The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Outdoors

March 23, 2013

Fickle weather can wreck plans

BECKLEY — Well, it’s officially spring. We have “sprung forward” into daylight saving time in hopes of long, sunny evenings to play and work outdoors in the glorious, warm rays of the sun. In return for our daily routines being altered by the time change, we are awarded with unpredictable weather and mud season — gee, thanks!

Unpredictable weather (well, anything unpredictable, for that matter) can cause a little stress in one’s life. For example, say next Friday’s forecast calls for blue-bird skies, a light breeze out of the south and temperatures in the long-sleeve T-shirt category — in other words, a perfect day to go fishing.

So, you call up a few of your buddies and a plan is devised as to the location of the meet-up. A day’s vacation from work is taken.

Since it’s the first outing of the year, your planning involves getting gear out of hibernation. Hibernating gear can be tricky. The rod, creel and net you left hanging in the basement next to the Christmas lights last fall is now conveniently tucked in the shadowy corner, and only after three rounds of hide-and-go-seek will its presence grace you.

In your hour-long search, you find your waders and in doing so notice the hole in the knee you were planning on patching during the cold, dark evenings of winter. But like all optimistic sportsmen facing the year’s first outing, you trudge on.

By midweek, the weather for Friday is appearing a little different. Now the forecast is looking a little less perfect and a little more like maybe a jacket might be required. Again, you trudge on, and with pure cheerfulness you secure the bait. Since it is the first outing, you pick up some new waders and a jug of the latest trout-enticing goo bait.

By Thursday evening, The Weather Channel is calling for gusty winds out of the north and a stalling cold front is going to drop an inch of rain, making the creeks you daydreamed of all week at work become swollen and muddy. Thursday, after dinner, you make the call.

“Supposed to rain all day and be cold tomorrow,” you tell your friend on the phone in a monotone voice. “Should we try it anyhow?” replies your friend, not wanting to admit the first-outing-of-the-year setback. You both decide to check the weather one last time and make the decision to call at daylight.

When the sun fails to shine, you end up spending the rainy day cleaning up the mess you made in the basement trying to find your gear, much to the happiness of the one who shares the house with you.

The great news about mud season is it doesn’t hold its slimy grip on us for long. Yeah, it’s annoying at first, but rest assured that full-blown spring is near and soon we can go forth and be merry afield with green grass beneath our feet and the sun’s warmth on our shoulders. Until then, keep up the good fight and take each pleasant day during mud season as a gift — a bonus day to be outdoors.

1
Text Only
Outdoors
  • Some books for the rest of summer

    Stretching out in a hammock with a good book is a great way to relax on a warm summer afternoon. Here are a few titles that have recently caught my eye.

    July 27, 2014

  • Creating a week to remember

    After my traveling shoes were placed neatly beside the door, it was time to spend some much needed time around home.

    July 27, 2014

  • There are some changes on the way

    Hunters who have found themselves driving out of their way to check in a deer, turkey, or bear will no longer have to waste the time or gas starting in 2015. 

    July 27, 2014

  • The cure for the summertime blues: Go camping

    In case you haven’t noticed we are looking right down the gun barrel at winding down on another summer.

    July 26, 2014

  • 071714 Coda and Callie.jpg Coda and Callie’s excellent adventure

    How is it something that you profess to love so much can cause you so much anxiety and grief? No, I’m not talking about dealing with your children (or your spouse). This is worse. This is about dogs. More specifically, hunting dogs. 

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071314 Chris Ellis.jpg DNR’s ‘outdoor summer school’

    Attention all West Virginia hunters and trappers. It is once again time for outdoor summer school and the course materials are hot off the presses.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Eurasian collared-dove

    Back in 1974 a local pigeon fancier imported a flock of about 50 Eurasian collared-doves to the Bahamas. Ultimately he released the birds, and they took to living in the West Indies. By the late 1970s some had reached south Florida, and by the late 1980s, some had been seen in Georgia and Arkansas.

    July 13, 2014

  • July in W.Va.: Recreational opportunities abound

    It’s July in the West Virginia mountains, which brings vibrant orange tiger lilies, blooming rhododendron, and of course fireworks. Usually the heat and humidity is in full force, but so far the weather has been nice.

    July 13, 2014

  • Shotgun 101: Shoot more and live better

    “God is not on the side of big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.”
    — Voltaire

    July 9, 2014

  • Fireflies are living lights

    At recent Fourth of July fireworks displays, spectators squealed with delight at the annual spectacle that illuminated the night sky. And I’m sure more than a few compared the spectacular pyrotechnics to the subtler displays of fireflies that punctuate backyards, parks, and campgrounds all summer long. We call these displays “nature’s fireworks.”

    July 5, 2014

Web Special Sections
  • Special Web Sections

    Click HERE for stories about natural gas and Marcellus shale gas extraction.

    Click HERE for stories about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

    Click HERE for stories about the passing of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

    Click HERE for stories from The Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR event.

    August 6, 2010

Helium debate
Helium
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA