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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Information on Frostbite and Hypothermia from the National Weather Service


If you or someone you care about must venture outdoors during extreme cold this winter, dress in layers. Cover exposed skin to reduce your risk of frostbite or hypothermia. Try to seek shelter from the wind as much as possible while outside. Once inside again, change into dry clothing immediately if you are wet. Understand and watch for frostbite and hypothermia.
–Watch for Frostbite
Frostbite can happen in minutes, especially on the extremities such as fingers, toes, nose, and ears, but can affect any area of exposed skin. If you suspect frostbite, immediately move inside to a heated location and begin warming the affected areas using warm water or body heat. Do not use hot water or radiant heat such as a fireplace since affected areas can be easily burned. Seek medical attention for severe frostbite.
Frostbite happens when the body's survival mechanisms kick in during extremely cold weather. To protect the vital inner organs, the body cuts circulation to your extremities: feet, hands, nose, etc., which eventually freeze. To avoid frostbite, stay inside during severe cold, especially when the wind chill is -50°F or below. If you must go out, try to cover every part of your body: ears, nose, toes, and fingers, etc. Mittens are better than gloves. Keep your skin dry. Stay out of the wind when possible. Drink plenty of fluids since hydration increases the blood's volume, which helps prevent frostbite. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarette. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, preventing the warming of your extremities. Alcohol reduces shivering, which helps keep you warm. Cigarettes shut off the blood flow to your hands.
Below are indicators of frostbite:
- First-degree: Ice crystals are forming on your skin.
- Second-degree: Skin begins to feel warm even though it is not yet defrosted.
- Third-degree: Skin turns red, pale or white.
- Fourth-degree: Pain lasts for more than a few hours and skin may develop dark blue or black. See a doctor immediately if these symptoms arise. Gangrene is a real threat.
–Frostbite First Aid
Get indoors as quickly as possible. Until you can get indoors:
- Don't rub or massage cold body parts.
- Put your hands in your armpits.
- Hold onto another person or animal.
- Drink warm liquids.
- Put on extra layers of clothes, blankets, etc.
- Remove rings, watches, and anything other tight jewelry or related items.
Once indoors:
- Don't walk on a frostbitten foot. You could cause more damage.
- Get in a warm, NOT hot, bath and wrap your face and ears in a moist, warm, NOT hot, towel.
- Don't get near a hot stove or heater or use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or a hair dryer. You may burn yourself before feeling returns.
- Frostbitten skin will become red and swollen and feel like it's on fire. You may develop blisters. Don't break the blisters. It could cause scarring and infection.
- If your skin turns blue or gray, is very swollen, blistered or feels hard and numb even under the surface, go to a hospital as soon as possible.

–Beware of Hypothermia
When your body temperature sinks below 96°F, you have hypothermia, a serious health hazard that occurs when body temperature is lowered too much. Get medical attention immediately. Move the victim inside to a heated location and begin warming the center of the body first. If the person is unconscious, administer CPR.
Hypothermia can occur in temperatures as warm as 60°F, particularly in water or if you are outside a long time and not dressed for the weather. Of the approximately 1,300 people the CDCP lists as being killed by hypothermia each year, most are seniors, according to the National Institute of Aging, but some are children and young adults. Everyone needs to be careful. Some medicines, problems with circulation, and certain illnesses may reduce your ability to resist hypothermia. As you age, your body becomes less efficient at letting you know when you are too cold. In addition, older people tend not to shiver effectively, one of the ways the body warms itself up.
Remember these tips to help prevent hypothermia:
- Dress in layers.
- Wrap up well when going outside in the cold.
- Avoid breezes and drafts indoors.
- Eat nutritious food and wear warm clothes to ward off winter chill.
- Wear a warm hat in the winter.
- Eat hot foods and drink warm drinks several times during the day.
- If you live alone, ask a family member of neighbor to check on you daily or have a camera installed that a family member can view on their computer.
- Ask your doctor if any medicine you're taking increases your risk of hypothermia. Drugs that may cause a problem include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, chlorpromazine, reserpine, and tricyclic antidepressants.
If your temperature is 96°F or less, you feel cold and sluggish, or are having trouble thinking clearly, see your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. It's better to be overly cautious than to die of a disorder that doesn't have to be deadly.
If you are trying to help someone who may have hypothermia, first call an ambulance. Then lie close to the person and cover both of you with thick blankets. The hotter you get, the more warmth you can give the other person. Don't rub the person or handle him or her roughly.

Also, check out my blog post on what to do if you fall through the ice.

What to do if you fall through the ice - This video could save your life ...

Cold weather brings frozen lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.  This video talks about hypothermia and gives some good survival tips if you go through the ice.  

This video could save your life ...

Good Article also.

Also, check out my post with Information on Frostbite and Hypothermia from the National Weather Service.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Hunting Adventures - 2022 - Black Bear

For the opening weekend of rifle season, we were deer hunting in Enfield at Mike's house.   For the second weekend, we headed to Moultonborough.  Mike arrived Thursday afternoon so he could take an evening stand.  I drove to Moultonborough Thursday night as I took Friday off.  I was about 10 minutes from David’s house when I realized I forgot my hunting boots. NUTS.  Rick was coming up Friday morning, so he grabbed them as he headed north. 
I missed the Friday morning stand with no boots.  Since I was up early, I took a couple sunrise pictures from David’s house.  One is from the bedroom window and the other is on the deck.  I took a couple drone pictures a few weeks earlier. 

Rick showed up late morning, so we ate lunch and headed out.  We decided to hunt Red Hill (aka the Sahara).  I was dropped off a half mile from Mike and started into the woods.  There was snow on the ground, and it was crunchy.  I walked a bit and found a good spot and a rock to sit on.  I was in the hardwoods and kicked out the leaves and snow so I could take a few steps without making any noise.  The sun felt good as it was cold with some wind.  I was sitting on a hill so to my left was uphill and to my right was downhill.  I felt I had several good shooting lanes.
Behind me, the terrain dropped down to a ravine with a stream and then up a large hill.  I sat facing southwest and would occasionally stand and turn around to face the ravine and hill northeast.  There were shooting lanes looking across to the hill if I saw or heard a deer.  I circled the rock I was sitting on from where I shot the bear.

At one point I stood, turned around, looking at that hill to the north when I saw what looked like a bear.  I raised my rifle so I could look through the scope.  It was a bear.  I put my scope on 9 power and looked again. The bear was looking right at me but was not moving.  Now, bears have an excellent sense of smell and excellent hearing.  Their eyesight is not so good.  As I faced the bear the wind was blowing at around 10 o’clock so it could not directly smell me.
The bear was 100 yards out.  I had a 4-inch diameter tree next to the rock so I slowly moved so I could lean up against the tree for support. 

I had a bear tag, so I aimed for the center chest, and bang … the bear went down.  It got up and started walking slowly downhill and bang … another hit.  Come to find out the bear had a den at that spot.  The first shot was 10 feet higher up and away from the den.  The bear turned and started walking parallel to the stream away from the den.  It let out 3 death moans and stopped behind a tree.  I watched for a few minutes with the only movement being the bear's head occasionally moving from one side of the tree to the other.
I didn’t want it to suffer so I walked down toward the ravine maybe 40 yards closer.  I used the crotch of a tree to line up another shot and bang … the bear was put down.  I circled the bear behind the tree.

I sent Mike and Rick a text.  Mike was hunting a half mile away, so I waited for him to arrive before approaching the bear.  Mike took the following short videos of the event.  Rick was a couple miles away and dropped down the get his truck and head over.

Now, field-dressing a bear is the same as a deer.  FYI … I have timed Mike field-dressing a deer in 5 minutes.  His back was sore, so he said I was on my own.  He said, “Don’t make me take off my jacket Bri!” 
I filled out my tag, attached it, and started to field dress the bear.  Mike poked fun at me when the only knife I had was my ESEE 6.  Yes, it has a 6-inch blade.  Very sharp but BIG.  Mike did help a bit by holding the leg of the bear but he kept saying “Don’t you cut me … Don’t you cut me with that thing!”  Hmm … Maybe I should have given him a little nick to keep him quiet!  HeHe.  Rick arrived and had a smaller buck knife I used to finish the job.
We used a rope and a thick branch for the drag out of the woods.  We were ¾ mile from Rick’s truck. Once we went down the ravine and up the other side it was mainly downhill.  The snow on the ground made the drag a bit easier to maneuver around the blow-downs, etc. It was 17 degrees Friday night so thankfully that kept the bear cold so the meat wouldn't go bad.

FYI … In NH you don’t go to a check station with a bear as you do with a deer.  There is a number to call on the Fish & Game website and a digital form to fill out for a bear.  A conservation officer called me and we planned a time and place to meet.
Saturday morning, the Conservation Officer that showed up is one that I have seen on Northwoods Law - NH.  We chatted and filled out the paperwork.  I was all set once he checked and tagged the bear.  He said it looked to be 130 pounds and said it was a nice average bear.  It would have been a bit heavier if there was more food in the woods. (No acorns or nuts in the woods this year)
I hunted for a few hours after the bear was checked then headed out of the woods to go to the butcher that afternoon.  On my way out, Sevey arrived and was heading into the woods.  As we talked we saw 2 bald eagles fly over us.  They were flying together a couple hundred feet up and going pretty fast.  I wished I had my camera.  

I called the butcher before I arrived.  He said he would skin the bear when I showed up so I could take the bear hyde to a taxidermist.  The Butcher told me the net weight for bear meat is around 30% of the total once field dressed, skinned, and with the fat all trimmed off.  You don’t eat bear fat and there's a lot of it!

More deer hunting Sunday morning then headed home in the afternoon.
Monday night I brought the bear hyde to the taxidermist to have a head and shoulder mount made.  I also got a text from the butcher saying the meat was ready. 
Tuesday night I headed for the butcher.  I had ordered Bear Tenderloin, sausage, and backstrap. 
Thursday was Thanksgiving.  Pam cooked up the turkey with all the fixings.  We had bear sausage and 
kielbasa in the crock pot.  I took care of the bear tenderloin on the grill.

We had Pam, Courtney, Anthony, Sophie, Megan, Matt, Jack, Kevin, Sabrina, and me for dinner.  Kate, Alex, Evie, and Ethan were in Tennessee.  We had a great family time.  I had the bear tenderloin and sausage.  
Even my 10-month-old granddaughter had bear.  I went back for seconds to find it was all gone.
We all have so much to be thankful for …
Now, my hunting buddies say as we all get older, the memories will start to fade, embellishment will start, and the story will change.
Hmm … Lets see …

- No … No!  Fish & Game did not say it was 130lbs … they said it was 310lbs!
- The bear was not 100 yards away … it was 1000 yards away!
- Because of my keen eyesight, I did not need a rifle scope. I was using iron sights.  
- Doug was on one of his crazy speed hikes up a mountain when he noticed this bear stalking him.  He panicked as the bear closed in on him.  I ran down the bear, made a Dick Butkus-like tackle, and took the bear out.
- The bear was coming at me … We pounced at the same time.  I used 3 or 4 MMA moves causing the bear to tap out.  Unfortunately, the skirmish tore up my hunting jacket thereby exposing my washboard-like stomach and my barrel-like chest.
- This bear was ready to attack a group of girl scouts on a nature hike in the mountains when I jumped in and saved the day.
- I was up in a tree with my ESEE6 knife.  As this bear came by, I dropped from the tree like JOHN RAMBO ... and had bear tenderloin for dinner.
- I was hunting with Max Michel and Jerry Miculek. (They called us the Three Amigos)  We saw the bear at the same time.  I was able to draw my pistol (Ruger Redhawk) and shoot the bear before their pistols cleared their holsters.
- I spotted the bear and slowly moved toward it.  Once close enough, I yelled, “GO AHEAD … MAKE MY DAY!”  The startled bear turned to look at me and bang.  I came up with that phrase years ago ... I think it was even used in a movie!! 

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Foliage Run - 2022

For several years, I have tried to make a quick trip when the foliage is changing.  Pam and I had planned to go to the Mt Washington area.  Plans changed a bit so we will have to do that another year.

I did take a few pictures when riding my Rokon in the woods.

We had our fall family gathering in CT which is always fun.  The foliage was good but not yet peaked that far south.

When I passed one field and noticed the farmer had a whole row of old farm equipment at the crest of the field.  Behind the field, the foliage was lit up from the morning sun.  I thought that was interesting, so I turned around and took a couple pictures out the window of my Jeep.

When I stopped at Beaver Brook, I noticed they now have this wheelchair-accessible path that makes a loop through the woods and across a field back to the starting point.  Kudos to Beaver Brook.

One morning I went to Monson Village to see the sunrise.  The foliage was not peaking yet but there was some good color.  I noticed a tennis ball off the trail.  It is a wonderful place to walk a dog, so I figured it was accidentally left behind.  I came upon several chestnut trees (I had to look that up).  Edible chestnuts have a spiny husk encasing the nuts and pointed tassels on the tip.  Before the husk opens, the spiny husk encasing the nuts is around the same size as the tennis ball I spotted.  And yes, OUCH, if you touch them.

I am always on the lookout for a nice barn, or horse!

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Sunset - Canadian Wildfire Smoke

I was watching the news and they reported there was a haze in the air caused by Canadian wildfire smoke in the upper atmosphere. The jet stream was sending the smoke to the New England area so they said there may be enhanced views of the sunset.  Pam and I decided that we would go to Federal Hill in Hollis to see if we could see a nice sunset.
We Visited my parents first and by the time we left, we knew we wouldn’t make it to Federal Hill before the sun went down. There were no clouds in the sky so nothing for the sun to reflect on other than the smoke.  At that point, the sky was a little pink but nothing unusual.
While driving I noticed the sun starting to turn pink.  It was strange because you could look right at it because of the smoke.  I needed an unobstructed view, so I quickly swung around and stopped at the Airport.
Here are a couple of the pictures I took of the sun.  I did not use any filters.  The wildfire smoke filtered the sun.  When taking pictures of a bright object it creates underexposed surroundings.

After taking a couple pictures we continue to Federal Hill.  From taking sunset pictures, the best sky colors often occur after the sun has gone down.  We had a couple of good spots to stop at.  Unfortunately, with no clouds in the sky, there wasn’t much color, so it was a bust.
As we headed home the moon rose and had an interesting color from the smoke in the air so we stopped at the Woodmont barn.
I did not have my tripod which was unfortunate.  I jumped out of the Jeep and leaned up against the barn for support. I wasn’t really happy with the pictures I was taking as it was hard to keep my camera still while zoomed out with a slow shutter speed. My thought … “If you can’t beat them, join them” …  So, I slowed the shutter speed down a bit more and played with intentional camera movement. Something my wife doesn’t like!

I have taken night-time time-lapse pictures of the moon before.  Because the moon is a sphere it creates tubes not just flat lines of light.  With the shutter open you cannot see the subject (in this case the moon) through the viewfinder so keeping the subject in the frame is an experiment.   Also, the slower you move the camera, the brighter the moon appears. If you stop long enough, you get more of the image. It is fun experimenting with moving the camera fast, slow, stopping, and starting to see what kind of picture you create.

Enough playing … We headed for home after a couple of pictures.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Kennebunkport Maine vacation - 2022

Our 2022 Kennebunkport vacation is now in the books.  We ended up renting 2 houses again due to the growing family size and schedule.  We rented a house this year that was a mile from Goose Rocks beach.  We were 8 minutes from the other rented house and 10 minutes from town.  It was a great location.

Renting was Friday to Friday which was different.  In all previous years, the changeover was always on Saturday.  Turns out we really liked Friday to Friday as we did not have to deal with the heavy Saturday traffic.

Pam and I left Friday morning but could not check in until 3PM.  We drove all around the area and went into town.  Pam’s folks stayed with us Friday night also as the other house rental started on Saturday.   Since the kids are all adults and have different work schedules, they arrived and departed at different times throughout the week.  We had 1 dinner where we were together from both houses.  That was really because of Courtney and Photoshop (oops … I’m not supposed to tell you that!!)

It was a very quiet location as the house had woods around and it was on a dead-end dirt road so no traffic.  The house was set up well with big bedrooms and a nice common space for us to move around.  We did have an unexpected visitor!

This location was also close to Cape Porpoise so I would use that as a picture default.  Here are a couple Goat Island Light pictures.

If you haven’t read my past vacation blog posts, I am an early bird.  Even on vacation!  The earlier I wake up, the further I can drive before the sun comes up so it helps me determine my destination.  The earliest was 3:30AM and the latest was 4:50AM.  As I have said in other blog posts, cloudy, sunny, haze, fog, rain … “it is what it is”.  I am more of the “what you see is how it was” type of photographer.  I decided I would take more boat pictures this year. 

I went to Biddeford Pool to take Wood Island lighthouse pictures.  I parked and walked a half mile to an open area by the rocks.

The horizon had some clouds but the sun eventually rose above them.  I went to another area by the mouth of The Pool and took some boat pictures. 

From a distance, I saw something that looked like it could be another lighthouse.  It turns out it was Stage Island Monument.  I asked a local and she said it marks where the Saco River ends and meets the ocean.

In doing a bit of investigating it is called a Day Beacon (which serves the same purpose as a modern-day navigation buoy) and was built in 1825.  The monument is 60 feet high, its base is 20 feet in diameter, and the base walls are 4 feet thick.  It is used as a visual landmark for mariners attempting to navigate the mouth of the Saco River and it marks the northern entry to Wood Island Harbor.

I went to Cape Porpoise at different times during the week.  Sunrise, sunset, and mid-day.  It was nice being so close.

I met Gary and Patti who have a sailboat in the harbor.  I enjoy taking pictures and am happy to share them with boat owners if I meet them.

Floating lobster crates are used to store lobsters until they are delivered to the dock for pick up.

I went to York twice to take sunrise pictures of the Nubble.  The sunrise looks different each time.  I would love to take Nubble pictures after a big storm to see the waves crash against the rocks.

Perkins Cove in Ogunquit is also very pretty and a fun destination.  Always nice to see the boats and the shops.  From Perkins Cove, the Marginal Way is a fun walk along the rocky coast. 

I also went to Ogunquit beach for a sunrise.

A drone observation and a bit of research.  There is an inlet channel that runs along the rocks by the Marginal Way and loops behind the beach to an enclosed tidal area where the tide water (tidal jets) flows in and out throughout the tidal cycle.  There are 3 phases to a tidal cycle.  The flooding tide/rising tide/flood jet starts pushing the seawater landward through the inlet.  The slack tide is when the water is not moving for a short time. The falling tide/ebb tide/ebb jet is when the water flows strongly through an inlet toward the ocean.  These strong, reversing currents, ebb jets, flood jet, or tidal jets can carry large quantities of sand outward that form sandbars far out in the ocean or into the bay outside the inlet channel.

Why did I explain all of that?  I was at the Ogunquit beach when the tide was going out (ebb jet).  Once the water goes under the bridge the inlet narrows and the water speeds up as it approaches the ocean and makes the turn.

Looking at the water from the bridge I saw brown sandy water flowing into the ocean.  With my drone looking from above the sand looks like clouds flowing to the ocean.  The pictures were interesting, but this video shows it best.  My camera shoots 4K video but I have a limit on video size here.

Wells is always fun to visit to get a sunrise or sunset picture with boats.

Pam does not like Intentional Camera Movement (ICM).  I like it so here are a couple IMC pictures.

I did some experimenting with camera settings.  I took a normal shot and played a bit.  Light or dark …  What do you like better?

A few of our family traditions:

- We had our all-together dinner at Alisson’s Restaurant. Currently 19 but who is counting? (missing were Matt, Megan, & Jack)
- We went to Goose Rocks Beach and Gooch’s beach multiple times throughout the week. 
- We walked through town and the shops. 
- We had lots of fun at the Trolley Museum. 
- We can’t forget the Maine Diner, All Day Breakfast, the Cape Pier Chowder House, the Clam Shack, and Rococo’s for ice cream.
- The last dinner together is pizza on the beach.

Throughout the week I took overhead pictures in different places.  There can be some interesting colors, patterns, and shapes.

I stopped at Portland Head Light after dropping Alex at the airport.  It was mid-day, hot, with no shade, lots of people, and not so great for pictures. 

We were packed up and out of the house Friday morning but stayed in the area until dinner before heading home.  It was a great family vacation.  Looking forward to next year.
Renting Friday to Friday also gave us the weekend to regroup before going back to work.  That was nice.  For me … Rokon time (rode 8 miles in the woods) … range time … church … relaxation … 

Click on the pictures to enlarge.