I'm an activist these days. Defender of wildlife. Bugs, butterflies. Google image search beautiful butterfly to see what I'm talking about. When was it the last time you saw one around your home? I could only see 4 friggin butterflies in entire Lakewood. That's sad, but I understand the congestion requires much lawn mowing, and does not allow much wilderness jungle to be present. But even there some people do find a way to create a jungle with flowers.
I stick up against lawn mowing. I especially stick up against the government doing it on my lot, and charging me for it. That's bullshit. I want to create a wildlife sanctuary, with whatever weeds show up, with whatever bugs show up, and whatever other animals. When you mow it to 1 inch long, it's a green desert. Uniform, lacks genetic variability. It only supports a few kinds of bugs, like crickets and grasshoppers, that chirp under the cover of darkness when they are safe from bird hearing and vision threats, but even they hate their grass cut so low. Also global warming is enhanced by simply not allowing a thick vegetation as a carbon store where ever people proliferate. Excessive lawn mowing, short grass is a killer of our planet. I mean I understand you like to mow the lawn right near the house, to keep it kinda safe from snakes, wolves, bears, lynx/bobcats, whatever might hide in thick grass, but you don't have to mow the whole fucking lot. And on a lot without a house there is no point to mow at all. I'd like to have animals like snakes, birds, possums nest and hide in a thick grass on my lot, which is not possible when it constantly gets attacked by the government, and a humongous fee put on my tax bill over it. Fuck the government. I could give that money to church, but they are robbing me from it with their idiotic bullshit attacks against my private property. It needs to be kept in order. I think when it has wildlife on it, it's kept in order. In effect I'm more pissed at them mowing it than demolishing my house on it, over building code violations, because there is no way you can tell me you can find anything wrong with wilderness and nature. Your arguments are all unsound, based on beauty. I could agree to go and pick up trash that people litter every two weeks or so, to keep it in order, but not cut the wilderness down on it. Especially the 1 inch grass leaves no room for most flowering plants. A whole lot of ecosystem and genetic variability depends on flowers.
I owe it to all the grasshoppers I killed back in the day while mountain fishing. I mean I could have used bread, but every time I did, it would either fall off the hook, or the well fed fish simply ignore it, but they still would jump out of the water after a dragonfly that decided to take a drink. That's how I came up with the idea of bugs. Plus we did not have that much bread or other food to throw around, so you had to find something in nature, in your environment, that fish would bite for. What do fish eat? Worms? I always hated putting a worm on the hook, it looks like meat, like flesh, and it obviously hates being put on the hook, it wraps around your fingers, plus it lets out some oozy substance as a defense, and there is something genetic telling me not to touch slime like that too much. Comparatively, a grasshopper looks like a metal robot, with sensors and a computer, that does not have feelings, does not look like meat or flesh, and it oozes some kind of nonslimy, crystal clear green liquid when put on the hook. And there is a million of them around, in the knee high or waist high grass, kinda like the biblical locust plague sent on the Pharaoh by Moses, during the Exodus (see http://www.topical-bible-studi...). There is a million of them around and they are easy to catch and keep in a large matchbox with holes for air, you don't have to dig for them like you do for earthworms, nor lift all kinds of river rocks for sand crusted white larvae of who knows what creature, to see if you can find any. I know it's not a good excuse, I should have found something else the fish like to eat, but what else can you find in nature, around you? Small dead fish or frog tadpoles that are just as worse as worms, and they even have eyes looking at you, unlike the compound robotic eyes of a grasshopper. I guess you can call me a specieist - find the most distant relative to you to kill. Specieism. You are responsible for yourself, then for your children, then for your family, then your near relatives, then your distant relatives, in a blood is thicker than water way, however sometimes close friends come way before anyone related to you, even close relatives, it's complicated. But then you are responsible for your own country to defend against an invader, as opposed to being responsible for the other side, or even equally responsible for both, then you are responsible for your race, to maintain your own example of genetic diversity, and not let it go extinct, even among humans, but then again some interracial friends you might even marry are closer than other close relatives, it's complicated, then you are responsible for people in general before you are responsible for other lifeforms, and even with lifeforms, you are responsible for all of them, but, for instance, when doing drug testing, monkeys are a last stage before trials on humans proceed, and we value monkeys higher, closer to being human, than rats, or even fish, or even grasshoppers. I don't know, I'm trying to come up with excuses, I killed a lot of grasshoppers while fishing, and I did not have high tech kosher means such as freeze them to a quick death or numbness with a dentist's ethyl chloride spray, back in those days. And I did not have good plastic artificial bait of the right texture, and even if I did have some plastic bait, the fish just ignored it, more than they ignored bread. In fact a favorite activity of mine was to have a half of slice of bread saved from the morning breakfast, when the fish are most hungry, and there was this old mini-railroad train wagon stationed right next to the deepest spot anywhere nearby the river, where you would be distant enough for the fish to ignore you, but it was up high, and you could roll these 1/8th inch balls of bread, and toss them in the water and wash the fish jump and fight over it. They kept unafraid, but they would not bite it on a hook, because you had to approach closer, and they got scared, and you could not swing it out of the train wagon from a distance, plus the overhead tree cover was in the way. But that was the spot I caught two larger fish in sequence, that same day, during the morning hours, with grasshopper bait. All my other fish were small even if I lucked out catching them, but most days I ended up empty handed, even with grasshopper bait that was plenty, economical, easy to catch, and the most chases after by the fish of all baits I could find. So sorry. But I owe them grasshoppers something, and I know they are not dependent on flowers, like butterflies are, but they too hate the constant grass cutting with loud blades whirring above their heads and little food left.
Even with grasshoppers it was really difficult to catch the mountain fish. They are the smartest and most strategically enabled fish in the world, they are the most muscular, all have long elongated bodies with strong tails, to fight shallow water at high speeds, the trout and the like fish, they all look like salmon in body shape and agility. They have to be, the water is constantly moving, they cannot sit still for a long time, but have to constantly keep swimming. (Unless they find a tornado like downward swirl in a large bay area, and they can allow themselves to ride in circles for a while, and if the funnel, the downdraft at the center of the cyclone is not too strong, they can even float with their internal air bubbles through it. But they get bored easily like that, and like to keep on the move.) And fishing in a river never gets boring, unlike in a lake that might have not so agile carp, or even round bass, that just sits in one spot, stalking, waiting for something to happen, or even the seahorses in the sea, that could absolutely not make it in a river. River fish are lazy, in a kind of wisdom, where they spend most of their time in the deep and wide bays where the water velocity is much decreased, and the depth allows them to quickly jet and dive out of sight in case of danger. They spend most of their time at the entrance part of such a deep and wide depression in the riverbed, right in front of a mini waterfall of 2 inches high of incoming, rippling water, to be the first ones to catch any floating food that arrives. And when one jets for a piece of food debris carried by the water, like a dead bug, or dead tadpole or whatever, the other fish instinctively jet to the same location, and they fight over the food. Into any still water location, with no surface ripples therefore not shallow or high speed, you can even toss a tiny piece of 1/8th or 1/16th inch rock, and like 20 fish all at once jump at the water surface impact site, with beautiful flashes of their silvery scales, when otherwise their dark backs that camouflage them against the brown sand on the riverbed makes them near invisible to you and to birds. In fact you can sit and just watch these fish, in a Schubert "Die Froelle" style, and once in a while you see one of them suddenly jet, and all the other fish instinctively react and jet to the same location, as if he found food or something, but it's a prank, a false alarm, in a ha ha, I got you! way. What a great sense of humor, or the illusion of it. Like the Zen koan about two monks talking: One says, look how the trout are enjoying themselves in the water. The other: How do you know they are enjoying themselves, you are not fish. To which the other: By the same argument, how do you know I don't, you are not me. Trying to understand fish and how they think, or if they think at all. They have to think, and solve difficult strategy and tactical problems. Sometimes the river water is extremely clean, not hazy, and you can see to the very bottom easily, especially after a long absence of rain upstream, and lack of mud carried down from the mountain slopes into the river. Right after a rain the water level rises 10 fold, and it's all milk chocolate colored, and there is like a half an inch visibility in it, but I've seen others catch trouts during those times, with a really stinky nightcrawler, I never caught any trout or even seen them while watching fish, they must have been more upriver, into the even shallower water areas, down where I hanged out the river speed and size was medium, and I always played around with the chubs (squalius cephalus, like these ones http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...) as they were plenty, and playful, unlike the more boring and slower moving, always on the bottom stone loaches (like these http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...), but those were even too easy to catch with actual earthworms, as long as you set the hook and sinker to drag on the river floor, where sometimes you'd get false alarms from the hook getting caught on a piece of rock, anchor style. And they almost never went for the grasshoppers, but near the surface swimming chubs that were more plenty, did, and as I said, I've seen local residents catch trouts, in their water buckets during a chocolate milk muddy river rain storm when the river almost overflowed, but I've never seen them at all, I think they got confused in the mud and got drifted downriver too much. Or they are just that elusive, but different type of fish hanging out in pools near the surface water is kinda difficult, both jetting at the same piece of food or jumping at the overhead flying bugs, each like has their own territory, except the bottom feeding stone loaches and surface feeding chubs, but the trouts can go up higher and not have to compete with the other fish for food there, where they are all alone, just like salmon, including safer homes for their offsprings not getting eaten by the other species of fish, and they of course don't eat their own kind, that would be silly. Near the edge of the river, in the 1/4" to 3/4" depths near the shallow riverbank, where the water flow is extremely slow to almost still, other than some wave splashing, it was always full of thousands of baby fish, 1/8" length.
You always have to fish going upstream, even if on the downward portion of the river from your campsite, you have to first walk down the asphalt road, if there is one, or through the forest, and then descend into the river gorge, and make it upstream, hopping from rock to rock, or walking in shallow water in rubber slippers, or even tennis shoes are better, because they are easier to make hops from large rock to large rock over deep waters, unless their sole is slippery, where you land on that target mossy rock and your feet go flying up in the air, and let alone all your clothes get wet, but you hit yourself during the fall on sharp river rocks, and hurt from it. Going upriver is always a puzzle, of trying to not get your clothes wet, because it sucks fishing in wet clothes, but sometimes, in certain circumstances, the least worst option is to allow your clothes to get all wet, and then suffer for like 2-3 hrs before they dry on you, if the weather is really hot in the summer, and there is no chance of catching a cold. Sometimes going upriver you get stuck, find an impassable portion, but then you figure out a trick, to pass it, only to later come up on an even greater impassable difficulty, to where you have to turn back, crap, and pass that difficult point with say a risky jump, in the reverse, and ascend out of the gorge into the forest, and find a descending spot further up, ahead of the impassable portion. You constantly have to be on the move. You recognize fish congregation sites from the distance by the relative stillness of the water surface, lack of major ripples, and even when there are no absolutely still places, the ones that are most still is where the fish from the nearby area spend most of their time, in a simple economize your food energy way and not swim senselessly against high velocity water. Sometimes you even see the fish in the still water area, from a distance, with their back sticking out of the water, or the playful surface swirls they make whipping their tails. Sometimes you see them jump out after bugs. You always have to sneak up on the fish from behind, because they focus their attention forward, to the incoming water carried food. Even with this sleazy, dishonest, unprincipled way of sneaking up on their backs, you barely ever catch any fish. They are so smart. They got to be. You only get one throw of your hook, plumb and float into any area, and they instinctively jump after it without thinking, but that's it, once they get a chance to think, and realize something is not kosher, they dive deep and hide away. Even if the water is very clear, and you can float the grasshopper bait right before their nostrils, even bumping it into their nostrils, they refuse to bite, when they see you, unlike other times when they simply cannot resist a grasshopper. That's what you call self control. And you know it's time to move on. Or wait 20 minutes, come back to the same spot later, by which time they should have relaxed, and start playing and hunting again. Sometimes though they jump even after the plumb while it's flying overhead, and carry the float under, but when you jerk the fishing rod to make a catch, there is nothing on the hook. Even when they do catch the hook, and are sinking the float, there is a limited amount of time window to make the reverse jerk, not too early, not too late. Too early and the bait was just tasted, or even teased with the float coming back up, not swallowed, and too late and the fish realized there was a stiff metal hook and a plastic line, and regurgitated it outside of its mouth. And you cannot make the hook much smaller, or it won't properly hold a grasshopper, or will be too difficult to get out from the fish's stomach with tweezers, and who wants to do that kind of digging or torture. So you do need a hook of a size that the prevailing fish will take into their mouths, but not pass it through their throats, and because of that, a limited time window.
Sometimes, coming up on fish from behind, you get this creepy feeling like they know you are coming, and know they are being watched, and even when you throw the hook, line and sinker, and float, they completely ignore it. And if you approach even closer, they slowly dive away, not in a scared way, just a very balanced I regulate my depth based on how close you are, if you go further I come up, if you come closer, I go down, and there is like no hysteresis time of 20 minutes, after a scare. Creepy. You have no chance with such fish, it's like God is controlling them, it's like they are above your intellect, and they know what you're gonna think next before you even think it. Creepy. Better move to a different spot. Sometimes you get lucky though, and they have no clue you're approaching, especially if you keep your fishing rod tip and your head low, to where the Bragg angle is still at total internal reflection for them, because they are in a higher index of refraction medium, so they cannot see you, but you can see them, true, in a very distorted and difficult way.
So I killed a lot of grasshoppers back in the day, as that's what was available, and I did not have dentist ethyl chloride spray to quickly freeze them to death or at least numb them. I still care about grasshoppers, and want them to live well, and it's like I owe it to them, or their kind, to stand up against senseless expansion of gas wasting, time wasting, biodiversity and genetic variability and native species wasting indiscriminate lawn mowing carried to extreme. Live in harmony with wilderness, please. And especially don't attack my private property lot when I want it to be a wildlife sanctuary. As in any plant or animal that shows up, I want to let them live there, and would please beg the government to leave my lot alone. I can pick up human trash, on a biweekly basis, if I start getting charges over that, in a way of you have to maintain your property, but even if you paid me $20 per mowing to let you cut my grass, I would say no, let alone me pay for the astronomical amounts. I could use that money in a million different ways, such as giving it to church, and you're taking it from me. I think wild nature is never ugly. Even if you think it is, you're wrong, dead wrong. And I'm taking a stand against you.