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

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Fall 2007
Richard Loller

December 17-23rd
Last Week of Fall

Well, as you know, Fall ends on the 22nd, so this is a little overlapped.  However, since my sore throat worked up into a full scale cold by Saturday, I didn't take any more photos and nothing much happened except for coughing and lying around.  However, some nice suprises at Shelby Bottoms earlier in the week.  I saw beaver in the river both days, although it was still dark and the shots were no good.  Still, I think they'll come back to the pond as soon as it gets back up to full and the willows are flooded.  We will, as I often say, see.
I scared a woodcock up out of the marshy willow grove on the west side of the pond Tuesday morning.  They feed in moist ground among saplings, using their long beaks to probe for worms and other goodies.
I used to read about woodcocks, or "timber doodles" as they were often called in Field and Stream and Sports Afield when I was younger.  I saw my first one in Kentucky while rabbit hunting with Dave D. many years ago. It made a great flurry and went straight up until it was above the saplings and then away.  I was too startled to try to shoot.  I've only seen one or two by accident since then.
The sky Tuesday morning was one of those dramatic ones you get when there are heavy clouds.  It was around 28 degrees and there were spotty areas of ice on the lake.

The reflection of the clouds in the broken ice and water.

Thursday it had warmed up to 45 degrees and there were lots of ducks on the pond.
Most of them go to the far side when they see me but a few make a big production.  They usually come back.
Saw this hole in a willow tree near where I see the flickers.  I guess they got started and gave up.
Got this shot of a very handsome buck near the observation pavillion.  He was in no hurry to leave and gave me many chances to get a good shot.  At that distance though....

December 10th-December 16th

Well, it was mostly cold this week.  I saw two deer at Shelby Bottoms, but beyond that things were pretty uneventful.  It was raining on Tuesday, so I walked in full rain gear.  Saturday was both cold and wet, so it was rough putting up the greenery on the arch.  Got it started, but dark got me, so I finished Sunday when it was only cold.  We are getting ready for Christmas and Sherry is in full throttle decorating mode.  I am just the goffer, so all I do is say "Yessum," and go for whatever.
Tuesday there must have been fifty ducks on the pond at SB, now much larger after all the rains.  Most flew up or moved to the far side when I showed up.  Here you see four coming back over to decide whether or not to land.  They all made many low passes in small groups and eventually landed, but only after I left.
Before I left the pond I found a fairly large sapling that the beavers had cut, but probably not recently.  I think they will be back this winter.  We will see.

Thursday at Shelby Bottoms just before sunrise there were spectacular clouds.  It was windy and cold.  The rain had passed on and the cold front was coming in.
Saw this doe and buck way across a field and got one halfway decent shot.  All the others were blurred.
Saturday I brought home three homely cedar trees and cut off the branches for the decorating of the arch.  It was rough work with the drizzling rain and the freezing cold.
I couldn't wear gloves while wiring the branches together and putting them up, so I had to make frequent trips back to the garage to dry off and stand in front of the space heater to thaw out my poor little fingers..  Good old heat!
I finally finished the arch on Sunday and it doesn't look so bad if I do say so myself, as shouldn't.  I plan to add more greenery to it next weekend to bulk it up.  Not so bad now, though.
Sherry bought this wreath for the center.  Looks nice.
She got the front lighted up fairly well Sunday, but she is going to add more lights.  Should be very festive before long.
Not a great shot because it's not full dark, but the lights on the deck rail are there to cheer up the boats and the folks across the river.  This was my last chore Sunday. Whew!

December 3-December 9

Well, Monday was cold and so was Tuesday, but it warmed up in time for our trip to Drew, MS, on Thursday.  On Friday, the day of Iler Ann's funeral in Drew, it was shirt sleeve weather.  We were back in Nashville Friday night.  Saturday was spent around the house.  It was cold and wet.  But Sunday grew warm again and I got to fish on a near perfect day. Thanks to the good Lord and global climate change!

Tuesday morning its cold and foggy at Shelby Bottoms.
Monday morning I found the remains of the game rooster that had been living at BiCentennial Mall.  Head and part of the breast was gone.  I guess a hawk got it.  Too bad.
Tuesday morning part of the pond at SB was iced over, but the ducks didn't seem to care.
Beautiful light on the frosted leaves just after sun rise.
Some of the trees are really beautiful now.  Won't last long.
The windows on the houses climbing the hills to the west are blazing in the just risen sun.
The Methodist Church at Drew, MS, where the funeral service for Sherry's friend, Iler Ann Pope, was held.
The grave site.
Sherry and her friend Inez.
There were several other boaters below the dam at Center Hill on Sunday.  We all enjoyed the warm weather and lack of wind and rain that was predicted.
Others fished from the bank or waded.  It was an excellent day to be outside and fishing.
I caught 7 or 8 rainbow trout and let them go.
I spent most of the day trying to find crappie, but this was the only one I caught all day and I got him on the spinner I was using for trout just before I quit for the day.  He was toward the cliff side of the pool near the big rocks.

 

November 26-December 2

Well, not many photos this week.  Can't really say why.  Maybe I'm getting lazy.   No, most of the reason is that we were gone to Lexington for The Nutcracker ballet Saturday and Sunday, so no garden or fishing photos.  Maybe we'll get plenty of both next week.

Natasha, right, and friend bring a large present on stage during the
Lexington Ballet Company's 2007 production of The Nutcracker.
Monday morning at the BiCentennial Mall I spotted this robin's next from the spring.  Still solid mud and holding!
Tuesday at Shelby Bottoms I got this nice shot of the pond when the sun was still below the horizon, but making pink clouds in the sky and in the lake.
Friday before yoga class Becky and I saw the game rooster right where he was before.  He evidently is camping out near the fountain at the site of Sulpher Dell Ballpark.
The big party scene near the opening of the nutcracker.  That's Natasha, second from the left, as a maid at the party.  She isn't happy with the director, third from left, who was playing Drusselmeyer, the magical uncle.  Oh well, this will be her last Nutcracker, at least in Lexington. 

November 19-25

Well, we had pretty bright sunshine until Wednesday.  Then it got wet and cold, just in time for Thanksgiving.  Still, we were happy and thankful for all the good things we have and don't complain.


Got this shot from BiCentennial Mall on Monday morning before yoga class.
The faint line of blue in the clouds was actually very bright--dawn peeping
through the heavy clouds over the capitol.
 

The Geists made our fireplace screen.  They also repaired lawn mowers.  I talked to Mr. and Mrs. Geist one day last year and he said none of his children wanted to keep up the business.  So now this great old building on Charlotte is for sale and I'm sure will be torn down.

Such a pretty leaf.  We have had lots of brilliant leaf colors this fall.  I guess it has to do with the drought.

As I finished my Monday walk what should jump out of the bushes but this game rooster. He doesn't look hungry, so I suppose people are feeding him. How did he get there?
Becky and I walked over the viaduct on Friday before yoga class.  I thought I'd shoot this plaque just so I'd have it. The bridge has decorative pillars above and down below.

Thursday, and it's Thanksgiving.  We are at Zinnia's house and enjoyed the great food James, Travis and Sherry prepared.  It will take until Christmas to get rid of the extra pounds.  Then we can start all over again.
 


Yum, yum!  Look at all the good things to eat!



The toast to Zinnia and all those we love who couldn't be here.


Talk about free-range turkeys!  Richard shot this gobbler last Saturday.  He lived a good life and never knew what hit him.
No one beats grandmother Sherry making dressing.
James made great-grandmother Anna Mae's oyster dressing.
Yummy leeks roasted to perfection.
 m
Hot and homemade yeast rolls drowned with real butter...
Sherry made the cranberry sauce from scratch.  Oh, my....

Pumpkin tarts.  How good does it get?
James's apple pie was perfect without sugar or sweetener...
Saturday I did all the chores, mainly raking and composting leaves.  When I checked over the garden I found that the frost this week had got the calla lilly and most of the flowers.  The vines on the arch are pretty much done for the year also.
As for the vegetables I had covered the eggplant and the bell pepper, but the frost got the leaves, if not the fruits.
But with the leaves dying it was sure the fruits would too.
So here is the last of the summer bounty.  We are thankful to get them, just as we should be on Thanksgiving week.
On Sunday at Brush Creek, these two pretty horses came to see me at the corner near the farm with the llamas and camels.  Didn't see those today.  Just the horses.
Fishing was slow.  Finally, after three hours in the wet and cold, caught these two crappie and two bream.  All in the little corner near the house with all the animals.

This horse wanted to visit, the other one wasn't so friendly.  Boy, they were pretty!
 
 

November 12-18

Some of the garden veggies are still doing their thing.  We are getting lettuce and there is still a bell pepper and two or three small eggplants left.  On the fishing and hunting side I killed a turkey Saturday and went out to Fall Creek Sunday.  Caught a few bream and small bass, but Sherry had a good time paddling in her kayak.  All in all a pretty good week.

Somehow I missed this bell pepper earlier.  Now I plan to let it
go to see how long it can last.

Here is a baseball size eggplant still hanging in there.
There are two or three of the golf ball size ones as well.

The bib lettuce is still too small, but coming along, as is
the simpson, the romaine and the mesculum mix.

I pulled the last of the cherry tomatoes up.  We had enough
for a nice salad or two and Travis pickled the green ones.
 
The squirrels have chewed the top of the garbage can where I keep the birdseed.  That's a second top under the green one.

I finally decided enough is enough.  Caught three this weekend and relocated them far around the Bend where I trust they will find rich pickings and decide to stay.

Just for the record, this is the site of the cow manure mine
I worked last weekend.  Brown gold to gardeners.  Wow!

While turkey hunting on Saturday I got a nice pic of this doe.

The trees on Ed's farm are really beautiful now.


There they are, at least some of the many out there.
 
Nice photo of a gobbler and a hen.
Four toms were killed on Saturday.  The one on the right is mine.  Friends of Ed got the others.
When Sherry and I got to Fall Creek we saw these two blue herons fishing side by side.  An unusual sight.
Here she is waiting for me to get my boat in.  As usual she's dressed for the possible arctic blasts that could ambush us.

November 5-November 11

Well, we got a real frost and I got out to Ed's farm to load up cow manure and check out the turkey situation.
Monday morning before the 7am Yoga Class, I was, as usual walking at BiCentennial Park.  This is the fountain near old Sulfur Dell Ball Park.  People throw money in it.
Yep, someone threw in a buck.  I wasn't ready to get that cold and besides, some homeless person probably needed it for food or whatever.
Well, here is another puzzler.  Why are these rocks decorated with floral arrangements.  What the hey?
Yep, real arrangements such as one might sent to a funeral.
Early Tuesday I visited the pond at Shelby Bottoms but these ducks squawked and took off as soon as they noticed me.  They were obviously strangers, not the ones that hang around all winter and expect a hand out from humans.
Thursday I was back at Shelby Bottoms and here is the old faithful fall blossom which I forget each year.  Help!
It was cold this week and we really got the word that all our garden plants needed to be harvested and pulled up.
These blackberry leaves at the SB were pretty, but pretty soon they'll be gone.
Out at Ed's farm I really didn't feel like taking photos of the cow doodoo shoveling.  But I did get several photos of the turkeys grazing.  Season opens next week!
Sunday I took down the wire trellis I had used for the beans at my garden.  None of which had ever got above hand high before they were eaten by the rabbits and squirrels.
The frame for the trellis was next.  Good by old posts!
I decided not to spread the cow manure until the lettuce was gone and I could till it in, so I now have 200 gallons of it in my dung treasury!

October 29-November 4

It's starting to get colder in the morning and not too warm later on.  Have to watch the weather report so we pull the bell peppers, eggplants, and green tomatoes before we get a hard frost.  I pulled the last of Travis' butter beans Saturday.  Sunday I went fishing at Fall Creek for crappie and Sherry went bird watching and kayaking with the Audubon folks at Vivrette Creek, both on Percy Priest Lake.
Look close and there are three flickers in this tree.  There were four, but the other one dropped to the ground before I could get a shot.  Didn't know they grouped like this.  Maybe it's a family.  Need to look it up.
Big hawk from a long way off.  Lots of then now as they pass through on their way south.
The milkweed seed is ready to blow away on a big wind.
This plastic futuristic bee was left on a bench in the viewing pavilion at Shelby Bottoms.  I left it in case someone might come back to find it.
Wednesday it was raining when I walked at Shelby Bottom.  It was also dark and foggy at 6:30.  Next week it should be much lighter at this time with standard time back.
Backing off the same view you can see how foggy it is.  I was surprised to see honeysuckle still blooming.
I saw lots of ducks and geese on the SB pond, but no beavers or otters.  I'll keep looking.
Probably our only squash, we pulled the other one last week.  Also our last eggplant, although there is a small one coming on and lots of blossoms.  Frost will get them.

The beans on the poles at Travis' house were ready.
Most were well filled out too.  Pulled the vines and took down the poles.

Pretty good harvest.

Poor Mr. Grasshopper.  He has lost his nice home.
I caught three small crappie and threw them back.  It was windy on the lake, but very pretty and clear with a high blue sky.  Elevation at Fall Creek ramp was 489', which is just about right for the fish structures, but no crappie has yet got on them.  Caught mine in brush near the bank.
On the way home I stopped by Vivrette Creek and took this shot of the Audubon flotilla.  That's Sherry in the middle with her lantern on the front and dressed appropriately just in case global warming switches to the next ice age today.

 

October 22-28

Well, this week it rained a bunch, so the drought is more or less over, although we still need a lot more rain to get us back to normal.
Pond at SB is getting bigger, although still way down.
I've been standing on the bank hoping to see the beavers or the otter on Tuesdays thru Thursdays, usually from around 6am to 6:30am.  On Tuesday I saw this flock of geese and was as motionless as possible for almost 30 minutes. Ducks came in from time to time.  It was raining when I got there so I had my umbrella over me.  I decided I'd get a video of the geese taking off when I was ready to leave.  So I got the camera ready and waved the umbrella wildly.  The geese just yawned.  The ducks flew, at least.  Oh, well.
The volunteer arugala is going nuts.  Great eating now.
The romaine I planted is coming along too.  We are having our first serving tonight.
The garlic I planted last weekend is coming up through the chopped up leaves I covered it with.  The onions are doing well also.  All this rain has been great for the late plantings.
The bell peppers have responded to the rain and the cooler weather and are looking great.
The rain has plumped out the squash.  We have picked one already and this one will be ready in a couple of days.  Another one or two is in the background.  Great!
Finished off the chores Saturday and sat on the deck and got this pic of a plumped out kestrel.  Just sitting up in the top of the sycamore hoping for an easy meal.
Sunday Sherry decided she wanted to go kayaking.  I decided to combine that with fishing, so I took my jon boat as well.  Here's a really good billboard we passed just before getting into Ashland City.  No comment necessary.
The old fisherman rule is that it's bad luck to throw back the first catch.  As you can see, it would be silly to keep it.  I guess the rule is true.  It's the only one I caught all day.
Lots of suckers hanging around up in Creek J, however.
Along the bluff on the way down to the creek Sherry spotted this flower we'd not seen before.  Have to look it up in the wildflower book.

Here she is, dressed for the artic blast.  Well, it was probably in the 60's, but a girl can't be too careful. The reason we are still married is that I never know what she is going to be up to next.  Never a dull moment.
I got home in time to help Travis harvest some green tomatoes and hot peppers.  She has a recipe for pickled green cherry tomatoes and plans to hang the hot peppers upside down in her basement while they dry.

October 15-21

Well, the big news this week was rain.  It rained on Tuesday and Wednesday and everybody was glad.
This little headless frog wasn't too happy about anything.
Still dark at 6:30 with the heavy clouds and wind blowing the drips to the side.
Saturday I finally got the garlic and onions planted.  Here are the holes for the garlic, 4" apart each way.
I also planted a section where the spacing was 6" each way.  Just to see if it makes any difference.
I also planted 100 yellow onions, more or less.  I forget the exact type, but I think they are a variety from WA state.
I also picked butter beans Saturday at Travis' garden.  Here is a weird sight.  These are tiny yellow bugs completely coating one of the vines.  Whoa!  Whatever turns you on.
I picked all the bush butter beans and pulled up the vines.  Lots of brown and yellow ones.  The ones on the poles were mostly green and many still not ready.  Next week.
Had Hanley and his family in this weekend and no chance to go fishing.  Just worked on the garden and spent time with them.  Did get this shot of a big beetle with a dent in its back.  Doesn't seem to have slowed it down.

October 8-14

Well, an interesting week.  I finally saw the beaver, or beavers, in the pond at SB.  I got the garden weeded and thinned and transplanted the lettuce.  The transplants are doing ok after several waterings.  Haven't got the garlic or onions planted yet, but will get at that this weekend.

I usually watch the pond from around 6:10 until 6:35, depending on the cloud cover.  If it stays dark I stay longer.
Beavers are nocturnal animals and won't be around after sunrise--usually.  Mr. Blue Heron is shy but hungry.

On Tuesday I sneaked up on a large flock of ducks, but just as I was ready to pop the shutter they panicked. They really weren't sure if I was a threat, so they flew back over from various directions for the next few minutes, but eventually left.

Far across the pond I finally saw a beaver.  This is the best the camera could do at that distance and light.  Later I saw him/her or another one again, much closer, but I had my binoculars in hand and when I tried to switch to the camera--gone!

Mr. Rabbit sits still long enough for this shot.  Then Pow!
Off into the brambles and weeds.
Another strange plant.  Susan Stahl may know it.
Unique beauty and calm just before sunrise Wednesday.
Very long shot of this kestrel who was cruising the open field before he/she decided to sit a while and scan.
Saturday I spent all day on the gardens, mine and Travis'.
Here is the lettuce in mine before weeding.
Here it is after.  I also thinned it and planted the thinnings in bare spots.  After lots of watering it looks viable.
I'm picking okra at Travis' garden every two days and it's still coming on strong.  I picked and pulled up the bush butter beans which were dying.  We still got a lot of good ones from them.  But the pole  beans are loaded.  I picked a lot and left the rest for next weekend.  Many still need to fill out.  You can see the full ones here against the sunrise.
Here are the blossoms on the eggplant that won't ever make fruit.  Still, the bushes are loaded and they are pretty.
Here are the ones we are eating now.  They are supposed to be jet black, "Black Beauty" is the name.  But, as you see,  they're what? amber?.  Still tasted good, so who's complaining?  The dry summer must have been the culprit.
Sunday I went up to Center Hill.  Both the spume and one generator were running, so it was too rough below the dam.  I put in at Happy Hollow and went upstream to anchor in the high water and current above the last wadeable hole.  Only caught this one, a nice 13" rainbow and had one hit and saw one follow.  Not so hot, but the day was beautiful and it was fine to be out and fishing.
Saw these clouds of daisies stretching along the bank just above the high water.  They are so pretty and add a lot to the river experience.  How many ignore this?  Not me.

October1-7

Well, not as many photos since it isn't getting light until 6am.  Still, a lot of interesting happenings.
Down at the pond at SB I finally crawled through the thick willows at the far corner and in there I found what seems to be a beaver lodge built on top of the dam.  Maybe not, but this is where all the cut saplings around the pond went.
Just below the lodge is this tunnel entrance.  Or, at least, it looked like one to me.
Unlike many, I'm not allergic to golden rod pollen.  This lets me enjoy the lovely flowers without second thoughts.
The wild roses put out hips which the birds will enjoy and then spread the seed in thanks.
Finally, I got a pretty good shot of a swift in flight.
This big spider crossed the road in front of me and instead of hitting the weeds when I stomped, it turned and challenged.  Sat there long enough for a pretty good photo.
Lots of tracks along the pond edge.  These seem to be a mammal and a shore bird.
The flowers on the arch get bigger and prettier every week. Too bad you can't see the details.  Really beautiful.
Upper end of the mouth of Creek J.  Can't take the boat beyond the log.  Have to wade from here.
Here is a fair shot of the resident osprey.  He/she is usually to be found on the way back to the take out.

September 24-30

Well, lots of stuff going on.  Friend Frank Mann and Mary Lee showed up Wednesday and brought our second rain of the summer, or first of the fall.  Frank and I went out very early Thursday morning to look at the turkeys on Ed's farm.  Ten showed up, a bounty we didn't expect.  In the poor light and mist the photos aren't so hot, but they did get all ten.  Can't wait for the season.
This cave is across from the river overlook at Shelby Bottoms.  I thought it might be Demonbreun's Cave.  But when we finally got a really good rain water poured out of it like a torrent, so it's part of a stormwater drain.  .
The drought continues to shrink the pond at SB.  I'm standing back where the water used to cover all you can see here over to the tree line.
I really need to look up this beautiful yellow wild flower.
I was a little slow on the trigger, but caught these geese coming in low over the pond. 
Tuesday morning it was a rosy sunrise.
We first spotted the turkeys coming around a clump of weeds in the middle of the pasture.
Frank had called them and we had heard them calling back for 30 minutes or so.  Then more and more appeared.
There were 10 in this flock.  Frank thinks they were probably a group of young batchelors, or jakes, as they call young male turkeys.  Sure was great to see them, even wet!
New calla lilys keep on blooming.  This group is almost perfect.  Not as many bugs working on them now.
Sherry left these coneflowers and the gold finches love the seeds.  We've seen several working on them.
Not as showy as the morning glories, but the wild clematis is really nice and grows wildly on the trellis.
A limit of trout in my net after three hours of fishing in the fast water below the spume at Center Hill dam.


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