Okay, we endured January.
It was a tough month. Hunting seasons ended. Donald Trump took over the White House, and immediately started reversing policies of the Obama Administration.
The weather was cold. Utility bills were high. You’d like to go south somewhere and get warm, so you send emails to in-laws who have a condo in Arizona suggesting you’d like to come and visit for a few months. They don’t reply but they do “unfriend” you on Facebook. You realize that’s a hint that you’re stuck at home for the duration.
Take courage. You survived January. Daylight hours are over an hour longer than they were at Christmas, and every day has a few minutes more sunshine than the day before.
Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, that silly festival where we wake a woodchuck from a perfectly pleasant winter’s hibernation to see if, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the sun is shining. According to the legend, if the groundhog sees its shadow, there will be another six weeks of winter. If it’s cloudy and the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, there will be an early spring.
Big deal. In this part of the country, six more weeks of winter is pretty much the same as an early spring.
For a real taste of spring I recommend an evening of fly-fishing movies. Yes, the annual Fly-fishing Film Tour is coming up next week on Thursday, February 9, at the Motherlode Theater in Butte. There’s a social hour beginning around 6 p.m., with the movies starting at 7 p.m.
This is the 11th season for the Fly-Fishing Film Tour, or F3T for short. It’s definitely a cure for cabin fever, as we enjoy an evening of fly-fishing around the world.
This year’s film lineup features fishing in places as varied as Kamchatka, Siberia, Mexico, Alaska, and, yes, Montana. Some of the anglers might exude an overdose of testosterone, but not all of them, as a couple of the featured films highlight women as fly anglers.
Tickets for the evening are $15 and are available in advance at The Stonefly fly shop in Butte, or at the door at the theater.
It should be fun.
It will also be a healthy distraction from nonsense emanating from our nation’s capitol.
Even before Trump took office, his transition team asked for names of Federal employees who have attended climate change meetings, sending a chilling message to government scientists.
Last week Trump signed executive orders reversing previous decision by the Obama administration to not permit the Keystone XL Pipeline and to not grant an easement across the Missouri River, thus halting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
I assume some readers cheer this news. Many people were disappointed when the Keystone XL pipeline was stopped. From a jobs perspective, yes, pipeline construction creates jobs temporarily, though most of those jobs disappear once the pipeline is completed. In the case of Keystone XL, the bulk of the petroleum that would be transported would come from the Alberta Tar Sands of Canada; the dirtiest, most polluting, environmentally damaging petroleum on earth. The main winners with Keystone XL will be Canadian oil corporations.
I have friends in North Dakota who were angered when Pres. Obama halted DAPL. I’m not sure if it’s for the principle of piping Bakken oil to refiners, or if it’s anger at a bunch of damn Indians defying pipeline companies. It’s probably a complex mixture of both. Either way, I don’t think they realize that the reason the pipeline was halted was because the pipeline company had lost in the court of pubic opinion.
The latest is that the new Trump Administration just ordered three federal agencies to cease communicating with the public through (according to Washington Post), “news releases, social media and correspondence.” Is it coincidence that the three agencies are Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior, agencies that deal with environmental issues and public lands?
In other words, there’s a lot going on that calls for a night off to daydream about fishing.