Saturday, December 15, 2012


I woke up this morning with sore gums.  That little episode at the dentist yesterday bothered me.  The dentist gave me Ibuprofen at 800 mg and it doesn't agree with me. If he would quit using that bone file on my jaw bone I'd be alright.  There is one more big bone piece sticking straight out of the gum, lower front jaw and I can't get the lower denture appliance over it.  The professional dentist who got all "A's" in dental school will file that new bone down flat next Thursday.  That ought to be good for about four shots of Novocaine.    The broken bones just keep moving around in the gums.  I'm wondering how they got broken in the first place.  Certainly the dentist couldn't be responsible for it.  He got all straight "A's" in school.  I know.  He told me so.   Anyway, I've been up since 3:00 AM and once I'm up, I'm up.

I would be on the lower lake this morning and the put-in is at the boat ramp at the dam.
Notice that long structure on the left of the picture that disappears into the water.  That is a mud rail made of concrete that is supposed to keep mud from washing onto the Winter concrete boat ramp that lies just under the surface.  When mud accumulates on the ramp - trucks and cars can't get traction to pull the boats out with their trailers.  The thing is that the underwater ramp is never used because the water doesn't get that low in the Winter, at least not in the current age of the ramp.  Therefore, this concrete menace waits just under the surface for some unsuspecting boater to hit with his lower unit and propeller.   I mean look at it.  Any idiot knows that people are going to drag their boats and propellers over that thing costing them thousands to repair the damage.
My state boat just naturally floated over top this obstruction with the current.  If I fire that engine up and move out of there, the prop will be totally destroyed.  I have to use the electric motor to pull away before starting the engine.
Above is a shot of the one on the other side.  It extends out under water about 40 more feet.  What a joke!
The shot above shows my boat actually sitting on the concrete.  It's asinine!  I pulled the boat off and hopped on board, fired up the motor and plunged out into the wilds of the mud hole.

I wouldn't be involved in any creeks today.  I'd be on the main water all morning.  I kept my eye out for eagles as well as fishermen.  The fishermen appeared infrequently and the eagles more infrequently.  The temperature was perfect and I was enjoying the ride up the shoreline.

A fisherman had two largemouth bass on board, a 5 and a 4 pounder.  Those were the two largest bass I've seen taken on the lake all Summer.  I'm sure there were larger ones caught but, I wasn't there to see them.
I was looking far down the shoreline when I saw something that didn't look quite right on the very tip top of a tree.  I couldn't put my finger on it right away.  See if you notice anything in the shot below.
Can you see where it looks like all the foliage is stripped off the top branch sticking up out of the top of the big pine in the center?  I don't know how I see these things.  I just do.
Here - look at the picture on the left.  Figure it out yet?

Who'd a thunk it?  He's got the best seat on the lake.  He can see it all.  How fortunate to have those special skills to acquire a vantage point like this.  Great Blue Heron.
Animals are amazing!  They truly are.
By this time it was getting late and I would be on the water a bit longer than I am supposed to be.  I personally don't care about time but I like to play the game according to the rules.  I stopped in deep water to tally up my morning counts and close out the data sheets for the day.  I notice loons all over the water.  The noisy engine was off and two loons paddled slowly toward the boat.  

One of the loons dove and disappeared from view.  The second one kept paddling slowly toward the boat.  Such a sweet, precious entity!

A bass boat ripped by out in the center of the channel and I could see a large wake rolling toward me.  The picture taking would be ruined until it passed and/or the loon would dive and disappear when it got here.
The Loon stood up and flapped his wings tossing water from the feathers.  They are a grand bird to see.  I wish they were here when they are in their colorful breeding plumage.

He settled down and swam a bit closer.

I threw more than a few shots up here because these birds are secretive and flighty.  Flighty - no pun intended.  Anyway - I wanted to be sure I captured the loony moment for all time.  It  was getting wise and started to move away.
I wished him a save journey back North when his time came to go. 
The old submerged dam appeared and I was nearly back to the boat ramp.  I've had pictures of this old dam up here before.  It's a wonder it doesn't get covered with silt and mud after all these years of submersion.  
Tomorrow I'm working on my area #7 which is at the upper end of the lake where can't get a boat in the water due to the lack of water.  I'll have to think about how I want to handle that.

I got the schedule for next year and it looks good.  I will be running on the Holston River up where Beech Creek is.  That's where I photographed the otter this Summer.  So I'll be floating on Cherokee a couple days a week and then the Holston the rest of the time.  Can't wait.

Gotta go to the dentist next Thursday morning to have this bone in the front of my mouth "filed" down.  I'm sick of this nonsense and I think I'll be a bit more forward with the dentist on what I want to happen and when.  We have a canoe day coming up as soon as I can make it happen.  I really miss paddling a canoe.  There's a lot to do and I have the time.  I just don't have the money to put into the gasoline required to travel to all the places I love.  I'll work it out.  Also, I need to go see the new James Bond movie, SkyFall.  I may have to endure the pain the dentures as I don't watch movies without popcorn.  No way!  Catch ya later.