Slugfest

Picked huckleberries at the cabin last evening and today.  Kurt helped me haul home parts to an old hatchery net pen I bought on Craigslist.  It would have taken me 2 or 3 days to do myself.  Good to have good friends.  We launched the skiff and anchored it off the launch ramp dock to use the trailer to haul the net pen parts.  Then we got tools. We dismantled the walkway planks from the 12 inch plastic “float log” pipes.  Then cut the plastic pipe at 20 foot lengths with an electric chainsaw.  We made two trips hauling the pipe and 2 x 12 pressure treated planks to the house.  Then bulldogged them into the back yard, where they will become Sara’s requested deck.   I gotta get in shape.  It was late afternoon by the time we got done.  Kurt went home and I went to the boat launch, pulled in the anchored boat, and headed to the cabin.   I picked berries till dark after eating a jar of canned pinks salmon with mayo and onions on ritz crackers.   The banana slugs are at a 20 year high at our cabin.  They are eating the huckleberry and devil’s club leaves.  For some reason, they make my gag.  I decided I was going to see if there was a way to use them for something – maybe duck food.  Sam said ducks like slugs.  I could get him a 5 gallon bucket of them.  The berries on the plant with the leaves eaten by the slugs seem light pink while those the slugs haven’t got to seem ruby red, but might just be my imagination. I picked on Sunday, too.  I followed a trail I’d never been on and found good berry picking.  Near the other side of the island, I had a doe snorting at my, not far away. I tried mewing like a deer call but could not get her to come to me.  I heard her running, but never saw her.  Need to carry the deer call when I’m out picking. I tried coho fishing on the way home.  Got the gear out, then thought – hey, I’ve got gallons of berries to sort from the green berries and leaves.  I sorted for about an hour and half and not a strike.  At  one point I looked down at my thigh and – gag me- I had young banana slug on me.  I picked it off and there was his trail of slime.  Nasty. The blue and blue huckleberries are still booming and a wonder how much food is in the woods.  We need a good cold winter this year for slug control, spruce aphid control, and good exercise skiing and trapping.