Thursday, December 29, 2011

Giggin on the Gasconade

In November I got the awesome opportunity to go gigging for fish for the first time with some guys on the Gasconade River. This is a sport rich in family tradition. Read more in the online edition of Rural Missouri at: and watch the video below. Visit my new YouTube channel for more of my videos at

Jason Martin of Houston scans from the bow of the boat for suckers. Giggers target non-game fish such as suckers rather than bass, trout or bluegill. Since giggers fish at night, powerful lights are used to light up the shallow waters of the Gasconade River.

With a 14-foot gig in hand, Tim Pirtle of Fredericktown scans the waters of the Gasconade River for suckers.

A closeup of the gig.

Jason Martin places a gigged sucker into a well.

The evening's catch.

The fish are then cooked up for others to enjoy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Here is another image from Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Alton, Illinois. Each winter, hundreds of Trumpeter Swans visit this protected wildlife refuge. North America's largest bird at one point was almost extinct but thanks to efforts in the 1950s, the birds have rebounded. The wetlands and fields of the area near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers provides the birds a great wintering habitat.

Great Blue Heron at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Got this shot of a Great Blue Heron while shooting at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Alton, Illinois. I was there trying to get shots of Trumpeter swans for our January cover and couldnt pass up on this epic light. This guy was just hanging out by the edge of the water and provided for a great silhouette image. This is a great place to see wildlife, especially waterfowl and other birds. Visit to see the image I got of the Trumpeters on the cover. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ozark Knife-Making School

Tom McGinnis of Ozark Knife Makers heats up a Damascus steel blade during one of his knife-making classes in Ozark, Missouri. For more than three decades the master craftsman has been on the cutting edge of blade building.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bent Tree Gallery Chair Class

Last month, I ran a story about The Bent Tree Gallery in Clarksville. John Whitt makes awesome things out of bent willow wood. He also offers 2-day workshops in which you can learn to make a bent willow wood chair of your own. Will make a great gift for someone's birthday or Christmas gift.