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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
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On enjoying what's at hand

Posted on January 21, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



This decade began with snow as nice as anything Addison County has enjoyed in the past few years. (I’m speaking, of course, to those like me who enjoy the white stuff.) We had such deep, light, fluffy covering that it was difficult for my wife and I not just to walk out into the woods every morning on our snowshoes, no matter how much work was beckoning to us.

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New fishing gadgets arrive in new decade

Posted on January 7, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



One of my favorite NPR shows is “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.” Hosted by Peter Sagal, it airs locally on VPR Saturday mornings from 11 a.m. to noon. One segment on this quiz show challenges contestants to distinguish between the real and the phony: actual news stories vs. made-up “news.” products on the market vs. imagined products, etc.

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A Season for what?

Posted on December 23, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



In my previous column I made light of the human propensity to whine — a trait at least as common among outdoor enthusiasts as in the general population. And November and December are especially good months for complaining. For one thing, it is the season for steelhead fishing and duck hunting. Of all hunting and fishing sports, these may be the two that inflict the most suffering, and thus also engender the greatest level of stoic pride among participants.

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Enjoying the conditions (afterwards)

Posted on December 10, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



Hunters and anglers are, in many ways, like normal people. Which is to say, we like to boast. Normal people who have hunters or anglers for acquaintances understand, and sometimes accept, that. The misconception that normal people have about hunters and anglers pertains not to whether or we are given to boasting, but to the nature of that boasting.

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It's important to remember to be grateful

Posted on November 26, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



When you take something for granted, you often lose it.

History and personal experience have shown this to be true of much, if not all, that is important. It is true not only of our possessions, but also of our relationships; health; traditions (including hunting, fishing and other outdoor traditions); clean soil, water, and air; wilderness (and more broadly the beauty and availability of those spaces where we engage in our most cherished outdoor activities); freedom (of all types); and the very food that will tastefully (and abundantly) adorn our tables this Thursday.

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Just what is a sport?

Posted on November 12, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



Just what is a “sport” anyway? I was reminded of that age-old question two weeks ago. I wrote my “outdoor sports column” on deep woods raking. But my editor, alertly recognizing that raking isn’t actually a sport, moved me out of the sports section into the “Clippings” section.

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Clippings: There's no place like the home lawn

Posted on November 5, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



A friend was recently in town for a visit. He’d just returned from 20 months with the Peace Corps on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Before that he’d been a student at Middlebury College. And before that, he’d grown up in Kansas. Now the trees in St. Lucia don’t have a season for shedding leaves. College students are not required to do lawn care. And Kansas doesn’t have many trees — just prairies, yellow brick roads, and ’70s rock bands.

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Two hours spent in a tree

Posted on October 15, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



I woke at 6 a.m. to the sound of steady rain on a metal roof. I’d been vaguely aware of the low rumble for several hours — it had swirled through the restless moments of my sleep. Awake, I was fully aware of the sound. I lay in place for several minutes carrying on an internal debate about the implications of that rain — which I knew was a cold one, just a few degrees warmer than sleet. Finally, I rose to dress for hunting.

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Vermont offers trophy fish of a different size

Posted on October 1, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



Over the past month, two all-tackle world records for trout have been broken, with the new records awaiting only official confirmation. A new world record rainbow trout was caught on Sept. 5 in Saskatchewan, Canada. The trout weighed a whopping 48 pounds. (Just pause and consider that weight for a moment. It’s about 5 pounds heavier than the largest king salmon I have ever caught in Alaska, and about six times bigger than the average weight of my kids at birth.)

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Fall changes in Vermont worth noting

Posted on September 17, 2009 |
By Matt Dickerson



The gifted songwriters Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist (collectively known as the band “Over The Rhine”), begin their song “Changes Come” with the simple observation, “Changes come / Turn my world around.”

Changes do come. I find the changes especially noticeable in the autumn. Weather changes. Daylight hours change — and in September they change rapidly. Our daily routines changes as vacations end and kids head back to school.

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