Tuesday, May 11, 2010


click on photos to enlarge
 Today is the first day off work of three in a row.  I really wanted to visit the young eaglets on the Little Tennessee today, if they are still there.  They were about ready to depart the nest last Thursday.  I had the canoe on top the truck yesterday and drove to work with it with all intentions of driving straight to the lake.  Rain ruined that plan.  This morning I completed a doctors appointment and ran down to the put-in.  The wind was howling and white caps were on the water.  Everything is against a revisiting of the eagle's nest.  The GRASS needs mowed but the lawn mower is broken with a transmission problem and that won't happen.  I could have borrowed one from a good friend at work but the weatherman promised heavy rain today so I didn't borrow it.  Of course it didn't rain.  I'm not one to waste time so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to maintain the lifetime bond that Douglas and I have for each other.  I would take him to the ruins area.  Just him and me.  I haven't been down to the ruins in a long while and I was amazed at how green everything was.  It wasn't simply green;  it was GREEN!  I have titled a previous blog entry "Color Brown", prior to this entry.  I could easily  title this one "Color Green" and I would be very accurate in that title.
I had the big camera in the camera back pack and the small Elph in my pocket.  I rarely need the big lens down here because when dogs are present, the animals and birds become wary and difficult to find.  The foliage on the trees makes most birds invisible.
The back pack was heavy and I didn't feel like walking too long or too fast.  It's been a long week at work and my energy level was less than normal.  Ten and eleven hours a day six days a week is a lot standing and walking on a showroom floor.  But, it's fun too.
I walked along slowly and let Douglas be a dog.  He looks sweet with his new haircut.  I know he's cooler with it.
He loves to stare up into the branches of trees in search of squirrels.  Such a funny boy.  I love him.
I find new things every time I come down here.  I noticed an old wire fence in the middle of the woods running through the trees and the scrub.  Why would a fence be out there?  The area was never a field as the trees are very old.  Always questions.  Sometimes I get to the answers and more then not;  I don't.
I can never resist snapping a picture of this old carriage lane when I walk down here.  It is so very rustic!  It takes all my willpower to walk past the entrance.  We turned into the woods to our right and followed a deer trail along the hill side that borders the lake.  It's beautiful back in here.
The trail came out on an open area that contained small bushes and brush on its entirety.  As Douglas moved along to my left, five deer jumped straight up out of the scrub and bounded down the hill toward the lake.  The big camera was on my back and the small one in it's pouch in my shirt pocket.  I missed the shot.  We continued down the hill side and yet another deer bounded straight for the trees at the water's edge.  Yep;  cameras still enclosed.  I removed the big camera from the pack and continued on. Of course there were no more photo opportunities.  I can't win today.
Below is the open area that held the deer.
We kept moving.  Douglas was keeping near to me on this hike.  He did not have Shade to run with.  She is a temptation to him and when together they tend to range further and further away.
He's a lucky boy to be able to spend his time in this lush green, wild place.  Many dogs like him never get out of the city.  And, then there are those who must endure the chain all their lives.  Education is the answer to that.  But then, some folks are not educable.   I came across a fire ant mound and kicked it open for a look.
These are nasty little critters.  Obama says water boarding is a torture.   I got a better one and I've seen it used first hand a long time ago.  It involves ants.  No terrorist could ever withstand the onslaught of these little pests.  They are unmerciful when they become attached to you.  It's unimaginable the pain they can inflict.
Agencies have been trying to control these pests for years and years and it seems a losing battle.  Chemicals and poisons have been tried but the ants seem to become immune to the compounds.  Even when the nests are apparently eradicated, there are always a very few that get away.  That's all it takes to regenerate and flourish again.   I think they came up from Mexico.  Hummm!
Many of these ants are moving their larva into tunnels that go deeper down into the ground.  I kicked the top off this mound and their reaction is to dive deeper.  The majority of the ants are running about looking for a foe to confront while workers grasp the big larva tubes in their mandibles and scurry down tunnel openings.  I've certainly created a panic situation for them.
Our walk takes us around to and through the ruins area and I stop occasionally to shoot a picture of a strange plant or two.   Don't ask me what these are.  I have no idea.  I don't have a plant field guide.  If anyone knows I'd appreciate a note at the end of the entry where it asks for comments.
I don't know what it is but it's beautiful.
And then there's this:
And so, the day is not wasted.  It never is when in the forests and fields or on the lake.  I really do need to check out the eaglets.  I think they are gone by now but, there may be one last chance to catch them before their first flight.
It's been an enjoyable interlude in the middle of a windy day.  Hope you liked the shades of green.