Stories and Commentary from the Swampland

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida

Another River Rant

I don’t do politics any more. I spent a long time working in the political arena and I look back on it like a bad habit that I quit successfully. Now that More »

moorhen

Rails and Moorhens: Hunting Season is Already Here

It’s amazing what you learn when you take the time to read. Mary used to tell me that a lot when I was putting together kids’ toys, furniture and things that included More »

Shotgun

A Cool Breeze and Some Hunting, Please

I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. This has been a wonderful summer. I’ve caught plenty of fish, the frogs were out in force and most of the time it wasn’t as blistering More »

Coon skin

Tastes (Nothing) Like Chicken

My father-in-law was complaining about raccoons recently and debating the best way to keep them out of his garbage cans. From what I gather, he doesn’t mind them visiting his yard or More »

Eagle small

The Problem with Boats

I love boats. Big boats, small boats, fast boats, slow boats and even things like kayaks and sailboats that aren’t really boats at all. (Sailboats are just really big kites without the More »

Another River Rant

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida

I don’t do politics any more. I spent a long time working in the political arena and I look back on it like a bad habit that I quit successfully. Now that I’m not being paid to promote or oppose issues, the only ones I spend any time thinking about are the ones that are close to home, and especially ones that affect the Apalachicola River.

Rails and Moorhens: Hunting Season is Already Here

moorhen

It’s amazing what you learn when you take the time to read. Mary used to tell me that a lot when I was putting together kids’ toys, furniture and things that included those dreaded words, “Some assembly required.” But it comes in handy in other areas of life as well.

A Cool Breeze and Some Hunting, Please

Shotgun

I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. This has been a wonderful summer. I’ve caught plenty of fish, the frogs were out in force and most of the time it wasn’t as blistering hot as it could have been.

Tastes (Nothing) Like Chicken

Coon skin

My father-in-law was complaining about raccoons recently and debating the best way to keep them out of his garbage cans. From what I gather, he doesn’t mind them visiting his yard or scrounging for food. His biggest complaint is that they don’t clean up after themselves.

The Problem with Boats

Eagle small

I love boats. Big boats, small boats, fast boats, slow boats and even things like kayaks and sailboats that aren’t really boats at all. (Sailboats are just really big kites without the string and kayaks are basically bobsleds for those of us who live where there’s no snow.)

Taking a Hero on a Gator Hunt

Ty and Lane

By Lane Stephens

On Friday, July 11, I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with a true American hero – Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter. My time with Ty was relaxing, exhilarating, and in the end, just a whole lot of fun, as I took him with me on a nuisance alligator hunt on Lake Talquin, near Quincy, Florida.

Pushing Limits at the Dead Lakes

Cypress stump dead lakes

The following story comes with some important caveats: It was told to me a long time ago; it happened a long time before that; and the people who were there are no longer with us here.

Come to think of it, those caveats apply to a lot of my stories.

Drama in a River Swamp at Night

swamp at night

I’m always curious when I hear people say they want to spend more time outdoors for the “peace and quiet.” I’m not sure where they go to find those two conditions, but I can tell you that it’s not in a river swamp and it’s definitely not at night.

Caring About Catawba Worms

JP King's rendering of a Catawba worm.

So my friend and colleague JP King returned from a fishing trip in northern Walton County recently and showed me some pictures of really nice bream and shellcracker he caught on some private property up there. I asked about bait, figuring he used crickets, but to my surprise he talked about “these yellow and black caterpillars” that were crawling all over some of the trees on the property.

Daddy’s Tackle Box

Tackle box closed

Among the items that travel with me everywhere my truck goes are two tackle boxes – one for saltwater and one for freshwater. I suppose I could get by with one, but that would just make it harder to remember what I have and where I put it.

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