Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eclipse News for 2008

The topic for this post is a divergence from the normal topics, but one that focuses us to a heavenly body that has a very important influence in our day to day lives. Last summer I happened to make it out of bed in the early morning hours to catch the partial lunar eclipse on August 28th. At that time I became aware we would be having another chance to see a full eclipse come Winter 2008. The time is now to get ready for the total lunar eclipse of February 20-21, 2008. It is going to be visible in the US and Canada during the prime-time evening hours. No need to climb out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to watch the moon seem to disappear. There are 2 solar eclipses and another partial lunar eclipse this year as well. None of these are going to be visible in the United States. So, if you are a person that likes to watch the sky, or know of someone else who might not be aware. Mark your calendar for February 20 - 21st, if the weather allows for unobstructed viewing. Happy "Eyes to the Sky."

Monday, January 28, 2008


This picture came to me by way of a forward. The source of the picture was attributed to a lady in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, taken on Saturday. Deer on the deck. Looking in the sliding glass door. That would certainly bring excitement in this household! I wouldn't want the deer to be finding their way through the window... Brings to mind the story I read over at Simply Outdoors about Jeff's deer hunt that seemed to find the bucks confused. At any rate, I wanted to share this picture of a buck, nose to nose, looking longingly into the eyes of an individual of the opposite species. You just wonder what they're thinking???

POST UPDATE March 5, 2008: The original photographer of this picture has offered the facts. Please read the following - This is in regards to the deer and Cat photo. It had been brought to my attention that some one claiming to had taken this photo is from Wisconsin. i am just here to say this is not true, i am the owner of this photo and it was posted in the " country Extra" magazine - Jan issue of 2008 - page 22. It clearly states Marilyn Thornbery, outta Colorado was the photographer. i took this shot and a series of approx 10 more in sequence of the interactions between my cat and the deer. so if your reading this Post and can pass along the information and give credit due where it belongs, i'd appreciate it. Thank you, M. Thornbery

Friday, January 25, 2008

Passing "The Excellent Blog Award"

Recently I received a very nice recognition ,"The Excellent Blog Award", from a southern lady, Marian from Marian's Hunting Stories etc...etc... Since I was graciously bestowed this honor I have some blog writers I think could certainly place this emblem proudly on their sites. I will start with one for now... look for more in the future. deerPHd comes to mind when I think of hard working, devoted to his cause. He has so many great articles, but I think one of my most favorite on going series is "What would you do?" Presently,Bryan is working on pursuing a doctoral degree in Psychology. Raised by a dad that loves hunting and fishing, Bryan is passing along his interest in the same outdoor sports. I am sure you will find spending sometime over at deerPHd an enjoyable read. Please click on over and tell him CDGardens sent you.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thank You!

Yesterday,Marian stopped by to let me know she had awarded me "The Excellent Blog Award". An honor to be apart of a larger group that enjoys catching up with each other in the blog world. There are so many authors I read and respect for their slant on common experiences that to try to pass the award along would take forever. We have writers that need to step out of their comfort zone (me included), people experiencing illness in the family and illness in their own lives. A few who aren't sure if they are being read...and some that just sit down to type with nothing less than perfection coming off those keyboards. Always something new coming off the 'Net. It is more fun to have a voice behind the numbers reflected by page impression counts, but in case they don't speak up, just smile to yourself and know the"lurkers" are taking a minute to see what you are made of.
Why did you choose the internet for your platform?
1.Was it because you thought you had something unique to add? 2.You want to gain a passive income and started to talk about things you are passionate about. What ever the case, my encouragement to everyone is to keep writing. Sure, there will be readers who like the way you write and some who won't. Thanks again Marian for the award. Congratulations to you on your award!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Poachers from South Carolina caught in Iowa

Two South Carolina men were arrested for deer poaching on November 10, 2007 at a Des Moines area hotel by Iowa DNR officials. Michael Sillanpaa Jr., of Summerville, S.C., and David Gordon, of Goose Creek, S.C. found themselves the focus of conservation officers. Tips came from a concerned citizen which led to the search of a local residence and a vehicle. Results of the search led to the seizure of deer, two shotguns, two crossbows, a rifle and other equipment, according to the DNR. The men came to Iowa last October...purchasing small game licenses and paying the habitat fee so they would have a legitimate reason to be in the woods hunting. Little did they realize they had become the focus of surveillance by the DNR. These guys were observed purchasing a $1,060 crossbow by officers at a local sporting goods store. Conservation Officer Jeff Swearngin reported later that they had been followed through two state parks where they would kill deer by shooting the crossbow from their vehicle, coming back at night to get the animal's head. Crossbows are not a legal form of weaponry to hunt unless you are disabled here in the state of Iowa. The Iowa DNR said the men shot two bucks, and South Carolina game wardens found three shoulder mounts and two other separate set of deer antlers also taken in Iowa. This wasn't the first time Sillanpaa has been involved with poaching officials from South Carolina revealed. Without this breakthrough these guys would never have been caught. What was strange was that they have been deer poaching in Iowa for the last 10 years. What kind of penalty was imposed you ask? State environmental officials required Michael Sillanpaa Jr., and David Gordon to pay $24,000 in damages, give up $5,000 worth of hunting equipment, and pay a fine of $2,137 which reflected the value of the recovered deer antlers. In looking over the facts - a question comes to mind. What has made the collection of deer antler so valuable that they would risk going above the law to procure them? They don't seem to be alone...

"What would you do?"

Bryan,over at deerPhD has started a weekly article giving scenarios for the hunter to decide what decisions they might make while in the timber or field. If you haven't had a chance to stop in yet, I highly recommend taking a look around deerPhD to see what this author is bringing to his readers. Now, I would like to ask what you would do with the facts I am about to present. This is how I've assumed events unfolded when I went to look later in the day. Heading back to the second day of muzzleloader season I heard three shots , two of them not far from our house. It appeared that the muzzleloaders may have injured a deer that took off running. I found one tiny blood drop at the corner of the fence where they crossed onto my property.... There were tracks of two ATVs, to me it looks as though they were chasing deer, because of where they went in correlation to deer tracks.

Bringing hunter activity from the neighbor's cornfield down into the tree line between our cornfields. Having pictorial documentation of the results of the two shots close to our homestead, I could correlate position of hunter to hunted.
Picture 1
What I would like to know-
1. As a hunter, how far would you go in a chase by foot to get your injured deer in the snow and cold? Would you pursue with an ATV? 2. As a landowner, what would you do if you weren't certain if those who didn't have permission to hunt your property, but had the right to retrieve a kill without firearms, was hunting illegally? First shot wasn't lethal. Here at,"Law & Politics" section you can find some interesting facts about what is considered trespassing in 40 of our 50 states. The information is worth checking out to see where you stand as a hunter and or a landowner...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Anybody Home?

Anybody home?What's that?!?Peek-a-Boo! I see you!

Today I went to collect my two field cameras to see just what was stopping to pose for their pictures. The time stamps have wide gaps - when the batteries warm up they catch anything walking by. The cameras have been out since the 4th with a limited amount of wildlife being captured.

A couple of Alberta Clippers are scheduled to make their sweep through the state, the decision was made to keep one camera inside, and the other would be stationed on the back steps to catch the bird activity. Pictures of the re-cycled Christmas Tree and birds will come at a later time if the chill doesn't prevent the process from happening.

We have had some marauding wildlife in the vicinity as of late. The tracks and vocalizations point to Opossum which make their yearly reservation. It may be possible to catch the little critters in view of the back steps with the trail camera. One was caught in a foggy picture in the field. While I was out hunting I watched one as it briskly bustled from place to place.

Hope everyone is finding something to do to keep warm and well through these cold blustery months. Later!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Resident January Antlerless Season Begins

The planned resident January Antlerless Deer season started on Friday ,the 11th,and will run through Sunday,January 27th, in 59 designated Iowa counties. Once again the purpose of this season is to decrease the doe population in accordance with the DNR's management of the herds. An added week has been granted this year in hopes more tags will be filled. This hunt will bring to conclusion the opportunities for Iowa deer hunters to take to the field until the Fall openers. There are 21 counties in the southern two tiers of the state that will allow the use of center fire rifles .24 caliber or larger for the term of the antlerless season. An overlap of dates came January 11th-13th with the Muzzle Loaders,who had their hunt extended due to the specially declared season on December 21st-23rd. They felt slighted by other methods of weaponry being in the timber and fields at the same time. So, to curb the discontented feelings the DNR extended their day count by three. Let me remind you that party hunting remains a legal option to funnel the deer to other members of your group. Don't forget to wear your blaze orange when you are out and about, for visibility sake...Should you be found by an agent of the DNR without it, you will see a fine. A note to deer hunters that have licenses, as of January 11th, 2008 you will need to pay an additional fee known as the "Habitat Fee" to be able to hunt. Tags are still available for resident purchase in 22 counties, among them are two northeast counties, Winnishiek and Allamakee. Reports state that the eastern and southern counties still have the heaviest concentrations of the 4-legged foragers. The DNR is promoting the HUSH program to hunters that have more than enough deer to help the Iowa Food Bank to provide meat to the needy. If you would like more information checkout the state site.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Minding My Own Knitting

This time of year other things besides hunting can gain my attention. I admit these projects are from the past. A good representative of the type of things I like to do when I get the yearning for a bit of the yarn. (child's hat) Pictured below is one of my most favorite things I add to my winter apparel, my scarf, so soft and warm. It has seen extreme weather hikes and burdock in the field. Probably why it is difficult for me to get the deer to take me seriously. These following two examples of stitchery are included in Leisure Arts leaflet 932. An instruction book filled with 60 different stitches to chose from to create sampler afghans for the eyes to feast on. Not to mention keeping the knitter occupied for a good amount of time...when they aren't blogging about one thing or another.

Leisure ArtsSmall Wheatear Cable