Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I've been putting off taking the dogs back West to the old state park for weeks.  I despise the drive over the interstate necessary to get there.  Today was to reach 90 degrees so we had to be off early so we could leave the woods at least by noon when the sun would be hot.
I had all the intentions of heading out with the canoe after we got back, but the wind suddenly arrived and I have not the energy left to struggle against it.
The meadows and forest in the old state park were rich green and the grasses in the fields were higher than I ever saw them.  I guess the Sequester affects something about crop control.  Don't know.
This entry contains nothing you've not seen here before, but I like to record documentation pertaining to outings.  I'm sure you're all familiar with the old abandoned park from previous entries by now.
I removed the big 150 mm to 500 mm telephoto lens and replaced it with the Canon 100 - 300 mm telephoto.  As I said before - this lens is ultra light weight and the one I always select for hiking purposes.  I personally feel it's too small to do really serious wildlife work but sort of satisfies the requirement of capturing panoramic scenes as well as some wildlife opportunities that may present themselves.  Let's face it.  I'm spoiled using the 500 mm telephoto.  It's just "the" wildlife lens.  It is a heavy load to carry, however, it doesn't matter when shooting from a boat.  I believe the professional lenses are much lighter ---- and five times more costly.  The really bad thing about this Canon lens is that the lens barrel turns as the lens focuses.  This eliminates using a polarizer lens which I rely very heavily upon.  I didn't really expect to see any wildlife as the dogs would pretty much prevent opportunities.  No matter.  This morning was for the dogs.
The girls popped out of the front seat and actually proceeded down the trail in a very calm way.  The drive over here was traumatic and I bet they were on edge the whole way.  I know I was.  It's insanity on Interstate 40.  Anyway --
I always concentrate on Chestnut when coming over here.  Shade gets to go with me on the boat a lot and Happy gets to ride into town with me frequently.  Chestnut goes nowhere but the yard.  Out of all the dogs she is the woodland pup and I want her to use her hound heritage as often as possible.  Don't want her to be a couch hound.
Chestnut is a beautiful girl.  A bit shy - OK a lot shy and withdrawn, but she is a normal, perfect dog with me.
Yes Shade - I'm coming.
I said I was coming Shade.  Now, go with your pals.
The temperature was really climbing.  I'd have to stay close to the lake so the pups had a constant water source.  I can't carry water around on my back.  They automatically turned down the old park road that leads directly into the lake.  It would be swim city in a short bit.

I could hear all three of them loudly plunging into the water.  Lots of splashing and carrying on could be heard.

 These two are really tight friends. They've been together for many years.


 To them this is the French Riviera.  We left the lake and wandered up to the old Carson/McGhee house known in the day as Tuskegee Plantation.  I've never seen the roses before.  They are intertwined in low tree branches.  This property was deeded to the park service in 1986, I believe, and was accidentally burned down.  Point is the old plantation was used as a command post by the rebels during the Civil War and also by the Union Army later.  It sat dormant since.  These flowers had to have been planted back in that era I'd think.  These are the only roses I have seen on the entire property.  They must be "hold overs" from another time and era.  How super to even think about that possibility!

"Happy - Happy - what have you done?!
"Happy - you've killed a shrew!  You know dad's gonna blame me for this atrocity.  Now, you go admit to him what you did."
We rested up in the shade of the ruins area and moved back to the lake for a final swim and a drink.  The heat was coming on strong.  Shade's black hair really absorbs the heat and I wanted to get her to the truck.  

"OK girls - lets go.  Comear!"  They were really hot and tired.  A good workout was had by all.  
Shade isn't running off with Happy and Chestnut.  She's sticking near me.  Shade isn't a puppy anymore and I think she starting to act like an older adult.  I guess she's somewhere near 9 years old now.  That's not old, but I believe the edge has been dulled on her energy knife just a little bit.  What a sweet friend!
Actually the heat is slowing everyone down.  I must be very careful with them in 96 degree heat.  It's only noon and I didn't think it would heat up this quickly.  I'd have the windows down and a strong blast of air on em shortly.  As for now they're all bunched together and slowly walking ahead of me toward the truck.

He may as well be bound by omnipotent chains to the web for he is nature's selection to be preyed upon.  It represents the cruelty, and logic, of nature.

I wonder how long this old truck will last.  She has 137,000 miles on her.  It has to last.  Has to.  Another one isn't in the cards for at least another ---- five years.
Hope ya got a smile somewhere in this entry.  Nothing new here but they're my girls and my pride and joy.  I'll be on the Holston River tomorrow.  The 300 mm lens has been removed and the big 500 mm is back on the camera.  See ya then.  And, thanks to you for reading this blog.