Tuesday, January 12, 2010



It's been a rather slow day today in areas of seeking "adventures."  The morning was very cold and I stayed near home to see how the temperatures would act as noon approached.  It was a good time to take stock in the equipment I need to carry out boat and canoe trips to the wilderness in safety.  The "in safety" part is kind of important.   I needed to organize the gear and I used the morning time to do it.   If all goes well and the temperatures climb toward forty degrees, as predicted,  I will drive to Melton Hill Lake and put the canoe in  the water on the North end of the lake and explore that water and shoreline.  I really need to run the Gheenoe again also but, I can't do it all in one day.  Come on Spring!

I felt like I needed to get in the woods and walk so I gathered up Douglas, Shade and Happy and off we went.  I selected a different route to the ruins.  The particular road I had in mind would pass some really rustic old barns and buildings.   I always liked to photograph old, rustic places.  The barn above is one of the more unique structures I've seen in Tennessee.  My first thought was that it needed a haircut.  A gorgeous horse stepped out of the front door just as I was about to press the shutter button.

Unlike the Northern states;  Tennessee and the mountain Southern states seem to make things last as long as their usefulness is valid.  Even with non-use;  the old structures stand alone, unique and in solitude;  a snapshot into yesteryear.   They represent a vision of the way it used to be in rural South.

Some old buildings appear to be simply old and run down.  In reality;  many are really not that old.  There's a difference between quaint, rustic buildings and older, uninhabited ones.  Some fall in between the two descriptions.  You can decide for yourself.  I just like em.

Here's an abandoned old home place that hasn't seen attention in years.  What a nice property though!  The falling snow adds a nice touch.

One more and we'll get down to the ruins for a great walk.  I couldn't find a position to get a good shot of this building but, I felt it worthy of attention.

The dogs sensed that they would soon be in the woods and on the meadows.  They were getting fidgety and whiney.  There's no shyness on their part to show their excitement.  We would walk straight down toward the lake and turn left to walk on a deer trail I know.  The trail should guide us all the way around the property to the ruins.  I brought along a GPS that I have never used to date.  I wanted to check its function and accuracy.  The previous hand held GPS bit the dust over a year ago and I replaced it with this Garmin 72 model.  The Gheenoe has a GPS built into the sonar so I never had reason to put this new hand held unit into action.  I plan to hike in the Calderwood Lake area and also the National Park this summer and I will feel better with this little electronic item in my pocket.

He just has to get in the water.  Amazing!

This hillside is great to walk on.  Deer are pretty smart.  They pick the best terrain to travel on and this trail is proving to be a great path to hike over.  There are trees of all sizes and ages here and an abundance of food for deer and the lesser animals and birds.  The animals who live here are most fortunate.

One of the reasons I love this place is that it has a diverse topography.  Trees, grasses and the beautiful lake shoreline all combine to make this a more than interesting destination to hide in.

I would love to see the dogs and the squirrel sit down and have an intelligent discussion about a truce.  Maybe, at least, a head start for the squirrel before the dogs give chase.   There's nothing to worry about.  The squirrels are safe with this bunch of daring searchers.

The dogs are never closer than 25 feet behind the squirrel.  This is the squirrel's terrain and he is master of it.
As a matter of fact, the squirrel isn't even in that tree.  He ran up that tree above and instantly jumped into another tree located just below that one.  Those guys are great hunters!  yep!

"Come on Shade.  Come on - Come on."

Now, where's Douglas?  There he is and he's looking good.  No;  he's absolutely gorgeous!

We'll go a bit further and cut straight up over the top of this hill and cross the road to nowhere and hike behind the ruins area.  I haven't been back there in over a year.  There are some old dilapidated wooden buildings back there.  What a great old building that must have been below! 

In later years, a farm stood on this ground.  I'm guessing in the early 1950's by the looks of the construction.  Some buildings and fences date back to the time period of the Civil War.  These particular wooden structures are newer, accept for the crumbled building above.
Below is a cattle shed.  You can see the feed trough and the stanchion's that would hold the cow by the neck.

 The stanchion's and the feed trough would indicate that these were dairy cattle.  This shed is designed to hold approximately twelve cows so I would imagine a rather small dairy farming operation functioned here.  There is one feed silo standing and another silo foundation only.  Evidently one was destructed and replaced with the current  silo.  These old buildings stand and lay right in the middle of the thickest scrub brush imaginable.  They haven't been disturbed in years and years. 
I can hear birds further out toward the meadow.  I believe I'll find a spot, sit down and try to photograph a couple.

It's getting late and I think I'll lead the guys across the meadows to the truck.  A quick check of the GPS indicates it is working perfectly.  I'm happy.  If this wind would abate a little bit I think we could stay longer.  The cold goes to the bone unless I'm moving.  As usual;  I hate to leave.  We'll walk past the old barn that I continually photograph.

A quick walk across the fields to our right and we'll be back at the truck. 

Tomorrow is another day and one I shall not waste.  We'll see what it brings.  Until then;  give a dog a break when they're along side a road.  Slow down please and respect their space.  Thanks for that.  And they would thank you if they could.