Tuesday, September 30, 2014


They are called Paper wasps because they chew on pieces of cellulose (bark, paper, etc), mix them with saliva, and spit out paper. The queen starts the nest, laying down the first cells and caring for the first brood of workers. When they mature, the queen retires to a life of egg-laying leisure, and the workers care for her, make hive cells, maintain the inner and outer walls of the nest, and forage for insects and pollen.
Bald-faced hornets are another group that constructs a paper nest. Their homes may contain 300 workers and may be so well-camouflaged that people can get much too close to them before seeing them, and may not hear the Hornet bugles blowing “Charge” until the airborne attack is well underway.

This one is hanging over the trout stream and I snapped a few quick pics on my way to collect some water cress.

The pool above the lock and dam was like glass tonight.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


The boats were stacked on top of the jeep like the tiers of a wedding cake.

We put in just North of Canton at the Supple Bridge access.

Nate wins. First fish, most, and largest.  With seven Smallies and a Carp.

There are two forks of the Maquoketa River that meander some 50 miles through the county, meeting just north of Maquoketa.

The river then flows another 30 miles until it reaches the Mississippi River. 

But I was still happy with two little Bass and a nice Walleye.

What a great crew today.  Jill and Scott and the Boys really have this whole canoeing thing down.  Practice makes perfect.

Steve, Deb and Lauren had a good run today.


Who's your favorite uncle?

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Art Slam
A live, timed painting competition that sets teams of artists in the spotlight. Three teams of college students and  three of professional artists competed for two $1000 prizes.

A nice piece by the team from my amam mater UNI.

Jackson Breitbach is one of the four modeling in the back ground.

Susie, Joey and Pricilla had the tough job of judging the six final pieces.

Sometimes less is more.  The addition of a little puffy paint didn't seem to help.

 But to each their own.

 Susie got to catch up with the girls after the judging was all over and done.

Michelle is gearing up for next Sunday nights hair show.

Nope, not a Victoria's Secret model and I wasn't drinking Red Bull.

  While Susie was judging I worked the bar and did a little quality control " slam" of my own.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


 We felt the need to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon on Thursday

So, Mart and I loaded up the fishing gear and headed down south to the Green Island Bottoms
 Green Island slough is a restored wetland complex on the upper Mississippi River floodplain near Dubuque, Iowa. Since 1993, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation service , along with partners such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, have purchased and restored over 2,000 acres of flood prone agricultural lands through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program.

 Today, the majority of these acres are open to the public and are easy accessible through maintained gravel roads. Roadside viewing of plants and animals, such as birds and dragonflies, is excellent throughout the complex. Foot exploration of the complex's levees offers a more in depth experience and views of some of the areas more secretive wildlife.

 They had recently mowed the dike so walking out to see the marsh was really pleasant.
 We got some fishing in and I caught a few small, Smallies.
 Lot's of birding in the marsh.  Who knows what you'll see around the next bend in the river.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

“You never can tell with bees.” ― Winnie-the-Pooh


Saturday was a beautiful day, after the cold front moved through the area and the skies cleared.  Sunshine and mid-70's. and Iowa -vs- Iowa State on the radio.

I took the opportunity to pull a few frames of honey.  Then I took a cruse over to Tom and Lil's to check on a problem with bees in the floor joist of the second floor.

Well, this turned into being a bigger project than what I had planned.  Second floor, electrical wires and BEEs lots of Bees.

 I felt like Poo Bear with his hand in the honey jar.  Layer of comb upon layer of comb.  Going back at least four feet so far...

I've never dug into a hive in the side of a house like this.  Let alone on the second floor working off a ladder.

After borrowing a sweat shirt from Tom, I got to work with a hand saw and a garden hoe.  Pulling out comb with honey and brood comb with larva.  Separating the honey into one container and the brood into a hive body.

 Still searching for the queen.

For the past few years Bellevue has been a musical wasteland.  But recently we've been lucky enough to have Mooney Hollow and Codfish Hollow barns with gigs and a new music store   
Lock-12-Music-and-Trading-Co.  Where I picked up this new Stratocaster style guitar.

The guitars will be artistically decorated and dipped.  Then the finished guitars will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the stores guitar library and FREE music lesson program.  What a great thing for the people of Bellevue.

Last night we relaxed at the  Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ at Potter's Mill  and listened to an old "Friend".  Spencer Bohren, so if  he swings through your area and your looking for something good? The sweetest lap steel guitar you've ever heard plus some real good blues and storytelling be sure to check him out.



Monday, September 1, 2014


A labor of Love.  While Mike, Trent, Louie and Casey got the new stage ready for the evenings entertainment.
 Coco and her new guy John, along with the kids rebuilt the dam over in the trout stream.

Susie and I were talking this morning about how lucky we are to have all these talented friends.

Folks that can build, cook, make music and make us laugh! 

Jamie, Pearl, Larry and Max stopped by Marty and Joan's camp.
Sophie found a new home and a new pair of sunglasses at Tsunami camp.
My Greatful Dead Chucks have seen better days.

The Girls enjoying Labor Day weekend.

Carol made the trip up from Kansas City and Jamie and the Birthday Boy Robbert came up from Iowa City.

Time to relax and enjoy the music!