A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
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On Saturday I went down to
garden and worked hard digging up weeds and laying down a row of
mesh. I planted bush limas. The previous week I had done
same thing, so there are two strips planted now which should provide
of beans for both of our families. Sunday I took the boat to Fall
Creek and ran up as far as you could go. I had intended to wade
the shallow creek part, but it was extremely low and choked with
We are having a real drought and no relief in sight from here.
This is a special garden mesh that stops light from going through but
in moisture. We will see whether it works. Good idea if it
does, especially for Travis, where crab grass and other grass still
back strong from the roots.
I poked a hole through the mesh and planted two seeds each time.
Just to be sure one worked. Birds ate some and others couldn't
their way out, so I replanted the next week where there were gaps.
At the south end of the garden it's pretty hard and near the old rock
drive. But the okra and melons seem to do ok there.
This is the end of the line for the boat. You can see how dry and
flat the creek is at this point.
Upstream where there should be a large hole there isn't much but
Water is there, but it is very shallow and the small openings aren't
I finally gave up and went back downstream and caught five or six
Not a bad day, but hot and windy.
If I don't have a photo I forget
happened, so June 9 is lost in the fog. On June 10, Sunday,
I fished Creek J's upper portion and had a fine day. I probably
did something dull on Saturday anyhow.
Lovely creek with flat rock bottom. Smallmouth paradise.
This big momma was in a hole under the big tree on the right of the
to the left. Fell for the old plastic crawdead gag.
Mr/Ms Deer and I watched one another for quite a while before she/he
I wasn't at all the thing and hoofed it.
A rustle above and this 4 foot long water snake came tumbling down the
cliff. It was embarrasses and climbed back up as soon as it got
This is where I turn around. Upstream you can see a series of
pools. Pretty, but hard to fish and not really good cover.
Back home I picked beets, cucumbers, and chard for dinner.
Well, we were off to New
on the 24th and came back on the 29th. I'll get those pics up
or later. This weekend Saturday was the day we caught up on
Also got my garlic dug and hung up. Then I helped Travis in her
Pretty stiff on Sunday, but I managed a trip up to Creek J where I
my trolling motor battery when I left. But all came out fine
I called E. J. Boyson and left a message on his machine. Eleanor
ran down to the landing and rescued it. After that we cooked a
can chicken. Travis, James, and Zinnia helped us eat it.
Sherry's new calla lilly is just as pretty as the one last year.
The wisteria isn't very big yet, but Sherry is letting this wild
grow on both sides of the arch and it's moving up fast.
Digging garlic makes you wish you had grown less. But, after it's
all over you are glad you grew as much as you did. Normally, this
garlic should have been ready around July 4th, but it was half dead and
Jim Taft says that's when to harvest. He was right. After
washing, and tying we let it hang so the juice from the tops can run
into the bulbs and the bulbs can mellow out. It's ok to eat after
about a month. We usually are able to enjoy it well into late
or early spring.
I may actually get some real bulb-type onions this year. It'll be
a first. Most of those I've planted from seed never make a
This time I used sets. Looking promising.
The snow peas are mostly gone, but the sugar snaps are still coming in,
nor many, but those that do are really nice.
The tomatoes are golf ball size now and it won't be too long.
I tried this shallow bay-less than a foot deep most palces-near the
of Creek J and caught one and hooked two more. Caught nothing in
the main creek. But a pretty day and good to be alive.
Nice healthy young bass with lots of fight. Where was his mom?
These nice wild flowers were growing along the bluff. Sherry says
they are called "cigarette plant" but are really Indian Pink.
Worked around the house and in
garden on Saturday. Sherry worked on her flowers. Went up
Travis house and planted more okra and three rows of corn behind the
trellis. Also planted pole butter beans so they will climb the
when the peas are done. We hope. Sunday went fishing at
J and found it clear and nice. Interesting as always, of course.
Plenty of Bubbas and Bubbettes and Bubblitos and Bubbalitas out.
Others too. Suprise.
I used the broken back rapala for a while, but nothing was interested,
so I changed to the tiny torpedo and this little guy whacked it, or it
whacked him. Nothing like big ambition.
I got four or five real heart stopper hits, but nothing stayed on until
this nice largemouth. You can see a difference in this one and
baby on the left.
On the way out I passed Mr. Beef and his girl friend.
Almost back to the take-out ramp and passed these colorful young girls
who were not the normal country lasses. The one in the rear was
photos of birds and the one in the front was pointing out the
Variety is good.
Got home and was sitting on the deck. Got this shot of a downy
eating from the humming bird feeder. They've never eaten seeds from the
regular feeder or necter from this one before this year.
I did get this nice shot of a red bellied woodpecker eating sunflower
from the feeder. The downys and hairy woodpeckers have figured
out as well. Downys are feeding their babies sunflower seed
It's cute to watch.
Well, this is seperate since it
a block within a block. Went to the big city for a "Hispanic
Conference." I must have been the only one there with no
Anyhow, I got to see the Diorama of the City at the Queen's Museum, so
it was worth while.
Trip to New York City
Travis and James said I should see the Diorama of the city and since it
was near LaGuardia I went there right off the plane. The Queen's
Museum was the New York City Exhibit Building at the 1939 World's Fair
and some of the structures are still in the park. It is all near
Ebbit's Field and the subway, so I got downtown without much trouble
my adventure. Above is lower Manhatten with the twin towers still
in place. However, except for them, anytime a building is taken
and a new one takes it's place the diorama is updated, so it is
for modern New York.
One of the huge structures from the fair. Maybe the Unisphere?
Time capsule for the 1939 World's Fair.
My hotel was just off Time's Square. 11pm on Friday night.
I took a walk across town and passed the famous library lions.
Also passed the equally famous New York Times building.
After our conference classes on Friday we had dinner and drinks at
Central, only a few blocks from the hotel. I walked back around
and got some shut eye.
Travis had wanted a cheese cake from Veniero's on East 11th St. in
Village. So since Sunday was her first official Mother's Day,
morning I studied the subway routes and made my way there. Forgot
to take a photo of the place, so got this one from the web. Most
fun was trying to keep the airport police from smushing it while they
my pack for my forbidden water bottle. I had it on ice in three
bags and it made it to Sunday dinner with only a few bumps and
We all got a piece or two and it was as advertised.
I've been busy outside and spend
time on the computer, so pictures back up and things get shoved
This segment contains a lot of stuff that needs to be posted but not in
a particular order. I just need to remember some of this and
when it happened. Oh, I finally took a pic of the General Jackson
just as it was starting to turn. We take it for granted since it
turns around abaft our deck every evening around 7:00 or so, but our
are charmed. High point of our relationship with the
Jackson was when Mike Denney mooned the tourists to a general cheer and
round of applause. Mostly we just wave.
May 1--Got this Indigo Bunting at Shelby Bottoms.
May 3--Rose Breasted Grossbeaks still here on our feeder.
This is Shadow. Long story, but basically he was loose with a
dragging when I got to Shelby Bottoms May 3. Called the number on
the collar and his owner came to get him. They are from Scotland
and have been here 15 years. Still have the burr.
Just after this I got a ticket from the park police when I passed a
crawling van. Have to pay a fine and go to school. Weird
Blackbirds have taken to coming in to our Sycamore tree late in the
They stay awhile and then go. I don't mind them but I do mind the
Redwing blackbirds are courting now. They get up high in a skinny
tree and blow themselves up big as they make a love call.
At the Bicentennial Mall the magnolias are blossoming. It smells
sweet and decadent around them.
I finally got the straw around everything in the garden. It was
all day job, but it will save a world of weeding. On the trellis
near us are snow peas and at the far end are sugar snaps. Next
rows are beets, then volunteer tomatoes I moved from all over to their
own row, then mesclum mix, then romaine, then simpson, then parsley,
butter crunch. On the far side are several kinds of tomatoes,
and Swiss chard.
Sherry is also working on her beds. The little bed near the house
still has the pansies from last winter, but she is digging out the
and planting new flowers. Same with her bigger bed near the
We both have a fine crop of chiggers. They seem to be especially
bad this year. And Sherry doused herself with Skin-So-Soft, which
had been a great deterrent last year. I used nothing and got
the same number. Go figure!
We have greens running out our ears.
These are the onions from sets which we hope will make big onions for
I also planted some green onions which are rather skimpy. We will
The Swiss chard is coming in, but it didn't do well in spots. I
the seeds were old.
The tomatoes are coming along. See the little one just starting.
Well, I put a whole week in this
The reason was I saw several things during my walks at Bicentennial
and Shelby Bottoms during the week that were just as interesting as the
things that happened on the weekend.
On Monday during my short walk at Bicentennial Mall (I have to get to
YMCA in time to teach my 7am Yoga class) I found a dead Rose Brested
on the sidewalk in Germantown near the Catholic Church.
They are coming through this time of year. I looked it up.
They winter in Central America and all the way down to Peru. In
their territory is all way North. The only ones in Tennessee in
are in the high mountains.
On Tuesday morning I got this photo of a green heron. Just then
began to call and I saw four others coming in. This one took off
and joined them. They made a big circle and all came in and
in the thick willows. Who ever heard of seeing five green herons
all at once? Whoa!
Friday afternoon I was sitting on the deck and it was very stormy and
clouds were everywhere. Just before sunset the sun came out under
the cloud cover and lit up the sycamore tree in a very dramatic
I took many photos of the tree with the automatic function on the
One of them caught the female wood duck coming in to her den.
Saturday morning I went down to Travis' house and worked on her pea
cutting weeds and hedge back, putting in the cane supposts and
grass twine between them . It was a pretty good effort and I
a truce with work around twelve.
Sherry has said that rose brested grossbeaks were visiting our feeder
sure enough, as I was eating lunch, two males and a female came to
Got this nice shot of the pair.
I decided to give Percy Priest a try and you can see how bright and
it was. Not the best weather for fish. However, I found a
spot near the bank where I knew there were attractors in four or five
of water. Caught five crappie--one of which was pretty
Forgot to take a photo, however, so you can just take my word for it.
Sunday I worked on Travis garden about 3 or 4 hours, but no
After that I came home and weeded. Sherry spent the day putting
plants and flowers and worked her little self into a fatigue.
you see the peas starting up the trellis. I put straw around
Next two rows are beets, then the old carry over arugula, which I
later. Then all our lettuces just coming on.
This is the new mesculum mix almost ready for picking. I thinned
it well this year, so we have a good variety--not just the arugula,
crowds out all the rest. If fact, I pulled most of that from this
row and planed a row of it by itself.
There are two half rows of black seeded simpson.
And two half rows of bib lettuce.
Same for the romaine.
This was Earth Day weekend, so
Sessler suggested we clean up the roadway along the Bend (our part, of
course). So, on Saturday morning at ten we got out and got with
Good participation. Bill Turner, Sherry and Me, David and Diane
Tim and Laura Polk, Skip and Kathy Dworak, Rose Ruthstaz, and James
(Travis gave moral support while she tended the baby). Many hands
make light work, so we got done by 11:30. I doubt the roadway has
ever been so clean and probably never will again. Just
Saturday around 1:30 I went over to Ed's farm and staked out for a
in the same spot as before. I took my little saw and made the
better with a few small cedar trees. Around 3:30 I looked up and
there was a gobbler. He was so pretty. If I hadn't been so
excited and concentrated on hunting I would have tried to get a photo
However, he is now cooking on the deck.
Sunday I fished out of the my
two person kayak for the first time. Took it to Fall Creek.
It was at 487'. Caught only two small crappie near the
No fish on the attractors. But it was a nice day and the kayak
very comfortable and stable. Only trouble is that it is very
and pretty awkward for one person to handle.
This is a pretty big gobbler with an 8 inch beard and 1 inch
Actually, it wasn't as good to eat as the jake I killed two weeks
So far in 30 or so years of hunting Florida I've killed two
In two weeks of hunting at Ed's farm I've doubled my lifetime
But I learned turkey hunting from Frank in Florida. That training
finally paid off. Thanks Frank.
Pretty bad shot. I took the little camera with me but left the
out, so I shot this after I got back. It does show how big (14')
this kayak is. Still, it handles well and isn't too bad.
lots of gear, unlike Sherry's sit on top.
We weren't sure if our gas grill would cook such a big turkey, but on
side he fit. I turned him hourly and he cooked from 4:45 until
8 pm. Turned out just fine.
I'm sure it is not the height of a turkey's ambition to end up like
but Sherry says he should be pleased to move up the food chain and
part of Sherry and Richard. Yeah, sure.
The cold and wet weather hit us
Saturday. Didn't stop Travis and me going to buy plants for our
Stopped by Turnip Truck where she bought some heirloom certified
tomatoes from a lady with a farm on Eaton's Creek Road, the same road
Flowers Nursery is on--where we went later to fill out our shopping
I spent most of the rest of Saturday putting in the new plants.
big freeze is over and I've raked up the straw. The plants mostly
survived well with only a little damage here and there.
The yard is thick with the grass we planted and I cut it on
I also raked up the straw and put it on a round of fencing that I had
over from the trellis. It'll come in handy for mulch on the
Some of the mesclum mix after I raked the straw off. It looks
good. Just to the right of center is a volunteer cherry tomato
from last year. I'm going to see how it does. There are
Will they will be super hardy? We we'll see.
Sherry's pansies weathered the cold well. Still pretty and pert.
Some of the Azalias got burned. I think the ones touching the
were the ones damaged. Note the new leaves coming out
It will still look good when the dead blossoms drop off.
It's always exciting to get a flat of new plants. After that it's
mostly a lot of work. But good work, of course.
Hoping these live up to their name. Planted four.
This is an old favorite. Planted four of these.
Planted four of these which always make a lot and keep on coming long
the fall. Once I count the volunteers I'll have a lot of
his year. May even need to take some out.
Planted eight of the Bradleys. It's my favorite.
On the right are sweet banana peppers. Cilantro on the left.
I planted four of these and Travis has some icibans. Last year
icibans came in early and kept on producing. Mine came in around
mid September. I don't have the sun she does.
Not to forget the bell peppers--this is Lady Bell, a new one.
Poor little turkey! Went hunting at Ed's farm on
Friday and followed Ed's formula for success, "All it takes is stealth
and persistence." Not long after I got there around 10am I saw
in the distance across the big open field. I changed my ambush
several times and finally found one that was fairly comfortable and in
the sun--an important factor on a day that was cold and windy. I
had decided to leave if nothing happened by 3pm, but I saw one just
then so stayed on. Finally one wandered fairly near, but I shot
soon and he flew away. After wandering around a while just to be
sure it wasn't lying wounded, I got back on my stand and an hour later
I glimpsed movement and it was three turkeys headed across the big
toward me. I had been calling regularly, so I think that was why
they were coming my way. Anyhow, I gritted my teeth and waited
they were well in range, took careful aim and killed the largest.
He was a jake with a two inch beard, but just fine with me. We
Travis, James, and Keith, their New York artist friend, down for dinner
Saturday night and turkey was the main course. It was a fine
served up as only Sherry can with all the trimmings and all the best
Saturday I worked around the house and nothing of
Sunday, after church, I went up to Center Hill and
back three trout for Travis and James. All in all, a very good
Here is a lone turkey feeding near the woods way across the big field
Ed sometimes feeds his cows. He says the turkeys are so numerous
and bold they will come in numbers and scare the cows off the feed and
eat it themselves.
Here is Mr. Jake on the cleaning table. Note all the corn that
in his craw. Ed says one of his neighbors feeds them like
I guess the easy food made the one I shot and his two buddies a little
less cautious that they should have been.
I think I mentioned the cold on Friday. An artic cold front came
in Monday night and early morning temperatures have been in the
since then. On Monday, however, we should be able to take the
and hay off the tender plants in the garden.
Too bad the azalia chose this week to come into full bloom. I
it with clear plastic, but may have done more harm than good. The
flowers touching the plastic withered, or maybe it wasn't thick
Anyhow, it didn't work.
Easter Sunday I fished below the dam at Center Hill and this hefty 12"
brown trout was great sport to catch, but I threw him back since 16
is the minimum you can keep.
Three rainbow trout and one slab crappie and one legal (over 10 inches)
one. I let the crappie go when I got the third trout. I had
promised Travis some fish and she preferred trout. She and James
are going to enjoy them tonight.
March 31-April 1
Saturday I weeded the garden and thinned the
Took a lot of the day. Also took out some of the bushes way down
on the riverbank, near the water. Sunday I went up to Center Hill
to the pool below the dam and hit the jackpot. Caught all kinds
fish, but mostly crappie--what I wanted. April Fool's Day was
luck for this fool!
Sherry's winter pansies are still going and blowing.
They are really dramatic and pretty.
The azaleas are just beginning to open up.
They don't last very long but they really light up the yard briefly.
Before and after thinning.
This little pocket between the wing wall and the waterfall was loaded
crappie and other fish too. It's that time of year!
The oxygen rich water below the falls is a trout and bass hangout, with
now and then a crappie or stripe.
The deep water along the wing wall was productive too. Caught the
biggest crappie between the boat and the wall.
This is probably a Kentucky bass. Solid red eye makes it doubtful it's
a large mough and it isn't a small mouth.
This 11" rainbow is one of several I caught in the roaring water below
the falls. They all got released. I kept only crappie.
This spunky smallmouth was hungry and full of fight.
I kept 10 of the largest crappie. Must have thrown back 20 or
Catching them on my fly rod was the most fun, but every now and then I
switched to the ultralight and enjoyed that too. April Fool's Day
is now down in my book as a fine day to fish!
Saturday and Sunday I worked hard
got a lot of things done. Monday I was really needing my yoga
I was stiff as a board. I did go fishing Sunday after church and
caught a really nice large mouth and a channel catfish. Only
is that I was fishing for crappie and only caught two small ones.
They started Daylight Savings Time on March 11th this year, so we are
having a hard time getting to bed early enough to get up as usual
First job of the weekend was to install a privacy lattice at the end of
the deck so we can sit out there without intruding on Lana or Richard
they are in their back yard.
Next job was to take apart the bunkbeds that were in Travis old room
take them down to the storage building. It took a lot longer than
expected, of course--everything does. When finally done we
the baby bed in the space created.
Another job that used muscles I didn't know I had was clearing the bank
so we can look at the river. I got most of it done, but not
cuts, scrapes and oh so sore muscles.
Final Saturday job was tilling the yard and spreading the grass seed
bought. We put down 40# of seed and I scattered 5 bales of straw
on top (borrowed from James and Travis). It was dark by the time
First catch of the day at Brush Creek was this 16" female who was
fat and full of eggs. She went back right away.
This perky little blue gill is great with egg too. Note the tiny
jig I was using. They all liked it. White tube with
Not quite sure how long this channel cat was since I didn't want to
her more than necessary. Probably 2-3#.
I was about to give up when I caught a crappie at the same corner where
I caught the catfish--near the llama house where they had their dock
year. I suspect they sunk brush near the dock so they could fish
from it. Only caught two barely legal so I let them go too.
Sunday, after I got back from fishing, I finished strawing the yard and
borrowed Travis' sprinklers, rigged up two hoses, and began to water
new grass seed and my garden.
Here we are with two sprinklers going and really soaking the yard and
It hadn't rained in two or three weeks. I guess I probably put
on the water bill. Then Monday night and all day Tuesday we got a
long soaking rain. It never fails.
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