Sunday, May 8, 2011


click photos to enlarge
Yep;  I ate the whole thing.  I had an ice cream fit this afternoon and had to do it.  It's the biggest banana split on earth.

Indian Boundary Lake is sure pretty today.  There aren't many people present either.  I came up here to read, write and check out the water level.
 Normally I would have a canoe with me but I didn't know what to expect, what to find as far as people infestation.  Gas prices forced me to leave the truck and canoe behind.
 I'd hate to drive all the way up here with the canoe and find people all over the lake.  Then I would just have to drive back home.
 I brought the little mule instead.
 It would be a great experience to sit here in the quiet and listen to the many birds but, there is one truck parked clear across the lake with it's radio blasting out obnoxious noise.  One darned person has to screw up what would otherwise be a peaceful experience.  I tried to ignore the noise but couldn't.
Oh;  a mistake.  There's one extremely pleasingly plump guy with his extremely pleasingly plump wife chasing after their extremely pleasingly plump kid who is running behind and yelling his overweight lungs out at a little dog who isn't paying any attention to any of them.  Great Scott!  Why the heck don't they just stay in the city.  Great Caesar's Ghost!  And if the term pleasingly plump offends anyone;  so be it.  It doesn't have to be that way.  It's a choice they make.  I could have used the offending word but being the politically correct woodsman I am;  I denied myself the joy of using it.  I can't take this anymore.  I'm outa here.  I do empathies with the poor dog though having to put up with human dough balls chasing him all around the rest of his short life.

Oh, for peace and quiet in the mountains during daylight hours on the weekends!  Where would that be?  Even Calderwood Lake is not immune to human racket anymore.  Scuba diving;  that's the answer.  Ya...
Dogs, dogs, dogs.  Something comes to mind about dogs.  Dogs are really cool to hang around with.  I hear people yelling "NO" and good boy often.  Mostly the word "NO" is screamed, "NOOoooo" at the pup.  Really;  there's no need to scream at a dog.  They have perfectly good hearing.  Better to raise or lower the "tone" of voice on occasions when using the term "NO" with a dog.
It's all about assuring the dog is consistently restricted to his boundaries.  Key word is consistent.  For instance;  if you don't allow the pup on the bed, and consistently enforce that restriction;  there's no problem.  But invite him up on the bed just once and you've caused confusion pertinent to his boundaries.  The word "NO" will be used frequently after that.  I'm guilty more than anyone of that.
Above is my place.  See what I mean?  Ya have to set boundaries.  I don't mind them up there.  Actually I like them up there.  In the Winter time I sleep comfortably using natural heat.
Remember one other thing.  Fido doesn't have hands, arms and fingers.  About the only way he can communicate with you is with his muzzle and his feet.  If he jumps up on you he's adoring you.  If you want it to stop, set yourself as an off limit area to his feet.   Their eyes give away their emotion also.  But they only have their mouth to use to accomplish all of their tasks.  Shade, my black lab, commands attention by inserting her muzzle under my wrist and flipping it up and down constantly.  This is disconcerting when I'm working at the computer.  I've never tried to deter her muzzle flipping because I like it.  She's asking politely for my attention.  One problem was created by my ignoring that conduct.  She has become obnoxious with the muzzle flipping.  She won't stop until I pet her head or massage her shoulders.  Then she's OK.  In short;  she is demanding my attention, not asking for it.  I deal with it.  She requires only a moment of my time to react to her requirements.  They, the dogs, languish in boredom all day long while I'm out, and a gentle touch is not too much to ask of me.  Oh well;  theres your dog information for the day.
It's obvious I found a little hideaway in the hills to write this little essay.  Actually I'm writing this while sitting in the field in front of this great old barn.  I'm riding back home to get the kids, dogs, and spend the rest of the afternoon with them.  They've been patient.  I can't take anymore of this mountain traffic anyhow.

The old state park is in the same condition I left it a couple weeks ago after the tornado. 
Even the gate to the park hasn't been repaired.
The road that leads to the ruins is almost impassable.  It's necessary to detour around all the fallen trees and bushwhack through the bush.
We're in no hurry and I enjoy looking for new wildflowers and critters.
The field below was purposefully burned off a month ago by the park custodians.  Look at it now.  Lush green grasses cover it.
Shade isn't happy until she investigates every square foot of these meadows.  These dogs have the life!
I have to be careful of the dogs today.  It is very hot out and I time the outing to be at the lake within an hour of our arrival.  There they have plenty of opportunity to swim and cool off.  Chasing a stick or two is all part of the routine.
Shade just sits in the water. She's funny to watch. I also have trouble getting her features to show up in pictures.  She's very black and creates heavy contrast with her backgrounds. 
They have been chasing rabbits for the past hour.  I have never seen so many rabbits in my life.  They chase one into the woods and another one comes out of the woods past the dogs.  They give chase to that one and two run past them from wood piles.  This is rabbit heaven.  They've never caught a rabbit yet and they won't.  They're too big and slow.  It keeps them exercised though.
If you read this blog much you'll remember that I carry a shoulder bag with some writing material and basic hiking gear.  Since the sciatic nerve problem, my waist started aching when I slung that messenger bag over my shoulder and walked long distances.  It was really aggravating me.  I decided to make a change.  Change comes slow for me.  That North Face messenger bag has been a staple for me over the past six years.  Enter the Gregory day pack.
The pack isn't too large at all.  It has a waist belt and shoulder straps that are totally adjustable.  Like a back pack, the straps can be adjusted to eliminate weight on the shoulders and transfer it to the waist.  This thing is great.  I used it all afternoon and didn't know I had it on.  Of course I'm not carrying anything but writing material, quart of water, rain poncho and a light jacket.
The inside part that touches the back has a mesh fabric that won't allow heat and perspiration to build.  The little black bag on the strap is where I carry the Elph camera.  Pretty nice.
There's no rhyme or reason to the photos from today.  I've been taking shots of anything that peaked my interest and curiosity.  This is not a serious, gotta do day.  I'm just having a good time with the dogs and waiting for the rain to fall shortly.  It will be a short shower.  They're typical for East Tennessee.  Today a shower would be welcome.

 I am amassing quite a dacia of flowers.  Many I have not found names for.  But, I will eventually.  It's interesting to see them come and go.  Many species are here for only a brief time.  Ox Eyed Daiseys seem to always be around.  It's one of the happiest flowers in the meadows.




This next one is going to drive me insane trying to figure it out. 
Last but not least is the Douglas Fir.  Get it?  Douglas----Fir.  Oh, come on!
That's all for today.  Tomorrow may find me in a canoe on Citico Creek.  Join me.