Get jonbryan.com via email!
Show tagged entries
Sunday, February 28. 2010
Central Texas is a wonderful place to live!Â After spending years fighting the humidity in Houston, plus a few years handling the ice storms in Atlanta, not to say the heat of Phoenix, Layla and I were ready for the moderate climes of central Texas.Â Not too hot and not too cold, not too much rain, with a little snow sprinkled in once every four or five years.Â Except for the "cedar fever", hard to beat!
Last year, 2009, we were blessed with over forty-three inches of rain, close to two years of our annual amount.Â Through February we have received almost nine and a half inches, almost one half of our yearly average.Â Praise the Lord!
However, there is a problem.Â This year we have experienced snow, five times.Â Not a dusting, but accumulations that even stayed on the ground, the last being on Tuesday, the 23rd.Â The weathermen hit that one on the nose, saying it would begin raining in the earlyÂ morning hours, then change to snow, with a total of six inches possible.Â We got more than that, snowing continuously for fourteen hours, completely shutting the area down!
Before lunch I took this picture of the snow pouring down.
Another one of our shooting range and the target almost obscured by the snow.
This one of the garden and the mid morning accumulation.
Layla and I went out to lunch last Tuesday and snapped these pictures of our central Texas snowstorm.
I'm a sucker for snow and water.Â It makes the water look black and the lack of color in the woods is neat.
The oak trees, normally an evergreen, are covered with snow.
With the temp hovering around thirty, even the fence had ice on it.
I only have two comments about this weather.Â One, it looks like I might have to buy a snow shovel.Â And two, who are we kidding, global warming is a hoax!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Weather at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, February 26. 2010
Our score on our hog trap is two captures, but no hogs!
Last year in early November, our first score was on a young bull, calf.Â He had ambled into the trap to sample the corn scattered about. We released him and he scooted back to mama.Â But, of course, on that release we didnâ€™t take a camera along with us!
On this past Monday a Deputy Sheriff stopped by our house and told Layla that we had a doe caught in our hog trap.Â I was in town talking to a natural resources rep about cedar eradication and when I was returning home she called and told me the news, adding, â€œHurry up!â€
We hurried out to the trap, and sure enough, there stood the doe, securely ensconced!
When I walked up to release the doe, she became quite excited and banged around the trap, but as I opened the door she took off in full high, speed; way to quick for a picture.
Maybe, our third score will be a charm and weâ€™ll trap a hog?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, February 24. 2010
This is the second part of â€œBusiness Tripâ€ and it covers the fishing excursion.Â The action was hot and heavy and some good pictures were taken!
The Captain gave us instructions about how to apply the hook to the whitebait.Â He said to hook them just above the pelvic fin and that hook placement makes them spin around on the bottom and, in turn, excites the predators into striking.Â We baited up and looped casts into the area behind the boat.
My first strike was solid, the fish made a nice run, then headed towards the boat.Â Another shorter run and, keeping the line tight, I reached over and grabbed the nice bonita by the tail and lifted it into the boat.Â Before tossing the fish back into the water, our host posed with me as I held it up.
We only caught one more bonita, but the kingfish moved in and supplied us top flight, action.Â With our medium/light tackle, their initial runs were spectacular and they battled us all the way in, until subdued with a coup de grace, a billy to the knoggin.
We fished for over three hours and the action was constant.Â On one cast of mine, as the bait floated toward the bottom, my rod was jarred with a heavy strike.Â My first thought was another king, and I braced myself for its characteristic long first run.Â But to my surprise the fish came straight up, out of the water in a beautiful arc.
The fish was identified as a barracuda and I started getting ample instructions about landing it.Â The instructions were interspersed by how good it was going to taste!Â After several more jumps, the mate gaffed it, careful to apply the gaff in the barracudaâ€™s head area.Â It was bonked on the head with a billy and into the cooler with it.Â For me, I will have no part in eating that fish!
We took this picture of the barracuda as we were unloading our catch. The two smaller â€˜cudas, pictured, are under twenty-eight inches and supposedly free from ciguatera.Â The one I caught was over thirty-six inches and, I imagined, full of the disease. Â
Cruising back into the dock area, we counted up the fish we kept, ten kings and three â€˜cudas, a good mornings outing!Â As the â€˜cudas were being cleaned, I commented to our host that I still would have no part in eating one!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, February 22. 2010
This is the first of a two part story about a business trip that my business partner and I took in February of 1996. Â
We had opened our computer related, business in early 1994 and by the end of February 1996 it was rolling along very well.Â One of our suppliers in Florida invited us down to get to know them better and to try some mid winter, off shore, fishing.Â The last part really interested us and we took them up on their offer!
In the afternoon, we flew into Tampa and early the next morning, met our hosts for breakfast and drove on down to meet our Captain and get loaded up for the dayâ€™s trip.Â First thing on our agenda was catching bait for the day.Â The Captain had his fish finder on as we cruised along a sandy shore, the finder flashed showing bait fish, we stopped and began chumming and several times the Captain tossed out his cast net and we helped him pick out the bait, he called â€œwhitebaitâ€, but they were really a type of sardine.
We cruised on out under the big bridge that spans Clearwater Channel and headed on a course west/southwest for about an hour and anchored in fifty feet of water.Â The Captain said we were over scattered rocks and as we cast out he said we could expect to catch different kinds of grouper, kingfish, barracuda and maybe even, an amberjack.Â We could catch all of these species out of Galveston and Freeport, but the barracuda were an added treat.
Barracuda are pretty rare out of our Texas ports and if we caught one, which wasnâ€™t very often, we would throw it right back into the water because of the chance to acquire ciguatera.Â This is a disease that is prevalent in the tropic zones, not deadly, but has no cure and causes extreme diarrhea!Â
Grouper, amberjack, snappers and barracuda feed on reef dwellers that feed on the coral that carries the disease, which is then transferred to the flesh of the predators.Â Cooking or freezing will not eliminate ciguatera!Â Fish shorter that twenty-eight inches are supposed to be free of the malady?We were told that we would keep all the barracuda that we caught and I didnâ€™t want any part of that.
Part two will be posted on February 24.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, February 20. 2010
Many times Iâ€™ve heard that if youâ€™re going to have a gunfight be sure and â€œBring Enough Gunâ€.Â I didnâ€™t have a gunfight this past Wednesday afternoon, however I sure did need a bigger gun!
Wednesday afternoon was beautiful, no wind, the temp around fifty, with bright blue skies, so I decided to go out and sit in a tree and try to call up a red fox or â€˜coon.Â To dispatch one of these small critters, I took along my .17 HMR, plenty of gun for one of them!
Climbing up into the tree, I was â€œguardingâ€ about eighty yards of a rough track through the thick stuff.Â Before me, several game trails crossed this track, the nearest one was not over twenty-five yards away. Having seen both â€˜coons and foxes use this area, I began my deception using a distressed rabbit call.Â Blowing for about twenty seconds, then waiting for three minutes, I repeated the process several times.Â Then I noticed movement behind the brush along the nearest game trail!
Out trotted a coyote!Â It was a big one, dark fur along its back shading to a lighter hue on its sides, so I didnâ€™t even think about shooting at it with the .17HMR.Â In about five seconds it crossed the track and disappeared into the thick stuff on the other side.Â This was the first coyote that Iâ€™ve seen on my place in the seventeen years that it has been in my possession.
Keeping up my calling, with no results, I finally slipped down out of the tree and walked back to my truck.Â It was â€œneatâ€ seeing the coyote, but for this particular, twenty-five yard shot, I needed my twelve gauge, auto, with number one, buckshot!
All the way back to my truck, I kept thinking, Always be sure and â€œBring Enough Gunâ€!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, February 18. 2010
Randy Pfaff sent me the two following pictures.Â
The second is of a huge deer shot near Thrifty, Texas, ten miles north of Brownwood and about forty-five milesÂ northwest of Goldthwaite.Â The â€œBrownwood Bulletinâ€ carried the story on December 23rd.Â The buck, shot off of a ten acre place, was between three and a half and four and a half years old, with twenty-seven points and scored a whopping 210-6/8 B&C!Â Monster bucks like this one generally donâ€™t come from around Thrifty.
Finally Joe Tryba sent me this picture of some construction workers taking it easy on a job site. Not a hunting picture, but at least these guys are sitting in the outdoors!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, February 16. 2010
With high hopes for a rerun of our 2009 championship, Stumpy and The Texans went to Winter Haven, Florida this past weekend and participated in The Tournament Of Champions.Â Our hopes were high, but our performance stunk!
We opened the tournament with a 19-4 pounding of a good Michigan team, then four innings into the game, the rains came, washing out the tournament for Friday.Â Saturday morning was cloudy and windy with the temperature between 39 and 41.Â Terrible conditions, but they were the same for both teams and an excellent team from Florida handed us two beatings, 11-7 and 13-8.
Better conditions on Sunday, not quite as cold and not as windy, but Oregon handled us 11-6, then we were embarrassed by Michigan, 16-4. This loss sent us home with our tails between our legs!
Next tournament is in Georgetown, March 18-21.Â With The Texans, hope still springs eternal!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Sports at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, February 14. 2010
Sleeping soundly, I awoke to the loud crack of what I thought was a rifle shot.Â Reaching over and trying to turn on the lights, there was no power, rats, we had an all electric home too!Â The â€œshotâ€ had awakened the whole family, including Rooster, our Brittany and Nick, our cat.Â We were all sleeping around the big fireplace in the basement,.Â â€œWhat was that Dad?â€Â â€œSounded like a shot to me!â€Â â€œBeats me kids,â€ I replied, but later we found out that it was the crack of a pine tree snapping from the weight of accumulated ice.Â At the time, I didnâ€™t even know that could happen.
We had moved from Phoenix to Atlanta in August of 1976 and by January of 1978 had really settled in.Â We didnâ€™t live in the city but in an unincorporated area of Fulton County, Sandy Springs, that was a â€˜bufferâ€™ between Atlanta and Roswell.Â We had selected a home in the Lost Forest Subdivision and it truly was a lost forest, very hilly, a lot of pine trees, but ten minutes from my work and best, outside of the Atlanta ISD!
Being â€˜flatlandersâ€™ and since the last two winters had been mild for the area, we really didnâ€™t know what to expect when the TV weather alerted us for â€˜a severe winter storm and possible ice stormâ€™.Â Since this was a new, high corporate mobility area, most of our neighbors were at a loss too.Â Finally a local surfaced and told us, â€œFolks youâ€™d better prepare for the worst.Â We could be shut down anywhere up to a week!â€
Early the next morning the storm hit in full force, rain, sleet, snow, high wind and plummeting temperatures.Â By evening the temperature had dropped to +5 and by early morning of the stormâ€™s second day, -5.Â The coldest weather Iâ€™d ever seen!Â We thought weâ€™d be ready, but soon found out how wrong we were, even with a cord of wood and fireplaces on two floors of our three, story house.Â The fireplaces, in particular, the one in the basement, and the wood certainly came in handy over the long haul of this storm.
Long haul it was!Â We were iced in and our house was on the middle of a hill.Â We couldnâ€™t go up or down.Â We knew we would slide down and never even tried to go up the hill even in our 4WD, Dodge, Power Wagon.Â Our freezer was in the garage and since we had below freezing temps for over two days the loss of electric power didnâ€™t cause a 'great thaw'!Â We just opened the freezer doors and let the sub freezing cold blow in.
The biggest fireplace was in the basement and our lives centered around it.Â We were without power for almost four days and all cooking was done like the early settlers, over the fireplace fire.Â Thankfully, we never lost water pressure, our bathwater was heated over the fire and they were really only quick â€œrinsesâ€.
The fourth day of the storm the weather moderated some so we loaded up four of my neighbors in my 4WD, Dodge Power Wagon with a sleeper, camper on the back end and headed off to our office.Â Â We all worked for the same large company, crept in slowly in low 4WD and finally arrived safely.Â Nothing much could be accomplished since we only had a skeleton staff that could make it in, but by the next day, schools were opened, business began â€˜hummingâ€™ and power was restored to our part of Fulton County.
During the 'Great Ice Storm of '78', our time was spent keeping the fire roaring, heating water for baths, cooking all day long, venturing to the colder portions of the house for clothes and needed items and surviving the best we could. Our time outside the protection of our basement fire was spent visiting with neighbors and helping, and being helped, with the clearing and cutting up of the numerous pine trees splintered by the ice accumulation.
This was a real learning experience for me, but just stop and think all that our forefathers had to endure, that today, we take for granted.Â Think of the effort expended, cutting, trimming, splitting, hauling and stacking a cord, 4â€™X 4â€™X 8â€™, of wood; or raising enough food to feed the family and livestock for the winter; or digging a 10 to 20 foot well for water or hauling water every day for the familyâ€™s and animalâ€™s needs; or shearing, making the yarn, weaving and sewing clothes.Â All of this with no power tools, no electricity, no running water, no cell or telephones, no â€˜modern medicineâ€™, only the strength and ingenuity of the individual. Â
I think weâ€™ve gotten soft!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Weather at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
(Page 1 of 2, totaling 14 entries) » next page
Original content in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
SEO and Website Development by tekRESCUE