening in my corner of the world. I found my copy of Chet Raymo's The Soul of the Night, which had been missing for a few days under some household clutter, so maybe I'll go catch up to the rest of the bloggers at Whorled Leaves. I'd really love to get out an instrument and play a tune, but that may have to wait until morning.