A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
Along with other good times and interesting
for writers and readers
Last weekend of winter.
On Saturday I decided to rebuild the fence Betty
cut down. What a woman! Anyhow, it's nice to have a bit of
privacy from the north. The day was cool, but not cold if you
active. A windy weekend. The veggies are coming up just
and I even planted a new one--radishes. Since we'd had a lot of
predicted, but none in fact, I watered both days.
Sunday I was going to finish the fence, but the call
the fish was too strong, even though the sun never peeped through and
wind was still strong. Got very lucky. In the photo above
slab in on the bottom. But I decided to let nature determine how
the guys lined up. Since I couldn't find anyone to give them to
we have plenty in the frig I gave them their emancipation. Felt a
good deal like Abraham Lincoln.
Before I went outside I suddenly saw this view of the forsythia beyond
the garden and the neat arrangement of vases. So familiar I
past it every day and then suddenly saw it.
Just to the left over the stove is the framed hamburger construction
made so many years ago. Truly a work of art that makes me
every time I pass it.
Four posts eight feet apart, so I've got a 32' section of fence to
It went fairly fast and I got all 4 posts in and set in concrete before
I quit for the day.
After the holes are dug the concrete is mixed.
Fill the holes with concrete including a collar so the rain won't sit
the base and seep down inside the concrete later on.
Essential tools include a level for the posts, a line and a tape
to get them straight and properly separated and flat rocks for the
of the hole so they won't sit directly on the dirt.
Little beets are fine and pushing through the straw.
Mesclum mix lettuce is coming along fine. Started on Jan. 28th.
New parsley growing from the old crop of last year.
Two rows of peas which I'll thin later on. The row on the left
the first planted. The one on the right was planted two or three
weeks later when I thought the first had died.
Planted a small area of radish. They grow fast and a few are
plenty. But Sherry found a way to use them as a garnish for soup
that was really good, so I decided to put them in.
This is a new variety of lettuce, black Simpson. It went in on
12th. Coming along fine.
Sunday I only caught this one little stocker rainbow trout, but he was
so pretty that I thought I'd show him off.
The crappie were biting furiously for about the first 30 minutes I was
there and then stopped. I caught a couple over the next two
but that is typical of their feeding pattern this time of year.
Storms predicted for both Saturday and Sunday so I went
even though it was very windy, a bit chilly, and they were running one
generator all day. Caught nothing and left early to work on
at home. Sunday I went back and it was very nice--no generation
warm enough to wear shorts and a tee shirt. Caught 9 or 10 trout
and four crappie.
View of the powerhouse and wing wall with one generator running.
At times this can be good. Fishing at the end of the wing wall
outside the fast current in the eddy there is where I caught the large
small mouth last year. Also sauger like the deeper water.
nothing liked it, or the moon, or the barometer, or something.
When I left around two these guys had just arrived. One of them
me load the boat. They were the last fishermen still trying their
Not huge crappie, but on Sunday I caught four nice keepers in the span
of 30 minutes. Then they quit for the day.
Caught this chunky stripe during the same feeding spree. No more,
however, although I got several hits.
Pretty rocks with moss and sparkling water along the cliff.
Before I gave up I decided to try below this fall. Caught 9 or 10
trout here in the next hour. Maybe they just stocked. No
it was a lot of fun and I was long overdue. I kept six to eat.
Trout are so pretty it's almost a shame to eat them. But, as
says, we are only giving them the opportunity to become Richard and
Here is the catch. I'd already cleaned two trout when I remembered to
a photo. Fine day and the first real day of almost spring.
Well, I knew Sunday would be warmer, and even though
was expected I knew the fishing would probably be better on a warm
than a cold front. Still, Saturday wasn't really cold. Just
a wind that made you pull your hood up now and then and one that
from north west to south west. Still I caught these three very
crappie below the dam at Center Hill. Got there at 9:45, just
they stopped generating and left at 1:30 since all my crappie action
within the first thirty minutes and after that nothing. Worked on
the garden when I got home. Pulled the faithful mesclum lettuce
was finally frost burned and bolting too. Planted the corn
Sherry wanted and the carrots. The carrots are an
I dug a hole three feet long and 15" deep and filled it with compost,
sand, and potting soil. This is to give them a soft and rich
in which to grow. If all goes well we should have nice well
carrots. In the past they have been stunted and warped.
was too tough. I also spread the straw mulch over all the garden
to see how that will work. Will the little weak things be able to
push up through it? Hope so. I fudged a bit and spread it
Sunday I finally bit the bullet and built the
This one should be just what the peas and beans crave--nothing but
supports and those quite close. Last year I built an elaborate
of horizontal supports only to find they ignored them and only used the
vertical supports. OK. You got what you wanted. Now
damn you, grow!
These are really heavy crappie. The largest is 13" and the three,
once I filleted them, were easily enough for two meals for us.
to use my new electric knife on these guys. Worked great.
Not a very big carrot patch, but they really grow close if they have
soil. Besides, how many carrots will we use this year?
I worked all day on this thing. Finally had to steal more cane
the old place on the corner. Didn't get caught, so all was well.
There are five posts set 18" deep, so this sucker ought to be good for
anything short of the end of the world or a force 5 gale.
I got smart, or a little less dumb, and used aluminum wire and heavy
to hold everything in place this year, vs. the duct tape and grass
I used last year.
Here you can see the straw mulch and a neighbor walking her dog.
Saturday was supposed to be warm but wet and Sunday was
to be cold and wet. So I decided to go fishing Saturday.
luck in the pool below Center Hill. Nice and no rain and warm
so no gloves were needed.
Sunday was bright and cold with a strong wind.
Got lots of chores done, including patching up the leaks in the
Went over to Percy Priest and checked out an old fishing place the
makes accessible. Finally I dug a pit and filled it with compost
to make carrot bed. They've never done well before in my
Give 'em what they want.
First thing Saturday morning I saw these wood ducks on a tree limb on
river bank. The new camera did a good job.
A really nice day. Most of these are over 12" and filleted out
for three or four meals. During the filleting my trusty old
sale electric knife groaned and died. Goodby old friend.
The stripe were active too and I caught several. But not a single
trout did I catch. Fish can be very strange.
This bridge over this creek is on the Stones River Greenway. It's
about .7 of a mile from the dam. I haven't fished this creek in
since the only way to it has been covered up with apartments and other
This is the mouth of the creek where it empties into Stones
This is where the crappie come to congregate when the turbines are open
at the dam. Really a good place to fish in the winter and
Not today (Sunday), however. I'll try again.
This is the carrot patch. I dug a deep hole and filled it with
and compost so they'll have soft growing. Hard soil makes them
and tough. I'll add manure to it, mix, and plant next week.
I checked and found quite a crop of turnips under the greens, which
burned by the cold. We'll have some this week.
Finally, the miracle of the peas. Here they are, safe and sound,
after all the freezing and snow last week. Go, Peas, Go!
This was the President's Day weekend and the week
had been beautiful and warm. So what did we get? Sleet,
snow, and below freezing temps. Saturday was very
cold as was Sunday. Monday warmed up enough for me to get to the
lake only to find it very low and clear and no fishes interested. Thank
you very much!
The purple finches and others found the feeders delightful.
This little downy woodpecker loved the suet cake.
The cardinals had to work hard to get food out of the feeders, which
built for smaller birds. Plenty in bowl on the ground, but they
like that half as much.
This little Carolina wren is fine when he sticks to the suet
But when he trys the feeder he throws sunflower seed out like a back
Evidently he thinks there must be something better hidden under all
yucky stuff if he can just dig down into it far enough.
White capped sparrow.
Eppie is getting too old to hunt, but she likes to watch from her warm
Remember all the seeds I planted last weekend. It was 20 degrees
two nights in a row. Oh, oh.
Nothing showing above the ground yet except the lettuce I planted
weeks back. Will the peas, beets, chard, spinach, etc. make
I'll probably know by next week end. If not we'll plant again.
The hearty turnips looked a bit chilled, but by Monday most of the snow
had melted and they looked as if they might still make it.
It's hard to believe, but these tiny lettuce which were buried under
and ice on Saturday and Sunday looked as if they might survive on
Tough little guys. I love them.
Monday I taught my yoga class at the Y and then came home and moved the
phone cord for Sherry. It took several hours and I had to climb
the house after trying every other way. Not much fun. I
got to Percy Priest around 2 and found the lake very low. This
is almost out of the water. Level 284.
I didn't want to bother with the boat, so I fished from the bank.
I tried hard for several hours but not a twitch or a nibble.
after two days more or less house bound it was good to get
The air was cold, but clear and sweet. Life is good.
Saturday started out cold and dark after sleet, snow,
rain all Friday night. We went to the Conservation Voters party
auction Friday night despite the weather and I bought a 21 speed bike
value for $400) which I need like another hole in my head. Still
it's a good cause and maybe I'll take up biking rather than
Or maybe Cumberland Transit, who donated it, will help me sell it.
Saturday started out wet, windy, and cold.
to Lowe's and bought a water heater for our house Travis and James are
renting. Got it in next to the old one and will leave it there
they get back so they can help put it in. They are on a vacation
with some friends cross country skiing in Yosimite. I was going
stay around but by 10 or so the sun came out and it was so warm I
to go fish below Center Hill. As I climbed higher out of the
Basin it got colder and by the time I turned off I-40 for the dam it
snowing pretty heavily. So I cursed a bit and decided to turn
Then, after a few miles homeward bound, it quit. So I made an
turn across the median and went back. Mighty cold out there on
water, but the fish were active. I caught two nice trout and two
crappies for dinner last night. Also caught a mort of stripe,
I threw back. I'd rather eat crappie or trout. All this
happened within the first 30 minutes or so. After that it got
and colder and the fish went back to sleep and I just froze until about
3 o'clock when common sense surfaced and I went home.
Sunday the temperature stayed around 32 degrees and
snow fell all day. Still, I worked on the garden, planting new
and replanting some that showed no sign that they were going to make it
from the first planting two weeks ago. The only thing that I can see
ground is tiny plants of the Mesclum Mix Lettuce. And that will
get slaughtered if we get a really hard freeze.
January was so warm and now February is making up
it. Hope I'm not planting to early. We will see, as the
always say. However, we are still eating the arugula and another
hearty lettuce from the mesculum mix I planted last fall. It is
amazing. Also, the turnips are still growing and haven't lost
pretty green leaves yet. If they make it through we will have
greens galore. Parsley from last year still alive as is the
and oregano. Hooray.
Biggest stripe of the day ran around 14 inches. They are strong
fun to catch, but as cold as it was I hated to spend the time with my
off necessary to unhook them, towel off, and don the gloves
Even so I got three sets of gloves wet today.
I had already started cleaning the fish when I remembered I didn't have
a photo. This is on the big table in the dining room. It
just too dang cold to do it outside.
These are regular peas--you eat the pea and not the hull. It's a
bush variety. We had a few last year. They were great, but
I planted too late and they didn't do much.
Why a photo of a stob in the ground? Mainly to help me remember
I planted and when. This is Black Seeded Simpson, a loose leafed
tender lettuce that I wanted to try.
Another regular pea of the bush variety. Supposed to grow to
I planted a long row of these today..
I've gone pea crazy. These are Little Marvels, a dwarf variety
to get only 18" high. I planted two half rows in the southeast
Next to it is a half row of red swiss chard.
Only about a 3 foot row, but plenty if it comes up.
Actually, this beet variety is what I planted two weeks ago. When
I dug a little there was no indication that they had lived, so I
Detroit Dark Red since I had a lot of them.
Only a half row, but that will be a lot if they do well.
I planted another row of Sugar Snap Peas next to the one planted two
ago since those may not make it. This is at the north edge, running
and west. That is because they have to have a trellis and I don't
want to shade out the rest of the garden. Note the roots from the
trees on the neighbor's lot. They just keep moving in. I
them up when Tree Beard isn't looking.
Saturday was cloudy, windy, and cold. I did some
and stayed close to the house except for some errands.
Sunday was cold too, but sunny and the wind wasn't
bad. Went over to Percy at Fall Creek and fished from the
No fish, but I got a good shot of a heron and me.
Yep, I fished a deep rock bank but had no luck. Around 3:15 I
decided to try Shelby Park lake because I'd seen guys fishing there
Thursday morning. Four trucks all along the dam near the
They said they were fishing for trout and I remembered that the Game
Fish has stocked it last year.
I got to Shelby park around 4:15 and caught no trout. The only
there said he caught 10 yesterday around 5pm, but had fished all day
that and caught none. I did get a good pic of Mr. Heron, so that
made the trip worth while.
Saturday I tilled under the
up leaves and compost I had spread on the garden and it looks very
This took until two. Then I went fishing at Creek B on River
Wind was very high and it was hard to keep in one spot. I did,
remember to bring the battery and trolling motor, so I didn't ruin
today. No luck, but I did get two nice photos of a hawk and a
Sunday I laid out the walkway
and planted sugar snap peas, Alaska early peas (just a 1/4 of a row,
that was left in the package), a row of beets, and a row of mesclum mix
lettuce. I should get the rest of the early things planted by
weekend. Weather yesterday and today was very nice. Today
was shirtsleeves only. Even Sherry took off her coat when she
walking at Shelby Bottoms with Travis. Global warming? Oh,
excuse me. Global climate change.
I saw this beautiful hawk in a field beside the road near the model
field in Ashland City. It swooped down on something and then took
a seat on this post where it let me shoot several photos. I think
it is a red shouldered hawk. If you know better, please let me
Geese aren't that rare around here, but this one was a long way off and
I thought it might be a loon. I shot several photos at extreme
range from a rocking boat, so the image stabilization aspect of the new
Canon is working well. Very satisfied with it.
There is a lot of work represented here. Just glad it isn't
Sherry took this for me. I wanted something to help me remember
I looked like when I get too old to hoe and till.
Dan O'Brien died last night. Liz called Sherry
morning. We visited Sunday and he did not wake up but was not
really, just tossing in a daze. He had had morphine.
when I called Liz all his children were there. It has been a
for Liz and one she faced with courage and character. Dan was a
guy and a lucky man to have her.
It was pretty cold on Saturday and the wind was gusting
to 20mph. However, Sunday was supposed to be rain all day so I
up to Creek B near Ashland city, a place I used to fish a lot.
I got there I discovered I'd left the battery for the trolling motor at
home, so it was sculling slowly from the front of the boat all
I did my best to keep on the windward side of the banks to avoid as
headwind as possible. Caught seven really nice crappie and
let them go after deciding that, since we had fillets already in the
it was a good day to avoid cleaning fish.
Sunday was rainy, as promised, but warmer. We
to visit Liz and to check on Dan, who is very bad and not expected to
it. He barely recognized us last week. His condition is
to the doctors. He is in pain and won't or can't eat. He
lost a shocking amount of weight. Prayer is all there is at this
point. You might remember him if you will.
This was shot during my walk at Shelby bottoms early Tuesday
Pretty good without a tripod. I am testing the new Canon S1 IS
the 10x optical zoom and image stabilization.
This is a shot back to the ramp (arrow) from the far limit of my
sculling Saturday. I stuck pretty close to the bank on the right
when I could. It knocked off most of the headwind. It was
going back. The wind helped push. Notice how cloudy it is.
I tried to shoot a photo of a woodpecker in this tree from a long
way off, but it looks as if I missed him. Nice pattern
This was during one of the brief periods of sun. Felt nice.
There are two arrows pointing to a bush on the bank and a vertical limb
on the tree. Lined up this way it locates a large pile of
brush which the crappie like. Not today, however.
Another shot with sun shine. This was around 3. This tree
has live branches under water and I caught 4 of the crappie there.
I really planned to take these nice guys home and eat them, but I
have enough ice or a cooler to put them in so they got their photos
All swam away with great gusto to go home and tell their fantastic tale
which I'm sure none of their friends believed.
This was the long MLK weekend. Saturday was very
and Sunday was pretty cold. On Sunday I helped Travis get the
tiller started and we both worked on plowing until we got the hang of
The corse grass in her yard made it fail to dig in and then it would
away with one of us in tow. We finally got it down to dirt and
it went better.
Monday I was off and it was pretty warm so I went up
Center Hill pool. Charlie Faulkner came and fished with me for a
couple of hours. He caught nothing, but got one big brown almost
into the boat. I had had three takes on a dry fly, but nothing
stuck except a small shad. After Charlie left I tried the big log
and caught the 12" rainbow above.
That was about it. It got colder as the day
but I stuck until around 4:30. Pretty long day and very little
The snow in the photo is from today, Wednesday the
Last night, coming home, the snow was hard, but wasn't sticking
I called Sherry at her French class and she came home early. This
morning it was slick in spots and around 30 degrees. But by noon
it was up to 50 degrees and the rest of the week is supposed to be
Just to keep us in mind that we do get snow here and sometimes pretty
As when it was 8" deep on the deck. Click
here and scroll down to see the big snow of January 16, 2003..
Travis and James lawn...
...became a garden after some hard tilling.
This baby took a 64th oz. jig with a white tube.
Very nice view of the snow and the Parthenon.
the last day of 2005, was sunny and mild. It got up to 50, but
in the garden I got hot with nothing but a heavy shirt on over my
shirt. I chopped up all the okra stalks, bean vines, and leaves
had paid to have raked up last week. These will be tilled under
and will make the new garden more fertile. It will losen up the
and put a lot a good minerals back. Tonight we are going out for
dinner at 5pm. A geriatric wild time on New Year's Eve.
that got cancelled because the hostess was sick, so we went Monday
was warm and nice with not too much wind. Fished below Center
Dam and caught four crappie and four trout. Left early in order
clean them and go visit our new neighbors who were having an open house
and chili supper. Monday was a holiday for me, but didn't get to
fish since I had to put up the Christmas stuff and do various little
Then we went out to eat in Smyrna. I'll be leaving for Florida
Here is Sherry's large bed near the road. A few perrenial stalks
still standing but everything else cleared out.
The smaller bed near the house. Sure looks bare now compared to a
few months ago.
Here you can see the full garden with a few stands of hearty green rows
still standing. Along the right border the sage, rosemary,
and oregano are still hanging in there.
This is mostly arugula. You can see the chopped up vines and
The garlic on the right is a little yellow and frost burned, but it
make it through and start growing again in February. That's the
on the left.
A nice turnip and the leaves aren't too burned. They may make it
through. I thought about covering them with chopped leaves but I
think they will do better getting what sun they can. It may be a
mistake, but it they die I can plant again in February.
This is the stob that belongs to the large log in the middle of the
below the dam. This is where the deepest water is and where I
the biggest crappie--when I catch any at all.
The slab crappie I caught near the log.
Here's a shot of the wing wall near the outlet from the dam. I
the large small mouth (5 lbs. plus) just at the end when generation was
beginning again. She was in the eddy off the current waiting for
dead or injured shad to fall into her mouth.
Good view of the falls and outlets coming from the cliff.
The reddish area on the right center is where I put the boat in.
Catch for the day was four trout and four crappie. Fourth trout
near the crappie on the left. Hard to see because his back is up.
had the boat loaded with everything necessary for fishing on Saturday
But, as the morning progressed, it became more and more cloudy and
It finally began to rain--cold rain--and I had to unload the boat and
for a better day on Monday. I knew there would be no chance of
fishing on Sunday, Christmas Day. However, Monday was just as
and windy too, so I ended up with no fishing the whole weekend, unless
you count the few minutes I spent fooling around at Percy Priest Dam
Monday afternoon throwing a hopeless lure. And tomorrow it's
to get up to 60!
the end, I was forced to enjoy a long restful Christmas holiday.
To help celebrate we had Travis and James and Vivian, Travis' friend
Chiapas days (now in graduate school in Austin, Texas). They met
us a St. Ann's for the midnight service and helped greatly with
of Christmas dinner. These represented the younger element.
Hanley and Denile, the other part of that element, were in Lexington,
to come. Ann and Tom were in Calias, Maine, pretty much snowed
To help us fill the empty places at the table Bill and Mabel Clodfelter
came over. Mabel told me a lot of interesting things about
turnips and I decided to let mine try to make it through the
I'll be mulching them with chopped up leaves to help them
We will see. To sum it all up we had a lovely Christmas and hope
you and your family did too.
Vivian and James fool with the computer trying to make it work with a
Sherry checks the glasses before we sit down to a beautiful goose with
all the trimmings. The table setting was a great plus too.
James hurries back from the deck where he was testing the range of the
remote connection. Just in time to open Christmas gifts!
Mom tried on her favorite present--knee length wool socks.
James and Richard ham it up with their highly appropriate gifts.
Mom shows Travis our cards and even found one for her.
The new palm tree proudly displays the colorful ornaments.
Travis helps get all ready.
All are now gathered. Sherry, Vivian, James, Mabel, Me (in the
on the wall over Mabel's head), Bill, and Travis.
Travis and James cooked the goose to perfection.
I did my best to carve with grace and style, but the goose was very
and I finally ended up using my hands.
When my hands got too slick, Travis gave me a towel to use and helped
hold it down. In the end the goose got carved, we all got fed,
a Merry Christmas was had by all! Thank you, God!
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