Thursday, December 1, 2011

FALCOR'S BIG BOAT DAY

You're all probably getting bored with all the Falcor entries but, I want to document his progress for myself, if for no other reason.  It's interesting to see him gain confidence each time he's on the state boat.  At first he was intimidated by the rocking and plowing through rough water.  The sound of the engine was a big hurdle for him to overcome.
He has been very reluctant to step up on the bow deck at the point of the boat.  It's plain he wants to but I guess to him it's the edge of the unknown.
We ran through my designated area for two hours and I felt we should stop for a breather.  It's good to walk on solid ground after a few hours rocking about on the water.
The little guy is starting to come to me better.  Well, just slightly better.  I hid from him on this island when he went away from me pretty far and would not come when called.  He came running back to find me after awhile.  He ran past me and down the beach.  Then, he turned and ran back from where he came.  I could see panic on his face and stepped out of hiding.  He came right to me.  He's been reacting to my calls for him better ever since.
He's a little scamp for sure.  I've been trying to get him to swim and he shows fear when he gets in water to his belly.  I threw the stick further and further out into the water.  When the water got deeper;  he left the stick floating and returned to shore.  But, he had a good time fetching and splashing in the water.
He is sure a pretty boy.
I may have to take him and Shade out together in order to get him to swim.  Guaranteed that will do it.
It doesn't take much to make a little dog happy.  A stick tossed into the water will do.
That was a nice break but we had to get back on the job.  The lake was void of fishermen this afternoon.  I can't believe it.  The weather is perfect!  The sun is high and the temperatures great for good fishing.  Maybe there is a football game on.  No;  that can't be.  It's Thursday.  Oh well;  we'll keep the engine turning.

The picture of innocence

Then, he made a great break through as far as courage goes.  He got on the rear deck and laid down-----beside the big engine.  I increased the speed gradually to see what he would do.

He's a piece of work alright!
 I noticed two large birds circling overhead.  A look through the binoculars proved my guess correct.  Bald Eagles.  A pair of them were flying up and down the shoreline.  So;  Cherokee Lake does have some cool critters on it after all.  They were a mated pair as they kept quite close to each other in flight.  No big camera was available today, as usual.  The best I could do was what you see below.  But, trust me.  They are real Bald Eagles.  Click on the photo to enlarge it and you'll see their white necks and heads.
Then I noticed something else that I didn't expect to see.  Look closely at the two photos below and you will see Soft Shell Water Turtles.  The water is about 64 degrees.  I would have thought them far under the mud by now waiting for Spring.  I have never seen turtles out this late.  You'll have to click on the photos to enlarge.

These guys are fairly large turtles too.




I couldn't get any closer to them.  They both simultaneously went into the water with a single plopping sound.





Now;  if I can get him to overcome his fear of getting on the point of the bow;  we'll have it made.  Then we can focus on the swimming aspect.
The water is low enough that man made structures sometimes can be seen.  The above is a concrete building that does not lend itself for identification.  It's roof lays to the left in the next picture.


The little building may be a well house.  I can see pipes coming out the top in the photo previous to the one above.
Well, well, well.  He's done it.  He very timidly stepped up onto the foredeck with great stealth. 
Nothing to it.  Why was I ever afraid to do this?

I'm in the wind.  I'm in the wind!  Ya!

Hey back there;  Gimme some throttle.  Wanna feel the wind.

Faster, faster, faster!  I love it when the wind blows my ears up like that!
I'm heading back to my other favorite spot;  beside the engine
Falcor did well today.  The hard parts are over as far as boating goes.  All we have to do is get him to come to me reliably when I call him.  Swimming is pretty important too.  We'll work on that.
We made another pass through the area and found a few fishermen in boats to check out.  It's been a beautiful day.  We were on afternoon shift today so we can only run until the sun starts to fall.  Tomorrow is back to morning shift.  If I get done on time;  I may take my boat to Chilhowee Lake and back to Scona Lodge to see what that building is on the mountain.  This sore throat I have isn't any better.  It isn't getting worse either.   Hope you enjoyed watching Falcor grow in confidence.  This will be the last entry strictly dealing with Falcor.  From now on he will simply be part of the day.  He's doing better than expected.  Hope you enjoyed watching him grow in confidence.  See you later.

Are you watching Douglas?  Don't worry golden son;  I can see you right up there beside Falcor all the time.