Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Road Less Traveled

Two Roads diverged in a Yellow Wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

This weekend was a celebration: of a birthday, of a beautiful summer day, and of God's creation.

We live in a state called "The Garden State", and I've commented before how this state has transitioned from being full of "gardening" or farming, into a mix of urban and suburban landscape, bedroom communities, small fiefdoms of soccer moms and dads. Interspersed are some areas that approach "wildness", albeit getting far and few between.

Our south jersey corner of the world really begins at the Mullica.

The Mullica River is a 50.6-mile-long river in southern New Jersey in the United States. The Mullica was once known as the Little Egg Harbor River. The river provides one of the principal drainages into the Atlantic Ocean of the extensive Pinelands. Its estuary on Great Bay is considered one of the least-disturbed marine wetlands habitats in the northeastern United States.

 So back to the weekend. Went up to the land of "Benny"s to see the hapless Yankees get blasted by the equally hapless Minnesota Twins:
It was a birthday celebration for both one of my daughter's, as well as a different daughter's husband. He is an anti-Yankee fan, meaning he'll root for anyone else. But he didn't come all dressed up in some other team's jersey, so at least he didn't embarrass me. 

That, however, cannot be said for the team.

Boom Boom Eovaldi was pitching for the Yankees, and cruised along to the 6th inning, when his curve flattened out and his fast ball was more akin to a softball.  6 runs later the Yankees, whose hitting resembles, well, no hitting at all, were done.

Fans were so excited that some were already starting to plan out the week's groceries

Yankee Stadium, even the "new" stadium, holds a special place in my heart, since it was the team of my youth , but after a great day, it was time to extricate myself from the urban landscape and return
to fresh air.

The next day it was time to hit the water for some flatties...

Tried a new spot in order to try to get out of a stiff wind, and it was still tough. Don't think we had more than 3 or 4 consistent good drifts. However, in those drifts we managed to pick up a few keepers.  While Rich was re-rigging, I maneuvered for the next drift and was ready to drop.
A few bounces of the bucktail and I felt a tap-tap, let the line out, lifted to feel weight and then it was on.

Really was a challenge, and I knew I had a very very good fish on. The head shake confirmed it was another flounder but I had not personally fought one of this weight before. Thought it was going to take me around the boat, it did take me under, and for a few moments we were at a standstill.  The drag was set perfect, got it going again and after a few minutes got it to the surface where Rich made a textbook net pickup.

Who says flounder only eat minnows? Nobody :)

Baked Flounder - PERFECT

Oh yeah, 6.55lbs, 27"... by far the biggest flounder I've ever personally caught, or for that matter, seen in person!


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