It's early September, this is high desert country, wanna guess what that means in my world?
Heck, the answer is simple.
It's early September and this is Western Nevada, so that can only mean one thing: Our weather has finally cooled off.
If you are any type of regular reader of this weekly column, you know that I am strongly on record as a fanatical, cold weather person.
I love cold weather.
I hate hot weather.
That's a fact, jack!
During the long hot days of summer, I have a very difficult time functioning.
I become dysfunctional whenever the temperature gets above 80 degrees.
When the temperature climbs into the 90's and higher, I become irritable, lethargic, lose my appetite, constantly sweat, have a difficult time sleeping, etc.
But, boy oh boy, what a change when the temperature dips back down into the 60's-70's and below.
Little Donnie Q comes alive. Big time!
And that coming alive also coincides with a huge number of activities that signal the end of the miserable summer heat and the beginning of the delightful fall season.
What are those activities?
Well, here is just a partial list:
-- The Best of The West Rib Cook Off in Sparks. I love to pig out on all kinds of finger-licking, tasty, rib "samplers."
-- Sunday and Monday night pro football games on television. It is a great way for Donnie Q to spend two special evenings relaxing at home each week. I am always rooting for my beloved Oakland Raiders and always rooting against those hated 49'ers. Hey, Raider fans, this could finally be our year!
-- Listening to all of the Carson High School football games on the local radio station and wondering if I will live long enough for the CHS Senators to finally beat Wooster High School.
-- Attending the Great Reno Balloon Races. However, there is going to be one major change this year. I am not going to be watching, I am going to be riding! It's true! I will be going up in one of the balloons on the morning of Sept. 7 as one of the Nevada Appeal media representatives on Media Day.
Wow, I can hardly wait.
-- The Virginia City Camel races. It really gets interesting when one of those ugly critters tries to spit on anyone who come too close to them.
-- The opening of the special, "catch and release," fishing season at Heenan Lake, near Markleeville, Calif. It is open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from the Friday before Labor Day to the last Sunday in October. A favorite location for the serious fly fishermen in their float tubes.
-- The opening of the fishing season at Catnip Reservoir in Northeastern Washoe County. Catnip is a long way from Carson City but offers some truly outstanding "catch and release" fishing for trophy-sized Lahontan cutthroat trout.
-- The closing of the fishing season at Hobart Reservoir, between Carson City and Lake Tahoe.
-- The closing of the fishing season at the Fort Churchill Cooling Ponds in Lyon County.
-- The closing of the fishing season of all of the open waters on the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lyon County.
-- The closing of Topaz Lake for the months of October-December.
-- The opening of the Lahontan cutthroat trout fishing season at Pyramid Lake. Several years ago, on the opening day, our fishing party of five anglers caught and released a total of 75 cutthroat, up to about 7 pounds. We were jigging with black or purple Maribou jigs.
-- The opening of the Nevada mourning dove hunting season on Sept. 1. Unfortunately, most if not all of the dove are long gone to Southern Nevada and beyond, with the first hint of cool weather in this part of the country. And our weather has already been very cool.
-- The opening of the Nevada common crow hunting season.
-- The opening of the Nevada snowcock (AKA Himalayan snow partridge) hunting season in the Ruby Mountain Range of Elko County.
-- The opening of the Nevada blue grouse hunting season. A wily bird found in the mountains west of Carson City. It is seldom seen except by serious mountain hikers or mule deer hunters.
-- The opening of the Nevada ruffed grouse hunting season.
-- The opening of the Nevada hunting season for California bighorn sheep in the northern portion of the state. Again, if I live long enough, one of these years, I might draw one of those hard-to-get tags.
-- The closing of the Nevada archery buck mule deer hunting season.
-- The opening of the Nevada muzzleloader buck mule deer hunting season.
-- The opening of the special sage grouse hunting season in Washoe and Humboldt Counties. There are only a total of 75 tags available this year.
-- The dramatic improvement of fishing success at many different places like Walker Lake, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Lundy Lake, Convict Lake, Stampede Reservoir, Boca Reservoir, Donner Lake, etc. Most particularly at my favorite fall lake, Walker Lake. Catching and releasing more than 20 trout in a single day has not been unusual for me in past years.
-- The second of two free fishing days in the State of California. If you're interested, it is on Sept. 23 this year. Note that date on your calendar.
-- And the list goes on and on and on.
And, guess what? That list of activities is only those things that are happening through Oct. 1.
How's that for a sure fire indicator that summer is over and we are rapidly moving into fall.
I love it. The snow, ice, cold and low temperatures of winter can't come fast enough for me.
Until then, I am delighted that our cool weather has arrived.
How about you?
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you what hunting seasons have already closed in Nevada.
If he responds, "The archery and rifle pronghorn antelope hunting seasons," he might have had one of those hard-to-get hunting tags.