Sunday, December 29, 2013


Don't let the title of this entry lead you to think that I've become ecstatic over moving from Cherokee to Douglas LakeIt's just that I've worn my eyes out looking at nothing but rocks and boulders all Winter long and need to rest my eyes on some other kind of scenery - like mud.
And so, out with the rocks and in with the mud - soft, deep, sticky, thick, brown quagmire.  Oh ya, don't get better than this.

I'll be running on Douglas Lake starting the 1st of January and I really am happy to be off Cherokee Lake.  Cherokee Lake is unpredictable during draw-down and it makes me nervous every time I put the boat on it.  Douglas has it's quirks and dangers but it's usually shallow water with mud on the bottom and not rocks.  One great benefit that Douglas has is bald eagles, and they are down there now.  I counted four in an hour with a total of 6 counting the two that were flying.
I am still amazed at the number of bald eagles that migrate to this lake, bypassing all the other lakes in East Tennessee.  I guess that's why biologists make the big bucks.
A misty drizzle fell while I was testing out the boat and I kept my eye to the bigger trees on the shoreline.  Sure enough and large, dark blob appeared out in the distance.
It was another immature bald eagle.  It looks like this Spring is going to be filled with eagles just like last year.  I was the only person on the entire lake today due to inclement weather (cause I'm nuts) and the eagles were sitting idle undisturbed.
This eagle was a big fella that I guess to be about three years old.  Remember that they receive their white heads and tails between 4 and 5 years of age.
 I wish there was more sunlight today but I have to deal with the cards that were dealt.
 I miss my 500 mm lens for eagles as it really brings them in close.  The 400 mm will do the job but I have to get a bit closer or be content with a bit more distant shot.  Complain, complain!
I drove along the shoreline and came to a point that was the mouth of a cove and an eagle was flexing his legs in preparation for flight.  I just got him.
The eagles are going to keep me happy, at least through Spring.  Most of the immature s will migrate back North to Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Main, Canada and other parts North but, some will stay here on Douglas with a host of adults. Exciting stuff!
And, he's outa here.

I may or not have mentioned that I have acquired a second boat to work the shallow waters of the rivers recently and have been putting a lot of work into it to make it ship shape.  It's nothing more than a jon boat but she's tough, rugged and fast.  Not much to look at but she's tough as a tank.
The boat was built to spec for the agency back in 1971 and is constructed with 1/8th inch all welded aluminum, powered by a 115 horsepower Mercury carburetor engine.  She'll scoot!  I probably mentioned all this in an earlier post but I'm old and forgetful and I do a lot of duplication.  Always remember that duplication of effort assures that the job gets done.  If it didn't get done the first time, it will most certainly get completed the second time around.  What am I saying?

Lastly, my heart is hurting for a little dog who belongs to my friend Anne (Scona Lodge) out in California.  Anne's golden retriever is feared to have cancer and she and Cody would appreciate it if you would keep them in your minds and hearts and prayers wouldn't hurt.  Cody is only 8 years old and a gorgeous dog.  I can't stop thinking about him.  A picture follows.  Look how sweet!  I can't get the photo turned.  Sorry.
Pretty Boy
I had to drive to Oak Ridge yesterday, about 50 miles away, and I stopped in a convenience store.  As I pulled into the lot the owner came out and said he was glad to see me.  That was nice.  I asked him why.  He said there was a little dog behind a fence that he was afraid would die of starvation, lack of water and exposure.  He thought that TWRA took care of "all" wildlife.  I told him the county has an animal control department and he should call them or an animal rescue center.  Then I asked him why he didn't give the little dog food, water and something to get out of the weather.  He just bowed his head and looked at the ground.  Imbecile! 

 I ran over to the fence and there was the little dog laying on a pile of cut grass beside the fence.  It was going to rain and the temperatures were to drop to the 40's - a bad combination for a little dog out in the open.  I carry cat food in the truck and gave him some which he ravenously ate.  Then I purchased two cans of soft dog food.  I couldn't take him with me as I was on a mission (work) and I had to leave.  Four hours later the rain came and the temperatures dropped.  I couldn't get the dog out of my mind all day.  I was determined to go get him and add him to the collection.  I made a special detour to drive to him and when I pulled into the driveway I couldn't see him.  It was raining so I thought he might be under thick bushes behind the fence.  I looked and looked but couldn't find him.  I even walked through the tall grasses and shrubs but no little dog.
Eating the cat food
I felt very bad but I guess it wasn't meant to be.  He was sweet and my only hope is that someone saw him and took him away to keep.  He's a beauty.

Another day of high adventure ends and I'm off work for the next few days and will try to get down to Chilhowee Lake to hike around the mountains near the old Scona Lodge site.  Hang in there and thanks for looking in.  Have a wonderful New Years.