Sunday, October 9, 2011


Awsome Sunset on the Rock Quarry
 It has been a challenge for me to find material to post to the blog as my outdoor areas of interest lie miles West and South East of here.  It is frustrating not to have the mountains and lakes at my back door anymore.   I will be frequenting those haunts more and more as I get settled here in this new habitat of mine and get all the fundamentals of domestic living under control.  I'm not used to domestic life yet.  Next on the agenda is a canoe trip to Calderwood.  I shall visit that pristine place Thursday this week if the weather holds out.  An overnight camp is planned for the following week.  Also, a canoe camp is in the works for Chilhowee Lake.  I love Fall.

You may remember me saying that Shade had a sudden aversion to getting into the government truck in the mornings for the ride to the lake.  Happy has been the boat dog daily for the past month.  This morning I put my foot down and took Shade by the collar and walked her out to the truck where she jumped in.  She didn't struggle at all.  She walked beside me and went right inside the truck.  But, then she lay down and faced the passenger door.  She even shivered.  I don't get it.  What could have spooked her on the truck?  I didn't give in.  We drove off to the boat ramp.  Once there;  she hopped out of the truck and all was normal.  I launched the boat and she jumped on board without a call from me.  I really can't find any pieces to her puzzle.
We were off.  Out of habit I immediately search the horizon for fishing boats. I saw one far out in the center of the channel.  We headed straight for it.  Shade was a perfect boat dog while I talked to the angler.  She sat quietly while I interviewed the fishermen and she listened as they complimented her on her well behaved demeanor.  I really like talking to fishermen in boats.  Most have common sense and are practical people.  I've been on the lake since July and know the regulars who visit the lake continually.  Many wave at me and come up to me for a short conversation at convenient stores and gas stations.  Some turn their boats toward mine as we are travelling down the lake for a slow pass by and a good morning.    It feels good to be thought of favorably by them.  I think favorably is the proper descriptive word.  Well;  I hope it is.
The wind had the water whipped into white caps early morning.  I launched the boat and the wind blew it back onto the boat ramp before I could get out of the truck to retrieve it.  I hoped the wind would retreat as the sun arose higher but it didn't.   It was relentless and the waves battered us hard for the first four hours of the shift.  Heavy water makes driving a boat a bit of work.  It's fun work though.  The challenge for me driving this boat in heavy seas is making a decision whether to approach a fishing boat and come along side close, or to pass on by.  Each approach to a boat is different and sometimes I decide to keep moving on at the last minute.  A long hand wave to the anglers in the boat as I drive by lets them know I have their well being formost in my mind.  There's no sense banging into boats out there over a fish.
This water was pounding us good.  Shade was keeping close to me behind the protection of the tower on the boat.  I think she felt secure being close to me during this roller coaster ride.

We idled down the length of our assigned area taking the beating from the water.  Not one boat was stopped fishing.  Two bass boats screamed through the area on their way to other haunts.  Shade appeared to be getting used to the rocking of the boat and started to move about the deck.  She even laid down beside the motor after returning from a walk to the bow of the boat.
She seemed to gravitate toward the rear deck for some reason.  My boy, Douglas, always stood tall on the bow through any kind of weather.  He was raised on the deck of a boat.  Shade is new to it.  I'm proud of her.  She shows courage on this rough water and is going off on her own, away from me, which indicates that she is secure within herself.  I like that.

When the waves were particularly heavy and were rocking the boat, I called Shade back to me and told her to sit-stay.  She did it perfectly.
She sat right where I pointed.

And she stayed right there and didn' t move

And she made no attempt to move.  She is a good girl.  I forgot to bring her life jacket today and I'm watching her closely.  When the water is whipped to a fury I want her right with me where I can see her at all times.  I pointed to the floor between my feet and said "come."
She istantly responded to my command and positioned herself where I could put my knee against her to feel her presence.  I'll not forget her life vest again.
We took a pounding for four hours and it was time to find a cove and stand on dry ground for awhile.  I could sense that Shade needed a break from this rocking chair also.  I could see a gravel beach in a cove and we headed on over to it.  There was not one fishing boat on the lake in our area as far as my eyes could see.  May as well take advantage of the situation.

It felt good to be on smooth water in this cove.  Shade sped to the bow in anticipation of getting on land.
I could see the main lake from this cove and could run out to catch a fisherman if one should appear.  Shade dissembarked and instantly ran up the beach and back.  She was doing her version of a happy lap.  Funny girl!
She, like another dog I know and loved, comes alive when out "here."  Her head is held high and her eyes come alive.  The tail wags non stop and the nose inhales the air from an upturned muzzle.  Shade is happy.

She is a powerful dog
The old legs, especially the knees, needed to walk a bit.  I brought no food today so we would spend the lunch period walking and exploring.  Still no fishermen appeared on the lake.  The wooded area on this island was inviting.  It was a pretty place.

Shade immediately ran up the steep hill to the woods, ever keeping me in sight. 

I haven't been able to take the dogs out much since the move over here.  I don't have an "old state park" to wander through with them and let them just be dogs.  It's a little different over here.
She investigated everything, sniffed everything and ran over everything.  She was being a Labrador Retriever.
A bass boat blasted past without even slowing down for the dangerous water he was travelling over.  The anglers are avoiding this big bay area and heading down the coves and inlets.  I don't blame them.  The water is really rough.
Fall is starting to show it's colors in the rock quarry.   It's going to be interesting to  see what this rock hole will look like with Fall colors outlined in solid brown. 
Well;  Fall is here.  The quarry is trying really hard to make itself presentable for the Automn months.
It's been 20 minutes since we landed here and we had better be off this rock pile and see if any fishermen stopped on the other side of this island.
A plumb tree
    Sitting down in the water to cool off
    I had better  get Shade on board the boat and idle back toward the boat ramp.  I only came across two more fishermen the rest of the shift.  But, that's ok. 
The ride back was beautiful.  This is, by the way, an afternoon shift.  The sun is falling.

The rock quarry is trying hard to please me today.  It is suceeding.  Stay tuned in for the Calderwood canoe day.  Thursday will be the day paddle weather permitting.