Sunday, March 30, 2014


I stopped at a store to buy a bottle of aspirin and when I came back out he was standing there as if he was waiting for only me.  
His face showed excitement and relief at the same time and he acted so happy to see me and I walked past him to the truck and opened the door.  I looked back at him and that face melted my heart.  I knelt down on one knee and he came right over to me. 
He seemed so happy to be with me even while he was starving.  He was very thin.
Then he just extended his paw to me.  That did it.
Notice that his toe nails are cut.  I really think he's a run away as it seems like some cared for him enough to cut his toe nails and train him to give his paw.  He is very young.  Look how clean and white his teeth are.  I got the bag of dog feed I carry for strays and fed him.   I sneaked back to the truck while he had his back to me.  How cowardly an act!  I'd love to take him but I absolutely can not afford to pick them up every week.  The vet bills will break me up and every dog needs vetted.  I turned for a last look.
He stopped eating and stared at me.  The happiness was gone from his face and a look of disappointment replaced the glow that was there a moment ago.  He seemed to understand that his dream of finding his place would not happen today and he watched in earnest as I pulled away.
He wanted to go with me so badly.  His eyes pleaded for me to take him.  I was tormented the entire afternoon over him.  I almost went back for him twice during the day.  I'm actually thinking of leaving even now to try and find him.  Where is he sleeping tonight and where will he find food in the morning?  I'll be back up there in the morning and if I see him along the road I doubt I'll be able to pass him by.  Not this time.  If I were on a boat on the lake I wouldn't run into these homeless dogs that tear at my heart but half my duties are driving the truck this summer.  I can maybe close my eyes to them but I just can't close my heart to them.  And, money's the issue.

My mind was deterred temporarily from the dog when I discovered  this little jewel.  Wow!  It's the real McCoy.  That place is me!

I drove past the bald eagles and the male was hanging on a limb above the nest.  I saw both eagles earlier in the day so all is well.  This guy must be fishing close to the mud because his head plumage is all mud yellow.

And last but not least while organizing my paperwork in the truck - a black vulture landed in a tree beside the truck and asked me to photograph him.  Isn't he beautiful?

The weather is to be in the seventies tomorrow and none too soon.  I can't wait.  If I wrap up work on time tomorrow morning I think I'll run on down to Douglas Lake to see if I can find some eagles.  See you then I hope.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Would you please send out this info... these dogs are losing their foster.. there are 12 of them.. some small some bigger some huskies...


The shrill howl of the wolf in the night causes brave men to suddenly turn their heads toward the cabin door and place the thick wooden bar across the cradles in the frame to insure safety within.  "Katie, bar the door please".

This wolf dog resides down by the river near Indian Cave and "she" isn't the wolf in the night I made her out to be.  I know her owners and they assure me that humming birds can alight safely between her ears and will be welcomed.
 Actually, this is the reason for the interest in the wolf dog.  She had puppies a few days ago and there were 9 of these little imps out in the yard but, mom hid them when I came around back with the camera.  Only this one little guy remained for me to photograph.

 I wanted to mention here that if any readers out there know of anyone who would be willing to give one of these pups a home - have them leave a comment on the blog under this entry.  There are 9 of them as I understand it and unless they find homes their prognosis for survival is not very high.  It isn't their fault they were born but, they were.  Please keep them on top your minds as you travel through your days just in case you find someone who is looking for a canine friend.  These dogs are going to be about German Police Dog size and the parents are baby dolls so the kids will have a good disposition.
This beautiful animal is good at staring me down.  She won't take her eyes off mine and she seems to be able to see clear through my heart and into my soul.  What a dynamic animal!  One can't help but know that there's a lot more going on between those canine ears than meets the eye.
She has an almost evil look to her but, its just how she is projecting at the moment.  She's beautiful and yes, she has a chain.  I don't like that either but there is only one end without it.
 What a dynamic face.  Spectacular!

 If I had a farm I'd have this girl's pups running free and they'd stay in the house with me too.   Don't know if I'd keep any sheep on the place though.  I'll get more photos of the puppies tomorrow or the next day. 
I had to pass by the bald eagle tree and of course I took a couple shots to document the moment.
I mentioned this before but, look at the dark yellow on this eagles head.  She's been struggling with some prey in the mud along the river.  It could have been a large fish she caught or even some 4 legged prey, but she definitely got in the mud.  It will wash off.

This is the first day of turkey hunting here in Tennessee and I thought it was interesting to see turkeys all over the place and no hunters around.  Actually, there is so much private property over here in this area that no one is allowed to hunt on it and the turkeys are sort of on a nature preserve.  Interesting.

I saw this cozy little Cape Cod sitting up on a hill beside the river and I thought about calling about it.  It's classy digs for sure.
 This is all I need and its right on the river too.  I got first dibs on it if I want.
It seems I can photograph a different old building every day I go out.  They are everywhere and I often wonder if the property owners keep them because they are reluctant to let loose of the past and hold those earlier life memories close to heart through the existence of the old familiar house or barn down by the river or out in the back 40.  I like to romanticize, as you can see.

 I guess a fella could tear them down and use the wood to make book shelves, old chairs, fireplace mantles and other antique appliances, but I bet the memories locked up in these old buildings are more precious to the folks who own them than all the monetary value the wood has to offer.
And yes - past times are worth hanging on to, for in the end, they are the real and only treasures that will settle the troubled mind in times of stress when our country faces  perilous times do to the tomfoolery of lackluster leaders who are walking her on a slippery slope.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


This is a two part entry tonight because I took Shade to Panther Creek State Park early this morning and then went to Nance Ferry on the tailrace of Cherokee Lake with the Gheenoe to look at trout and insects.  Exciting huh?  I know.  Below are three short movie clips of an extraordinary hatch of insects on the water that absolutely set the trout into a feeding frenzy.  The insect hatch was localized in one area of water which in its self is very interesting and warrants further investigation.  All the dimples in the water are trout sipping in the floating flies on the surface.  Trout and insect relationships like this on the tailwater makes this a first class, blue ribbon trout fishery.  Hope I don’t bore you with the clips but this is exciting information in the world of fly-fishing for trout.  The clarity may be better if you click on the U Tube box on the movie screen and watch it there.
Ring of the rise at Nance Ferry
I can’t wait to get back down there with my fly rod.  Guess I better tie some special fly patterns for this water pretty quick and I know just what to make.  I was concerned about not having wading gear but all I have to do is use the electric motor on the Gheenoe to position myself where I need to be and cast off her deck.  That will suffice for the deeper water areas.  I’ll still need to eventually wade the shoals.  All in good time.
Its interesting to talk to fly fishermen down on the tailrace and get their perspective about the trout and the water.  I am, however, amazed at the number of anglers who are chasing the wrong process and betting on the incorrect fly.  Many just haven't taken the time to figure it out.  Trout are special fish that require special methods of magic to trick them and it requires tenacity and a bit of dedication to understand the insect/trout scenarios that take place on each section of water at different times.  Figuring all this out is what makes fly fishing for trout so fantastic.  Its essential to understand the fish, the insects the fish feeds upon, preferred water temperatures and a whole host of other essentials that make a fly fisherman a great fly fisherman.   I used to go to the streams in Pennsylvania on the motorcycle without the fishing equipment strictly to observe the stream or streams in question.  I'd scan the water with binoculars to note the insects present and to see if the trout were eating them.  On some streams I'd take note of where a particular large brown trout made his lair so I could come back and do battle with him.  Anglers approach the water on this tailrace differently.  Well, some do - not all.  Most seem to rush out on the water and thrash around with fly rods, moving here and there and leaving after a disappointing hour or two.  The knowledgeable anglers are moving slow, fishing all the water and just raking in the fish one after another.  Its interesting to watch fly fishermen in action.  Oh well - we'll see how I do when I finally cast a fly down at Nance Ferry in the near future.

I can't resist these old buildings.
I was going to head down to Nance Ferry early this morning to float around in the Gheenoe for awhile but Shade got to me.  She waited at the door staring up at me as I was ready to walk out of the house and I just felt terrible not doing something with her today.   I opened the door and said, "come on".
We arrived at Panther Creek State Park at around mid morning and there were no cars in the parking lot.  We had the trails to ourselves at least for awhile.

This trail is perfectly manicured as are all the other trails in this park.  There is no degree of difficulty present and I found myself flying effortlessly down the trail behind Shade, eating up the ground.  It felt really good to be out here in the woods without other humans about.  Just Shade and me together on a chilly morning.  

This trail skirts the edge of Cherokee Lake.  The little stream you see above on the desert (mud banks) is Panther Creek.
As Cherokee Lake fills up with water, all this desert looking shale, mud and rock will disappear under water as will Panther Creek.  At that point this entire inlet will be known as Panther Creek.  Make sense?
 The tracks below are bicycle tracks.  I'm not a proponent of bicycling in forested areas.  I know you probably think I'm a stick in the mud because I frown on so many things people do out here in the wilds.  Bicycles simply don't belong on walking trails or in wildlife habitat for that matter.  Everyone wants to bring their favorite toy into the wild places and all the toys just aren't welcome there by the wild things that live in the wild places.  Wild habitat wasn't made to accommodate bicycles, quads or all terrain vehicles.  What the heck is wrong with walking anyhow?  Wonder why it's necessary to spin wheels and throw mud, dig furrows in hiking trails and run very loud engines in the forests.

 So, why should I be allowed to bring Shade to the forest then?  Well, Shade compliments the forest.  She is quiet, doesn't chase animals (maybe a squirrel) and leaves nothing but tracks.  And she is a real canine and canines have been more a part of forests than man ever was.
Look closely at the shot below.  That picture was a total accident.  I mean the deer running across the open space.
The deer is almost in the center of the shot.  Isn't that something?  I love photography.  

My sweet Bayber just had to get in the water.  This stream is very clean and the soil surrounding it is more sandy than muddy.  Shade will still come out with a brown tinge to her hair but it will wash off.  She's having the time of her life here.

 Below:  The black beast fixes his eyes on the pray and prepares to charge.

 "Come on sweetie, time to get going".
 Oh Geeze!

I could hear some vehicles approaching the area and we headed back toward the parking lot.

I was following Shade down the trail when I heard loud flap, flap, flapping of feet coming up behind me.  Fast, loud breathing could be heard as whatever the critter was gasped deeply for oxygen.  Limbs were breaking close behind me and all of a sudden a monster human dressed in a gray jogging outfit floundered past me.  Might have been pajamas.
Good grief, he was a big-un
  Shade turned toward the commotion and instantly barked once, laid her ears back and tucked her tail between her legs tight against her tummy, turned and ran away up the trail frightened to death as the rotund behemoth appeared to be chasing her up the trail - in her eyes he was chasing her.  It was definitely time to get the he-ck out of here.  I call this kind of woods a city woods.  Now you understand why.  Oh, for the Cherokee National Forest and its pristine back country trails.  Oh well --- Shade was sitting beside the passenger door of our truck.  Good girl.
 And yes they are doing quite well back at the nest.
This has been a full day of activities for me and I'm going to enjoy relaxing on the porch tonight.  Its great to have some warm weather for a change.  Of course we are to get heavy rain tomorrow.   Rain is a good thing.  Oh, the fellow below better keep his head down starting Saturday morning because its the first day of turkey season and he is a big gobbler.