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

Visit Storyhouse.org--my site for writers and readers


Saturday, the beginning of 3 days of rain

Spring 2010

Hanley, Jack,, and his brother, Richard--Our great helpers

May 1, 2010 - FLOOD


Sunday morning, showing 5" of the 15" we got

Well, it's been a long time since I put anything up--nothing new since April 25th.  As you may know, we live on Pennington Bend Road which is right smack dab on the Cumberland River in Nashville.  It's been a great place to live for the last 40 plus years, but Mother Nature finally demanded payment for our years of quiet peace by the river.  Plenty has been said about the flood so you don't need more from me.  We plan to go back after we get our house back in shape.  Right now the floors and walls are gone and we are redoing the plumbing, wiring, and insulation.  After that will come the heating and cooling appliances and then the floors and walls and all our worldly goods.

The garden got a bad setback and all my potatoes drowned.  But the other veggies are coming along, if a bit delayed.  We hope to get this web site back to normal after a bit, but first I have to deal with all this other stuff.

Sunday Morning, May 2, I went to church and had to detour several times since Ellington Parkway was closed beyond Trinity Lane and so was Trinity Lane.  I finally got there on Gallatin Road, but had to drive through hub deep water several times.  There were 6 people at church.   This pole was down when I got home.  Eventually the road became a boat way 3' deep here near McGavock and deeper near Briley Parkway bridge.

I called Sherry from church and she said to come home right away because the river was rising rapidly.  At the height of the flood, the garden was covered deep enough so that boats could come up to the front door.  Son in law James was with our neighbor Bill  in his boat and did so, rescuing our Persian Rug and putting it up on a table before the water got to it.  They also took people along the Bend and in the condos across from us to higher ground..

This is a photo of our back yard, then part of the Cumberland River.  At that time it was still below our deck.  At the crest it would be two feet above the deck.

My daughter's house.  They had been remodeling and living in our rental house in Donelson.  So a lot of their goods were in the basement which runs the length of the house.  Everything got completely covered.  The water got 18" above the floor inside the house.  James and I had gone down earlier and tied my boat to a steel rail.  The drain plug was out.  In the end all you could see of the boat was the back end sticking straight up.  When the water went down it was still there, however--still strapped to the trailer. 

On Monday the police stopped anyone attempting to go down to the Bend.  This lasted for several days.  I finally got permission to go down on foot when the water was still knee deep and running strongly across McGavock Pike.  I stayed a couple of hours trying to do what little I could.  When I started back the water had dropped to ankle deep.  The flood was ending.

This is mud covered maple my son Hanley and I put down in the den, piece by piece, when he was 8 years old.  He would put the piece in place and I would nail it.  That was 36 years ago.  The entire house had parquet, most of it beech, installed over several years.  Most of it was torn up and thrown away.  I am trying to save the center part of the den floor.  They cut out two feet on each side in order to dry out the ground underneath and spray for mold.  Sad.

Hanley is using the pressure washer Wayne loaned us to wash the drive.  We did a lot of things that were a waste of time because we were going to be gone from the house for a long time.  The pulling out of the floors and the walls, replacement of the wiring and the water pipes, and then the renovation would take almost a year.  Smart Sherry had kept our flood insurance on both structure and contents so we did not lose on that side, at least.

In the meantime, we found a house for sale at 107 Dellrose drive in Donelson Heights which we bought with furniture and all.  We had to get rid of a lot of the furniture to make room for ours, but it fortunately had a large garage and Jack, Harry, and others took some of the things we couldn't use.  It was a time of confusion and hurry which helps one realize just what people with no resources have to face in similar disasters.

Down at Shelby Bottoms Greenway, where so many of my photos were made during my morning walls. the flood covered almost everything to a height of 10 or 12 feet.

You can see the bluebird house in the on the left pf the previous pic.  It's 6 or 7 feet off the ground.  You can also see the flood line on the trees behind it where the leaves are covered in mud.

And I got lucky today to get a pic of this yellow throat.  They sing and display on the top of saplings, but even then they fly away if you get too close.  Otherwise they keep to the thick brush.

Yes, I believe this is a male Goldfinch in his courting attire.  Not too shy and he has a very pretty song as well.

Night heron or little blue heron.

This is the Common White Tail or long-tailed skimmer.  For more information go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Whitetail

April 10 - April 25

Well, after the trip to Savannah things settled down to normal and the pollen was still here but not so bad as it had been.  I did some garden work and tried fishing too whenever I could get a time to go when the weather permitted.  Crappie have been few and far between but I did find a nest of blue gills where I least expected it.  Not five minutes from my own front yard!


Two deer, a mother and her fawn, grazing in the high grass near the pavilion at SB greenway.  Little did they, or I, know that that in a week or 10 days this area would be 10 feet under water.


And I wonder what happened to this little guy?  Was he able to float to higher ground.  I've seen a box turtle in the water before and they can float and swim after a fashion.  Let's hope he made it.

Back home, Harry and I went kayaking on Sunday and these panhandling geese would hardly let us get in the water.

Further down the stream some wild Canada Geese gave us a wary eye.

This friendly horse wanted to join us.

Harry sets a mean pace.  I take a more philosophical stroke.

End of the trail for the kayaks.  We can't paddle up this shallow run.

This eagle flew when we were a long way off.  Not like the one last fall.

The big sycamore on the river in our backyard got a good going over by our palliated but he was sleeping elsewhere.

Sitting on the deck with my camera and binocs and what is above my head but four North American Black Vultures--not the common red necked Turkey Vultures.  The fourth was jumping all around the tree, but these three stayed put for over an hour.  I guess the busy one was a teenager with ants in him pants.

Long time without rain now and the pollen makes a scum on the river.


I put mulch around the potatoes on the 17th.  Almost all of them came up.

The garlic is doing well, but I planted it in March, rather than last fall, so we will just have to see if it has time to mature before hot weather gets it.

The radishes are coming on now as are the carrots.

This parsley went over the winter and hasn't bolted yet.

The towhees are singing their best hoping to find Ms. Right.

Middle of April and down at the park the maples are putting out seeds.

This tree swallow is putting on a frantic display for his cutie pie.

The red-winged blackbirds are croaking and fighting, trying to impress the girls.

This doe was near the edge of the big mowed field just beyond the parking lot.

This is the female wood duck.  We saw her fly into the big woodpecker-made hole and not come out, so we think she's going to nest.

Poppa came too.  First they sit around in the tree and then they fly way off somewhere and soon they come barreling back and she hits the hole barely braking and he zooms on by.  Wonder where he goes at night?

Sunrise, and it is now north of the corner of the pavilion.

Honeysuckle blooms are popping out.

I thought this might be a female blackbird since it was in the same area, but really have no idea what it is.  Any help?

Saturday Harry and I met Wayne, Raymond, and Mark from the crew at Chilis at 10am to spread Ralph "Bee" Hunter's ashes on the Harpeth River.  His son and his family were there ahead of us and had set up a table of mementos.  All this time rain was threatening and possible tornadoes.

Ralph Jr., Bee's son,  had made copies of this photo and had them laminated for us and for all Bee's friends at Chilis and McCabe's Pub.

That's Bee in the middle in his football days at Montgomery Bell Academy.

Wayne, Harry, and Ralph Jr. had some good things to say and Matt, a friend of Bee's, played taps.

After that Harry and Ralph Jr. threw the ashes into the Harpeth.  As the rain was turning from mist to something more serious by then we concluded and went home, having done what needed to be done.

Sunday I did a lot of garden weeding and this and that and by the time I finished it was too late to go very far, so I went to the little lake at Two Rivers Park with the kayak and fly rod--less than five minutes away.  Hanley says we used to fish here when he was a boy and he caught a huge shellcracker here.  Ironic that I've been within a few minutes of it all these 40+ years and forgot it was here.  What else have I been overlooking all these years?  Don't laugh at me until you back-check your own trail!

Caught this nice mess of bream on a popping bug.  Even though it looked like a bad rain was coming and the wind was strong I found some high banks and coves where I could fish.  Gave the fish to two nice black guys and one of them volunteered to help me carry the kayak up the long hill to the truck.  It was a lot easier sliding it down the hill than carrying it back up.  He saved my life!

March 22 - April 8

Well, Spring finally came after a long, cold Winter that seemed to last forever.  Now things are warming up and daylight is lasting past 7pm good cheer is easier to maintain.  I've been really lazy about the garden this year and didn't get anything done until late March.  But with so many really cold days in January and February, the window for planting cold weather plants was really limited.  Or, maybe I'm just getting lazy and slowing down.  I'd say the latter is a good 3:1 bet.

I think this photo was around the first day of Spring.  I had just got the garden tilled and planted my potatoes and a few carrots and radishes.

Had pretty good luck with potatoes last year and hey!  they aren't much work after you get them in the ground. 

The robins love it when I till the garden.

Sunday the 28th was clear and windy and I caught no crappie at all.  Just this one poor confused bass.

I love it when the daffodils show up.  My favorite color so early in the year.

And the forsythia is pretty dad gum yellow and glorious too.

Not to mention pink-- the Japanese magnolia in all its splendor.

They don't last long but all these Spring beauties are just fine....

The pond at SB gets a lot of traffic passing through this time of year.  These three coots showed up on a Tuesday and weren't seen again.

The big field around the pavilion at SB is getting more and more grown up with high weeds and saplings.  I wonder if they'll cut it back again.  If not, spotting of deer are going to be much fewer.

I've often seen them lying in the grass or grazing under this mimosa tree.

On my next visit I got there in the dark and caught the moon going down through the trees beyond the railroad trestle.

Just before sunrise on a chilly but dead calm morning.

Here comes the sun and it's still to the south of the corner of the pavilion.

Sunday I tried out my new GPS/fish locator  It worked fine, but Percy Priest was super clear and windy and not one fish fell to my mighty rod.  How odd!

Only a couple of weeks after blooming so beautifully...
.

...the magnolia pedals fall and  make a beautiful carpet on the sprouting grass

One of the trials of Nashville is the pollen around this time of year, so we took off for the kid's house in Savannah.    Got in some beach time on Tybee Island and some sea food at The Crab Shack and Tubby's Tank House, among others.

This is a gallinule or moorhen, very colorful and not a bit worried about...

..gators, even though the tidal swamp was loaded with these boys.

This osprey was kind enough to fly close above me for several minutes.

Sherry and I visited Skidaway Island State Park not far south of Savannah and also the grounds of the University of Georgia School of Oceanography.  Saw plenty of these little fiddler crabs. 

These anoles change color to match their background.  This one just hasn't decided yet whether it's easier to stay and change or to find a green log.

Wild swamp rose.

I got up really early to visit Ft. Pulaski National Park because the painted buntings were supposed to be coming north.  I got there a bit early, but better than a bit late.

Got the sun trying to come through the low clouds over the mouth of the Savannah River.  It didn't make it until after noon that day.

Saw these deer and a few sparrows and a nice red bird but no buntings.

These live oak trees in the park are really old and impressive.


As you can see.


Visit Storyhouse.org--my site for writers and readers