Friday, September 7, 2018

New Boomer - Mossberg 395T - Test Fire

This is my new Mossberg 395T shotgun:

This is a video of the test fire:

Yeah, okay - I know the shell casing should have been called high and low brass shell casings - not high and low wall shell casings. That was a brain fart that I will chalk up as being due to me being overheated at the time - it was 86 degrees and about 85% humidity and I had just hiked about a mile and a half with that gun & a 25 pound or so backpack (in addition to my belly)! So, give me a break please.

Anyway, that Mossberg 395T is a nice gun and is now partnered with my Mossberg 395SA Slugster. Besides each coming at an excellent price, an extra bonus is that they use the same magazines.

All the best,
Glenn B

Run Eft Run...And Other Creatures Of The Woods

I have seen plenty of red efts while traipsing about the woods in upstate NY. On fairly cool and damp days, like shorty after a early fall rain, I have seen up to a couple or maybe even a few hundred of them all within about 1/2 an acre of forest floor - that though was one time event on my uncle's farm when he owned it years ago. Yes, I have seen fairly large numbers of them in a small area, at one time or another, on other occasions, but mostly though, I have come across them one here and one there or often enough a couple or few not too far apart where conditions were right.

This Tuesday and Wednesday I was up in the area of the farm on state land and I was scouting for deer. I ran across a few red efts each of those days which was a bit surprising because it was about 86 degrees Fahrenheit and probably around 75 to 90% humidity. You, or at least I, don't usually see these little critters out and about on really hot days like that.

Yet, I did see them and one was of particular interest. These guys are usually easy and slow going creatures. They are afraid of very little, I think because they taste terrible and maybe even are poisonous. I have seen garter snakes grab hold of them only to spit them out and then writhe wildly and contort their jaws as if they had the worst irritating taste in their mouths ever. So, the one I am about to show you in the accompanying video was a bit of a freak. First of all, as I said he was out and about on a really hot day (for the NY forests); second, when I approached him it did not just sit there as they often do or at least did not calmly walk along minding its own business - instead this one took off running at high eft speed.; third - it as surprisingly swift. I have never seen one move that fast in all the years I have found them in the woods. Maybe the high temps had his metabolism running at super-high speed and maybe he just ate a couple hundred springtails and had an extra energy boost. Whatever - it was the Speedy Gonzalez or Roadrunner of the amphibian world.

As I said though, they usually do not scoot away like that. What is more likely to happen is what this other one did that I found about 2.5 - 3 feet or so above ground level atop a boulder in a damp spot.


Joe Cool - sunning himself in an eft sized puddle.
No matter how much I looked at it from this angle or that, it just stayed put. I even prodded it a couple of times and it moved all of a half an inch. I think it was just too damned comfortable where it was and that was on a nice damp spot on that boulder. Evidently it was enjoying sunning itself while yet getting the cooling effect from the evaporating moisture. I have never seen them sit in sunny spots before but am thinking it might be a way to rid themselves of skin parasites and the damp spot a way to keep itself from getting overheated and too dried out. That is just guesswork on my part, I have no clue what was going on in its mind in picking that spot. As you can see though, they are pretty fearful with it sitting out in the open like that and I doubt any bird, scaly or furry critter would try to eat it.

I also got to see a few other small critters - one Wood frog and several toads - either American or Fowler's Toads, not sure which. This is one of the toads, a bigger one than most I saw - the others were obviously from this year's spawn and were less than an inch long.

Speaking of toads, I also stumbled across a lot of toadstools. An awful lot of them, I suppose they loved the humidity this summer and they were all over the place. Some of them looked delicious enough to eat but I chose prudence over reckless abandon much preferring not to get a fatal bellyache!
The Cascade valley State Forest - beautiful as ever but
you need to look closer than the trees to get the full picture.
Mushrooms of at least a couple of varieties feasting on a decaying tree trunk.
These orange ones looked nice but not nice enough to eat.
The taller of these two was about 10" high. They
looked delicious but again were not tempting enough.
These were tiny and I had only seen the
larger orange one until I stooped down
to get this shot. Then I saw the others in
the shadow of the log ad also noticed the
off white one in the center foreground.
I am pretty sure I already mentioned, I was out in the woods scouting for deer hunting season which is not too far off. While I did not see any deer while in these woods, I saw lots of deer sign in the form of droppings. Needn't show you any pics of deer scat, just let me say one spot I plan to hunt was loaded with it at about every 5 - 10 or so paces. Another place I had planned to hunt was near an apple tree I found last season. Last year, it was loaded with apples. This year, I did not see even a single apple on it and none around it on the ground. I would say half of its branches were leafless and it looks as if this aged tree (it must have been there for decades) is on its last legs so to speak. I hope not and am wishing to find it loaded with apples again next year.
I did see one deer in that particular state forest, or should I say jumping out of it. I was driving down the road at about 30 mph when it jumped out in front of me as I was leaving the area. It was a buck, either a fork horn or six pointer in the making with velvet covered antlers apparently still with a lot of growing to go. It well could have been the same six pointer I saw and got trail cam photos of last year. Had I been driving even 5mph faster, I would have had a new hood ornament it was that close to me when it crossed the road.
I checked out two other state forests that I have not hunted yet but that an old codger told me about last year (get a load of me calling someone my age an old codger). I met him as I was leaving the area after my hunt was over. So, I took a brief detour from my trip home this time and drove by both of them (quite close to one another). At the second one, while I was driving down a dirt road, I spotted this doe that just stood there for over a minute mocking me. Almost looks like a muley with those big ears. I figured it to be an older fawn from this year or maybe a yearling. It was tall but had a pretty big body.
She had best be wary, I have a doe permit this year.
All in all, I had an excellent time. I plan to hit the woods again this coming week if I can get away. I want to increase my odds at bagging one after having gone way too long without one and am hoping to do a scouting trip every week from now until the season opener.
All the best,
Glenn B

No Swimming

To think, Brendan and I were there a little over two years ago and we did not strip down to our skivvies and dive in. Why we did not baffles my mind! Thus, I think we ought to start saving now so we can visit there again and jump right in next time we are there.
What say you my son?
All the best,
Glenn B