Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Fishin' For Salmon and Agness, OR

The Sturgeon Moon rose high above the evergreens and cast its light upon the rippling river below. Pickup trucks with boats on trailers signaled the activity of the day. They were out early to put their jet boats in the water and capture their favorite spots before anyone else.
Dawn on the Lower Rogue

As I opened the patio door and walked out onto the covered deck, a Stellar Jay that had come to visit flew from the railing. 


Down from the deck and rounding the cabin corner, the smell of bacon being cooked on an outdoor grill brought back memories of campfires and wilderness of many years gone by.

Gold Beach is on the Pacific coast and approximately 45 miles north of the California-Oregon state line. About 25-30 miles inland and northeast of Gold Beach and near the confluence of two wild and scenic rivers, the Lower Rogue and the Illinois, is a place called Agness.

Friends were camping here and asked us to join them for a few days of salmon fishing. Cabins were available for rent and with a great view of the river_  a beautiful place, relaxing and allows for the rejuvenation of one's soul.

You listen to the quiet except for the distant hum of the boat motors. If you choose to see what the outside world is doing, internet service is available if you walk to the office, but that was not on my list of to-dos.

Normally Steelhead (a sea-run rainbow or redband trout) are born in the river, stay until they’re around 7 inches long then head downstream to the ocean where they stay for several years while getting bigger and stronger and then return to spawn. While we were there, the majority of the fish caught were half-pounders, except for one Chinook.

Half-pounders are unique to the Rogue, Klamath, and Eel rivers. They are 'bomerang' steelhead, homebody fish that don't wander far from their natal rivers. Like most steelhead, half-pounders smolt when they are about seven inches long and head for the ocean, usually between March and May. But instead of waiting two or three years before they return, the half-pounders come back to the Rogue the next fall, even though they are not sexually mature. Some may stay in the river another year, feeding like trout, before heading out again. Others return to the ocean in spring. And the next fall they're back as mature steelhead. . .

The typical half-pounder is 12 to 16 inches long (and often weighs more than half a pound.) When they first return in the fall, they are aggressive and readily take a fly. After a few weeks in the river, they feed like trout again and can provide good fishing when pursued with winter fly-fishing techniques. Hatchery clips the dorsal fins and you can’t keep those on the half-pounders.
 




Hawthorne Gallery, Port Orford, OR





heading up the mountain from Gold Beach
Klondike fire
Dry campers all along the river as we head back down the mountain


early morning
campers set up for evening of food, fun, and fellowship
children playing and learning to fish







half-pounders

Catch of the day_ wild Chinook





the boys are going out
CA campers have come prepared

cabins, tents, and rv's


Prime filleting, he said






vacuum sealed and in the freezer

Beautiful and a most enjoyable trip it was.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Summer Garden

There is something that will always amaze me: a tiny seed germinates! Beautiful, healthy, and with love and care, it grows into a phenomenal fruit-bearing plant. It is a miracle, and as I have said on more than one occasion to my husband "who am I to decide which live or not", so I always end up with more than we can possibly plant in our raised beds, and just prior to planting them into the outdoors, give two-thirds of them away.

The process begins in late January/early February with our favorite heirloom seeds. We nurse them along fertilizing, watering, transplanting into larger pots... and when the time is right to take them from the house to the outdoor hoop house, all is overflowing.

This year we cut way back on the vegetable garden, and in so doing, still had more than we required, and even with the reduction, family and friends were tickled with exactly what they wanted.

Every gardening season is a little different, and this year summer and warmer temperature brought an earlier harvest.
Sugar Snap peas and the 1st 'Cocozelle' zucchini
First tomato July 4









July 7
July 12


'Lazy Housewife'
Silver Fox morning stroll
Spaghetti squash coming along
yes, a lime
'Rosa Bianca'
Full Blood Moon, July 27
Full Blood Moon over the valley
 


Northern Flicker
oh, the fragrance of Oriental lilies
August 6, haze from the summer fires
The makings of tomato sauce
Red Romaine lettuce gone to seed
Heirloom Pole Beans: 'Purple Podded' and 'Lazy Housewife'
50 lbs of 'Brunswick' cabbage
Brunswick: an old German heirloom introduced around 1924.
These beautiful drumheads store well, are cold hearty and make great sauerkraut.
Cabbage = sauerkraut = natural and good probiotics 
Cabbage rolls, Kimchi, cabbage soup, cole slaw.... What's not to love? 
 
Sauerkraut: shred; add 1 TB canning salt to each head of cabbage; stomp until liquid appears; weight it down so it remains covered with the juice; cover with a cloth; after 3-5 days taste test the fermentation until it achieves your palate pleasure. It can take up to several weeks depending upon the room temperature. 
 
In the making

Banana

Full Sturgeon Moon, August 26
My oh my, from one dwarf pear, nearly 100 lbs

We have only 2 pear trees, and from those we have more than enough to use, process and share. In years past we have dehydrated some, but this year the majority have been cut and frozen and to be used mainly in our morning protein drink.

At times I have added pears to the applesauce for a nice dimension, but since the apples are lagging a bit this year, I decided to make some pear sauce as the pears were ripening quickly. Add the juice of a lemon, a touch of salt, some freshly grated ginger to fit your personal preference, and never do we add any sugar to this naturally sweet fruit.Yummy! Freeze or can.
Pear sauce
into the freezer


Goin' fishin'