PDA

View Full Version : So My Brother Took Me Camping Last Week-end



BigDon
2012-Jun-22, 11:17 PM
I've been utterly dog miserible since my youngest child, Boo, moved 80 miles away, in preperation to moving to Seattle, a thousand miles away. And my brother felt the best way to make me happier on Father's Day without any kids was four days of sleeping on the ground with ants and centipedes during 107 degree daytime temps, no single women and seven children. That way I'd feel better about being back home.

I had a blast.

I was up in ABR. territory at the campgrounds around Union Valley Reservoir.

One of the kids present was Lex, the kid with the uncanny ability to hand-catch dragonflys, which can't be done of course.

Then we took him to Panoche Valley last year and he found out all the holes in the area weren't boring old ground squirrel dens. No sirree!

Those were tarantula burrows and whenever we weren't watching him he had his hand down one pulling out these really annoyed female tarantulas. He caught five like that without getting bit once.

Lex is nine now and has progressed beyond budding herpetologist/entomologist to lecturing me now.

If any human alive is going to refill Mr. Steve Irwin's shoes I honestly believe it's going to be Lex.

The first morning all the containers he brought were filled with blue bellies. He let them all go over time as he caught odder and odder creatures, culminating in a rubber boa,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_Boa

Something that in thirty years of camping I've seen a picture of once, back in the seventies.

A good thing about blue bellies. Whereever you have blue bellies you don't have lyme disease in the tick population. A protien in the blood of blue bellies is toxic to the spirochetes and it clears the ticks of it.

And I even got a little fishing in. I was happy. I didn't catch squat. My brother got a small mouth bass that was clearly undersized, and when he held it up for review prior to release I had to comment,

"Oh I've pulled bigger things out of my nose!"

Which sort of cheesed him off for some reason. He had to retort with:

"Well I'd see to that if I were you!"

Then my friend Mike, Lex's father, hauls out a german brown that outweighed the largest bass I've every caught. Eight freakin' pounds. That was the biggest trout I've ever seen personally.

and the funniest thing about modern times.

The campgrounds have a nearby cell repeater, disguised as a tree, with countershading, solar powered LEDs and the works. I get better cell reception there than I do here at home.

Since I know my oldest daughter works late and gets home late, after everybody else went to sleep in camp I was up text chatting with her. A troupe of coyotes started up about 11 pm with their caterwauling and that was seriously cool and I ws telling her about them.

And then I smelled it. What some people here call the wet puppy smell and what I think smells like somewhere a cat had kittens. Even thumbed off a message to my daughter regarding it because I knew what it was.

So when the bear came into camp my first thought was:

"Hmmm, I'm going to have to tell Von Mazur I just learned the difference between bringing a gun and having a gun."

My shotgun being safely tucked away in my vehicle and all. Yes sir, that bear was plenty safe.

My daughter got all panicky and texted me to

"Be quiet and for God's sake don't poke the bear!"

I texted back:

"I don't see that in the cards, this being the first date and all."

and just then another camper, who had two big dogs on a leash, came by and ran the bear off. Yelled at it and got all threatening.

He had one of those special relationships with his dogs it seems, so when they became alert he got up to see what they were triggering on, though he suspected already. (Instead of let's say, throwing a shoe at them and rolling over in his sleeping bag.)

Gotta love a man intune with his animals like that.

It was so dark he didn't even know I was there sitting in plain sight in a lawn chair until I thanked him for running the bear off.

Well, I'm being called away to prepare for this weekends LAN warfare marathon.

I'll be back.

Trebuchet
2012-Jun-23, 03:15 AM
Some decades ago my brother, then a college student, and I, recently discharged from the military, went on a vacation to the Canadian Rockies. We figured we'd find a cheap motel some nights and otherwise sleep in the back of his ancient Datsun wagon. We had a small stash of junk food, which we wound up subsisting on more than we expected when we found out that real food cost more than we had.

So anyhow, we're sitting at a picnic table in a campground, fire starting to go out, with our bag of food on the table. I heard a rustling in the bushes and was annoyed that someone was out next to our campsite. My brother, being smarter, said,"It's a bear.". I was about to get on him for making such a joke when the bear came out of the woods and walked up to our table.

Eventually I got up the nerve to do something about it. With the bear about five feet away at the end of the table, I summoned up my nerve and said, barely above a whisper, "Go away, bear!". It looked at me, and decided it should do something so it went for our bag of food. Making a selection, it ambled off back into the bush.

"What did it take?", my brother asked. "The Peanut Butter Captain Crunch." I replied. My brother loved that stuff. For a minute I thought he was going to go try to get it back. Instead we just sat there for about 20 minutes before deciding maybe we should head for the car.

As soon as we were in the car, the bear reappeared, seeing if we'd left any more goodies. Not finding any, he went to bother someone else and we soon heard pots banging.

Next morning I found the Captain Crunch box just behind the nearest bushes. The bear had been sitting there waiting for us to go.

Thanks, Don, for reminding me of one of my favorite stories.

grapes
2012-Jun-23, 10:19 AM
I knew a kid like Lex once, maybe ten years old. His mom was not a helicopter parent, she seemed fine with him spending his freeplay knee-deep in the muddy sludge that accumulated in the woody drainage streams that course through the development. I asked him to show me a snapping turtle, as I'd just moved (24 years ago) to the area from the Rocky Mountains. We found one within twenty minutes, a small one bigger than my head that he tried to "collect". He was always reaching under a muddy bank to pull out wriggling fauna.

That was the same day my four-year-old son fell face forward in the stream, and when we pulled him out his arms and legs became brilliant red--we quickly peeled off his soaked t-shirt and shorts, worried that they were holding against his skin whatever agent had reddened his limbs, but that skin was clear. He looked like he'd just received a severe sunburn. We rushed him back to the house to wash him off (lawn fertilizer? dunno), but it subsided quickly. Never figured out what it was. Bet I find out today. :)

Cougar
2012-Jun-23, 12:12 PM
Bearanoia strikes deep.
Into your life it will creep.

BigDon
2012-Jun-25, 06:40 AM
I knew a kid like Lex once, maybe ten years old. His mom was not a helicopter parent, she seemed fine with him spending his freeplay knee-deep in the muddy sludge that accumulated in the woody drainage streams that course through the development. I asked him to show me a snapping turtle, as I'd just moved (24 years ago) to the area from the Rocky Mountains. We found one within twenty minutes, a small one bigger than my head that he tried to "collect". He was always reaching under a muddy bank to pull out wriggling fauna.

That was the same day my four-year-old son fell face forward in the stream, and when we pulled him out his arms and legs became brilliant red--we quickly peeled off his soaked t-shirt and shorts, worried that they were holding against his skin whatever agent had reddened his limbs, but that skin was clear. He looked like he'd just received a severe sunburn. We rushed him back to the house to wash him off (lawn fertilizer? dunno), but it subsided quickly. Never figured out what it was. Bet I find out today. :)

Fresh water oyster milt.

Jeez, gimme a hard one!

BigDon
2012-Jun-25, 07:01 AM
Now Lex has a younger brother, Nick.

Nick is finally old enough to go camping without his mother with us, being four years old. Between bouts of rousting the local small game, big brother relaxed with some sort of hand-held game console which was sort of the source of my intial confusion in the following conversation:

Nick: "I want a wizard, like my big brother."

Now I think to myself, dispite being a role playing game refferee near continiously from 1976 to about two years ago, what does, or should, a four year old know about wizards in the first place? The world still new and weird enough as it is. Wanting to probe this matter further I had to ask:

Me: "You want a wizard just like your older brother?"

Nick: "Yes, a bwue bewwy!"

Nick seems to have an issue with his "L"s. I had to mentally face palm myself. (Well, of course, you face palm yourself. I mean I had to face palm at myself. Mentally.)

swampyankee
2012-Jun-25, 11:34 AM
Now Lex has a younger brother, Nick.

Nick is finally old enough to go camping without his mother with us, being four years old. Between bouts of rousting the local small game, big brother relaxed with some sort of hand-held game console which was sort of the source of my intial confusion in the following conversation:

Nick: "I want a wizard, like my big brother."

Now I think to myself, dispite being a role playing game refferee near continiously from 1976 to about two years ago, what does, or should, a four year old know about wizards in the first place? The world still new and weird enough as it is. Wanting to probe this matter further I had to ask:

Me: "You want a wizard just like your older brother?"

Nick: "Yes, a bwue bewwy!"

Nick seems to have an issue with his "L"s. I had to mentally face palm myself. (Well, of course, you face palm yourself. I mean I had to face palm at myself. Mentally.)

I'm actually kind of surprised the next thing Nick said wasn't
"No, a wizard."
Because even if he can't say his L's, he probably knows that the word should be "lizard," and you're just not getting it.

The Backroad Astronomer
2012-Jun-25, 12:10 PM
Some decades ago my brother, then a college student, and I, recently discharged from the military, went on a vacation to the Canadian Rockies. We figured we'd find a cheap motel some nights and otherwise sleep in the back of his ancient Datsun wagon. We had a small stash of junk food, which we wound up subsisting on more than we expected when we found out that real food cost more than we had.

So anyhow, we're sitting at a picnic table in a campground, fire starting to go out, with our bag of food on the table. I heard a rustling in the bushes and was annoyed that someone was out next to our campsite. My brother, being smarter, said,"It's a bear.". I was about to get on him for making such a joke when the bear came out of the woods and walked up to our table.

Eventually I got up the nerve to do something about it. With the bear about five feet away at the end of the table, I summoned up my nerve and said, barely above a whisper, "Go away, bear!". It looked at me, and decided it should do something so it went for our bag of food. Making a selection, it ambled off back into the bush.

"What did it take?", my brother asked. "The Peanut Butter Captain Crunch." I replied. My brother loved that stuff. For a minute I thought he was going to go try to get it back. Instead we just sat there for about 20 minutes before deciding maybe we should head for the car.

As soon as we were in the car, the bear reappeared, seeing if we'd left any more goodies. Not finding any, he went to bother someone else and we soon heard pots banging.

Next morning I found the Captain Crunch box just behind the nearest bushes. The bear had been sitting there waiting for us to go.

Thanks, Don, for reminding me of one of my favorite stories.
He didn't wear tie and have a littlle buddy with a bow tie?

grapes
2012-Jun-25, 12:43 PM
Fresh water oyster milt.
A tingle at the nape of my neck tells me that there's gotta be a story behind this.

Please? :)

Even better if it involves g astronomy


Jeez, gimme a hard one!I'm a little worried, a search for that phrase didn't even find this thread--usually BAUT is in the top three when I google anything discussed on BAUT.

Tog
2012-Jun-25, 01:11 PM
You'd think event the Google spiders would go for a Big Don thread.

BigDon
2012-Jun-25, 06:53 PM
A tingle at the nape of my neck tells me that there's gotta be a story behind this.

Please? :)

Even better if it involves g astronomy
I'm a little worried, a search for that phrase didn't even find this thread--usually BAUT is in the top three when I google anything discussed on BAUT.

Fresh water oyster reproduction. Either the milt or the newly hatched veligers, (in the soberer light of day) cause that exact reaction in susceptible individuals.

Either the spermatophores or the veligers (mobile newly hatched oysters) attempt to pierce or settle on your skin and set up an innate immune response. Whether this happens to you is determined by whether or not your skin is chemically attractive to them.
Mistaken identity thing. They didn't want to be there any more than you wanted them there.

I know it's one or the other. With the left out reason caused by another aquatic invertibrate.

grapes
2012-Jun-26, 08:50 PM
I like this, it explains why the clothing could have "filtered" the effect, instead of intensifying it.

I need to know more about oyster habitat. The water course was an intermittent stream bed that had been built up in places by the developers. (More than once I was awakened to loud crashes that I thought was some sort of rolling thunder from the rainstorm, but found it was actually the crash of riprap saltating down the stream bed.) The ponds were almost stagnant, fed by lawn runoff, when it wasn't raining. Is it still a possibility?

BigDon
2012-Jun-28, 06:32 PM
Thanks for the new word Grapes.

Saltation.

Stagnate water has its own issues!

By stream I thought of moving fresh water.

stagnate water you have trematodes that bite people. Also, if its warm stagnate water you can have "HAB"s which are blooms of cyanobacteria that produce alergins as a metabolic process.

grapes
2012-Jun-29, 10:20 AM
You're welcome, BD, I like to think of myself as one of those little people whose shoulders you all stand on. I verbed it for exaggeration. Thanks for the answer, too.