Friday, July 6, 2012

JUST ANOTHER DAY ON THE LAKE

click photos to enlarge


Every day on this lake is an unpredictable adventure.  I've never seen anything like it.  I ask myself every morning, while driving to the water -  I wonder what unusual situation I'll have to deal with today?  Today started with an unusual situation.  I can't believe it.


A heavy duty storm hit the lake last night and literally pounded the water.  There were some folks that were stuck on the water during the storm.  One of the marinas was almost destroyed by the 70 plus miles per hour wind, not to mention ocean sized waves.  As I was driving down the center of the lake I noticed two guys waving their hands frantically at me.  I banked the boat around toward them and pulled in beside their large pontoon boat that was rammed straight into some trees on the flooded shore sand.  It was a father and son from Virginia.   They saw the storm late and tried to start their engine and it wouldn't start.  They tried and tried in vain.  The wind hit them and then the waves.  All they had was an electric trolling motor mounted on the bow of their boat.  The current and wind pushed them all over the lake last night and finally onto the sand of the shoreline.  It probably was a lucky thing it did.  They spent the entire night on the water hanging onto the tree they ran into. That was 10 PM last night.  I came upon them at 7:30 AM this morning.  They asked if I had any water as they ran out by 11 PM last night.  I tossed them a quart and then a second quart.  That was all I had.  After some creative attachment of ropes with knots I long forgot how to tie quickly - I had them in tow.  My engine  struggled a bit and the pontoon started to move off the sand and into deeper water.  We were under way.  I was the first boat they saw this morning.
The strong wind the night before literally broke the aluminum struts that support the roof over the boat and took it to never, never land.
It was a three mile pull across the lake and up the shoreline.  I finally got them to the dock and tied them off.  They were a happy dad and son.  I turned toward the center of the lake and took off.

There were actually a few fishing boats out.  They were trying to get in some fishing before the heat of the day started.  It was to go to 95 degrees today.  I interviewed three anglers right away.  Then there was nothing.  Not a boat.  I chugged down the shoreline keeping watch for birds to photograph.  I hope readers aren't bored by all the shore birds on these lake entries.  Herons are a unique bird in many, many ways and I am intensely interested in them.  It is impossible to transfer all of their idiosyncrasies to a blog entry digitally.  A movie camera could do it.



The shore birds were out in numbers because it was early morning and it was cool.  The lighting made it challenging to get good action shots.
 Above, a green heron blasts past me and alights in the tree below:
An osprey flew to and from his nest constantly.


It wasn't long before he did a close drive by and made a spectacular landing on his nest.  These birds are amazing to watch.  They leave me in wonder how they make so many precision maneuvers and perfect landings.

I ran into another fisherman and a great conversation with him.  Again, no one was in sight.  I continued down the shoreline.
A very young, first year, great blue heron appeared on the rocky shoreline.  He was just a kid, a baby but, he was a pretty one.


I watched him trying to fish.  He was awkward but did catch a minnow.  He caught two and dropped both.  He's just a little boy and still learning.



I noticed a fisherman on the shoreline and nosed the boat over toward him.  When he saw my approach - he reeled in his line, picked up his tackle box and hi tailed it up the hill to his truck.  Wonder if he had a legal fishing license.  Why don't they just buy the license and be legal?
I noticed some fish dimpling the surface of the water continuously.  I dropped the trolling motor into the water and slowly approached the disturbance.  It was gar.  There were about fifty or sixty of these monsters chasing through the water.
I took several pictures but alas, they fell short in quality.  The above shot is the best I could do.  That fish above is between five and six feet long..  These would be long nosed gar.  Note the narrow, long snout.  The jaws within that snout are loaded with needle sharp teeth.  These are amazing fish.  Check them out on Wikipedia.
 Ah - this would make a great lake getaway for me.  Seems like it would fit into my meager budget. Well, I'm just a poor state worker.
The shift was winding down and it was time to head toward the barn.  One more small cove to check and another day done.

Its the old, original Route 25/70 that was covered with water when the dam was built.  It normally is covered with water but, the lake has been lowered over the past week exposing the asphalt.
Above:  The final cove was empty.  I turned the boat around and put the hammer down.  Just another day in my life on the lake.  Love it and wouldn't change it for anything.  See ya.