Thursday, March 21, 2013

Signs of Spring

While I truly enjoy blogging, I must admit that I've had a hard time lately keeping up with my own goals for updating this blog more than once or twice a month. To make things even harder, with Daylight Savings Time in full swing and the onset of warmer weather, it's been hard for me to find the time to sit at the computer and write about all the outdoor activities that I have been involved in. I hope this doesn't sound like I'm complaining, that's not my intention at all. With that said, I'll try to do a little better at keeping things current on here.
Rainbow on a Triple Threat
There are several things to me that herald the arrival of spring around my area of North Carolina. One of the first signs that spring is closing in is the end of the small game seasons, and the stocking of the Delayed Harvest trout waters in our state. I try (although it doesn't always work out) to trout fish year round, and my preference is for wild trout when I have the time to get to the places where they live, but with a Delayed Harvest stream in a state park only 25 minutes up the road, this time of year I tend to take advantage of the opportunities that I have close to home.
Trent's Brook Trout
  After rabbit season closed, and we had some warm days, I began to really get the urge to go check on the Jacob's Fork, and hopefully catch a few trout in the process. I will admit that I figured my odds were improved by the recent stocking a few days before, so I headed up to South Mountain the first Saturday of this month to give the fly rod a workout and scratch my fishing itch. The fish didn't seem quite willing to hit a dry fly yet, but my brother-in-law Trent and I did manage several fish on streamers and nymphs.
Delayed Harvest Brook Trout
It seemed to me that the NC Wildlife Resources Commission had stocked larger trout than usual, and we saw several large fish in the pools as we worked our way upstream. I had success fishing black/gold/tan triple threat streamers and a hare's ear bird's nest nymph, with about half of the fish coming on each. This trip was just the first of hopefully many to come as the trout fishing will only get better for the next month or two. Hopefully a trip to a wild trout stream will be in the cards before long.

Planting Potatoes
After I got my trout fishing fix, it was time to try to get this year's garden started. I had planned to try a few new early crops in the garden this year, along with the usual onions, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and leaf lettuce that I normally plant in early spring. This year I decided to add potatoes and English peas to the early crops. I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to get the garden plowed in time, because we've seemed to have an unusually wet late winter this year. Either that, or it's been dry long enough that this winter seemed wetter than usual. As a gardener, I would never complain about rain, but I will admit I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to plow until May! Finally we had several dry days in a row and I was able to get the garden tilled and planted.

I always get excited when it's time to plant the garden, and my wife was overheard making the comment to the owner of our local hardware store that I always get a little bit ambitious when it came time to plan out our garden. I guess I'm guilty as charged on that one, because I'm always thinking of new vegetables to try or new things to do with our garden. I really think that it must be something that gets in your blood, and I'm sure my grandfathers' are partially to thank for my love of gardening.

Speaking of being ambitious, my uncle gave me some blueberry seedlings that were left after he finished pruning and thinning his bushes, so I added 9 more plants to my blueberry bed that already had six bushes. As I was out checking on the new plantings the other day, I noticed our peach trees were starting to bloom and the apple and cherry trees were budding.
Peach Blossoms
I'm a little nervous that last night's below freezing temperatures may have harmed the peach blooms, but for the time being all I can do is wait and hope that there will be peaches to pick this summer. The muscadine vines have been pruned, and I think our little orchard is in the best shape it can be at this point. Now it's just going to take patience and a little help from Mother Nature.

Spring is one of my favorite times of year. The garden is started, the fish are biting, and the turkeys have been strutting and gobbling as their mating season approaches. It's a busy time for me, but I wouldn't trade a minute of it.

Thanks for stopping by!

- Joseph


  1. Can't go wrong with adding more blueberries!
    Very nice trout- stocked or not, it is good to exercise them.

    1. Thanks Peter! I agree, my wife and I both love blueberries, I hope they all make it.

  2. Still loving the blogs Joe....Nicely done. Nice catches, I love to trout fish but I do so with a spinning rod due to the fact that I will trip myself with a fly rod....I would use a baitcaster if I could. Haha.

    1. Thanks Chris! It took me a while to figure out fly fishing, but it sure is fun.

  3. Joe,
    Trout fishing, gardening, checking out the blossoms. Sounds great! I'm waiting for the same, though it's difficult being patient here in NY.

    1. Spring has kind of been teasing us here, it was warm and in the seventies a few days ago, but the last few nights have seen below freezing temperatures and cooler weather. Hopefully spring will get here soon for both of us!

  4. Spring isn't quite here yet but nice to see those blossoms.

    1. Thanks! It looks like our peaches survived the cold weather we had right after I wrote this post. Now we just have to be patient and wait on the fruit.


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