Friday, March 8, 2013

Reading Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire and Anticipating Space to Fill

I was reading Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire as I waited for a hit, took a break to go out, walk, shoot photos, and didn't realize until just now that as all winter long I never honored pine trees as I did today, the event of my shooting them goes well with the book. (What are those, white pines?) Abbey spent a season as an Arches National Monument or Park, whichever it is, ranger in Utah, and a certain ash is or was the only deciduous tree in the wilderness he contemplated and explored.
It's been nice here at Round Valley all winter and much of the fall. If it wasn't, I wouldn't keep returning. I can almost touch May now. April I'm not big about because the trout fishing from shore remains pretty slow and the bass aren't active yet. Even at Mount Hope Pond last April I caught none. Here in Bedminster, I caught loads of bass in the neighborhood pond, but it's a shallow dishpan and warms like a skillet on the stove. Or like an egg on a desert rock. I wonder what kind at Arches. At Mount Hope, I tried jigging at the bottom of the 12 foot drop, but never got a tap. I messed about in the shallows, too, but nothing seemed to be there. Colonial Park Pond is another story with that silty water absorbing heat and I suspect I'll catch a few. But once the season gets under way, something of stark contemplation with the grand outlines is lost because the green and the pleasure in warmth and scents and visible activities here and there fills in the picture and you tend not to experience the wide edges, wide outlines barren and open more like depicted in Abbey's book.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Round Valley Reservoir Heavy Wind Fickle Trout Fishing

Conditions seemed just right to have some trout action today at Round Valley Reservoir. John had fished for hours without a hit and I fished nearly two hours, also. The shiner's still alive. The waves really roll with heavy wind since the water is so deep and the swells build.

I bet the shoreline fishing in May is better for trout. By June it's all over; you need a boat. But I saw two 20-inch browns caught on shiners from shore while I fished for bass last year. I also saw two browns and a 20-inch laker caught last late February and caught a brown myself in weather a little less severe than today's. I guess I'll start casting spinners soon. In today's wind that would have been difficult, although with clouds of sediment stirred up by the wave action and settling back as many as ten yards out, heavy spinners that could be cast in the wind may have been effective, who knows. I know that a few bass in May run along the edges of browned water when wind is high.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reading The Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder at Round Valley Reservoir

Reading Gary Snyder's The Practice of the Wild on my lunch breaks, putting out the line at Round Valley Reservoir every other day. I'll probably fish shiners and marshmallow & mealworms into April and may start casting spinners soon, but have a lot of reading to do. Looking forward to bass fishing in May.

John caught nothing today, nor I.

The two young women I photographed as a blur, the photo resized in the camera, walked fast talking animatedly, too caught up in each other to be much aware of the wilds they traversed. But even intensely social activity outdoors results in the environment contributing to refreshment.

I feel as if I would go a lot deeper into the wilds if I had the money and time, needing to earn more money first to pay for the time. In our culture, wage work takes a lot of it, very difficult to rise above. But while I would and possibly may clam the bays behind Long Beach Island for more than a day's stint, I will never immerse myself in such an adventure as my 13 years' doing it commercially again, simply because I got the secrets I was after and don't need to leave everyone else behind once more. Besides, it's getting obvious that at my age, youthful adventure was just that. So I'm happy with as much as I do now, which is really no small matter.

Everything in existence has in essence natural identity, everything we synthesize a rearrangement of natural elements. Why is this important? Some portion of the wild nourishes, sustains, expands awareness and feeling wherever you are. Fundamentally, this is what we depend on. The air we breathe, for example. For me, all it takes is a look in the direction of and into some nearby trees to relieve an anxiety. So I have no need of paying the exhorbitant fees of a doctor, just to get a prescription of Lexapro or whatever, for which a doctor might get a kickback from a pharmaceutical company.

We're supposed to be hard-nosed Americans who grab our mother by the neck, force her down, and subjugate her to markets, selling her for the first fists of cash to come our way, but nature never really has been that woman conquered, and the time of reckoning is here: nature is the system we think we've built to subdue the wilds that may seem to threaten. We've derived each and every principle from nature, and it's an unsustainable contradiction to think we can master what is primary by what is secondary. How we live in a principled way will determine if we survive, the rules we enact according with reality.