A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
 Along with other good times and interesting discoveries

Richard Loller

Spring 2006

Visit Storyhouse.org--my site for writers and readers



Greece, Greek Islands, and Turkey
 

 May 6 - May 17, 2006

 Well, we went to Mainland Greece, the Greek islands, and stopped over briefly in Turkey.
 It was our first package tour and we went because 
Inez Chaney and her sister Lura and her friend Myra invited us.  So here is the report.




Well, when  in Athens you climb up to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon.  We've got one in Nashville that's not so beat up.
This is a church way off that you can see from the Acropolis.  That's the Greek flag flying over it.
These female pillars are called Caryatids.  And this  is the Caryatid porch of the Erechtheion, also on the Acropolis.  One of the original figures was removed by Lord Engin in the early 19th century and is in the British Museum in London.  Early example of vandalism.
This is a street market, like a flea market, except it is imprompto and not strictly legal.  We were in the middle of choosing a pair of sun glasses when the sirens started and everybody hurriedly packed up and hoofed it.  The two sunglass sellers jumped into an abandoned garage in an alley and we, against all good sense, followed them in.  How can you be so stupid?  Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time and we bought our sunglasses and didn't get mugged or even overcharged.





This is where Athenians get their veggies and other groceries.   Looks good, huh?


Lots of other kinds of stores along the street.
We left Athens on a bus and saw a lot of these shrines along the roadway.
Goats making a living from rocks and brush.
Pretty church...


Dome from the inside... Here we visitf the citadel of Mycenae, a bronze age city.  The Lion
Gate
is the only surviving monumental piece of Mycenaean sculpture
 
as well as the largest sculpture in the prehistoric Aegean.
Some of the walls and pathways that have been uncovered. Entrance to the underground cistern...


Ancient theatre... Guide drops a coin at the middle of the theatre.  The acoustics are still so
good that we could hear the clink on the top row...

Time to hop on our ship and go island hopping.  Our ship, by the way, was the one that hit a rock and sunk a year later. The islands were all great and we hit 4 or 5.  They did seem pretty much
alike after a while unless you got away from the waterfront and all the tourist
stuff.  After all, each ship unloaded from 500 to 1000 tourists--all looking for
food, drink, and junk to take home...
Here are our girls playing with the cactus. 
Lots of colorful fishing boats on the islands, so some folks actually live there
and make a living at something other than fleecing tourists.

Another working boat ready to go out for a night's fishing....
We saw this school of small fish from the terrace of our cafe...
Some of the equipment looks like it may go back to the days of  Homer... Up the hill from the tourist clutter is where the people live.  Beautiful...
I had tons of these photos, but this gives the idea of how non standardized all the buildings and
streets are...Love to go back and spend a month or two just lazing around and getting to know folks...
Working windmills on the island across the harbor...
Lots of bell towers everywhere... Especially nice with a mediteranian sunset behind...
On the way back to Athens we stopped off  for a day in Turkey...That's a mosque and minerette.... Nothing like truth in advertising...
Sherry got sick the night before so she couldn't go ashore and she wanted a charm from Turkey to add to her charm bracelet with a charm from every country she has visited... So I visited three jewelry stores and took photos of various charms to take
 back so she could choose one.  Then I went back and  asked the price at each of the
three stores.  I got the price and left but the owner followed me and offered  me a
better price.  So I kept leaving and coming back until I was satisfied I had the best
price and then I boutht it.  I thinnk it was the turkish slipper...
Back in Athens we visited  Museums.  Here is a famous bronze of Posidon...God of the sea... Lots of gold hilted swords, gold jewelry, gold helmets.  Lots of rich old
Greeks back in the olden times...
Plenty of smaller things too.  Very nice... And marble statues by the score...
One of the things I liked best about Greece was the artistic touch on even the everyday items... Even at the airport they got into the spirit.  Bye Greece.  Glad we came
but glad we are headed home.  

June 17-18


This photo is from the weekend and from the grass it has to be Caney Fork upstream from Happy Hollow.
Nice photo of butterflys on a thistle blossom from the same spot.
These two are from my morning walk at Shelby Bottoms...Sun rise and... 
...an Indigo Bunting singing for a mate.

 

June 10-11

I can't find any photos for this weekend, but I found this one taken a few days earlier.  Beets! They are soooo good!  Tops too!
 
 

June 3-4

I failed to write this up at the time and I'm only now (4/15/07) putting it up.  I can tell pretty well what was going on, however.  Hey, when do I do much other than fish and garden?
Took Sherry's kayak up to Creek J and caught several bass.
Also this nice stripe.  This was on Saturday.
The basil looks all right here.  But look close...leaves are curling.
Peas are gone and string beens and limas are coming on.
Carrots grew well, but I didn't realize they needed thinning, so I ended up with few that we could eat.  I'll do better next year.
This is cobb lettuce, a type Sherry wanted to try.  It did not do well and we got none to eat.
The cucumbers did do well in the tomato cages.  Got quite a few and still have pickles right now (April 2007).
This happens to me every year.  Bugs eat the eggplant leaves and they slowly come back and finally get going in September.  Travis has healthy plants that produce early and often.
You can see the simpson lettuce is wilting and the arugula at the upper right is going to seed.  It was good for a long time and actually the arugula made it through the winter and is still producing as I write this (April 2007).
See the beets with red stems and the healthy tomato plants.  Little tomatos are starting to form now.

May 27-29
Memorial Day Weekend

I don't know what I did Saturday, but the photos from Sunday are from Creek Y, and it was an interesting trip.  Don't miss the story at the end of this segment and the photos of the snake getting away after robbing swallow nests.
Got nice pics of Mama Moscovy Duck and five little ones
That's a 15 inch small mough that hit the frog colored tiny torpedo.  It was a good lure today.
Caught five or six nice small mouths.
Couple of local kids enjoying the creek
When I was coming up to the bridge, on my way out.  I saw these two guys in the water who seemed to be terrorizing the swallow nests.  What to do?  I didn't want to get terrorized as well, but it seemed I should say something to stop it.  As I got closer I realized the true state of affairs.  It's hard to see, but on the rocks just coming out of the water is a snake that had been devastating the swallow nests under the lip of the bridge. 
This bubba and his friend finally knocked the snake down into the water with rocks and sticks, but failed to kill it and it is climbing the bank and getting away. Here you can see the snake better as it crawls higher up the rocks, slowed down, no doubt, by all the baby swallows and swallow eggs it gulped down.  The two men in the water were trying to do the right thing, although a lot of baby swallows got knocked into the water before the snake finally came down.  They tried, at least.

 

May 20-21

The garden is coming up pretty well.  Lots of green stuff and lots of weeds in between--they got ahead while we were off fooling around in Greece..  Sherry was working hard on hers as well and the weeding never stops.  I may have gone fishing this weekend but if I did there are no photos to show it.  Ah, well.
Sherry has weeded and in now putting in her plants and seeds in the little garden by the house.
The calla lily came back, although it was supposed to be an annual.  It led the way for a great year in the larger flower patch that Sherry tends.
Any one for weeding?  I probably pulled three or four bushels of weeds today and I was ready for a beer on the deck...
which turned out to be a good day to see the birds.  There were about three hundred cedar waxwings in the top of the sycamore!

May 6-17
Trip to Greece
(Coming soon--Check back)

April 29-30

Travis and I did a ton of work on Saturday.  James was off in Baja, California, sailing a boat to San Diego or something, so we hauled the old tin from the roofing job to Ed's farm near Lebanon and returned with a load of cow manure.  We then borrowed Dave Dawson's tiller and tilled a garden in their new yard.  Finally we distributed the manure around and tilled it in.  Believe me, that was a FULL day.

Sunday I went down to Birdsong Marina on Kentucky Lake to meet Frank and Mary Lee Mann.  Reason?  So Frank and I could fish in the drizzling cold rain.  We did and caught a few.  We then drove to Nashville and had dinner and went to bed.  Early Monday morning they went on to Louisville to see a sick friend.
 

What a rig!  Travis and I got to Ed's farm with this long load of old tin which he can use.  I could kick myself for not taking a photo of us loading the truck with cow poo.

This is the garden we put in for Travis.  It's a week or so after we tilled it and there are some plants in and the weeds are making a good come back.  It has good light and the soil is loose and rich.  Once she and James get settled and have a little time to weed and tend it it will do very well.

Here is Robert and his grandson, John.  Frank and Mary visited them at Robert's camp in Mississippi before working their way up to Kentucky Lake, Nashville, and finally, to Louisville.

Here Frank is with the best catch of the day.  It was cold and drizzly and we didn't catch much, but it was a fun day anyhow!

Naturally I had to dress much more warmly than Frank--not being so blessed by nature with natural insulation.

Not a bad photo, at least if you were in the shade.  Anyhow, you can see us all and everybody is smiling.  A short visit--but good!

April 22-23

Early Saturday morning James and I got started on the metal roof in the storage area between the two rental house garages.  After a long comedy of errors getting the metal we finally had it.  Tearing off the old roof and putting on the new was a fairly short process, only three hours or so.  Pretty much routine except for James taking a trap door exit when a board tipped under him.  He didn't hit any of the many projecting metal objects below and came back to the job good as new.  Or maybe better, being a bit more cautious.

The rest of the day was spent running errands, cutting our yard and the one James and Travis are buying--2215 Pennington Bend, just down the road a few houses.  Their house warming present.  I also got most of my warm weather plants put in.  The day was hot and bright and so was I.  At least I was hot.

Sunday was cloudy and cooler, so I went with the boat to Fall Creek where the water was at 491' elevation.  I thought that would be prefect for crappie on the attractors.  All I caught were some small ones, however.  You never know about fish.

So, since the fishing was so blah I only include here photos of the roof job and the garden and its progress.

Here is the roof after James and I got it finished.  Nice neat job, no?

Here is the crash site where James landed, just missing the old water heater, bench, etc.  Tough is good, but lucky is better.
To get the not-so-good news out of the way, the lettuce is already showing signs of fading.  This black seeded simpson is droopy and bug bitten.
The mesclum mix is also lacking in vim and the arugula is bolting far too early.  I just don't know sometimes what this world is coming to.
A better story is the radish progress.  Won't be long before we'll be crunching them up.
Same with the beets.  Some, like these, are within a week or three of eating.  Others are still tiny.  Still, they all look well and we have great hopes.
The little carrots are slowly coming on.
The peas are mixed heigths and some are blooming.  Shouldn't be long before maturity.
Pea blossoms really attract the wasps.  Pretty.
This basil is new.  Hope it does better than last year when the leaves curled up.
Cucumbers did pretty well last year.  I still have pickles from that batch.  I put in 4 this year.
Planted four each of standard egg plants and ichiban.  Trying a different spot with more sun up near Sherry's perennial bed.
Also planted 4 jalapeños and four mild banana peppers up front to see if that suits them better.
And last, but certainly not least, 4 each of Sweet 100s, Bradleys, Big Boys, and Mountain Spring, a new variety.  Someone smart named it that because he/she knew I'd buy it.  Go big red ones!

Easter Weekend

April 14-16

This was a three day weekend, so Friday I worked on chores around the house and got quite a lot done.  Saturday was almost hot, so I decided to leave the boat and wade a creek.  I tried a new part of Creek F--upstream where it had always seemed dry before.  But, big suprise, there was the longest hole I'd ever found on any of the creeks around here and I've been fishing this creek for 30 years!  The hole is bounded by a high rock bluff on the west and a high wooded bank on the east.  There's a faint path through the woods along the edge of the bank on the east, so it's easy to see what's in the creek.  There are only a few places where it's fairly easy to climb down.  After about a mile I found the upper end where the creek drops down a rocky run.  Caught 10-12 hefty bass.  Mighty exciting.

Sunday we did the Easter thing at St. Ann's.  Travis was excellent in the choir and the entire service was satisfying.  After that Sherry, Travis, and I went up to Dozier's for catfish and James worked on their house.  He got an amazing amount done.  Then I weeded until seven and watched for the ducks.  They came in on schedule at 7:25.

On Friday the ducks came in a little early.  But the female, instead of a quick touch down and hop into the hole, stood on the limb below and looked around for ten minutes or so.  Then she jumped for the hole, squawked, and flew off in a panic.  Ten minutes later they came in again and she landed and hopped in as usual.  We decided that the first pair were new ducks and the second were our nesting pair.  But maybe not.  Could have been the same ones just acting a little strange.  Who knows with ducks?
This is the south end of the long hole I found Saturday.  See where the water drops over the little ledge?  I threw a broken back Rapala just over the rim and a huge bass hit it and gave me a great fight all over the pool.  She was 18" measured against my rod--probably 4-5 pound range.  Note the steep rock banks on the left.  It's deep along there with overhanging ledges.  Great bass habitat.  I guess I might try this area again.  Maybe.  I guess...

Isn't she lovely?
See what a great bank it is for bass cover?  Just about here I hooked what I thought must be the bass of my lifetime.  When I finally got it close enough to see it was a 10 pound carp!  And it hit the Rapala just like a bass would.  Never had one hit a topwater bass lure like that before.  He got off as I lifted him onto that rock, so no photo.  But you can trust me.  Yes you can!

This phlox was all over the woods and bluffs.

Another spring beauty, a fire pink, Sherry says it is.

This spring is on the same creek but close to the mouth.

Lots of this stuff growing on the moss or rocks.  Pretty.

I've weeded the first two rows of beets.  The rest is waiting.

The sugar snaps are beginning to climb their poles.

Sherry's shamrocks are pretty as can be.

Another of Sherry's flowers, a perennial geranium.

The black seeded Simpson lettuce is almost ready to eat.

The mesclum mix is getting big too.

The red Swiss chard is coming along.

The thyme survived the cold and now has tiny blooms.

 

April 8-9

Saturday was cold and dark so I spent the day doing indoor chores and fooling around the garden.  Sunday I went up to Center Hill, even though there were two generators running all day.  Thought that might be good and bring in the sauger and bass.  Fished hard for three hours and got skunked except for a few nips.  Came home early and cut the yard.
Sherry's azalea's are beginning to bloom, so the near freezing weather recently didn't stop them.
The frost got this tulip and warped it, but I think it's very nice.
The sugar snap peas are finding the way to the top.  Go peas!
The black seeded simpson lettuce is nice now and we'll be eating the thinnings soon.
The little radishes don't need long.  Here they come.
Mesclum mix is moving right along.  So are the weeds.  Yuk.
The garlic is getting back a healthy green after the horrors of frost.
I've got lots of beets and soon will be thinning them.  Hate to do it, but it's the key to healthy roots.  We can eat the thinnings too.
Not everything is new.  Last year's sage is going great guns.
The parsley and thyme came back strong from last year too.  It's almost time to plant tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, basil, and anything else that sounds good.  I may try squash.  We'll see.
The oregano is growing fast too.  We ate it all winter.
This shows how high the water gets with two generators running.
Ordinarily the falls would be 12 to 14 feet high here.

April 1-2

Spent Saturday catching up on all the chores around the house.  Cut the grass, trimmed the hedge, pulled the ivy off the trees and the house, and thinned the honey suckle on the river bank.  All this and other small jobs took almost all day.  Finally I cleaned out the owl house which the bees had abandoned sometime last winter.  They had eaten all their honey, but had left a lot of comb.  I managed to get the house back up the tree without killing myself and quit for the day.

On Sunday I hit the pool below Center Hill and caught 5 or 6 nice crappie, quite a few stripe and several trout.  Let them all go after a photo.  Caught most on the fly rod with a 64th oz. jig and a white/chartreuse tube.
Before I could cut the grass I had to pick these pretty things for Mom.  She says they are "Spring Beauties."
These little brave pansies made it through a lot of cold weather.  Sherry brought two in and made a really nice arrangement.

I tried to decorate pine cones with the spring beauties, but somehow it didn't quite make the grade.
This is the entrance to the old piliated woodpecker den in the sycamore tree on our river bank.  It has been home to screech owls, squirrels, the woodpeckers, of course, and now by wood ducks.  This is a photo of the female wood duck 1/2 second after she popped in at 7:15 pm, her usually bed time.  The male flys in with her but pauses and then keeps on going.  Where?
Here you can see how much more of the bank we can see now that I've cleared out some of the honeysuckle.  Sherry spotted a beaver swimming upstream just after the wood duck came in.
Here's the owl house after I got it cleaned out and back up in the tree.  It's a miracle I didn't fall in the river on this caper.

Sherry shows off the comb that the bees left behind.
There was a butterfly convention where I took out the boat.

These were really nice crappie and not bad trout.

March 25-26

On Saturday it was cold and cloudy, but not too cold and I worked on the fence.  Finished around 5:30 and felt as if I had pitched three or four ball games, my hammer arm was so tired and sore.  Got over it overnight.  Sunday I got to the pool below the dam around 11:45, just before they stopped generating at 12.  It is easier to launch the boat if the water isn't dropping as you get ready.  Caught one of everything except a bass.   Good day and good weekend.
Had to cut the plastic jugs molds off the footing, but the concrete had set up well so the footing was nice and strong.
Took a long time getting the frame in level and tight.
The little tool depot came in handy.
Once the frame was in I used a line to keep the top level.

Mid afternoon and I'm about half through
Done.  Almost had enough of the old boards to finish.  Sherry got three more to complete it.  Looks ok, huh?
Caught only one stripe, but a nice chunky one and a hard fighter.
This walleye was almost legal at 13".  Excuse the lens cap, please.
Caught eight 12-13" crappie.  Just right for eating.
Caught 3-4 of these stockers at 10-12".
The two bubbas in the boat on the right were there all day and caught a mix of sauger, stripe, and bass.  The helped me load my boat, so I gave them my crappie.  They were glad to get them.
Here are the eight lucky crappie that are no doubt now part of the bubba gene pool. 

Visit Storyhouse.org--my site for writers and readers