Tempest Storm

05 September, 2015, 16:57

The thunder has been rolling consistently for about twenty mminutes now, but only a light sprinkle recently began to fall. I see blue skies out from under the porch roof, the storm must be passing us to the south. It’s disconcerting, the constant rumble.

Perhaps it’s because I just finished reading about a family in Utah, in which 7 women in the family battled cancer, approximately 14 years after being exposed to radioactive fallout due to nuclear bomb testing in nearby Nevada. I’m reading about bombs, and the thunder just keeps rumbling.

“The price of obedience has become too high,” she says. And then, “Tolerating blind obedience in the name of patriotism of religion ultimately takes our lives.”

The thunder has been rolling now for about twenty minutes, but only a light sprinkle recently started. The thunder is incessant, but I still see blue sky from underneath the back porch roof. The storm must be passing by to the south, but the thunder feels as though it is looming, headed our way.

I thought about the news today, about the posts I’ve been seeing on facebook.

No wonder the thunder rattles me.

We don’t have television in our house. We’re not constantly exposed to the ridiculousness the majority of our country absorbs every day. We tune into society at large when we wish to, and of course, I still fight my facebook addiction. But I tell you, if this is how the election gets started, I will be tuning out a lot more in the months to come.

Ah, the rain falls heavier now, and the thunder, still rolling is farther away. Fat drops fall on the water and a cricket has started chirping from underneath the porch. Drops ping into the gutters as water rolls of the roof but I still see a patch of blue sky above the tree line. The cloud cover is thicker, but it is gray, not black and after an initial gust of wind, there’s barely a breeze.

The thunder is subsiding, but the rain remains. I’ve heard that radioactive rain falls on the West Coast, courtesy of Fukishima, but it’s hard to trust any news source these days. Just yesterday an local blog implied, without any interviewing of officials, that a professional arson attempt had been made on a local elementary school. I didn’t know who to be angrier with, the alleged arsonists, or the person who would be so irresponsible in presenting such  poorly researched unreliable information.

The rain falls harder now, and a sparrow shelters in the nearby sassafras tree. I can see the green heron roosting in the willow on the island not sheltering at all from the rain. Herons enjoy the water, and don’t mind the occasional shower.

Once Terry Tempest Williams began learning more about the nuclear testing in her region – testing that still continues –  she dreamt of women coming together to stop an act that was killing people, killing animals, and killing the earth. “They mocked the presumption of even-tempered beings and made promises that they would never fear the witch inside themselves.” Williams was a steadfast Mormon, a woman raised to be spiritual, patriotic, and for the most part – obedient.

As the rain lightens, and the rolling thunder becomes sporadic and fades, I think about her family, the women she nursed in their last moments, and I think about cancers that float in the air, in what we are fed, in watch we watch, in what we hear. Cancers of corrosive concepts and erosive ideas. Weak and twisted cancerous information that evokes an emotional response whether it is true or not. How waves of hatred and anger spread through our culture like a cancer distributed via cable and internet.

The rain has stopped, as has the thunder, that pensive, constant grumbling that spurred me to write. I hear the laughter at the neighbors as they sit on their porch – the grandchildren must be visiting, I also hear small squeals, and youthful giggling. The patch of blue sky has opened, and the storm moves on.


Tis the Season

04 September, 2015, 8:43


Autumn Creeps In

28 August, 2015, 20:43

My days on the porch are limited. For more than a week now, blankets have been gathered there, one for the lounge chair, one for the glider. Mornings and evenings are chilly now – too cold for bare feet or skin. In the mornings, I watch the bumble bees buzz slowly from one hot-pink Morning Glory to the next, and when the warmth of the day starts accumulating, the hummingbird comes to visit the blooming Hostas.

Thought it is not yet September, already I see the brown tinges on the leaves of the trees, spy the mustard yellow of the Goldenrod in bloom. The color splashing of Autumn has already begun.

I have spent summer mornings on the porch in my night shirt, but now I wear socks and sweats beneath my blanket as I was the fog roll away with the night. The dampness of it lingers on the skin, like the wet chill of rubbing alcohol. The scent of moist earth lingers with it, summer decomposing. The summer songbirds are fading with each foggy morning, as if abandoning their posts. I hear more crows now, calling out to each other, like children playing Marco Polo.

I am grateful for my blanket and my warm tea, for the sunlight that chases the fog away. I am grateful for these quiet mornings of jacket weather, before wool socks and coats become a necessity. I am grateful for moments of reflection from a comfortable back porch. I don’t mind the chilly mornings and evenings, but may the warm days last forever.


Migratory Game Bird Seasons To Begin

28 August, 2015, 11:11

West Virginia’s Canada goose and mourning dove seasons open Sept. 1, 2015

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s 2015–2016 migratory game bird seasons will begin statewide Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, with the opening of the early Canada goose and mourning dove seasons, according to Paul Johansen, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “This is a great way to start off your hunting seasons with a morning goose hunt and an afternoon dove hunt,” said Johansen.
The dove season is split into three segments with this first segment running from Sept. 1 to Oct. 17. Shooting hours Sept. 1 are noon to sunset. For the remainder of the season, hours are one-half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 birds.
The early Canada goose season ends Sept. 12. Shooting hours are one-half-hour before sunrise until sunset with a bag limit of five. All waterfowl hunters, 16 years old and older, must possess a federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp or “Duck Stamp.” Duck Stamps can be purchased from local post offices or with a credit card by calling 1-800-782-6724. All other general waterfowl hunting regulations apply to the September season.
Federal regulations require all licensed migratory bird hunters (including lifetime and senior citizens) to register with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) and carry proof of registration while hunting. HIP cards are free and available from DNR offices, all hunting license agents and online at
“Several hundred doves and geese are banded with leg bands each year throughout West Virginia for population monitoring and research purposes,” Johansen said. “It is very important that hunters who harvest a banded bird report these bands.” Banded birds can be reported by calling 1-800-327-2263 or going online at Hunters may keep the band and will receive information on when and where the bird was banded.
More information on West Virginia’s migratory game bird seasons can be found in the 2015-2016 West Virginia Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations, which will be available from DNR offices and the DNR web site ( in late August.


Getting Interesting

20 August, 2015, 19:40

It is finally starting to get interesting out there in the woods. It seems as if every rain shower brings on spurts of mushrooms. I know that many people enjoy looking for morels foe a couple of weeks every spring. I am not one of them. I would rather spend my time trying to get a few fish into the freezer at morel time.

There was a bumper crop of chanterelles out there in early to mid summer. I’m going to say this once. I don’t like chanterelles. To me; they are bitter and leave a lingering bad aftertaste. The pink ones are even worse than the apricot variety. I don’t like any of them.

Chicken of the Woods season has opened up early this year and I am happy about that. I didn’t find any last year until mid-September. From that time on I found more than I ever have. I was still getting them well up into October. I ate the last ones from my freezer 2 weeks ago. August 18 seems to be the date that they started popping out in the mountains this year. I have already put around 25 pounds into the freezer; plus I’ve eaten quite a few over the last 3 days.

I depend on Chicken of the Woods and Oyster Mushrooms for my mushroom fix. They are without a doubt my 2 favorites and can be found in adequate numbers to get more than just a taste. It looks as if 2015 may be my best year ever for edible fungi. I have been finding Oysters fairly steadily since May.I have spots where I can harvest Oyster well up into December if the temperatures are favorable.

Shaggy Manes are always numerous throughout the rainy season of October. It looks as if we are going to have a very nice hunting season for the next few months.I harvested these Chicken of the Woods and Oysters in about 45 minutes on Backbone Mountain in Tucker County this morning.

(c) 2015 High Virginia Outdoors  Photo (c) High Virginia Images ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


DNR Regulations Error

20 August, 2015, 15:22

Archery and Crossbow Deer Seasons Bag Limit Error in 2015-16 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary contains an error on page 15 with regards to the archery and crossbow white-tailed deer maximum combined seasons bag limit. In the counties listed below, which are closed to the antlerless season, the maximum combined seasons bag limit is two either-sex deer, not three deer as printed. Those counties or parts thereof include:

Boone Mineral (West Portion)
Clay (South of Elk River) Pendleton (West Portion)
Fayette (West Portion) Raleigh (West Portion)
Greenbrier (North Portion) Tucker
Kanawha (South Portion) Webster
Mineral (West Portion)  

The Division of Natural Resources encourages hunters to refer to pages 22-23 of the Regulations Summary for maps and descriptions of the split counties and regrets any inconvenience this error may cause. Questions can be directed to any DNR district office, the Elkins Operations Center or the South Charleston office.


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