Friday, October 13, 2017

Fall is Finally Here

Haralson Apples
Well, it's the week of October 9th and we finally received our first killing frost of the autumn season early this week.  It wasn't too long ago that we would have a frost in September and this time of year would be known as Indian Summer, the warming period after the first frost.  The first frost also is the signal that most of my apples are ready to harvest.  As some of you know I have a small orchard on my land that consist of about 7 mature apple trees and 3 mature pear trees.  The pears were done a month ago and our neighbor has taken some and canned them as well, has a batch of pear wine brewing in his basement. My main varieties of apples include McIntosh, Haralson, Fireside, Honeygold, Haralred, Zestar, and I have a rouge Wolf River apple that provides a great conversational piece as they often weigh up to a pound each.  The McIntosh apples are generally the earlier ripening apples and although good, they turn mushy pretty fast.  I actually have 2 of these trees, personally I would not have planted another one however like my wolf River apple, the trees were mismarked at the nursery and by the time they are producing apples it's too late to complain.  One other issue that I have is the trees were planted in the early 1990's and 27 years later they are starting to die off one by one.  I talked to a guy who seems to know what he's talking about and his claim is the trees only last about 25 to 30 years then fade away.  I am sure that a a disease known as fire blight doesn't help, some of my trees are more resistant to it however my Honeygold's and Fireside's seem to be more susceptible to this as I have lost a couple of my trees in the last few years and this summer I had 4 heavily laden branches simply break off, and these were substantial limbs.  Oh well, I am not a big fan of the Honeygold apples anyway as they seem to turn brown quite easily.  The gentleman at Anoka Feed Store sold me some fire blight spray which I will try next spring.  In the meantime this year is a bumper crop so the harvest goes on.  The frost is great for the Fireside apples, my favorite of them all and the plan is to get out the cider press and maybe make 10 - 20 gallons of fresh cider.  Both my neighbors have sight on getting some cider, on will make apple wine and the other wants to try and get good at making hard cider.  I am all for it as the truth of the matter is.......what the heck am I going to do with all of these apples!  They are very good to eat for sure!

Check Out the Size of that Minnow!
Being preoccupied with my fall routines gives little time to go fishing.  To be fair, my travels have put me behind in a number of things and as well, the older I get the lazier I get!!  Never the less my friends continue to report on their fishing successes and one such guy is Pete Mlinar of Monticello, MN. Pete is an amazing river rat and it's been a while since I have fished with him however he is the guy who got me going on fishing the Mississippi River.  His technique is quite simple, fish the largest Redtail or Creek Chubs you can and hang on. He has been teasing me with his pictures of  the walleye's they are getting on the river and I have to admit, it working.  Pete is retired so it's easier for him to just leave and fish whenever he wants.  He sent me this picture earlier this week of a nice walleye he had gotten however the first thing I noticed was the size of the minnow in the walleyes mouth.  I call him and asked if this was staged but he assured me that this came right out of the water, if you look closely you can see the line under his wrist.  That is pretty amazing.  Now he did sent some pictures of the 27 inch walleyes that they caught but to me this one was the most impressive.  I know that they simply bounce rigs off the bottom in 10 - 12 foot holes in the river, something I would like to try behind the house as I know where these holes are.  Just where to find the time is always the problem.  One of the things I have learned to do is shoot photography.  I have a nice camera and photoshop to process them.  Over the years I have done a lot of my friends and relatives, and their children's wedding photo's but admittedly that takes time.  This Saturday I am committed to help a friend out and do his wedding pictures. I hate to turn my friends down when they ask however for the most part I'm going to be there anyway I might as well be doing something.  These events always come with a caveat, I am not a professional and I will shoot it in a more casual theme.  Well, that along with picking apples will pretty much eat up all my time this weekend.

Wednesday is my annual Trout fishing date with Mr. Lundeen.  We go to his secret lake and fishing out of a canoe we generally do quite well, each coming back with our limit of 14 - 17 inch rainbow trout.  The lake is quite clear so this year I have a Water Wolf, in line underwater camera with hopes to capture some footage of the trout hitting the spinners we pull behind.  We will see and maybe next week I'll have some interesting results.   Like everything it will probably take me a few days to learn this.  Still need to get my step welded on the Ranger Trailer, The boat goes in next week to Frankies and have some of my lingering issues taken care of before the winter. I really need to grease the wheel bearings on my Ice Cabin before it get's too cold.  The list goes on and on and on and on!  Heck somewhere I have to fit sighting in my gun for deer hunting which is 3 weeks away.  Next Wednesday my good friend Mark Applen is heading to Colorado to hunt elk and I am pretty excited to see the results.

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