Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FOR PIE (Piradian)

Well, little grandma; its a cold Fall night, but then you know what that is all about. You certainly spent many cold nights alone before you found your special human. That was a stroke of luck, wasn't it Pie? In out of the cold at last. How many years ago was it? How old are you? It doesn't matter. You have been a blessing to all that have come to know you. You have been showered with love and kindness these many years and have been held in the highest esteem at your newest home. Why, you even became pack leader for a long time and have kept the young ones in their place. I was always amazed at how one so small could cower larger, more powerful dogs. Little scrufty Pie-Pie. You always seem to smile when I come to visit. You always come running to me, tail wagging, and I always select you to greet first. All you ever asked me for was a gentle pat on your head. I enjoyed scratching you behind the ear and gently holding your little face in my hands. You stared into my eyes as I caress your jaw line and that little smile would seem to appear, if only to me, and I felt joy at the touch. Oh Pie! All those things came to my mind tonight when I lifted your little lifeless face to mine. Your eyes were not clear shut. I looked into them and renewed my understanding of what pure innocence really is. Dear sweet girl; your precious life will be so badly missed! Our hearts grieve tonight over you. The pack will be one member shy, but when I see them running I will always see you there with them, running, wind at your back and the sun on your face, youthful and full of life. I wish we could walk with you on your journey, but we can not. Once again you are on your own. But you are not alone. The grasses on this beautiful place you called home will no longer feel your foot paws upon it. But your paw prints have left indelible marks on our hearts and we will be with you forever, dear friend. Soon another will follow you. When Pocus comes; help him along and guide him on his journey. He will be frightened and will look to you for guidance. So, sweet one. I have held your face and felt your warmth for the last time tonight. You are bundled tightly in your blanket, there in your final bed of leaves. Sleep tight precious, innocent one. Mother Nature; a daughter has been returned to you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


click on photo to enlarge It was a chilly morning here where I live and I felt it would be a nice gesture if I took my guys out to the woods. Fall colors are definitely showing now. Along with the changing leaves come a variety of late blooming flowers. While passing a corn field, I stopped to photo a few of nature's best. You definitely want to click on these pictures for a close up and personal look. The blooms are spectacular. They come with this time of year. The ruins area is a sort of abandoned state park. The dogs are blessed to have this area to roam in. They can be dogs. They can act like dogs. They can run full out and get exercise. They can be happy. I've included a few pictures of their favorite fields; open and expansive. I hope you like the flowers. Their playground And finally; a symphony of color. Presented by Ma Nature Magnificent blooms present the soft side of nature. They are spectacles of beauty. All one has to do is slow down and look. Absorb the colors into the psyche. Allow them to influence the characteristics that make you who you are. Slow down----slow down----slow down

Monday, October 13, 2008


Click on pictures to enlarge I woke up in a lake kind of mood today; imagine that. All the dogs sensed that I was going to make a move with them today to somewhere. The air was heavy with their anticipation. But today would be a little different. I have always taken Douglas and or Happy with me on the boat outings because Shade will not come reliably when called and she and Douglas pair up and range too far ahead of me. Today I would give Shade her chance on a boat outing. In my mind I imagined her being a problem as soon as I opened the truck door at the boat ramp. It was difficult to get her away from the other dogs and into the truck. They all wanted to go. But we made it and off we went toward Santeelah Lake. She sat leaning tight against my right side while in the truck, her big head against my chest. She is a heavy dog at 95 pounds. Route 129 South leads to Santeelah which would mean the infamous Dragon would have to be negotiated. After pushing and prodding her away from me on the front seat, we did fine. The parking lot at the boat ramp was empty, as I had hoped it would be. I opened the door and she pranced around the lot sniffing and doing what dogs do. But the important thing is she stayed with me. I thought this can't be. But it was. I called her and she responded. This is the difference between taking multiple dogs simultaneously or individually. My dogs are rescue dogs and they were not raised with other dogs. So when together, they form a pack. Individually, the human becomes the leader. And so it is with Shade today. I unloaded and launched the boat. Here's the part I was not ready for. She was terrified to get on the boat. I had to put her leash on her and assist her onto the deck. As we pulled out into the water, I felt her shivering. She sat on my feet for half an hour. Then she slowly inched her way toward the front of the boat. It is now two hours later and she is still not comfortable on the boat. The Gheenoe is pulled up on the shore line of an island and she is staying with me. Amazing! She's going to be alright if I take her out by herself. I'm glad I gave her this chance to prove herself. I wonder if she remembers how someone drove her to an island and left her. I wonder if she remembers the feeling of being put out in the middle of nowhere to fend for herself. And then I came along. She's a very luck girl. Santeelah is beautiful today. A breeze is blowing and the fall colors are starting to garnish the surrounding mountains in a beautiful vail of bright orange and reds. The leaves should be fully turned in another five days. Everything is quiet here. The only sound is Shade's big paws punching down through the fallen, crisp leaves on the forest floor. Even surrounded by all this beauty, my thoughts return to my good friend who is fighting a battle with cancer. Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson held a special concert and auction for him and his family this past weekend. My friends wife spoke on the microphone at the outdoor event. Her words brought tears to my eyes. The owner of Smoky Mountain Harley acted as an autioneer. He did a marvelous job. The items for auction were donated by employees and customers. Some items were really price worthy but most were normal fare. But no matter; the owner energetically presented each item with entheusiam and the attendees offered up ridiculous amounts of money for most every item. Pictures, tail packs, glass ware and even a wreath sold for $250 and $500. The aution was simply a catylist to allow folks to express their generosity toward this needing family. I am proud of the employees at Smoky Mountain; I am proud of our customer who showed in number; I am sincerely proud of who we work for. The owner of Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson sincerely cares about not only those who are dedicated to the business, but to folks in general. In short he did a splendid job! It's a wonderful feeling. And that concert and auction was one of the finest examples of caring and sharing I have ever seen. There's still good in the world. I'm afraid this blog entry is turning out to be more writing than pictures. I have been known to be wordy at times. I love you all for caring enough to read about my ramblings. And my love goes out to my friend who is in peril. And lastly; thank you Smoky Mountain Harley. That event will never be forgotten and in my mind it will never be surpassed in stature. Good by for now


I woke up in a lake kind of mood today; imagine that. All the dogs sensed that I was going to make a move with them today to somewhere. Theair was heavy with their anticipation. But today would be a little different. I have always taken Douglas and/or Happy with me on the boat outings because Shade will not come when called reliably and she and Douglas pair up and range too far ahead of me. Today I would give Shade her chance on a boating outing.

Monday, October 6, 2008


click the pictures to enlarge I have traveled on many lakes and rivers in Tennessee searching for that one piece of water that embellishes all that I desire in the wilderness experience. Someplace I can lose my soul in. I have found it. Calderwood Lake is the crown jewell of lakes in North Carolina and Tennessee. It resembles more a river than a lake. It snakes through the Cherokee National Forest, smooth and clear. Her banks rise up vertically on both sides for hundreds of feet. One could not erect a tent on her shore line in more than three places on the entire lake. And a very shallow running boat or canoe would be required to reach those three spots. Of course, I have just the boat. If one daydreams a bit through half closed eyes; sometimes it is difficult to see where the water touches the shore line and the cliffs begin. The water is so smooth, so clean and reflects the vertical banks so perfectly that the resulting vision appears as a kaleidoscopic image to the eye. I truly am amazed at the reflective properties of these waters. The lakes in the valley contain a brown tinge to them. They appear rich green when the sun strikes from directly overhead or from the West when it falls. A scum line of brown crud surrounds the boat at the water line when it is withdrawn from the lake. This must be washed off promptly or it will be a bugger to remove when it dries. Caldeerwood's waters are cold and deep. I have been floating over depths of 135 feet all day with surface temperatures of 54 degrees. That is cold! In retrospect; the waters of Tellico Lake, a valley lake, are showing temperatures near eighty degrees. This lake is made for a canoe. I can envision myself paddling along enjoying a Calderwood sunrise on a chilly morning, carefully dipping the paddle into the mirrowed surface gently and softly so not to disturb the perfect fluid, silky finish of the surface. Deep breaths take in and savor the fragrance of hemlock, crab apple and maple trees. The occasional smell of pine and wintergreen waft past for only a moment. A kingfisher dips to the surface while in flight to get a drink on the wing. This is a fantasy lake. There are no floating cans or junk along the shore line. It is out of the way. It is safe from the onslaught of the tourist and their ilk. It appears to be used by folks who appreciate it. No Ferris wheels and board walks here. No hot dog stands and marinas exhist. Only fresh air, clean water and sounds of nature. My little boat is supurb for this lake. I cruise along at no more than eight miles per hour all afternoon. I was and am in awe of the spectacular mountain views afforded me from my vantage point here, on this bed of glass. A canoe is definitely in my future at some point. That is the absolute best way to saver and enjoy waters such as these. No hurry. No rush. No noise. No other boats. Quiet and more quiet. Only the trickle sound of falling droplets from the paddle as it is withdrawn from the water in preparation for the next paddle stroke. And for the next trip to Calderwood; we'll add a dog. A golden dog. [URL=][IMG][/IMG][/URL]