Saturday, February 15, 2014

THE LOST PUP

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I was parked along the woods down at Nance Ferry on the Holston River sipping on a coffee when I looked down the gravel lane and saw a brown coonhound pup with big floppy ears and gangling legs trotting toward my truck.  Here we go.
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I remembered I had some cat food in the toolbox that I keep for just such emergencies.  All my dog food supplies went to two puppies on Douglas Lake at the Leadvale boat ramp earlier in the month.  There wasn’t much I could do at the moment for the little guy because I was due to make a timed run along the river to the dam to accomplish a angler count.  I would make my way back later and if he was still here I’d probably take him with me if he’d let me.
The shad were still being killed by frigid waters that have not warmed up for a week now.  Things will warm starting tomorrow and hopefully the shad will see a reprieve.  However, the gulls have discovered the dead shad floating in the river and started a feeding frenzy.  It was amazing to see so many birds swooping down to pick up the dead shad.  Gulls were knocking each other out of the air due to the limited space between their flying bodies.
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No, that’s not snow. Those are ring bill gulls enjoying a picnic.
Below is a picture of the same area without the gulls or the water release.  The shots above and below are at Cherokee Dam.
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I left the dam and wandered back toward Nance Ferry where the pup was located.  I had to follow a prescribed route and I was thinking “maybe he left”.  Then I felt bad for having that thought.  How shallow and self centered.  He needed help and I was thinking of the inconvenience to me.  Stupid!  The back roads were void of any traffic and a lot of birds were out scavenging for food after days of sheltering from the frigid temperatures.
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I checked on the eagle nest and all was well.  At least one eagle was in the nest.  There wasn’t any fishermen on the river in that area either.  The weather was nice and I couldn’t figure why the lack of fishermen. 
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A really pretty hawk flew up from the edge of the road.  I couldn’t make out the species. 
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If anyone has any ideas just sing out.
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There are a good many photos of the following bird (golden crowned kinglet)
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I guess you can tell I like kinglets.  I like the ruby kinglet too but they are scarce right now.
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So, I finally pulled into the lot along the river at Nance Ferry and there came my new buddy, running along with those gangly, long legs with big feet.  Should I try to take him with me?  You know the story on that.
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I could just see the girls at home having a fit when I showed up with this little fella.  I still don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy.  Just wasn’t important.  I’ll check tomorrow.  I got the pup situated in the basement with really comfy stuff.  Only problem is the dogs would have to pass by her on the way out the dog door.  I made some coffee a while ago and when I turned around the new pup was over at the sofa and Shade wasn’t looking happy.  Guess I’ll have to shut the door to the basement and just let the dogs out before it’s lights out.  And, then there’s tomorrow.  Whew!