Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Being Thankful, unfortunately, has it's difficult side these days

We live in what has to be one of the most awkward times for our country - possibly ever. On one hand we are striving to rid the World of the menace of demonic terrorism. And, yet, on the other hand that same government is speeding pall mall toward the destruction of our very platform of life: our lands. our water. our air. How can this be?

There is but one word that calls all of these together and binds them into understanding. That word is GREED. There is an old story of how to catch a monkey with a jar of cookies. Put several cookies in the jar and leave it in the open. When you see a monkey reach in, you will also see him just set there. You will be able to walk right up to the monkey and dispatch him without bother. Why? Why would this, otherwise, shrewd and warry animal not flee at the approach of a human? The answer is simple. The monkey had too many cookies in its hand to get it out of the jar and would not drop the cookies to make his escape.

This describes the very act of knowingly destroying the land, air and water on which our very life depends. And why those who do so, do it with doctored science and statistics. Knowing full well that the truth-of-the-matter will be devastating in the end. Yet, they will - for the short-term - suck the life out of what is avaiable for their gain today.

I know. When you put it like this - it's obviously insane. And you'll say, "They can't possibly be doing that!" My response - and the response of many others in the scientific, outdoor recreation, environmental, agricultural and many other areas - is simply this, '... take a look at what is happening. The facts do tell as very scary truth.'

So, at this season of the Thanksgiving holiday, as yourself this simple question. At time when more people are concerned with 'big sales' and buying gifts for the upcoming Xmas season, than they are for the health and safety of their very own environment, do we actually have ANYTHING ... or ANYONE!... to be Thankful; for?
Well... more all the time - a thinking person must weigh-that-question-out... longer and longer. But the overriding answer is still .. YES!

We STILL have he opportunity to put a halt to the insanity. We STILL have the power of Free Speech. We STILL have the ability to move toward a 'grass roots' movement. We STILL have the financial freedom to 'make things happen'. The QUESTION that remains is still the same one that's been asked for the last 34 years of my memory - and who knows how long before that ... "Will we ACT?" Not just, "Will we ACT IN TIME?" But, simply, "WILL WE ACT?", at all... ?

But IF we wait much longer, we won't have the air for the breath it will take to speak-out or take action. We will go thirsty for want of water - and all efforts will wither. In the end there won't be any land worth fighting for. Then - YES THEN - we will no longer need a Thanksgiving Day ... we'll then be crying for a DAY when we once could be Thankful.

Act NOW ! Let's not wait until there is NO time left. And let's realize that time IS very close. A LOT CLOSER than most realize.


Be Thankful. Have a Pleasant Thanksgiving. But, also be in a state-of-mind that is determined to KEEP THAT FOR WHICH WE HAVE TO BE THANKFUL!!

This IS vital to - and a vital part of - your OUTDOOR HERITAGE.

A. O'fieldstream

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Picture of Outdoor Heritage .. in ACTION

Weblog: "Four Generations Of Richeys.

TRAVERSE CITY - The air was cool and the wind was up a bit but I chose to sit out this hunting day. It was a day I'll long remember because it was filled with love and promise as we greeted a new arrival in our family.

There were four generations of Richeys gathered at our home today. My father, Lawrence, at 92 years old, is the patriarch of our family. Me, at 65, was the next oldest. My son Guy, soon to be 35, brought his six-week-old son, Joshua David, to our home for a mini-family reunion. It was the first time my father had a chance to meet his great-grandson, and for us to get all four generations together." READ ON

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Dan Small Outdoors: "Blogging The Road"

From Blog The Road: "I wonder if anybody makes a surface bait with 3-foot wings and legs?"

It's just not everyday that your read something like this. And then, it's not every day you get to read .. oh, wait just scaulded-dog minute! You do! You do get to read this .. every day - and sometimes twice a day.

How? You ask ... (Ok .. .OK.. O K !! That's your cue .. !!!) How ? YOU ASK ... ???

Whew! For a moment I didn't think you'd catch on ... but since you asked .. and so kindly, tune into an Outdoor Writer's Network Blog .. that's how.

Never heard of the Outdoor Writers Network? And what's a BLOG? Well, I'm not surprised - they are both still pretty new - and for the most part quite rare, too. But they are out there. In fact - if you're actually reading this - then you've found one: The O'fieldstream Blog.

The Outdoor Network Blog: Blog The Road, comes from Dan Small, from up-Wisconsin-way. Each day, during Dan's regular activity as an outdoor communicator, he uncovers and discovers interesting details that he passes onto his reading public by way of his Blog.

I've yet to read one of his Blog-o-ports (that's a report-by-Blog .. by, Blog!) that isn't both enlightening and entertaining. And that's pretty much why I read this stuff anyway. It's fun. Engaging. And it's downright informative.

So .. shuffle back this way - The O'fieldstream Blog (the 'Original' Outdoor Writers Network Blog) from time-to-time (daily would be a recommended good-thing!) to get your daily dose of Outdoor Information that's both, Fun and Engaging. And if you really don't have time to buzz on over here - like most of these days, you're no doubt a busy-person, too - then get yourself a News Aggregator to do your 'travelin' 'n gatherin' for you. Huh .. you say? News aggravation .. well, yes it is ... ??

NO. I didn't say News Aggravator !! I said NEWS AGGREGATOR.

OK, I see it's time for an 'official' definition for the question:

What is a News Aggregator?
  • A news aggregator is "software that periodically reads a set of
    news sources, in one of several XML-based formats, finds the new
    bits, and displays them in reverse-chronological order on a single

  • You open the Aggregator and read the short-blips on what a 'blogger' has written and then you descide if you want to read any more. It's pretty cool. You don't have to go trapsing around the Internet or try to remember how you filed those Bookmarks, to find your information. It is serverd - right to you. Personal like.

Now head on over to Danny-boys and read his latest ramblings - he's got some really good ones, too. But don't just stay around with the current 'warm bread' .. head down through the Archives to read those that are resting on the bottom.

Unlike the "sludge" - you'd expect to find at the 'bottom-of-something' - this is more like fine wine that improves with time and stored in a cellar while it ages and matures. You'll find some really 'good stuff' down in the, Blog The Road 'cellar'.. Just wait 'til you read the story that goes with this one !!

A. O'fieldstream

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Whitefish Studio & TMAR .. Outdoor Heritage Boosters

Another Box of Rocks ... maybe, maybe not

'Got a black magic woman
Got a black magic woman
I've got a black magic woman, got me so blind I can't see.
That she's a black magic woman, she's trying to make a devil out of me.'
-Carlos Santana

I recently received a visit from a reader of the Thursday Morning Art Review who happened to be in the area on business and took the time to stop by.

We'd just exchanged pleasantries when I was called down to the house for a few minutes.

'Sorry to bail out on you like that.' I said upon my return. 'Not a problem.' He replied. 'It was fun to look around the place. Even though we've just met, I feel like I know quite a bit about you. There's the box of rocks that you wrote about last week.' He nodded toward the corner. 'But, there's more than just rocks...'"

-- from the Whitefish Studio web site's -"Thursday Morning Art Review ...

Yes ... that's the way it is with a lot of things we see on a regular basis .. we begin to forget that they are MUCH MORE than just rocks.

This exerpt, is from the site of a gentle man - and I do mean that in that way - who is both a collegue and a friend. He is also an incredibley talented person who is able to share with others through his art and his writing the experiences of a lifetime streamside and afield. His name is Bob White.

Bob and his wife Lisa own and operate Whitefish Studios out of their home in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. Bob is a 20+ year veteran of guiding both fishing and hunting in some of the most beautiful areas on earth: Alaska and Argentina. He brings to the canvas and watercolor paper the revelations of his years of passionate attention to detail and the experiences with some of the most colorful characters imaginable. He and Lisa then make them available to us - the waiting and yearning public, who only dream of such experience - in the forms of original art, reproduction prints and note cards.

Recently - over the past 2 years - Bob has been experimenting with a new medium: writing. Bob has shown, in that time, that he is as at-home with a computer keyboard as he is with his brushes and palettes. Each week, nearly 2000 eager souls wait for their email to inform them they have 'mail'. Because they know they will be getting the new - hot-off-the-press visions of Bob in his regular weekly publication, "Thursday Morning Art Review" .. or TMAR as we've come to fondly refer to it.

TMAR is a word story that flows from the images of Bob's artwork - through his years of experience - and colored by his very fertile imagination and storehouse of knowledge. Each story carries with it the images of thousands of experiences - yet focused though one image - a print - which Bob promotes, each week.

As an artist myself, I can appreciate the talent it takes to make these images and prose come to life for me and hundreds of others. As an outdoorsman, I relish in the experiences Bob allows me to experience vicariously. As a promoter and evangelist of the Outdoor Heritage I am not only thankful .. I am awed .. by the power Bob brings to the statements one can make for the grandeur, the majesty, the magic .. the sheer wonder of it all: the beauty of the natural world.

The ancient chinese philosopher Confucious is credited with the saying,
"A picture is worth a thousand words" .. and it is so true. Imagine, then, how gifted one must be to be able to say a thousand words and create a picture in your mind of the very picture your are looking upon, but ... from another perspective. That is the art and talent of Bob White.

Experience the
Whitefish Studios. Experience the 'Thursday Morning Art Review'. Experience the great Outdoors. And then step-to-the-plate to ensure they will always be there ... for us - and for future generations. Support efforts to protect and preserve our resources. Take steps to insure each of your actions- in or out of the outdoors- does the same. Teach a child, pass-on-to a friend and strengthen within yourself - the Outdoors Code ... to be respectful of and towards the natural resources. Embue this effort through being engaged in the Outdoor Heritage Activities.

Experience the magic through the visuals and words of those like Bob White. Support those who work diligently to feed their passions - those that bring to all of us the wonders of nature - in their various forms: of artwork , as stories in print, as photographs, in movies, as online productions, and by whatever media they use.

Support the Outdoor Communicators. Those who ply their craft as artists of pen and brush - and those who today use the modern technological versions. For it is through their efforts we have a legacy - a visual, oral and written - record of our wonderous Outdoor Heritage. It will be through those 'pictures' with which we will launch a thousand words - that will reconstitute our memories of the wildlife and times that inhabit the streams, fields and mountains. All of which we so deeply hold dear .. and for many, as the burning words of a wise man once said still prod us today;

"... Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?"
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

And that .. well, that's - as my dad used to say, "our sack-of-rocks".

A. O'fieldstream

Friday, November 12, 2004

Geoduck .. and RUNNING!!

One of my good friends - who also happens to be in the Outdoor Writing business - is Dan Small; noted outdoor writer, communicator and Wisconsin Public Television personality (Outdoor Wisconsin) and owner of

A few months ago, Dan began offering a platform for authors, artists and other communicators he comes across in his daily work and travels. He makes this delightful offering, in a section he's called GuestShot. So far he's found some very interesting folks; all of them writers - and so much more. The most recent entry, for the November GuestShot, is no less amusing, interesting and downright fascinating - let alone the author of some outlandish tales. Just take a look at this one.

Geoduck: "SEVERAL MONTHS AGO, A LADY E-MAILED ME a very odd request, even for a fish taxidermist. She was dying to know if I could make a trophy for her out of a clam. Attached to the e-mail was a photo of the particular one she had in mind. While I was thinking of chowder, a scan of something very alien began filling my computer screen. I am not certain if I gasped, giggled, or said something unprintable upon first seeing this 'thing.' Nobody could be presented with one of these mollusks without some type of jaw-dropping response, ranging from abject revulsion to almost devout reverence." FULL STORY ... well actually only a 'bit more' - seems Breakthrough hasn't made the full 'techno-breakthrough' to online publishing, as they want you to order the Winter 2002 Issue to read the full story. I don't know ... it just may well be worth the $8 they want for a single issue! Sheeze, the photos alone may make it worth a FULL-subscription .. check it out!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Lifesize Fish Photos..."Why didn't I think of this?"

As the website says ..."No more little pictures. Show off your BIG ONES."

I was just over on the Heartland Outdoorsman forum and came across a refereance to a site called and I must admit when I first saw it I thought it was another fiberglass/graphite mount maker. But no. These folks take your photos and blow them up - using the technology of digital imagery and large format printing. And I do mean BLOW THEM UP!

Catch a 52" Muskie? Well, don't demean that brusier with a miserly, little, 4x6-squintgraph of him (or her) - have the folks at print you out a LIFE SIZE photo of your whopping big fish!

Now I know what you're thinking, "Aw shoot! That'd be great. But, hells-bells, I can't afford that!" And if we were to time-shift backwards about 20 years .. I'd agree with you .. in spades!! But today, that's an entirely different matter. You can have that big full-size puppy printed and mounted -ready to dispaly on your bathroom wall .. or Hey ! - make it your bathroom wall!! - for less than your kids' last two video games! And believe me, you'll get a lot more pleasure out of that photo than listening to the racket from the 'video game room' !!

I've been involved in the field of photography and graphic arts a long time ... Why, when I started we had to own turkeys to have pens! ... so, I know a few things about this process. This is an investment - not a cost. Here's another point to ponder - and possibly the best reason there is for having these folks make you a big print - this is not as much about a 'picture' as it is about producing an outstanding record of your participation in the Outdoor Heritage. This is something that you will pass on to your kids: both the print and the knowledge of how to do this themselves. And even if the image fades in 20 years or so, the marvels of technology allow you to have another one made - just like it - for .. well, shoot - by then it'll be a lot less and besides, who knows what they'll have going then!!

So - rummage through your photos, slides and yes, even video footage - see what you have that you'd love to hang on your wall at LIFE SIZE .. or BIGGER !!

How about Johnny's first bluegill? Or, Amy's first bass? Even your lovely wife's first trout.. or maybe it would be that really neat photo you took of her curled up on that rock, in the afternoon sun, reading a book, just before you fished that sweet, little run - just one-more-time ..?

Shoot Why NOT! ...Let's just head on outside-the-box and look at Jakes first duck retrieve or the time the goose beat the snot out of him as he drug it - faithfully - back to you? Or how about the deer hunt, or maybe that turkey hunt or that cariboo in .... Yessiree, I do belive you've warmed-to-it and are gettin' the idea!

No go do something about it.

For sure, there's holidays, birthdays, and rememberin'-days galore - upon us and all around us. So get going to the link below. And have a great time remembering those precious moments afield or on the water participating, in the wonders of our Outdoor Heritage, each time you look at your LIFE SIZE print.

[ "Welcome to! New this season are Life Size Trophy Prints. Relive your moment of glory at actual size." ]

A. O'fieldstream

PS. I have no association or affiliation with whatsoever. I'm not even a satisfied customer. I bring this to you as information and nothing more. I WILL, however, check them out and let you know WHAT I FIND in an upcoming issue. How's that?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Blogging on an 'Outdoor Roll' ...

Take note of the lineup - forming to the left - of O'fieldstream's Blogroll. Also NOTE the addition of the XML link to this blog. Click it and subscribe to O'fieldstream's Blog ... you'll be getting a lot more than you realize: NOT JUNK though!

God don't make no junk - and we don't send no junk!

I'll be adding more site-links each day. So return often to subscribe to the new listings. Please, do yourself a big favor - visit these sites! Among them are veteran outdoor writers who have produced high-quality, dependable, rock-solid, credible information, that is also a good read, for years. Others will be by amateur and veteran alike. ALL of them are enjoyable and are chosen to provide a balanced point of view for you to become better educated in the Outdoor Heritage issues.

I've worked hard to educate each and every one of the owners/authors - of these links - to the benefits of blogging and the use of the eSyndication tools. It's not been an easy sell. And none has really hit the pay-dirt on it yet. But the pay-off in quality writing and reading - easily accessible ONLINE - is definitely a 'gold mine'.

As the old saw says, " ... to those who persevere, rich rewards will come." I honestly believe this .. even in the cynical times in which we live. 'Keep an open and positive mind', was one of my father's favorite admonitions. 'Absorb and learn all you can. BECOME INFORMED ', was one of his favorite aphorisms. He would tell me, " .. this is the only way the 'prepared mind' has a chance of taking advantage of life - to the fullest - when serendipity strolls by." Dad was a pretty sharp cookie'; right up there with the likes of Louis Pasteur, who is credited with saying, "Chance favors the prepared mind". I sure do miss Dad these days. But I am so thankful he gave me these bits of the 'puzzle of life' to live with. He also passed on to me the knowledge of our Outdoor Heritage.

Take steps to insure you're a building link for Outdoor Heritage, yourself -- PASS IT ON.

Read them and enjoy. Be sure to drop them some comments on their pages. And if you like the tips- drop me a line, too. Everyone likes to know how they are doing in the sight of their audience.

Good day to you all ... more to come from the source of Outdoor Heritage information, so stay tuned.

A. O'fieldstream

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Who Owns the Waters ...

Mike Clifford (Heartland Outdoorsman) has posted an intersting treatise on the topic of water resource ownership, entitled, "Who Owns the Rivers". The information answers questions about river ownership, use and conservation. Here is the basic tenor of the piece:

Following are answers to frequently-asked questions about federal law regarding public ownership, use, and conservation of rivers. Note that this is a general discussion, and is not a substitute for legal counsel on a specific river issue! State law in a particular state may modify some of the following. Questions and answers are now in preparation for various states, and will be posted in the River Registry department of this web site as soon as they are ready. The following information, which is part of a continuing project of research and publishing about river law, is made possible by the generosity of the members of the National Organization for Rivers.

Meanwhile .. read it. I'll warn you, it's long. It is, however, very well written [detailed -VERY] and IS straight from the law concerning 'ownership' of water ways in the United States.

This is good information to know. Waterways are KEY ELEMENTS in understanding and preserving our Outdoor Heritage. Learn as much as you can about how to PROTECT - CONSERVE - and RESTORE them - in your area - and around our great country.

A.O'fieldstream ...

Test your skills ...

From Mike Clifford - owner & moderator of the Hearland Outdoorsman Forum - comes and interesting twist on testing your ability to judge speed and distance .. ie, hitting an object x- distance away, with and object traveling n-speed. And Mike's spawned an interesting tweek to his challenge. Take a look and give it a try ... it grows on you.

Practice your skills, or just see how long it takes you to figure out the correct parameters to hit a moving object........

A. O'fieldstream ...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

First Edition: O'fieldstream's Blog on BLOGGER

Well .. here we are on BLOGGER. We exist now on four (4) blogging platforms .. so we should be able to get the 'word' on OUTDOOR HERITAGE out to more people now.

There is a lot more to say .. but that will wait for a while. This is the TEST PUBLISH.

See y'all on the trails ...

A. O'fieldstream