Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saltwater Aquarium Stuff

Well, a few guys at work are getting into the saltwater aquarium hobby and have been asking me questions since I've been around the hobby for so long. (I set my first saltwater aquarium up nearly 10 years ago).

My tank is far from what it was during it's glory days, but it is doing okay. I'm really thinking about starting to try some hard corals again and to start getting it back in good shape again. I just know that would mean time and attention, and I seem to find my self continually short of both of those commodities.

Yesterday 3 of my occellaris clowns were hanging around in 2 of my Rose Bubble Tip Anemones along with the small percula clown that normally hangs out in those 2 anemones and I had the camera in my hand from taking pictures of Eli so I took a few shots.

I thought this one turned out pretty good.The percula clown is on the far left in the picture.

One fish that I'm proud that I've been able to keep alive is my Clown Tang. They have a reputation for being very difficult to keep, but I've had this one for 5 years or so. This is my Clown Tang with my Emporer Angel hanging out sideways in it's usual spot in the background. This picture didn't turn out very good, but it was the only one that the fish was somewhat in focus.My oldest fish that I have is a Yellow Tang that I will have had for 10 years this July and I got it "used" when I bought my first reef tank.

This picture is almost two years old but I still have this gigas clam. At the time we were wondering which weighed more, Eli or the clam. It hasn't grown as much as Eli has, but it has grown some. I measured it a while back and it was 16" long. My Emporer Angel is in the picture too, it is about 6" long.

I have a whole shed full of extra equipment that I've collected over the years and I'm thinking I might work a deal with a few guys that are gung ho about getting into the hobby to come help me sort everything all out and get it cleaned up and organized and they can keep some of the equipment for their effort.

I think I'll wait until things slow down a bit at work though!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Trail Camera Pictures

Well, I finally got around to uploading the trail camera pictures that I got the last time I was down at the land.

One thing is for sure, I didn't put much of a dent in the hog population!

There's 16 of them in this group.

3 sows and 10 baby piglets in this group.
And here's a piebald boar.
So that is 30 unique pigs within a 24 hour period!

So I shot 1 of the medium sized piglets and 1 sow, and the boar I shot wasn't in any of the pictures so that leaves at least 28 remaining!

That group of 16 medium sized piglets is really strange. I think they are about 3 or 4 months old and I guess the sows have been killed out of that group. I had pictures of them on several different days and there are generally not any sows with them.

I really need to get a good hog trap setup going. If those are allowed to mature they will really start to wreck havoc on the land and other wildlife.

The real goal of the property is whitetail deer and I'm seeing quite a bit of potential on that side of things. I have my protein feeder setup with a fence around it so that the pigs can't get to it, but the deer can easily jump the fence.

I counted 8 different bucks visiting the protein feeder during the last two weeks along with 3 different does. This picture has 6 different bucks.

I need to get out and start shed hunting sometime soon as well, the bucks are starting to drop. I didn't find any of last years sheds, but hopefully I'll do better this year.

Here's the broken 9 point missing his right side. (He lost his left side just a few days later)

And here's the tall 8 point missing his right side. (He also lost his left side a few days later)

It's going to be interesting seeing them grow back over the next several months!

My quail population seems to be doing really well too! I really think thinning the raccoons out has already made a difference.

Well, that's about it. Lots more pictures on the website if you are interested.

Hopefully I'll be able to get down there in the next couple weeks. Turkey season starts April 4th!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here piggie piggie!

Well, I ran down to the land yesterday after church to check on the trail cameras since they haven't been working right, and check the protein feeder and maybe get a quick hunt in.

I've brought people down to the land with me the last 3 or 4 times I've gone down there trying to line them up on some pigs, so of course since I went down by myself and I wanted to make a quick trip of it, there were pigs everywhere!

I got down there and didn't even make it to the first camera to check and I saw a bunch of piglets down by the pond. I stopped and got out and watched them for a bit, but they just trotted off like they didn't even see me. I could hear some other pigs over by the feeder so I snuck over there and there were pigs just laying around on the ground. Most of them were piglets but there was 1 medium sized sow and I shot her. I ended up hitting one of the piglets as well either in front of or behind the sow so I ended up getting 2 pigs with one shot! Here's a picture of the sow getting ready to go in the cooler.

After the pig was in the cooler, I decided to hang out for a while to see if anything else showed up. I saw 6 deer in one of the fields about 600 yards away, and then saw a nice boar hog coming toward me from the west. It didn't seem to like the way things smelled around the feeder so it never came in to the feeder but headed toward the pond and I was able to shoot him right on the path that I use to drive around the property and he dropped on the spot. I think he is the biggest pig I've shot so far. I tried to weigh him, but the old rope that I was using broke twice trying to pull him up in the air with the truck and it was getting dark so I gave up and just got to work getting him in the cooler.

When you look at him without anything for perspective he doesn't look very big.

Then here is a picture with a cooler in it for perspective. The cooler is 2' long and 16" tall. A pretty good sized cooler. (It already has the meat off the first pig in the cooler)

He barely fit! When it was all said and done I ended up with 75 - 100lbs of pork in the cooler.

Here's a closeup picture of his tusks.

It's hard to really tell, but the bottom tusks are about 3" long. They are the longest of any hog I've shot so far. They don't look it, but they are razor sharp and could do some serious damage if they got ahold of you! The large boars have very thick skin around their shoulders that some folks refer to as "armor". It is really interesting when skinning them out.

That's about it for now. It is just crazy that I take folks down there to hunt pigs and never see any and then go down there planning on a quick trip and end up killing 3 of them.

I did get some decent trail camera pictures that I'll be posting in a few days.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Bev Doolittle Print

Well, I've been really busy at work, but I snuck out for a couple hours at lunch today to go to an auction here in town. It was a pretty odd deal, they were auctioning off a house plus a bunch of furniture and artwork. In the newspaper ad they listed Bev Doolittle as one of the artists and I'm a fan of some of her work so I decided to go. With the economy hurting and it was a pretty dreary day I was hoping to find some really good deals.

Well, they only had 2 of her prints and neither one was a signed limited edition print so that was a little disappointing, but probably saved me a some bucks since they would have gone quite a bit higher I'm sure. I was bidding thinking they were still authorized prints that were just not signed and numbered, but once I got the one that I bought home and measured it, I now know that it is some kind of unauthorized knock off. It still looks good though, and the price I ended up paying was about what the frame and matting would have cost so I'm still pretty happy with it.

Cathy is out of town so I went ahead and brought it home and tried to put it where I thought it would look good. Hopefully she'll like it there.

The print that I bought is called "The Forest Has Eyes". Here's a closeup picture of it:
First I just moved the print that was currently over the fireplace (It is also a Bev Doolittle knock off) and replaced it with the new print. I didn't like that so I moved a few more things around and here's what it looks like now. Hopefully Cathy will like it that way.
Here's the other side of the room with some more Bev Doolittle knock offs and my elk from last fall.

Since I was uploading pictures anyway I uploaded a few new ones of Eli. Here he is in his new raccoon skin hat! I was going to have one of the raccoons that I trapped made into a hat, but a trapping supply house had a big sale and it was quite a bit cheaper to just buy him one than it would be to get my own raccoon skin made into a hat. Oh well, not that exciting, but I didn't ever say I was very exciting.