A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
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Well, as you know, Fall ends on
22nd, so this is a little overlapped. However, since my sore
worked up into a full scale cold by Saturday, I didn't take any more
and nothing much happened except for coughing and lying around.
some nice suprises at Shelby Bottoms earlier in the week. I saw
in the river both days, although it was still dark and the shots were
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
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
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
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
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
They usually come back.
Saw this hole in a willow tree near where I see the flickers. I
they got started and gave up.
Got this shot of a very handsome buck near the observation
He was in no hurry to leave and gave me many chances to get a good
At that distance though....
December 10th-December 16th
Well, it was mostly cold this
I saw two deer at Shelby Bottoms, but beyond that things were pretty
It was raining on Tuesday, so I walked in full rain gear.
was both cold and wet, so it was rough putting up the greenery on the
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
decorating mode. I am just the goffer, so all I do is say
and go for whatever.
Tuesday there must have been fifty ducks on the pond at SB, now much
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
not to land. They all made many low passes in small groups and
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
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
cold front was coming in.
Saw this doe and buck way across a field and got one halfway decent
All the others were blurred.
Saturday I brought home three homely cedar trees and cut off the
for the decorating of the arch. It was rough work with the
rain and the freezing cold.
I couldn't wear gloves while wiring the branches together and putting
up, so I had to make frequent trips back to the garage to dry off and
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
say so myself, as shouldn't. I plan to add more greenery to it
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
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
This was my last chore Sunday. Whew!
December 3-December 9
Well, Monday was cold and so was
but it warmed up in time for our trip to Drew, MS, on Thursday.
Friday, the day of Iler Ann's funeral in Drew, it was shirt sleeve
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
Tuesday morning its cold and foggy at Shelby Bottoms.
Monday morning I found the remains of the game rooster that had been
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
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
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
We all enjoyed the warm weather and lack of wind and rain that was
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
I caught all day and I got him on the spinner I was using for trout
before I quit for the day. He was toward the cliff side of the
near the big rocks.
November 26-December 2
Well, not many photos this
Can't really say why. Maybe I'm getting lazy. No,
of the reason is that we were gone to Lexington for The Nutcracker
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
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
Friday before yoga class Becky and I saw the game rooster right where
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
second from the left, as a maid at the party. She isn't happy
the director, third from left, who was playing Drusselmeyer, the
uncle. Oh well, this will be her last Nutcracker, at least in
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
The faint line of blue in the clouds was actually very bright--dawn
through the heavy clouds over the capitol.
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
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.
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
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
pretty much done for the year also.
As for the vegetables I had covered the eggplant and the bell pepper,
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!
Some of the garden veggies are
doing their thing. We are getting lettuce and there is still a
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
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
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
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
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
Friends of Ed got the others.
When Sherry and I got to Fall Creek we saw these two blue herons
side by side. An unusual sight.
Here she is waiting for me to get my boat in. As usual she's
for the possible arctic blasts that could ambush us.
November 5-November 11
Well, we got a real frost and I
out to Ed's farm to load up cow manure and check out the turkey
Monday morning before the 7am Yoga Class, I was, as usual walking at
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
and took off as soon as they noticed me. They were obviously
not the ones that hang around all winter and expect a hand out from
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
needed to be harvested and pulled up.
These blackberry leaves at the SB were pretty, but pretty soon they'll
Out at Ed's farm I really didn't feel like taking photos of the cow
shoveling. But I did get several photos of the turkeys
Season opens next week!
Sunday I took down the wire trellis I had used for the beans at my
None of which had ever got above hand high before they were eaten by
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
morning and not too warm later on. Have to watch the weather
so we pull the bell peppers, eggplants, and green tomatoes before we
a hard frost. I pulled the last of Travis' butter beans
Sunday I went fishing at Fall Creek for crappie and Sherry went bird
and kayaking with the Audubon folks at Vivrette Creek, both on Percy
Well, this week it rained a
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
Tuesdays thru Thursdays, usually from around 6am to 6:30am. On
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
of the geese taking off when I was ready to leave. So I got the
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
The garlic I planted last weekend is coming up through the chopped up
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
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
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
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.
The old fisherman rule is that it's bad luck to throw back the first
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
is that I never know what she is going to be up to next. Never a
I got home in time to help Travis harvest some green tomatoes and hot
She has a recipe for pickled green cherry tomatoes and plans to hang
hot peppers upside down in her basement while they dry.
Well, the big news this week was
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
Saturday I finally got the garlic and onions planted. Here are
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
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
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
slowed it down.
Well, an interesting week. I finally saw the
or beavers, in the pond at SB. I got the garden weeded and
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
Mr. Blue Heron is shy but hungry.
On Tuesday I sneaked up on a large flock of ducks, but just as
ready to pop the shutter they panicked. They really weren't sure if I
a threat, so they flew back over from various directions for the next
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
another one again, much closer, but I had my binoculars in hand and
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
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
dying. We still got a lot of good ones from them. But the
beans are loaded. I picked a lot and left the rest for next
Many still need to fill out. You can see the full ones here
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
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
and it was fine to be out and fishing.
Saw these clouds of daisies stretching along the bank just above the
water. They are so pretty and add a lot to the river
How many ignore this? Not me.
Well, not as many photos since it isn't getting
until 6am. Still, a lot of interesting happenings.
Down at the pond at SB I finally crawled through the thick willows at
far corner and in there I found what seems to be a beaver lodge built
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
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
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.
Well, lots of stuff going on. Friend Frank
and Mary Lee showed up Wednesday and brought our second rain of the
or first of the fall. Frank and I went out very early Thursday
to look at the turkeys on Ed's farm. Ten showed up, a bounty we
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
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
over the pond.
Tuesday morning it was a rosy sunrise.
We first spotted the turkeys coming around a clump of weeds in the
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
of young batchelors, or jakes, as they call young male turkeys.
was great to see them, even wet!
New calla lilys keep on blooming. This group is almost
Not as many bugs working on them now.
Sherry left these coneflowers and the gold finches love the
We've seen several working on them.
Not as showy as the morning glories, but the wild clematis is really
and grows wildly on the trellis.
A limit of trout in my net after three hours of fishing in the fast
below the spume at Center Hill dam.
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