Thursday, May 13, 2010


I really over did the days activities.  I had a doctor's appointment at 9:00 AM and took the Gheenoe along because Melton Hill Lake is not far from the doctor's office.  After the removal of four pounds of dirt from each ear;  I drove to the lake.  Melton Hill is not one of my favorite lakes but it is usually quiet during the week.  I noticed a few fishermen in boats as I pulled into the boat ramp area.   I can deal with that.  A Cormorant blasted away from a dead fall located just a few feet from the shoreline.
I tried a little fishing but the only fish I could find was the one above, floating bloated and stinking down the center of the lake.  This body of water is like the dead sea today.  The water lay quiet and unmoving as in a swamp.  I never really cared for the water of this lake.  I don't want to give Melton Hill a bad rap but it is as it appears.  I have seen a bass tournament where one bass won the contest.  That one bass was the only one caught that evening.

Today, I could find no creatures along the shore line.  The usual Cormorant, Heron and Sandpiper were present but nothing else.  That is, nothing else but the little fellow below:
Now, what do I have here?
It is a common brown water snake.  I'll look it up later.  My guide book, as I have stated previous to this entry, is the worse guide on the planet.  I will get a good one eventually.  For now we'll call this snake a common brown water snake.
He passed right under the boat and headed for the shore line and the darkness of the embankment under the trees and dead falls.
He picked the darkest area to slither into.  It's hard to believe, I know, but I have never used the flash on this 50D Canon camera.  I had no idea how to get to the flash.  I'll cure that later on tonight.  I did the best I could free hand in the shade with a 500 mm lens set on a "too slow" shutter speed due to low light conditions.  Whew!

I could see the little fellow wanted to climb up on dry land so I moved away as I was the center of attention for him and a major disturbance.
Sure wish I could use the flash.  Out on the lake I saw a rare sight.  There was someone in a boat actually rowing.   Rowing is not anything new but, it's not a common sight on these lakes, especially out here on this isolated section of Melton Hill.   The row boat was a unique sight but even more unique was the operator of the ores and the first mate.   A lady in a row boat out in the center of a wilderness section of a large lake with a dog for a pilot---how cool is that.  We exchanged waves and smiles and kept on moving.
The dog is beautiful.  I know what it is but can't spell it.  Weimaraner.  It's something like that.
I took a couple of parting shots as they past to my rear.
It's a chore rowing a boat.  Try it sometime.  I'll take a canoe any day over a row boat.  My hat is off to this lady for her fortitude.  The smile I saw on her face tells me she is enjoying her experience with the boat, the solitude and her gorgeous dog.
I was having a great ride on the lake but was disappointed with the limited photo opportunities.  I decided to head home and trade the motor boat for the motorcycle.  I wanted to visit a store that sells canoes up toward Knoxville.  Once on the motorcycle, I felt a bit cooler.  The air flow at sixty miles per hour was welcome.  The problem was that the closer I got to the city, the busier the traffic got.   As I moved closer and closer to the asphalt jungle I began thinking, "what am I doing up here in this mess?"
I couldn't take it.  I turned the big bike around and headed for home.  It was almost 1:00 PM and there was time to MOW some grass.  The problem with this idea was that the big zero turn 52 inch cut mower was broken and in the shop with serious transmission problems.  The GRASS hadn't been cut in four weeks and the property looked like a hay field.  I MOW for a lady who lives on top of a mountain and the lawn is all hills and steep banks.  A long story shortened;  I used my self propelled, walk behind Ninja MOWER to mow about an acre of GRASS.    During this process I sat down on the ground no less than ten times.  Toward the end I became light headed and my hips were aching.  I must have drank two gallons of water during the process.  I'll never do this again.  I knocked out about three quarters of the MOWING leaving the worse for the big MOWER when it's repaired.  I've said it before and I'll say it again;  MOWING GRASS is without a doubt, the biggest wast of time, effort and money on the planet.  It costs a fortune, is repetitive and labor intensive.  When I finished the ordeal I stood there looking at it.  I thought;  "OK;  where's everybody at who is supposed to be impressed with all this cut GRASS?"  
I mean;  "Who's going to see it way up here on top this mountain on private property?"
I dragged my broken body into the truck after drinking another gallon of warm water and surveyed my work as I departed the premises.  I whispered under my breath;  "total waste of time."

Now we're talking!   This was great!
The water was great.  The evening was great and it felt comfortable to feel the paddle in my hands.  The lake's surface is as if it were a mirror.  Tiny insects are emerging here and there creating dimples in the smooth surface.  Bluegills and Crappy are taking some of them before they can escape to the safety of the sky.

I felt like beaching the canoe and sitting awhile.  I wanted to write this blog entry while I was on or near the water.  I always do that.  I have to be on or near the lake or river.  It seems I can think better in that environment.  I chose a sandy spot and ran her aground and stepped out.  It was a pleasant spot and very pleasing to the eye.
Somewhere across the cove, crows are sounding startling cries.  An owl, no doubt, is among them.  I can visualize him sitting on his perch, patiently awaiting the coming of darkness.  The crows had better cuddle close this night.
I could hear a bullfrog clear across the cove thrumping out his social call.  Another frog on my side of the water would answer.  Each was respectful of the other, as neither would croak while the other was speaking. A large boat slowly motored in to the mouth of the cove and shut off the engines.  It was a big one;  maybe forty foot long.  Two men set up a constant jabbering that carried well across the water.  It went on and on.  Senseless, useless babble about nothing.  I can't stand it!  Human intrusion breaks the silence of my hide away and ruins the moment.  It's time to get into the canoe and leave.  Darkness is setting in fast anyway.
I'm looking forward to the silent paddle back the length of the cove to the truck.
It's been a busy day and I'm tired and hungry.  But more than anything;  I want to paddle this canoe.  Catch you later.