Saturday, March 8, 2014


I finished up my run on Douglas Lake this morning and decided to head on up to the Holston river with the Gheenoe.  I just needed to surround myself with some pretty scenery and get rid of this mud down here on Douglas Lake.  The lake was covered with fishermen this morning early and I had a difficult time launching the 22 foot boat.  So, I didn’t launch it.  As a matter of fact, I couldn't even get in the parking lot with it.  I counted over 112 trucks and trailers.  I couldn't turn the corner necessary to enter the lot.  Getting on the boat ramp was out of the question.  They take fishing serious down here.  I went home, parked the rig and headed toward Rogersville and the Holston with my truck and Gheenoe.


It really felt good to get away from the mud hole, Douglas Lake for awhile and cruise on the Holston River.  Spring is happening on the river now and its not even apparent on Douglas Lake.  I am trying not to get down on that lake but its really difficult to be consistently positive about it.  Muddy water, tons of people and miles and miles of mud – perfect!  Things will look different once it fills back up again, I hope.

Miles and Miles of Mud
I've never seen such congested parking lots at a fishing ramp.  Amazing!
 The shot above shows parking overflow and the trucks and trailers parking on the road.
The picture above is in the lot.  The trucks parked on the right side shouldn't be there.  It's impossible to pull a boat in there and make the 90 degree left way down at the end to line up with the boat ramp.  It's nuts!  It's just fish for heavens sake.
People were running everywhere on the shorelines to get a good spot to fish from.  Again - its just fish!

They were everywhere.  And the boats - wow, they were running in all directions at once.  Its just fish!  Actually, its the first perfect, beautiful day since winter.

Look closely in the shot below.  Note all the boats.
The bad thing is that I'm scheduled back here tomorrow morning same time same station.  Yuk!
I had changed all the oils in the Gheenoe's engine last week so she was ready to go.  I kicked back in the seat and eased on up the highway after treating myself to a full tank of gasoline in the old Ford 150.
Now, this is some very nice water and the river grasses aren't even started yet.  What a great feeling to be up here on this pretty water.
I didn't take a lot of photos today as the wind came roaring in and really made running on the river a bit cumbersome.
 You can see the water getting rough in the shot above.
I cut around to the back side of Burem Island and floated down the narrow channel that lays there.  The island is a natural block to the wind.  Very nice ride.
 Spring has sprung when you see these guys out in the sun.

I saw a wood duck hiding back under the river bank near some wood.  He isn't alone as the female is hidden in the grass on top the bank.  I know through experience that he will allow me to get close and then fly away at top speed in an attempt to confuse me.  Ha, no chance at that.

 He's back in the dark.  I need the 500 mm lens.  Its being repaired right now as a matter of fact and I should have it back in service within the next week.
The shot above needs more shutter speed but alas, it was not to be.  My attempt to pan with the bird did at least catch the color on his head.  Big lenses require a lot of light to operate them and it is challenging at times to acquire decent photos.

I have observed the beaver dam above for two years now.  He has created a beautiful wetland behind his dam.  Well, you can see the broken dam in the shot above.  A trapper has broken the dam to entice the beaver to repair it.  Traps were set below the break in the dam and the beaver no doubt was caught.  The dam would be repaired immediately if the beaver were still alive.  What is wrong with people?  I despise trapping. One trapper and his traps destroyed and ruined this great ecosystem that a pair of beavers created two years ago.  The dam will wash away and the pond behind will disappear.   Why?  Indeed why?  Is it impossible for human beings to just let an animal alone one time at least.?
This is bamboo.  I happen to like it but, it is an insidious plant that will spread like wildfire.  Once it takes route its almost impossible to get rid of.  I still like it though.  I like it cause it grows thick and tall.
The old Scona Lodge site on Chilhowee Lake is loaded with bamboo.  I have no idea where It came from.  Clumping bamboo is preferred and is manageable.  The variety above will spread very quickly and choke out native plants.  I still like it though.
 Above:  an active beaver
This week has been a busy one.  I must report that I've sold my last kevlar canoe and am going to attempt to give up canoeing.  There is just no good canoe water anywhere around where I live.  Its all mud, rocks, gravel, water in the summer and ugly mud and rock holes in winter.  Not what I call canoe water.  I require ambiance to paddle a boat in.  Just do.  We'll see how I hold out.  I love canoeing.  

Lastly, tonight when I came home and started to play with Shade I noticed a wet spot between and just behind her right leg.  I immediately thought she rolled in something dead.  Closer inspection showed a deep laceration about two and a half inches long.  The cut was very deep.  Its Saturday and there are no vets open.  Tomorrow is Sunday and no vets are open.  I rushed to Tractor Supply and the folks there sold me some great antiseptic that will actually help the cut  close up faster.  Then the lady said I needed this sort of elastic bandage that will adhere to itself.  I put the medication directly on the wound, also saturated a gauze pad with it and wrapped the pad against the wound with the bandage.  Its the best I can do.  Monday morning its back to my vet for some stitches.  My baby is making the most of this I think.
Its always something.  Always.  See ya tomorrow.