Friday, May 29, 2009


click on the pictures to enlarge Tonight is the night that Tommy, the Irish Setter, would meet his new parents. They drove in from Maryland to pick him up and take him to his new home. I have never met them but I heard they are wonderful people who adore Irish Setters. Their Irish passed away recently of old age. I'm sure Tommy will have a splendid life with them. I hope he can learn to contain that Irish Setter puppy attitude of his. He is, after all, only about a year old. He's a gorgeous boy. I always find it hard to see one of my guys leave me. It's a weakness of mine. Maybe it's because I interact so closely with each one of them. We all share the same room and I get to know each personality intimately. Tommy attached himself to me immediately. He was apprehensive of the other dogs he would be living with and would use me as a buffer between him and them. It is always difficult to see a new family member run the gauntlet, (find his/her place in the pack hierarchy). Douglas, the Golden Retriever, is the main guy back here, next to me, and he brutal with a new addition to our numbers. Such was the case with Tommy. Douglas was unrelenting in his chastisement of Tommy. I think that is due to Tommy's size; Douglas viewed him as a threat. But no harm was done and Tommy became friends with each of the other dogs. Douglas never warmed up to him. But Tommy got to my heart immediately. He practically glued himself to me when I was home. If I was in a chair; he would lay across both my feet. He would sometimes sit beside my chair and lay his chin on my knee and stair at me and make chop, chop sounds with his mouth. Tommy would never lick me or anyone. He would make the smacking sounds with his mouth without sticking his tongue out. A sweet boy. He is total affection. It is plain that he needs what I can not give him. Tommy needs a human who will focus on him and him alone. I can not do that. I have others who need me. My attention has strayed from Douglas over the past two years and he has become aloof with me. We are still partners but something has been lost with the coming and going of so many other dogs. Tommy needs to be in the woods and the fields. I have been afraid to take him with the gang to the lake because I couldn't trust him to stay with us and I don't have the time to train and work with him. Thats not fare to him. At night he would jump up on the bed to be with me and I would keep putting him off due to his size. He would then sit and stare at me. I always have a flash light that I put under the pillow for potential mid night problems and when I would shine it on him after kicking him off the bed; I would find him still sitting there staring at me.. He got to me. All I had to do was say "ok, come on up Tommy." He instantly hopped up on the bed and lay down behind me. He loved to put his head against the back of mine. Of course that means he had half the pillow. Look at the photo above. Sweet dreams! So, you can see how these sweet dogs affect me. I guess my problem is how I view the circumstances of their stay with me. I know they will be moving on someday. And I know they will receive loving, caring parents who will nurture and care for them forever. But I have this incessant thought process that keeps telling me that "you've gained his trust and devotion and now you are sending him away." It's a feeling I can't get rid of. I become too attached to them. If they lived in a fenced in yard and stayed out there it would be different I think. But it's not that way. They gather about me each night and stay close to me; watching me; wondering when it is they're time to receive the scratch behind the ear or the ultimate; a bear hug from me. Tommy loved two arm bear hugs. He would bury his face in my neck and make those smacking sounds with his mouth. Tommy was picked up awhile ago and taken to his new parents. They will stay at a friends house with Tommy for the night. I have been invited to meet them but I would have to say goodby and walk away from Tommy. I've cried over too many dogs and I would cry for Tommy also. And in the morning, Tommy will be on his way to Maryland and his new life. Our paths probably will never cross again. He has gotten into my heart as many of them have. But Tommy's very special. I sometimes expected to hear him speak to me. I've known sweet dogs but none sweeter than you, Tommy. Tommy, Tommy; you're causing my throat to tighten up and you're making it difficult for me to see to write this. Farewell and good luck to you sweet one. It's been a privilage to be able to help you. And Tommy; as much as I love you, and as much as I'll miss and think of you; please understand that another has come first and his paw prints have left a forever impression on my heart that can never be replaced. We know who that is. Farewell sweet one. Farewell.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009


click on pictures to enlarge I know this is starting to look like a canoe forum, but believe me, it isn't. I just like the darned thing. The last time I visited Indian Boundary Lake, three weeks ago, I upset the canoe, as can be read in a previous post here on the blog. I went back up to the lake today and attempted to salvage the camera and the fishing rod that went to the bottom. I arrived at the lake at shortly after sunup and enjoyed watching the sun rise high in the sky. I didn't see my otter friends anywhere. A shame. They were the impetus for the new camera purchase. My friend Shaun and his son would be arriving around noon. So I loaded up the canoe and headed strait for the vertical pole I hit during the very windy day last week that upset the canoe. The surface of the lake was like glass. I mean there was not one imperfection to mar the marble like appearance. I kept my paddle strokes as silent as possible so as not to interfere with the stillness of the place. No people, cars, motorcycles or even air planes. All I could hear were birds and the droplets of water falling back into the lake off my paddle blade. The more shaded parts of the shoreline still held a thin layer of fog. I love this fog; this ghosty lake appearance early in the morning. It sometimes allows me to run my self made brain movies that I watch in my mind and I can regress back to an earlier time in history when life was simple yet dangerous. Lake travelers had to make easy targets back in the seventeen hundreds. A different breed of men, they were then. It didn't take me long to paddle to the other end of the lake where my camera lay under water. I paddled strait up to the pole and gazed down toward the bottom. The water here was only about five and a half feet and crystal clear. There was the camera sitting on the bottom right beside my fishing rod. How lucky! Yep; lucky. I attached the biggest lure I had to my fishing line and dropped it over. Fortunately, I was able to snag the nylon strap that was attached to the side of the camera and up it came. Next the fishing rod. It too was now in the boat. I immediately removed the digital data card from the camera and wiped it dry. I really wanted to know if the pictures were retrievable that I took the day I lost the camera. Now there was nothing left to do but fish. It would be hours before Shaun would arrive and I could pretty well cover this entire ninety seven acre lake throwing bass lures about. And it seems luck was with me today. Below is a beautiful largemouth bass. Shortly thereafter; another one. Not to worry. Each fish was handled carefully and professionally. The hooks were removed very carefully and the fish laid gently in the water with my hand under him until he could swim away under his own power. Each had lots of power to speed away. I decided to explore about the wooded shoreline and paddled into a section of water that lead into a trough no wider than a ditch. It meandered back under trees and into the woods only to circle around in the thicket and come out back on the lake. Great fun! The water was no deeper than three inches in some places. What a great place to camp! Deeper into the undergrowth Way back in there. What fun! Shaun and Wesley showed up and did quite well fishing. It was good to see them paddling up. A super day at a fantastic lake. Canoes; if I would have only known about them at a younger age. The photos below were taken by the camera that was under water for three weeks. I won't go into explanations about the photo's as this entry is getting lengthy. But amazing enough to find the camera let alone be able to save the pictures from it. Check out this Crappie. Great Scott! The pine cone has no significance here. I just thought it was a nice touch. Tomorrow I'll take the Gheenoe out on the lake. I will need a motor under me as I intend to go in search of the Garr fish. I usually can find them. If not; I'll have another tale I'm sure. Until next time; I hope you enjoyed the day in photographs.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Click picture to enlarge I took the Gheenoe out today on Loudon Lake. There was talk of a storm brewing and I didn't want to venture far away so opted for a close put-in. I selected a little boat ramp that sits on Ish Creek. Ish Creek is situated about as far in the country as one can get on Lake Loudon. It's not pristine but it has the flavor of nature. Very little flavor. After a half hour on the water the wind increased in strength and was becoming an issue. I was trying my hand at fishing when it started blowing. I let it take the Gheenoe where it would. And it did. Today, unlike yesterday, I was on my game. I got some pictures of what would be disaster to any boat if it would come in contact with what lays just below the surface. I fired up the thruster and got the heck out of there. There are boulders the size of cars down there just below the surface. The ol Gheenoe will float in 6 inches of water, but the prop goes deeper than that. I was leaving anyway but took these shots of dangerous water for posterity. Look closely just under the surface It would be interesting navigating through Ish Creek at midnight I'd hate to run into this while on plane at thirty miles per hour. Late afternoon found me back at Woodthrush Ridge messing with the bathroom. I found out, finally, how to adjust the hot water on the bathtub hot/cold water valve and made the correction. However, I cut and capped the water pipes before I left last time and require a couple plastic fittings to reattach them. Oh well! I had my camera with me and decided to try out the 135mm lens on some flowers. They are below. I tried to find their names in my guide book but can not. I'm hopeless with the identification books. Everything I find and see appears different than the depictions in the books. So, here's the pretty poesy's: I was fooling with depth of field on the shot below. Note how shallow the depth of field is. I can actually create blurr mear inches behind the desired subject. Now I'm going to guess on this one. Celandine? This has been a relax and take it easy sort of day. I stayed very busy but the stress level was zero. Just how I like it........I'm going to take you on a trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway soon. I will document this ride in a very detailed maner. It's time to visit the homestead. Also, shortly, Douglas and I will be alone together on a boat camping trip at Santeelah Lake. We need the time together. Until next time; tie all the stuff to your canoe and cinch yer hat down tight.