Monday, October 10, 2011


The above sign is posted below Cherokee Dam on the bank at the outflow of the dam.  The shot below is of another interesting sign.  Interesting indeed:
I guess there is a cat problem or something like that.  Oh well--
The wind has been blowing across the water hard all week.  This morning was no different.  I idled, as usual, through my assigned area using the binoculars to try and discover the whereabouts of fishermen.  Fishing boats are hard to see when the background is rock.  After one full hour of idling through the rough water; I decided to beach the boat in a very tiny cove and check out the shoreline.  Happy was the dog on duty today and she agreed on the stop.

I always select islands to stop at as they are the only real estate that no one wants to buy.   If the real estate companies thought they could make a buck on them  you better believe these islands would have million dollar homes on them.  The islands lack the usual flora and fauna that a forest has because there is no way for those entities to get to the little peaks of earth, rocks and trees isolated by water on all sides.  I guess birds can bring seed.  A serious lack of flower diversity exists as well as mammal populations.  Forget the song birds too.  But, these islands are unique in their own way and nature is trying to paint them up for Fall.   It's just that Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) isn't cooperating.  But, Fall is in the air for sure.
Nature can't do much to make mud and rock beautiful.  I think it may make a nice border, a frame if you will, to surround the  Autumn colors of the trees.  It might work;  don't know.

 I walked over to take a closer look at a really attractive tree.  It appeared to be one of those trees one finds in Louisiana in the bayous.  Of course it's not.  But, I have an active imagination.
Then a special tree caught my eye.  Remember;  this island is completely detached from any mainland whatsoever.  I doubt a deer could make the swim out to this place safely.  So where the heck did the beaver come from?
 This is an amazing thing I've found.  This tree has been chewed upon very recently and the critter has returned over and over to resume his tree toppling efforts.  He, they have to live on this little island.  I searched for undercuts in the bank to no avail.  Facts are facts and they are here and probably shall remain here due to the very wide expanse of water that separates this island from the mainland.  Check out the bites on this tree.  I got some closeups so you can see the actual cuts in the wood the sharp teeth made.
I've glassed the shoreline of the rock quarry ever since I came here and have never seen as much as a deer.  Now, out here, on this tiny, insignificant island I find beaver sign.  Maybe the beaver came out here to get away from the human intrusion into their habitat.  Makes sense..
Happy and I went down to the edge of the water.  It's a macro world down here.  I always think small when looking for pretty things to photograph.
Then I saw the tracks in the mud.  Other mammals were here.  How in the world did they get here?  The tracks weren't beaver.  They may be raccoon.  But, the rascals got here somehow.  There's a lot of them too.  The shoreline is littered with these tracks.  It might be interesting to camp out on this island some night.  Probably get attacked by these critters.

We'll walk up the hill to where the few trees are growing for a quick look around and then we have to get back on the circuit.
Nothing signifies nature better than the good old proverbial pine cone.  I think the pine cone has been photographed more than any wild item to exemplify the great outdoors.
A pontoon boat has just run down the main river channel past us.  It's time to get it moving.  At least I know there's one guy out here besides me.  Question is;  will he stop in my area or keep going?
"Lets go Hap.  Get in the boat."
Make sure you're comfortable now.  Wouldn't want you uncomfortable.
"Oh, don't worry about me.  I'll just stand in front of the seat and drive.  You just get all snug there on the seat."
"Quit griping dad and just get this thing moving, will ya.?"
"Thanks for bringing me dad.  I love it out here."
We ran down the main channel trying to catch up with the pontoon boat but, he must have turned into one of the channels that leads to Panther Creek State Park.  I'm sure he had enough of getting beat up by the high waves.  We idled on down to the end of my area of responsibility and cut across to the opposite shoreline to cover that side of the lake on our return trip.  We found two fishing boats in that entire expanse of water.  Well;  it was something at least.  All in all it was a great day.  They're all great days!  Life is good....

The clip below shows the boat in fairly heavy water.  The speed is about as fast as I travel for the entire shift.  I can float clear around my assigned area in a 6 or 7 hour time frame at this speed.  Occasionally I'll open her up to blow out the cobwebs.  I hope the movie works.  I'm using satellite to upload everything and it's slower than slow.  It is an abysmal form of communication.