Hello! Welcome to Play Outdoors! This is my inaugural post, and I’m writing it on a Monday morning, one cup of coffee in. This blog is an idea I really should have had months ago. I’d have a lot more content, or I’d at least have thought to take more pictures of actual first-time stuff.
Let me back up a second. I’m Amber, your resident greenhorn. If you read my About page, it covers the basics. We live in Madison, WI. Kind of smack in the middle of town. My boyfriend, who will probably be in a lot of the pictures (and videos if we ever get that far) but will probably not write much, is from way, way northern Wisconsin. The Northwoods. Like, almost the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s gorgeous up there. And also very wide open. He’s quite the outdoorsman, and he’s a lot less of a beginner than I am. Getting to see him be a newbie at something is a real treat. Most of the time, he’s either showing me how to do what we do, or learning along side me. He’s been hunting (bow and rifle)/trapping/ice fishing/etc since he was 12 or so. He’s Matt.
Me, on the other hand. I’m from a mid-sized farming town in north-central Illinois. The flatlands. We were about 90 minutes southwest from downtown Chicago on good traffic days. The closest suburb was about 60 miles away. I went to a university much closer to the suburbs, and lived there for about 5 years, cityfying. For city folk, that makes me unbearably country. For my boyfriend, it makes me a city slicker.
My parents were born and raised even farther south in Illinois, though. My dad is an avid outdoorsman. He loves to hike, bowhunt, and fish. So, in some respects I’m not an absolute beginner. I learned to shoot a bow at a target when I was in 7th grade. I had a 6 foot wooden longbow, made of osage orange wood. He taught me to bobber fish with worms when I was about 6. He used to take us (my sister and I) morel mushroom hunting in the spring to wear us out. While out hiking, he taught us how to look for deer sign. But until this year, I had never fired a gun in my life. I’d never taken anything bigger than a big catfish, or a good sized bass. I got my first white tail this year, a little doe.
But any outdoors person can tell you, one season does not an expert make. There’s still a lot I haven’t done, and a hell of a lot that I don’t know. Which is what will make this fun.