Wednesday, May 22, 2013

AT THE OFFICE ON MY DAY OFF IN THE GHEENOE

I  thought I'd go into the office this morning just to hang out.  That's an illogical statement -- unless you got an office like mine.
Note the reflections in the water.  Seems like the Gheenoe is pushing through water grass.  It's the reflection of the trees above me.
I was just up here on the Holston River yesterday and I came back today.  I guess you can assume I like this river.  Rather than stay on the Holston River all day - I wanted to slowly idle up Beech Creek, since I haven't really done that this year.  I did, however, paddle the canoe up this waterway a month ago but had to cut it short as a storm with wind was approaching.  The water is muddy due to heavy rains at points North but, it was still a beautiful ride.


The plan was to go to Calderwood Lake for a lake camp but, the weather forecast indicated severe storm with high wind were on the way in that area.  Calderwood is gorgeous but is unforgiving to the unprepared or foolish campers.  I ain't either of them.

I awoke yesterday morning to a computer issue where I lost the ability to email.  I use MSN Premium and some quirk was not allowing me to send or receive.  A call to MSN resulted in a technician taking control of my computer for an hour to investigate.  It's un-nerving watching someone else moving around inside my computer, shuffling my files about, especially my picture files.  When the voice on the telephone asks, "do you need this file?" - I sort of became concerned.  No, the tech couldn't fix the issue.  Gmail works though but it's not synced to my MSN mail.  They're calling at 10AM this morning, the 22nd, to re-enter the computer, from India, and go through every file.  Whew!  Guess that kills the morning, and my cell usage allotment.  

Beech Creek is becoming a narrow through way due to the outgrowth of foliage from both sides.  This is really canoe water.  It's the best canoe water!  I'm glad I decided to come up here because it's shady here.  The sun is really beating down hard out in the open.  There are no birds or animals available for photography.  All the critters are in their burrows or deep in the trees - almost all of them.
I beached the boat on a tiny sand bar to watch for birds.  This little swallow, above, kept coming and going to and from the sandy beach.  He was picking up mouth fulls of sand.  I am guessing he is carrying it to a nest site for building purposes, although it is rather late in the season for that.  Maybe swallows breed more than once per season.  I'll have to read up on it.


I went up Beech Creek for about a mile and turned around and returned downstream.  The depth varied from one to two feet and the bottom becomes rocky at that point.  A canoe could continue a bit further.  The sun created that intense green that is common on this water.  The water is muddy and even it appeared to have a green tint.  The river would be intense green.  We'll go there now.

I reached the confluence of the Holston River and headed upstream.  The water was much clearer and, as I stated earlier, appeared green.
I banked the boat to the left and entered Big Creek, another creek I rarely travel far on.

I came up here to see if I could discover any more beaver activity.  It's a beautiful waterway, as they all are around here, and I found what I was looking for.  I have been unaware of this beaver lodge all this time because of being a novice when it comes to beavers.  Novice no longer applies, I assure you.

This lodge is very well built and is anchored tightly to the river bank.  The little beaver engineer used the tree trunks to weave his sticks and limbs through with the result of building an ultra strong structure.  He is using this lodge as I can see places on the bank that are worn slick as glass from him sliding down to the water.  The trappers missed this little guy.
I turned the boat downstream and headed for the river.


This is one section of river that is so beautiful it makes one's mouth drop open.  I only know of one other piece of water that has that affect on me.  Calderwood Lake..
The shot below is on the island I named Goose Island, because of the two mother geese I observed sitting on their nests for so long.  That reminds me - I never did see their babies.  Amazing how they can hide their young.

It's no secret that turtles enjoy laying out in the sun on logs.  Look at this batch of shelled critters enjoying the afternoon.


It was time to head way down stream to check on the bald eagles.  It was time to get moving toward home and I always make sure the eagles are in good shape.
There he was.  Sir Harry Eagleton was on the job keeping watch over his camouflaged nest hidden behind the foliage.  I would worry about the eagles if I didn't see Sir Harry sitting out there on that limb.  We've had very powerful winds and rain this season and they aren't over yet.  The eagles are nursing young and all are susceptible to the elements until, at least, the baby eagles are capable of flight.
I loaded up the boat to leave and had some really nice conversations with a couple of fishermen at the boat ramp.  This river has some really nice guys who fish it.  Most are older guys with a lot of common sense.  Most are just average guys with average boats and average looks.  I really like talking to them.  Odd for me.  Their companionship made a delightful way to end my visit.  I felt good.

I'd like to take the canoe out tomorrow but the weather forecasters are predicting some wicked storms.  This has been a tough Spring.  MSN is to call this morning, the 22nd, to get back into my computer so, that kills the morning.  I haven't given up on the camp out at Calderwood and am thinking I might be able to do it over the holiday.  I absolutely will not put a boat on any of the pleasure lakes around here over that holiday.  No way!  I guess I'll sit around here and wait until the storms come and just enjoy the dogs.  I actually watched the huge oak trees bend and sway last night during a very strong rain storm with wind.  Love it!  Thanks for being a reader of my blog.  I appreciate you.