Sunday, May 22, 2011


They are laying dead everywhere

All that remain are tattered body pieces here and there.  They struggled for seventeen years to meet this fate, their mission of perpetuation completed.

These dead and dying have satisfied their commitment to nature and their species.  They have sacrificed their lives for the betterment of the whole.

The day would soon be hot and unfavorable for dogs in the sun.  They looked longingly at me practically begging me to take them out of here.  I couldn't resist.  I collected a couple gallons of water for them and off we went.  This morning would be just for them.  We would enter into the old state park and turn down toward the lake through the forest.  It's beautiful down there although rugged.

Butterflies have gathered in mass all along the path through the meadow that must be crossed to reach the forest.  They are amazing!

I don't understand what's happening with these butterflies but, the air as well as the ground, are covered with them. 
The sun is not at it's highest point in the sky yet but, soon will be.  Already it is hot, too hot, for dogs to be exposed to that heat.  We will cross the meadow quickly to gain the shade of the dense trees.
He moves through fields of blue Beardstooth flowers

Even Shade has her post card moment; well, almost

Beardstooth can always be counted on to cheer up the scenery.

"Come on shade;  hurry up."

 Shade has come such a long way since I discovered her on that island years ago.  She is dedicated to me and has blended in well with all the dogs.  I'm thankful I came along when I did on that dark night on Tellico Lake to take her off that island.  Love her..
Douglas is moving slow today due to the heat.  He is sniffing about and just enjoying being out here.  He is my pride and my joy in this life.
And then there's little Happy.  She was named Nutmeg when I first got her but, her demeanor was so upbeat I changed her name to Happy.  A more dedicated, loving little dog there is none.  She absolutely will not venture far without me.  She laid on my lap every night as I slept in a chair enduring the pain of sciatica for weeks at a time.

I love them all but, my first love is Douglas.  The first year of his life was spent on a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) boat.  He learned to lean and sway with the waves and wakes and served me well as the best company a man could want.  He never caused a problem.  He never complained.  He represented the TWRA Agency with pride and became an icon on Melton Hill Lake.  The fishermen always knew it was my boat coming when they would see Douglas on the bow point.
Very soon now, Douglas will once again grace the bow of a beautiful 22 foot TWRA boat and enter into a new era of discovery and wonderment on two new lakes he's never seen.  He will once again  stand tall on the bow and feel the cool lake air passing over him, his beautiful golden hair blowing in the wind, and with muzzle to the sky, scent the fragrance of freedom.  He "is" the Tennessee Lake Dog....

There still remains a healthy concentration of Cicadas back in the forest.  Their shrill noise is becoming louder as we penetrate the forest's edge.
Cicada in flight

There are great numbers of them here.  This must be a second army that has emerged from the ground.

Ok;  I had a weak moment and wanted to see if I could pan with one of these fast flyer's.   An insignificant shot but, at least I know I can follow a bug with the camera.

The terrain is very rugged here.  I entered the forest at a less than desirable place.  The light areas to the left of these photos is Tellico Lake.  It's very difficult to balance the lightness of the lake with the darkness of the forest in the camera.
This is one steep piece of real estate!

We would have to climb to the top to get out of this mess but first I would lead them down to the lake.  They are hot and need a break and water.  Did I say I would lead them?
We took a break on a deer trail before ascending to the water.  Once there we would take a good rest and they could swim and cool off.
When I started walking down the cliff, they knew what was up.  WATER!  They all passed me by at a run and they plunged into the lake.  These guys are the sweetest!
They would swim and climb up on shore to roll in the leaves.  Just as fast as they could get up  they ran back out into the water.  They did this repetitively.
Swim and roll in the leaves.  They did this over and over.  Their eyes were bright and their movements were deliberate and, well, snappy.  In short;  this was a dog amusement park for them and they had a lifetime ticket.
Once cooled down;  they started just hanging out with me.  I noticed an abundance of those butterflies back here.  There actually was a large quantity of them.  They are Spring Azure's

How sweet is that?
Aw;  my widdle boy has a butterfwy on im....
Innocence upon innocence.

Nature's touch;  a kiss from a butterfly angel for Douglas;  and then she's gone
It's getting very hot even under these trees.  I need to get them back home.  They can't say "hey, I'm hot."  I'm supposed to have that common sense to realize it's too hot for them.  They trust me.
Douglas languishes in the cool water close to the shoreline while Shade snatches Cicadas from the air.  Somewhere along the line she discovered they are tasty fare.  What the heck;  just another form of protein.  We struggled up the mountain and gained access to the old park and the road back to the truck.  This was a delightful morning.  My back has mended and I feel my old normal self.  Life is good!  Tomorrow it's back on the road house looking.  What a pain! 
I hope you enjoyed the little walk with us this morning.  The future hold some very promising adventure opportunities.  Very promising!

Movie   "Douglas on Abrams Creek"

 Movie;   "Who's the Boss?"