Sunday, December 2, 2012


This was the decor of my office this morning.  I guess I can live with it for one morning.
Ole Douglas Lake is pretty I guess until----the sun comes up where ya can see good.  I kid around about Douglas Lake a lot but, in reality, everything I say about it is true.

Shade is keeping her eyes open for floating debris.  Always on duty and always alert for danger - except once in awhile.

Wonder what she wants.  I don't know what I'd do without her.  She is the best company a guy could want.  I talk and talk to her and ask her things like, "wanna go over there or lets slow the boat down.  Would you like that?"  She just nods her head in the affirmative to anything I suggest and is happy with the outcome.  A dog seems to be able to make the best and the most out of any circumstance in any place.
We were on Muddy Creek this morning.  It seems the schedule has me here a lot.  I guess they think this creek gets a lot of fishermen on it.  In reality, it doesn't.  That being said - I thought for sure there would be a crowd on the water early this morning. There was only one boat on the water when I turned into the mouth of Muddy Creek.
There is a fishing boat in the picture located ahead and to the right of Shade.  I stopped and talked to him awhile.  He had no fish and said he hadn't even had a bite in an hour.  I told him to hang in there as the fish didn't pack up and leave.  I made a recommendation of where he could find fish and he thanked me for the information.  I told him to go to Krogers.

It was early and I glassed the shoreline along the creek for as far as the binoculars could reach and there wasn't a single boat up there.  We pulled onto the shore and I ate three tubs of yogurt.  Yogurt isn't bad.  I'm becoming addicted to the stuff since the teeth extractions.  We gave it 15 minutes and not a boat came by.  We were off.  I couldn't believe no one was out here.  The morning was crisp and clear and the sun was going to be bright making a very cheery day.  
This young eagle simply landed on a limb just ahead of the boat with a small fish.  He wouldn't turn around and let me watch him eat.

Of course, the sun was behind them as is always the case it seems.  Maybe evening is the best time to photograph eagles.  They'd probably set in the trees on the West side of the lake then and I'd still be shooting into the sun as it set.  Can't win.  Well - sometimes I win.  The ISO setting on the camera was very high.  I knew the pictures would be grainy.  I don't know why I even try to photograph eagles into the sun.  It's a waste of effort.

We came upon another bald eagle just around a corner in a cove that flew almost immediately.  I can't imagine what all these bald eagles are doing here.  We had been running now for two and a half hours and not one more fisherman.  We'd soon be at the end of our first leg around the lake and would have to start back down the other side.  I really wanted to catch some anglers out this morning.  Shade and I would pull over to the shore for a bit and give a boat or two some time to show up.  This is as slow as it gets on this water.  Usually it's busy up here with fishing boats.

Shade was enjoying the shoreline while I ate a banana with peanut butter on it.  Yep.  I did.  I almost took a picture of the mess but thought better of it.

Look how pretty she is in that top shot.  She watches me like a hawk.  I'm in the boat.  All I have to do is, in a regular voice, say "Shade."     And look at her come!
A turkey came around the corner of the mud wall and took a look at us and said "I'm outa here."  She turned and walked up a bank and into the woods.

We were almost to the turn around point.  The water is too shallow to proceed any further.  We crossed the creek and started down the other side.  A fishing boat with two older guys was sitting quietly in the mirror surface of the creek.  I pulled up and spoke to them.

"Mornin.  Bet you guys got a lot of fish in yer boat.  How many you catch?"

The guy in the front replied, "We ain't had a bite all morning."

I said, "Not one?  How long you guys been fishing this morning?"

Guy in the back said, "I guess we been fishin fer about two hours."

I said, "You two can't be serious.  The both of you combined haven't caught one fish in two hours time.  You're kidden with me."

Guy in the front said, "I'm serious as a heart attack.  Where would you go if you was us."

I told him, "hell - I'd go home.  I guess I'm wasting my time talking to you two."

At this point they both were laughing so hard I thought they'd fall out of the boat.  Laughter is catchy and I got into it with em.  If anybody would have floated past they'd have thought we were all nuts!  It was a good time.  I then switched to serious conversation and we had a good talk out there.  That's the nice part of this job.  It's just great!  I told em I'd see em later and I'd catch em another time when they learned how to fish.  They even laughed at that sarcastic remark.  Very nice guys.  They help make my job absolutely great.

I found three more boats.  One guy fishing alone asked where the black dog was.  I told him "right here."  Shade was behind the console.  He remembered her from when I ran on Cherokee Lake.  They're getting to know me.  It's a nice feeling.

It was noon and time to meander back to the boat ramp.  I hugged the shoreline when I saw something on a limb way out there that didn't look like part of the tree.  It was odd looking.
It's that tent shaped black mark in the center of the shot.  It didn't have the shape of an eagle at all.  Well - we were going to pass right under it so we'd see soon enough.  The picture above was shot with a 500 mm lens so, you can imagine what it looked like with the naked eye.

Look closely at the face on this bird.  If ever a human came back to earth as an eagle - this is the bird.  EERIE! 

It turned out to be a bald eagle holding his wings open.  He didn't really fool me as I've seen them do this many times prior this occasion.  I wonder if they are drying their wings after catching fish.  I used to think they were catching the warmth of the morning sun.  Who knows?

He fell forward off the limb as softly as you please and spread those huge wings to somehow slice between the branches at the back side of the big tree he was standing in never touching a twig.  Amazing how they fly through all that foliage!

We were only ten minutes from the boat ramp and the day was sweet.  I did finally interview some anglers and recorded some GPS data on a few eagles.  Shade was happy too.  Can't beat it.  Hope you liked the ride.  See ya....