A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
Along with other good times and interesting
for writers and readers
Well, it's interesting how many things seem
when you are really paying attention. This week was full of
and sounds and delight that might have passed me by only a few years
So, maybe getting grey hair does have some positive aspects. For
Well, here we are again almost into fall and the crabapple trees at
Mall are blooming, but only a few here and there. The length of
are similar to Spring, so some of the brighter trees think, "Hey, let's
Sherry found this spider nest in her big flower garden.
I've been curious to see the greenway footbridge over the Cumberland so
I walked into forbidden land Tuesday morning. Me and several
This is the view of the huge mound that has been built so that the
Bottoms side will be approximatly as high as the Two Rivers side.
This is not a flimsy bridge. Solid steel with cables from
the towers supporting the center. Wow!
A lot done already, but a lot still to finish.
From the top of the SB side you can see the huge excavation made to
the dirt for the ramp. It is a gradual spiral climb to the top,
for bikes and wheelchairs. I assume there will be a lake below.
I love morning glories. This is a wild one which I thought was
same "heavenly blue" color as those on our arch. But, as the
below will show, it isn't. Hi, misquito!
Not a very good photo, but a brown thrush is pretty rare and doesn't
to let you get close. Hi, Mr. Bird!
This sunrise shot over the pond at SB has a new feature.
On investigation I got a shock. The mound in the middle is a dead
Fall for sure, the geese are beginning to fly in formation.
This blue heron flew over the pond while I was watching the plover and
the swifts. He was going to land and circled several times, but
I don't know what little flower this is, but it is growing on what was
the pond bottom not long ago and will probably be again when (and if)
fall rains come.
This plover was systematically working its way around the edge of the
finding minnows, I saw it catch several, and other edible goodies.
The lettuce I planted not long ago is doing well. I'll have to
it and weed it again next weekend.
The turnips are fine, but there are gaps. I'll try to transplant
some of them when I thin.
The continuing squash saga. Notice the baby squash and the
blossoms. I hope I don't over water it. Boy, I would love
get a late crop. I love squash!
Here are some of Sherry's Heavenly Blue Morning Glorys. I guess
are a deeper color than the wild ones. The arch is really getting
heavy with several kinds of vines and their blossoms. Blue, red
white--kind of patriotic.
The flume is open again below the dam at Center Hill. It is
to supply oxygen to the water, which is good. However, it makes
lake below the dam pretty rough for my little 12' jon boat with its
However, after three hours of fishing I had six rainbows which I
and took by to Ed. I hope he enjoys them as much as I enjoyed the
turkeys I killed on his farm.
More rain this week, but we
still had only half the normal amount to date this year. It
a dull week, but lots of little things add up and, looking back at
photos, I see how full it was.
Sun comes up later now, around 6:30, so lots of my walk is in darkness
Shot this family of ducks on the pond at SB which is now a little
than last week. Still fairly dark and I'm shooting through some
The large cracks in the lake shore are still there, but they aren't as
wide and grass is already growing out of them.
Finally got a good steady shot of the huge cargo plane that comes over
around 7:00, making the ground shake and seeming to float, rather than
Thursday sunrise and the rain is over now. Another hot day and
Only one wound on this pretty snake, so maybe it was a hawk or crow and
not a stupid human who did it in.
We still had some nice cherry tomatoes this week, but they are almost
Green peppers are coming on still, but two large branches broke off and
7 or 8 good peppers were lost before I noticed. Breaks my heart
The new crop of lettuce is coming in. Hope it has time to get big
enough to eat. Last year it over wintered. Maybe...
One of the last Bradley's, miraculously undamaged by birds, squirrels,
rabbits, or insects. Thanks be to God.
The eggplants that started out so well have suffered in the
The bugs are now working over the leaves and the fruits have a pale,
look. I hope extra watering can bring them back. We will
Sherry's calla lily just keeps on putting out more beautiful blossoms
drought, japanese beetles, and babies.
Saw this swallowtail hanging at an odd angle. When I touched him
he dropped an inch and stopped. This bulbous white spider still
him by the antenna. We left him at it and later Sherry brought in
the wings--all that was left.
There are two of these magnificent "writing spiders" by the arch.
I try not to knock down the webs when I cut the yard, but they string
so far out that it isn't easy to miss them.
The bush butter beans in Travis' garden are dried out or molded or
flat. The ones on the poles on the hill, however, are coming on
If they get enough sun before frost we may have a bowl of butter beans
Still lots of blossoms and some beans that need to fill out, but the
are good. Cross your fingers.
Great crop of watermelons this year. This striped one...
and this one called "Moon and Stars." Both are tasty. Travis had
a good crop last year too. Yum!
She has tons of dill and basil, even though they pulled bushels of it
for pesto and pickle seasoning.
She has a big crop of sunflowers. This decorative one...
and this kind for eating and sharing with the birds.
Had a good time fishing below Center Hill Dam Sunday. Caught 6
which we will eat and one 14" one which I let go. Here's the big
We finally got some decent rain on Sunday, September
God only knows how long that drought was or whether it is really over
It's going to take a lot more to get things back to normal.
On Tuesday morning at Shelby Bottoms pond and it is still
The sun comes up in thick haze and only a small chance of rain
Light is coming later now and not much going with the birds and
I did get this shot of a huge plane that comes over every
It is so big it seems to hang in the air and go so slow it seems
it could fly.
Wednesday there was a little mist of rain, enough for this red wasp to
take refuge on the underside of a leaf.
I walked down to the park entrance to see how the nature center was
along. Just that minute a freight train went by over the bridge.
The center is coming along. I must certainly be sure to show up
the grand opening.
There will be a neat walkway from the parking lot.
Best news of the week. After I uncovered the three baby bunnies
Saturday during the weeding of the garden I hid them again and hoped
mother would come back. I swore not to get near them again until
this Saturday. When I looked the nest was empty. She had
them. Probably to Sherry's flower bed a few feet away.
Sunday I met Charlie Faulkner for a bit of fishing on the Caney
He still is catching two to my one or less. I don't get it since
we are now using the same lures. Have I lost my mojo? Is it
the luck of the new kid on the block? Only time will tell.
I hate to get out my secret lures...still...
August 21-September 3
Well, this was the long Labor Day weekend. Got
lot done and got to go to the creeks twice. Nice.
Saw this buck at SB. He was with a doe, a yearling, and two
Never got a shot of the five all together and they were pretty far
This is the best of the shots I got.
That's the otter swimming pretty close, but I didn't have the 10x zoom
camera. It was early, around 5:45.
Next day I had the big camera and got this shot. But this was the
last time I saw him. I think he headed for better water down on
Cumberland. The pond is shrinking.
Not long before sun rise and the pond is still and all you can hear is
the strange buzzing noise made by thousands of minnows flipping up out
of the stagnant water for a little oxygen. No rain in the
for this week either.
We found this tiny but beautiful bug on a tomato.
Possum grapes are filling out on the vines at SB.
Water hangs from a dead leaf, but the light rains Thursday did little
relieve the drought.
The arch is filling up with vines and their flowers. Nice.
There are still a few "big" tomatoes and lots of cherries.
Saturday I finally started weeding the garden. On the left is
it looked like before I started. Note the patch of straw at the
right on the area I had weeded.
When I finished, finally, pulling all the weeds. I was raking the
straw up so I could plant some lettuce and under that patch I mentioned
were these three baby bunnies. How their mother could feed them
get the straw back over them so well when she left I have no
The little nest was only a few inches deep.
I covered the bunny nest with straw and put one of Sherry's ferns on
side. Then I planted the lettuce all around the site. Since
I needed to water the seeds, I put a plastic roof over the nest.
There is no way to tell if the mother rabbit will come back and raise
babies or if they will die. However, I think by staying away as
as possible and resisting the temptation to interfere they may have a
to become big bunnies who will eat my veggies next year.
it's hard to decide which side you are on!
This clematis is one of the beautiful blossoms on the arch.
This heavenly blue morning glory makes the arch glow.
One of my Saturday chores was to dig these wandering tomato vines out
Sherry's black-eyed Susans.
My eggplants were doing great but now drought and aphids are hurting
and the strain has changed their color.
One bonus from the weeding was finding all these onions lost in the
most are the ones planted from seed, but there were a few of the brown
ones from sets I missed.
Of the several squash plants Travis and I planted one only still is
I've started giving it extra water. We'll see.
Sherry and I took the two person kayak to Creek J on Sunday and while
were right under the cliff you see above a turkey glided all the way
the inlet to the other side of the water. Later on, we twice saw
a pair within 30 feet of the boat. Both times they just stood and
looked at us, but not long enough for me to get the camera up and
All I got was empty shore line. Shoot! (But, to show you
I missed, I got a shot off the web.)
Farther up the creek we noticed a not too pleasant smell and I spotted
a dead deer caught in some limbs. Poor little deer.
I didn't fish a lot, because we were there to look and enjoy, but I did
get lucky once. What fun.
I got really close to this black crowned night heron. We also saw
an osprey flying with a fish in his talons and many song birds.
kayak is quiet and can go in very shallow water, so we glided along the
bank and saw a lot.
Monday was labor day so I went down on Creek Y for the first time this
year. Saw lots of humming birds, or one bird several times,
on this jewel weed.
This hard fighting little guy was the only one I caught, although I had
several near misses from really big ones. As you can see, the
is crystal clear with no rain for weeks. It was hot, so wading up
to your shorts feels good.
Remember when I saw the bubbas throwing sticks and rocks at the snake
the swallow's nests? Look at the overhang on that bridge!
did the snake get up there?
This is one of the finest creeks in Middle Tennessee. It is clear
and mostly rock or gravel bottom. I've seen some smallmouth here
that would break your heart and caught a few that were bragging
Today wasn't my day, but just knowing they are there is enough.
August 13-August 19
Well, the heat and drought are still the main
of this summer. Much of the garden is done, but there are still
things to come. Big deal for me was on Saturday when I took the
boat and the little motor up to Creek J. I took my 10x lens
and had a great shot of a water moccasin. Believe me, I fish
enough to know when I see one. You may mistake a water snake for
one, but you will never mistake a real one for a water snake! For
one thing, they swim all on top of the water. For another, they
short and thick with a definite neck that flares out into the big
Plus, they exude danger! So, when he stopped on his log and
me over I got a great shot. The view screen said, "No
I had taken it out and not put it back. Then, near the end of the
day at the top of the creek that I could reach in the boat, sitting on
the log across the creek, turned sideways, with my feet holding the
I cast way up to the top of the hole and saw a huge shape charge the
I twitched it and was on the biggest smallmouth ever. I prayed
worked and nearly lost the boat, but got him to the log. He was
a she, but at least 20 inches or more. Wow! Of course, no
I expect there will be some who feel I may have been making a "fish
up. Can't you trust me after all this time?
Finally, on the way back to the ramp, I broke a
pin. This is bad. The prop won't turn without it. I
nothing that would work except a goofy lure I had bought for
I managed to get it in and it worked for a few hunded yards and
I did it again with the second of the three I had (thank God I bought
The second got me to the dock and home on time to go to Nangay's art
with the kids and Sherry. It was excellent and we actually bought
a painting. I'll show it to you when we get it. Oh, I also
picked some beans and checked out Travis' garden. That's in this
I don't know how many days we have been without a real rain. The
farmers are done for and my garden would be toast without
Hope things get better soon.
Cracked mud and deal water plants at the pond at SB.
A little further out the scum and water plants are taking over.
pond shrinking daily.
This goldfinch found the mimosa flowers worth eating.
Young deer soon took flight when I spotted her.
Saturday morning I went down to pick bush butter beans at Travis'
Still not ready...
So I picked what little was left of the string beans. Not a lot
most pretty flawed. I pulled up the bushes.
Her okra needs picking every day and gets away from you fast.
plenty and there are more right now I should go pick. Well, maybe
She put in a huge patch of basil and she and James picked most of it
right after this and made pesto. Winter looks better
Our garden yielded a good crop of tomatoes and a mess of bell peppers.
In addition, we got a pretty good crop of onions. Not as many
as we should have, since I waited too long to harvest them and many had
rotted. But enough for a real good feast.
Even though I didn't get a photo myself, I wanted to show you what I
about how a cottonmouth water moccasin exudes danger. If you see
this boy near you get away. They have no fear and will charge
unlike most snakes who only want to get away and be left alone.
Just to show what a sheer pin looks like, this is like the one that
In other words, the pin breaks when the propeller hits something and
God bless this little lure. It's the last of three. The
two got me back to the ramp. Mmmm. Kiss kiss. I wuv
August 6-August 12
Well, it has been hot for a long time and no relief
sight until next Tuesday, August 21st! The animals and plants at
Shelby Bottoms don't seem as easy to spot or maybe it's just me.
And I got a toothache that got worse this week until I ended up having
it out Thursday, so after Wednesday I didn't walk much. On the
I visited Creek J and tried out my newly repaired 1.75hp Gamefisher
Not so good, although it got me there and back. Have to send it
alas. So. Not a great week, but I did see an osprey and got
a better photo of the otter at Shelby Bottoms pond.
On Tuesday morning I walked down to the SB main entrance and saw that
Nature Center building was well under way.
I also got a good shot of the otter. I've only seen one and at
the same time and section of the pond each time.
That's my little Gamefisher that was supposed to be fixed. It
vibrates and shakes at low speeds and doesn't go nearly as fast as it
did at high speeds. Sort of like me, I guess.
This is a nice spot at the mouth of the creek where many a bass has
fooled by a balsa imitation minnow.
On up the creek I was seeing no fish and catching none until I got
to this downed log.
Underneath it I discovered a bass country club where they meet to eat,
meet, and greet. I got several lures up under the overhanging
and had several huge hits, but only caught....
this one largemouth. After that they figured out what was what
stopped even glancing at the lure.
On the way out I saw this osprey settle on a dead limb and got a pretty
good shot. It was a good way to end the day. Thanks.
July 30-August 5
Well, seems like a lot went on
week. For one thing it was really hot, over 100° many days,
walking early in the morning was a good idea. Then Sunday was
birthday, so that was special. And Saturday I caught a really
15" brown trout at the Caney Fork. Lots of stuff for one week!
I had to fake this one a little in Photoshop, but I really saw it
morning at Shelby Bottoms. A hummingbird was chasing a
They zoomed over my head and out of sight with the hummer holding his
and the swift in high gear!
These honeysuckle blossoms caught my eye, almost like dancers.
These flowers are so bright before sunrise and so nice.
My goldfinch was at his stand guarding his territory. He's
and so pretty.
Saw the otter on Wednesday. Only one, but there are bound ...
...to be more. Hope they stay around the pond at SB.
The heavy haze this week made for some amazing sunrises.
Nice 15" brown caught downstream from Happy Hollow.
I took the two seater. It's heavy and harder to paddle, but the
room makes it a better choice for Caney Fork.
Travis had a great garden and made it pretty too with the marigolds she
planted here and there. Above you have cherry tomatoes,
The birds are going to love these sunflowers planted next to the corn
Here we are at Saffire restaurant in Franklin for Sherry's birthday
She is modestly accepting the congratulations of the crowd.
I thought for a while I
to rename this site, since I'm throwing in my walks during the
However, it does say "other good times and interesting discoveries," so
I guess everything is all right and just as it should be.
Just after sun rise and this black swallowtail was too cold to wiggle
mess up my shot.
I thought this was a nice shot of a mocking bird just before he decided
to take off for parts unknown.
I was finding cut off beet tops in the garden, but I thought maybe
was gathering beets and leaving the tops until I saw this little thief
running for the fence with one in his mouth. I bated the
trap Jim Taft loaned me with a beet and the next day I caught
He now lives across Briley Parkway at Two Rivers Park.
These little rabbits are at Shelby Bottoms where they should be.
Their cousins got all my beans before the got three inches high.
After the third planting I gave up and pinned my hopes on Travis'
As you will see below, my prayers were answered.
I saw this plant and realized it was the still blooming form of the one
on the right. Don't know what they are. Must ask Susan
Charlie Faulkner and I went fishing Saturday on the Caney Fork and he
almost all the trout. Oh well, I had to show him how to clean
He picked it up pretty quick. Jim Bricker showed me long ago.
Just before we quit and headed for the take out Charlie caught this
16" Brown Trout. A really fine one. It is still there and I
hope to catch it myself when it gains another two inches and becomes a
Mom's big flower bed is really getting nice now.
And the smaller one isn't too bad either.
The arch is coming along. Hope it gets covered completely before
the cold winds stop the fun.
Last year Travis had a great big squash plant that was slow developing
but did great late in the season. This year her squash
I have this one and it may develop too slow to bear fruit.
Got lots of nice bell peppers though.
My cucumbers have also done well. Enough for us and Travis and
This is the second week I've picked roma beans and okra at Travis'
They sure are great.
This week the string beans came in and Travis had a really good
Should be enough for another picking next week too.
Well, if you want to cut out all
stuff that isn't fishing and farming on the weekend scroll on down to
last five photos. The earlier photos are all from my Monday to
morning walks, mostly at Shelby Bottoms Greenway. Anyhow, the
fishing trip to Creek J was the occasion for what I shall always
as, The Tackle Box Miracle. Read on...
The black berries at Shelby Bottoms are still coming on, but the bushes
are drying up. We could use more rain.
Actually, I think these are dew berries. But good! Except
seeds stick between the teeth something cruel.
I'm seeing lots more mocking birds now, whereas earlier the robins were
the dominant bird.
Saw this doe near the observation platform where they had just cut back
the brush and small trees. When she ran her fawn jumped up and
with her. Didn't get a good photo of them.
Plenty of goldfinches now in their courting plumage. This one has
a favorite tree top and can be found there most mornings.
He flew off and when I passed him again he was feeding on these
Thistles? Have to ask Susan Stahl.
The indigo buntings are still courting hot and heavy. But getting
a close shot in good light is rare.
Lots of butterflies feasting at the boat launch ramp at Creek J on
This zebra swallowtail is one I seldom see..
I took Sherry's sit on kayak way up the creek. Had a huge bass
slam my lure near the base of the tree up ahead, but she threw the lure
and blew me a kiss before heading for parts unknown.
I got out on a gravel bar and ate after losing the "Big One" (yet
Then I looked for my little tackle box and, horrors! it was gone!
I tried to be calm and remember when I last changed lures. I
that if it was floating I had a good chance of finding it and if it
oh well. God was good. Thanks!
Sunday, after finishing all my chores like a good boy, I took the jon
up to Caney Fork. The water was clear and high and I went
past the old store at Lancaster where the road takes a right angle turn
and begins to parallel the river.
Saw lots of trout and caught a few browns but only one rainbow.
this was a good healthy 14" one that will feel the two of us.
Well, we were traveling last
Took sister Ann to see son Hanley in Lexington. Then Hanley came
down here with us so he could see his little niece. Busy weekend,
but not much fishing or farming. The following weekend, however,
I got the garden weeded and generally whipped into shape. Sunday
I packed up Sherry's sit on top kayak and went fishing. Got all
way to the creek and discovered I'd left my rod and reel at home!
Oh well, it was peaceful to just cruise quietly, relax, and look at
and the scenery.
Here's a real downer. Rabbits have eaten both butter beans and
beans at least three times. Seems to be all they eat, but they
All that's left of a promising young bean plant. After replanting
three times I think I'll concede to the bunnies.
The beets have done great, however, and we are eating and sharing them
almost every night.
We have got one or two peppers so far and more on the way. The
have pecked a couple, but most will be fine.
The big tomatoes, the Bradleys and the Early Girls, are doing well,
I'm pulling them early to avoid the bird pecks.
Lots of cherry tomatoes and I'm pulling them a little early too.
I planted four pickling type cucumbers and they are really coming in
We'll have to pickle some pretty soon to keep up.
The eggplants are doing great. Unlike previous years where the
bugs made lace of the leaves early on and then they had to slowly come
back, this year they have escaped pretty much whole. We have four
or five baseball size fruits coming along.
The great arch is slowly getting a covering of morning glories,
and wisteria. Sherry took out the jasmine because she found out
leaves are poisonous and we've got the grand baby to worry about
No use taking chances.
Morning glory and clematis blossoms look great.
Some of the early bounty from our little garden.
Gina and Pat Mann were in town Saturday and we had them out for drinks
and dinner. They are in town for a convention on control of water
plants (Pat is responsible in Lee County).
Even though I forgot my fishing gear I enjoyed just looking. This
lovely little plant may be some kind of orchid. Anyone know?
This green heron kept flying ahead of me. He must have jumped up
five or six times. Did he ever hear of going behind someone?
Sherry says this is phlox. It sure is lovely.
This yellow vine is growing all over the base of the cattail
I had no idea what it was, but Sherry tells me it is dodder, or love
How about that?.
Instead of a can of beans I took half a baked potato, a tomato, and
And, of course, my favorite fishing beverage.
Sherry's kayak will go in 4 inches of water, which is about how deep it
is here. This turtle sat on the bottom and hoped I'd go away
there wasn't any where else to hide. It worked!
June 25-July 6
Well, that's what happens when
get behind. So just hang on and I'm gonna try to catch up!
Pulled some carrots to thin them out and got these pretty things.
Male Indigo Bunting at Shelby Bottoms on Tuesday morning.
The passion flower is the bloom of the maypop vine. It's the
state wild flower and certainly is pretty.
The big April freeze got most of out fruit trees, but this mulberry
has a few just coming into maturity. Much later than
No big flocks of cedar waxwings eating them this year.
Pretty good photo of male tohee singing to attract a mate.
James rented a Bobcat and scraped the old drive out and angled the dirt
away from the house, but it sure did leave a mess.
Travis and Zinnia survey the work.
While James was doing all the grading work I was up at the Caney Fork
hard. Didn't get many fish but I did get this crumby photo of a
or weasel who was swimming across the river and then ran down the
Monday I was walking at BiCentennial Mall before heading to the Y to
the yoga class when I saw two mocking birds worrying the hell out of a
big hawk. They worked together and finally got him out of there,
but not without some close calls.
Sister Ann came down from cold Maine to see her little niece and
the 4th with us. On the 5th I took her up to Creek J where we
in the two seat kayak and got out where it got shallow and walked up
creek a way. It was a great day and very peaceful and nice.
Even though the fish were not biting much it was just nice to be there.
Ann's photo of a neon blue damsel fly on a twig. Great shot!
I don't have many photos of me fishing, so I was glad she took this
even though it was one of many fishless casts.
Charlie Faulker and I finally
it together and met at Betty's Landing on Caney Fork River. We
upstream in my little boat and parked below a long run just below an
bridge. Neither of us had fished this area before and it was a
day on the river. We both caught numerous trout. And each
us got at least one over 16 inches. Big husky brutes. I
home six of them and two fed Sherry, Me, James, and Travis. We
rain coming and had sense enough to get under the bridge and stayed
dry. This was good, because without the sun it can get pretty
wading the Caney in shorts. Next day I went back, but the sun was
out and though I caught 7 or 8 none were as nice as Saturday. But
I'm not complaining. Good weekend all around.
On the way upstream we saw some rafts and the people in them were
a really big cave in the cliff.
Charlie Faulkner showing off one of the fish we caught, a healthy 14
rainbow. On the way back we found a stretch where the brown trout
One of the solid 16 inch rainbows we caught. Sherry and I enjoyed
one for dinner last night and James and Travis had another.
Charlie used a silver and black #7 Rapala all day and it did the job on
both rainbows and this brown.
Here we are cleverly waiting under the bridge for the rain to
After 15 minutes it stopped. Who said getting older was all
Of course, neither of us brought ponchos, either.
I got all excited by spotting a pair of red headed woodpeckers, the
thing. Got a long shot which isn't the best, but still a thrill.
Good shot of the wing markings. They are just beautiful birds!
Got home in time to pick our first "Early Girl" tomato. Joy!
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