Geese and Stars

The geese are still here.  They have not yet been hurried south by thick ice and deep snow.  They’ve been in a daily holding pattern; spending days on the water of the still-open larger lakes and making their twice daily feeding trips to eat the dropped grain on harvested fields.  They never seem in a great hurry to travel south and this season they have remained longer than usual.

     We are told there is a giant pool of sub-zero air hovering to the north in Canada and extending up to Alaska, ready to swoop down on us soon.  Therefore I took a bit of time during our meager December allotment of daylight to prepare for winter activities.  I remembered a nearby pond that seemed to be teeming with minnows and decided to catch some bait for the ice-fishing season.  There is enough ice on the shallow pond to walk on, so I went out and chiseled a hole in the ice and put in a minnow trap. There is nothing like fresh, lively minnows to tempt those walleyes.

     It’s a clear, starry night, promising temperatures in the low teens.  After an evening meal of venison stew from the crock pot, I think fresh fish taken on new ice are just around the corner.

     By the way, it’s a simple stew that I concoct.  Cut the venison into small pieces.  Add a clove of garlic either sliced or pressed.  Some salt, pepper, and a bay leaf complete the seasonings.  Slice in some vegetables.  I like potatoes, onions, carrots, and some celery.  Add a dash of Worchester sauce, turn the crockpot to low and simmer all day.  The aroma in the house when you come in from the outdoors is almost as good as the eating.

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