Tag Archives: OUTDOORS

Basketball, an Island, and a Volcano: My Journey to the Caribbean.


I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell this story. After all, it happened a long time ago and a lot of people have heard at least parts of it. Still, it has never been written and I thought it might be of some interest and worth hearing. Plus, I have to admit that it’s a pretty incredible story. It’s very long, so grab an adult beverage and relax. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

See that picture? Hours before that volcano blew I was standing at its edge with my Caribbean basketball players, peering down into it. Got your attention? Good. Let’s backtrack . . .

It all started over 16-years ago at the University of Maryland, where I was working at Gary William’s Basketball Camp. At the camp I’d become acquainted with an international coach who had worked in several countries, including a stint as the Greek National coach. He’d also been the National Coach of a tiny island in the Caribbean. The country’s name was Montserrat. I’d never heard of Montserrat at the time, but that would soon change.

A few months later, in the early spring of 1995, I got a call. On the line was a gentleman with a distinct British/Caribbean accent. He informed me that he was a businessman from Montserrat who also happened to be a supporter of their national basketball team. He’d been given my name by the coach previously mentioned, and he informed me that said coach had stepped down and Montserrat was looking for somebody new to train their team. Would I be interested? After getting some details (paid fare to the Caribbean, free lodging and meals, an island in a tropical paradise) I agreed. Hey, I’m not stupid. At the time I had no misgivings. It wasn’t until later that I started to Continue reading Basketball, an Island, and a Volcano: My Journey to the Caribbean.

Alan Koch’s Brown Pelican

For several years now an amateur radio acquaintance, Alan Koch, has been sending me the occasional wildlife or outdoors photo. His photography is always great and worth a few moments of contemplation. The current photo is of a brown pelican, a bird I’ve spent many an hour watching while sitting on or near a body of salt water with a fishing pole in my hand. Watching a flock of pelicans gracefully skim the surface of the water or make their characteristic plunge into the water in chase of food, is a sight that doesn’t get old. Thanks Alan.

The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelicans with a wingspan of 6-8 feet. It has a habit of making a spectacular dive for fish from the air.

Monk said, “He fought like a young bear!”

People in large urban areas probably go to the zoo or fly pigeons from their tenement roof tops to have a natural experience. In small town and rural America the experience is much closer and more personal. We live with wild life and have centuries old traditions about hunting, trapping, angling, and observing the creatures we live near.

Each year during deer season the competition is on to see who comes away with the biggest white tail buck deer and all the bragging rights that accompany its prize set of antlers. It’s big business and even the counties of Ohio have a vested interested in where the trophy deer was harvested. A couple of years ago Highland County produced a major buck and local restaurants, motels, and restaurants benefited from the Continue reading Monk said, “He fought like a young bear!”

What’s New at North Coast Muse?

Sally Turner Kennedy has a couple of new items on her blog, North Coast Muse. Sally is a bird lover, bird watcher, and bird follower. One of her new post focuses on what’s going on in the world of trying to restore Ohio’s peregrine falcon population. She’s posted a photo of two of the current Columbus peregrines chillin’ out high up in the Rhodes Tower in downtown Columbus.

Sally is a doer and loves to take in a festival, concert, art display, farm market, etc. Her most recent post is of a recent craft show she attended. As usual, she has some nice photos.

The Pelicans of Lake Erie. Lake Erie?

In the past sixty-years many things have changed about Ohio’s wildlife scene. Growing up in the 40s and 50s I have no memory of ever seeing a local deer, wild turkey, black bear, osprey, bald eagle, or sea-gull. Today, to a degree, these things are fairly common in our state.

The first Ohio deer I saw was in the fall of 1970 driving along Lower-Twin Rd running my morning school bus route. As I came around a curve there was a huge buck standing in the road and as soon as it saw the bus it bounded over a wire fence and headed for the nearest woods. I stopped the bus and sat there in awe.

Today we have deer grazing in the clearing in front Continue reading The Pelicans of Lake Erie. Lake Erie?

The Camera, Never Leave Home Without One

Sally Turner Kennedy is one of those I wish I could model myself after. She possesses an eye for the unusual, almost always has a camera near by, and remembers to use the damned thing when something catches her eye.

My daughter Jennifer is like that, as is Linda Fugate. Both are known to grab a camera and head into the world just to see what’s worth spending some pixels on. I saw Linda and her husband recently and their purpose for being away from home was to take pictures and check out yard sales. Both worthy of time.

Jennifer will grab her camera and go searching for fields of grain, wild flowers, cloud formations, sun rises, Continue reading The Camera, Never Leave Home Without One

New From the North Coast Muse

Sally Turner Kennedy has a nice piece on her blog, North Coast Muse. She is a dedicated observer of nature and frequently seems to have a camera with her when the occasion dictates. Her current offering is about adding a new bird specie to her “life-list.” I too have a life-list but it all about the different specie of fish I have caught. I keep a fish guide with me and mark when and where I caught my first specimen of each specie. We do, however, keep track of what birds show up at our feeders and over the years there has been a couple of rare ones. Thanks Sally!

Mama Ruby Throat

My daughter recently noticed a female ruby-throated hummingbird fluttering around a branch hanging over our swimming pool. After a long period of observation she finally discovered the reason for the bird’s activity, a very small nest was the focus of Mama Ruby Throat’s attention. Jennie came and borrowed my camera and took a series of wonderful photos. Here’s the one I think is best.