Thursday, October 24, 2013

JUST DEER

Three days ago, dense fog covered the boat ramp and three old men backed their boat down the ramp toward the water, guessing where the water was.  I hailed them from my open truck window and asked them what species they were fishing for.  One of them replied, “stripers.”  They asked me if I was getting on the water and I said I would wait until the fog lifted.  The old guy in the  beat up GMC truck said that he has trails and fishing spots charted on his GPS and could plainly see the river channel on his sonar screen.  I wished them  good fishing.  Then I thought, “if one of those old guys fell out of the boat in this dense fog soup, all the GPS’s in the world wouldn't be able to find him floating on that water white-out.  

And the news on the radio said a truck crossed the center line and hit a motorcycle head on, the NSA has France upset by collecting (spying)  seventy million phone calls in a one month period, traffic is moving slowly on the interstate toward Knoxville and the government is screwed up because we, the people, voted for all the wrong people.  It’s all out fault.

I gotta get out of here and on the water.  Escape!
The boat and trailer were in the weld shop getting some serious work done on the trailer wheels, brakes and other structure and I was relegated to the truck today.  I would spend the morning driving to boat ramps in search of the elusive fishermen who were braving this cold weather that blew in last night.

It's amazing the wildlife one sees if he focuses on that pastime while driving over country roads.  A skunk shuffled across the road well in front of the truck, thank heavens, and a possum rapidly moved off the right berm and directly into danger in front of my truck forcing me to stop.  Ya gotta give em a break.  It was then that I started noticing deer grazing in fields so, I thought I'd try to photograph some as there wasn't much chance of finding anything else out here off the water.  The deer above were in the fields that border Panther Creek State Park.
The boat ramp at Panther Creek was empty.  I was headed for an out of the way ramp called Nance Ferry.  As it turned out there wasn't anyone at that ramp parking lot either but, the fields held a large number of deer getting last mouthfuls of grass before the sun got too high for their comfort.
These deer had dark brown hair.  The deer along the river on farmers fields are of a dark buff color.  Interesting.  I think the changing season has everything to do with that anomaly.
The loner
I snapped the above shot before I left Panther Creek State Park and you can see how low the water level is in Cherokee Lake.  It's no wonder there is no wildlife along this lake as the habitat changes drastically on an annual basis.  How would you like to come home to your house one day after work and find it a hundred feet away from your driveway?
These deer are mighty sweet to look at but, the fact that they are residing so close to human habitation dulls the edge of their discovery.  There's too many people!

This guy was eating leaves off a bush.  He would take some leaves off the bush and bend his head to the ground and get a mouth full of grass then, back up to the bush.
He looked right at me for about ten seconds and then ignored my presence.  I guess these deer are used to vehicles passing by.  That's not good for them.  He turned and continued to eat.


The country road wound further and further into the country and I soon had farm land on both sides of the truck.  The deer that follows was truly startled when I stopped the truck and powered down the window for a picture.  
Is she not beautiful?  She's on alert and those ears are listening for some unusual noise proving clearly that she is not used to seeing cars and trucks, especially vehicles that would stop to observe her.
Another deer appeared off to my left and she, like this one, was on full alert and appeared ready to bolt for the woods.

I  took a few more shots of these particular deer. 

I had one more country boat ramp to visit and sure enough there were deer in the fields along the woods that bordered the lake.
A large field bordered by woods on one side and the lake at one end held a little flock of wild turkeys.  





I saw a pool of water on the shoreline of the lake that was full of highly active ducks.  The rapidly decreasing water level left depressions on the shoreline full of water -- and fish.  These ducks are enjoying a buffet - a fish buffet.  These aren't particularly small fish either.  I never saw mallard ducks catching fish this large.  


The cell phone rang and I was notified that my trailer was repaired and ready to pick up.  Time for only one more picture.  He is a grebe.
I kicked it into gear and headed for the interstate and the long drive to Knoxville and points North to get the boat.  Yuk!  At least I'll be able to get on the water now.  See ya tomorrow.