Thursday, September 18, 2008

THE TENNESSEE RIVER AND THOUGHTS

Click on pics to enlarge Today finds me floating down the Tennessee River on quiet, smooth water. I left all the dogs at home and set aside this morning for just me. I'm experiencing some varied emotions sitting out here. When I pulled into the boat ramp area I noticed a dog laying in the middle of the parking area. Yes, another unwanted "family member" that someone decided ate too much food or cost too much money to have around so they probably just opened the car door and pushed him out here in this isolated place where no one could see. He watched my truck intensely as I drove in. All my attempts to approach him were in vein as he was aloof and very nervous at my approaches. Oh yes, I would certainly have brought him home with me if I could have caught him. I have been half heartedly attempting to do some fishing. I caught a couple large mouth bass that were of respectable size and a catfish. I did get a photo of them. Of course I gently released them back into the water after the photo's were taken. While all this intense fishing activity was taking place; I kept hearing the strangest bird call. It wasn't the KaRee, KaRee, Chirp, Chirp, Chirp of an Osprey. But sort of a chirp, chirrrrrp, chirrrrp. The sounds were not an excited communication, but more of a contented, easy, soft series of sounds. Then a return churrrrp, churrrrp came from a tall stand of trees with snaggley, bare limbs. There perched a Bald Eagle and I soon saw the second one thirty yards lower on the stone cliff. 78" /> I think I captured some favorable photos of this magnificent bird. I waited for one to prepare to fly so I could catch his out streatched wings. Just as I suspected. The photo is blurry. A new, great camera is on my list of purchases in the future. Digital zoom leaves a lot to be desired. The photo above would have been a life time greatest shot had it been crisp and clear. There will be another time. Most of these shots were on 1/50th of a second. This is far too slow of a shutter speed. But what could I do? And then I saw an eagle fishing at a distance. And then It struck me. "Why don't you take movies of them?" I could have captured the chirping they were making also. I just didn't think of it. Next time. I am floating past a cave I have been interested in for a couple years. I would enter and explore it if there were another person with me. Cave exploring is something I have never done and this area is wilderness and I doubt help is nearby if needed. One day though-------one day. Early morning on the river is best. Critters are about and fish are jumping. The air is cool as I notice a movement on the shoreline. A deer is walking along the waters edge. I have freightened it by my presence. But lots of time for pictures. Wow, she's a fast one. She's making me work here. The light is terrible. She is in heavy shade and the lense opening is not correct. What a situation! I can always think when I'm floating on the boat. It is so peaceful! I have relived story's I've read in books in my mind. I see the story as a movie. I've envisioned episodes of the French and Indian war in my mind more times than can be counted. The Wildeernes Empire by Allen Eckard is a fascinating book of history written as a novel. I almost know each chapter by heart. But today it is not the French and Indian War I am thinking about, nor the political climate of our great nation. I'm thinking about a friend who is gravely ill. We have ridden motorcycles together and we work together. Constant back pain agrivated by standing long hours drove him finally to the doctor. It took awhile to diagnose the ailment. But the information was not what anyone expected. Lung cancer was the diagnosis. The prognosis is yet to be determined. My thoughts are constantly revolving around this good friend as we laughed and talked about how things were in the military and compare them to the work place. I am still in denial. It is difficult for me to accept that this good man is in a struggle for his life, and there is not one damn thing I can do to help him. I feel so helpless. Encouragement is all I can do for him. I want to kick some cancer ass but the enemy is a master at guerrilla warfare. Even better than the Viet Cong. One thing in his favor though; he knows the battle field better than the enemy. That should give him an edge. My heart and thoughts are with him. Get well, my good friend! I looked for the stray dog back at the dock. He was nowhere to be found. A melencoly feeling has overtaken me today and I need some time with my guys at home. Douglas, Shade and Happy should be good medicine. Oh, and the two beagles I am caring for. Well, I like dog's. What can I say???