Friday, June 26, 2009


Click on photos to enlarge Below are a multitude of puppy photos. I didn't take them to be creative and I wasn't interested in great photography. I just want people to see what is occurring every minute of the day (somewhere) with dogs. Yes, they are cute and innocent. The mother is attentive and ever on the watch. These puppies were acquired by the person I have partnered with to help homeless dogs. As cute, innocent and sweet as they are; they are the result of uncaring or uneducated human owners who claim to be pet lovers. Every dog that is not neutered or is not spayed has the potential to create puppies and add to the current proliferation of unwanted pets that exist currently in society. The majority of these cute little babies are killed every hour round the clock in "shelters." There is no alternative. Breeders create more and more adding to the count of dogs. If you are a pet "lover", then be a responsible one. Spay or neuter your dog. It does them no harm and does not affect them in any negative way. It is the right thing to do. It is the responsible thing to do. If you want a puppy or an adult; adopt one from a shelter. There are all breeds available. Mixed breeds are wonderful and in many cases thwart off deceases better than pure breeds. The puppies in the pictures below are the lucky ones. They have found safe harbor. They will be vetted, vaccinated, neutered and spayed, heart worm tested, receive their rabies shots when old enough and placed in homes with responsible families who will appreciate each and every one of them. The person we got them from said "make sure they get good homes." Why didn't he make sure they were never conceived? There are thousands of other puppies who will feel the pinch of the needle as the deadly poison is injected into them. Their end will be in the land fill. A noble animal deserves a noble end. Not a land fill. The stream of unwanted puppies is endless. Only spay/neutering is the answer. Enjoy the photos. Be a responsible pet owner. Spay and neuter. Visit your pet shelter and select a great dog as your family partner. Save one or two from a not very positive prognosis. Thanks......

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


click pictures to enlarge 6/24/09. I packed up Douglas and Happy for a morning run on Ft Loudon Lake. We went to a section of lake I had not investigated in prior outings. Fort Loudon Lake is heavily populated by members of the human ilk and I was happy indeed to find this little cove I am sitting in uninhabited. But first, the entry into the boat launch area was a mini adventure of its own. As we pulled in I noticed black vultures sitting on the top of a really nice truck. There were now white pin stripes running down over the window on the drivers side. It appeared as if a third grader was trying his hand at water colors, using white paint. As we approached I noticed an entire flock of vultures on the boat ramp eating fish that someone had thrown there. Fishermen, fishermen; will you never learn? These birds had no fear. They stayed where they were on top the truck while we parked. Douglas noticed the flock of vultures on the boat ramp and took off in that direction. He went over a hill at the ramp and an explosion of vultures erupted into the air with him and, of course, Happy hot on their heels. These dogs certainly could not fend for themselves in the wild as they have never caught anything out here on the lake or in the wood. But Douglas was giving it the ol Golden Retriever try. I think he better focus on the things I throw in the water for him to retrieve and let the wildlife alone. We crossed the lake from the launch and turned into a little cove that meandered a distance from the main lake and curled gently to the right. The shoreline was great for beaching the boat. Actually I could just tie it off and let her float. The water was smooth and gentle and the bank was grass covered. I drove the Gheenoe under an overhanging pine and she softly touched the grassy bank. This is a well shaded area and very comfortable. I brought along a tarp to sit upon, hoping to fool the infamous chigger demons who inhabit these shores. Furthermore; I treated my clothing with "Sawyers Chigger and Tick Repellent." We'll see what happens. I'm seeing multitudes of herons, kingfishers, black vultures and mallard ducks. One lone duck appeared different. At first I thought him a mallard. But the colors were wrong. His size and shape were correct. If he is a mallard, his head feathers are bleached and peppered as if he may be aged. Maybe. As I stated; he was totally alone. I would have loved to set up the camera for a shot at a kingfisher. These birds are wary and rarely sit long enough for the camera to focus. When they fly they really explode away. Its a "gotta go, gotta go" thing with them. They are interesting and beautiful and worth the effort to capture them with the camera. But with these two dogs rocking the boat there is no chance of any kingfisher pictures. I'll have to slip out alone someday on a kingfisher expedition. All the birds spooked at our arrival. They were congregated near an old fallen tree. A pair of Osprey are flying with sticks clutched tightly in their talons, working on a nest somewhere along the tree line. No sense trying for a photo as Douglas was displaying impatience and rocking the boat. Anyway, we are laying on a gently slopeing bank with the little boat languishing serenely in shallow water at the base of this hillside. Both the first and second mates are on board indicating their readiness to be under way. Patience, patience! These dogs are so fortunate to have the diversity of activity I am able to provide them. It reminds me of sorry thoughts about the unfortunates that remain chained their whole lives, never to leave a circle the length of their chain. What an injustice! What a torment they endure! I've got to get the guys back to the yard. In the first place temperature will be in the nineties by noon and the deck of a boat is no place for a furry critter. It's just too hot for them. And in the second place I have to MOW weeds, or grass if you'd rather I use that term. It's all the same. So this will have to be a morning only outing. Four hours of Happy and Douglas together is about enough anyway. He's a happy boy. After MOWING, I may get the canoe out. But MOWING usually tires me out, especially on a super hot day like this. I'll probably go for a bike ride to Watts Bar Dam. Theres an ice cream shop along the way. Until next time---------be kind to a dog. You'll feel good about it.

Monday, June 15, 2009


click on the pictures to enlarge I called Shaun to see if he was up for a paddle trip today. We met at Willow Point Marina on Fort Loudon Lake and unwrapped the canoes. This would be a lengthy trip as we were headed to the Little River. It's over to the right on the map by Littlebrook. Theres a curve to the South. Thats where we were going. But first we paddled North through that bay area that lies West of Brickyard Mountain. Then did an about face and paddled all the way back past our put in and across that huge bay just below the Southlake RV Park and continued East to our destination. The water was calm and muddy looking. Temperature was in the high eighties. Needless to say the perspiration ran freely. I took some pictures of the ducks below. I'm sure the white duck is just along for the swim. The color variation and size variances are indicative of in breeding and cross mating. Tame and farm ducks also cross breed with wild ducks with the result you see here. Note the coloring of the chicks. I tried the camera out on some Trumpet Creepers. I'm getting the hang of that camera now. These particular flowers were just about over when I caught them. Another night and they will be falling onto the water. A blurr caught my eye off to the left and I quickly grabbed the camera. When I took the shot; I was far out in the water. It was a stretch even for the 300 mm lens. But I caught the old guy. That ground hog was a big boy. I believe he would give a dog a hard time of it in a clash. On and on we paddled. The scenery was great. I wish the water would have been more clear but one has to accept what nature serves up. I love paddling under overhanging trees. I can't explain it. It adds to the peaceful experience of gliding along under my own power; silently and quietly. I like to see the branches gently part as the Champlain pushes through to open water. What a great thing! While I was fooling around over near the shore line, Shaun was trying his luck at wetting a line. Well; no luck is some kind of luck. We were getting close to a dam I ran across when I worked for TWRA. I used to interview fishermen and they would congregate at the mouth of this artery. One day I just ran the length of it to see where it went. After all; it did lay in the cradle of my responsibility. We came upon the dam after another hour of paddling. It was a weir dam. I think that is the correct spelling. I may be wrong. This was an unusual dam in that it appeared that the water was being pumped into the lake from some pumping station that can be seen to the left in the pictures. Notice that the water behind the weir is like a mirror. The water below, in the forefront, is boiling. I don't understand this particular dam. Usually the weir dam is a place where damed up water overflows the dam and falls to a new lower level below it. The drop on this weir was only a few inches. Of course Shaun had to try to paddle up and over the drop off. Silly Boy! Notice how the water is calm in the top of the photo and rough after it falls or is pumped past the weir. Of course Shuan had to try to drive up over the weir drop off. After deciding that attacking the weir dam was an act in futility; Shaun gave up trying to be a lake accident statistic and we headed on back the long paddle home. Rain gently fell occasionally and the air cooled down a few degrees. A golf course appeared on the left bank and we put in for a banana/trail mix and water break. Felt good to lay down on mown grass. But it never fails. I received numerous chigger bites on my ankles and the backs of my legs and am dealing with that now at home. Those critters are absolutely demons from hell placed upon the rivers edge to ward off human intervention. I do have the fix for them but have not taken the time to prepare my clothing. I shall before the next lake expedition. Guaranteed! A gentle breeze appeared and ruffled the water. It was a welcomed visitor. The paddling was great. Up ahead was a movement in the water. Shaun yelled "theres something moving across the water just ahead of you." It was a snake. I tried to catch up but it was no use. A canoe is no match for the speed of a water snake. I had the 135mm lense on the camera and the camera in the water proof box. What a mess to handle and paddle at the same time. But I have to protect the camera at all costs. The 300mm lens would have been the lens to use. I did the best I could. We paddled steadily all the way back to the put in. It's amazing that all that paddling doesn't cause pain and misery. Instead it seems to enlighten the spirits and causes no discomfort at all to muscles. My legs get very tired from sitting cross legged in the boat. But even that can be overcome. I love canoeing. I hope you enjoyed this little outing. Well, it was more than little. Great fun!