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

Richard Loller   

Fall 2006

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December 16-18

Starting with the high point of the weekend--Monday was our 42nd Wedding Anniversary, so we took Travis and James out to eat at Zola's, which turned out to be a really nice place.  The two guys in the background horned in on the photo, but otherwise a jolly time was had by all.  Note the beautiful lady across from me.  Don't tell Sherry!

Now, working back to the start, Saturday I went out to Ed's farm to hunt rabbits or turkey or doves or whatever.  Mainly I walked around and got tired and happy and took photos and enjoyed a December day in the 60's.  Upside of global warming!  Later we went to the Sierra Club Christmas get together and ate too much.  But good!

Sunday, after the Corps of Engineers decided Center Hill Dam was not going to collapse after all (Saturday's Tennessean headline was about that and Sunday's was about how it was all a mistake) I went up and fished the pool below the dam.  Caught two trout, a crappie, and a bream.  We will eat them tonight.  Glad the dam is still there.
Ed's farm has lots of woods and hills and is big enough to really get tired walking the bounds.
Some of the residents were very curious but not aggressively so.
Lots of log barns and sheds and interesting old equipment.
There are four large ponds on the property.  Hmmm.  Fish?
Lots of turkey around, so I sat on a log and called every so often.  They run the cattle off from the feed!  Bully birds!  So Ed killed three with the game warden's blessing, but I saw and heard none.
A small stream runs through the place and someone long ago built this wall, which must run almost a mile, along the side to contain it.
These falls are fed by water running in caves through the cliff beside the dam.  The water, of course, comes from the lake.
One of the caves, the one on the right.  Good fishing in the oxygen rich water below them, especially when it is hot weather.
This leak is high on the cliff wall.
This new log is near the ramp, but will probably wash downstream since the current here is strong when the generators are running.  I took bearings by making photos in all directions just in case.
If this mama ever goes we might as well abandon house and head for high ground, along with most of the rest of Nashville!
I forgot to make a photo of the fish until almost too late.

December 7-10

We left Nashville around 1:30 on Thursday and stopped by to see Cousin Sonny and Sue in Memphis.  We decided to go on down the road and get a motel near Greenville.  We were going for Peter Virden's funeral at 10am on Friday.  After the funeral and the lunch at the church fellowship hall we headed home.  The photo of Doe's in Greenville is the only one I took.  It will probably still be there when we all are dead.  We drove up Highway 1 to stop in Rosedale for tamales at the White Front Cafe.  Joe was dead but his sister (or niece?) was running it and the tamales were good.  We made it home Friday night around 9.  Saturday we went to Lexington to see Natasha in the Nutcracker.  Hanley made some very good turkey soup and the ballet was fine, with a live orchestra.  No photos.  Sunday we got home around 2pm and after some chores and a meal went to bed tired.  No fishing or farming.  Just tending to life this weekend.

December 2-3

Saturday night was the supper club from church.  This time at our house.  Above we have Sherry, Mary (peeking around Sherry), me, Scott, John, Christie, and Robyn.  Scott Denson, Mary's husband, had to stay at home with an indisposed young one, but the rest of us ate like pigs and had a good time.  I was going to try to go fishing Sunday, but it was still pretty cold and the wind was strong.  Cold--yes.  Cold and wind--no.
After the great warm weather most of the week a cold front blew in Thursday night with temperatures down in the 20's.  The arugula and simpson lettuce seemed to weather it well.  Good.
These pansys Sherry planted last weekend are still blooming.  With colder weather ahead we hope they will survive.
Saturday afternoon before it got dark we put up the greenery on the arch.  How did we get along without one all these years?
Oh, by the way, hope you noticed how pretty my front bumper now looks after Stephen did his good work.  It has made me a little proud, which I must try to control.  Pride is a sin!

November 24-26

Well, Friday was 1/2 workday, so I dropped by and did a few things and left early.  Got the bean trellis mostly put away and went fishing at Fall Creek, which was down to 486'.  Really low and I only caught four on some brush in 3' of water.  Nothing biting on the attractors which were mostly out of water.  Saturday I went up to Creek J and tried, but nothing was biting on the attractors and the water was clear and devoid of fish in the creek.  Sunday I tried Suggs Creek on Percy Priest.  Again the water was low and clear.  Caught nothing.  Got home early and helped Mom put up her little flowers.  Much more rewarding.
Fall Creek launch is a popular place to train dogs.  This fellow was working out his Golden Labs.  I guess they would go until his arm got worn out.
This is one of the attractors that was two or three feet deeper last week.  This week no fish had any interest.
The gulls have made a home on the mud bar in the middle of Fall Creek.  I had to paddle the last 100' to shore.  It was too shallow for the trolling motor.
Got home in time to take down the cane on the trellis and store it away.  Next goes the posts.
The garlic is coming along now.  Up through the leaves.
Neat old farmhouse and barn at Creek J.  Met the lady and her dogs who owns it.  She and husband come out on weekends.
This is how clear it was.  The bottom of this hole is over 10' deep.
Another interesting log at the deep hole on Creek J Saturday.  This one has seen a lot of serious woodpecker attention.
Near the ramp you go under a bridge.  This swallow nest was home to some cute little birds last summer.
Sherry was busy planting winter proof flowers and cleaning out the beds when I got home.  They will be a great improvement over the dead stems we would have otherwise.
I sat out back and watched the birds and squirrels.  This little wren hopped all over the place but liked the peanut butter best.
Sunday after a few chores I tried Suggs Creek, but it was so clear and shallow that I had no luck.  Here is a deeper hole beyond the abandoned Stewart's Ferry bridge.  Not today.
The only fairly deep water was in the old creek channel, and I fished the stump line on both sides with no luck.
I gave up around 3 and went home.  You can see how calm and bright it was.  Good for people, but evidently not for fish.
Sitting on the deck looking west.  Sky was dramatic.
A little later the waxing moon showed through the sycamore.  A long and warm and sunny weekend at the end of November.  Who says global warming is all bad?

November 23

Well, it was Travis and James' first Thanksgiving in their new home, so they invited us and we all ate until we were silly and wished we hadn't.  But it was good and there were lots of left overs, which I like almost better than the first round.  During the afternoon we talked to Ann and Hanley and Denile and Natasha while we walked down to the bridge and back to work off some of the extra calories.  Ha!  .  All in all, a great day.
James sets up a neat little bar with my favorite food--Lite Beer!
Also a siphon of bubble water which "makes everything better."
A beautiful loaf of cranberry nut bread baked by James, who is a very good cook.  The proof was in the eating.  Case closed.
Travis poses with Mom and Pop and her glass of authentic watermelon juice from their own garden!  It was good.
The chief attraction was this free range turkey which was absolutely the best ever.  Travis marinated it in salt for 8 hours before roasting it and whatever that does for turkey is a good thing.  Yum!
James held the pose long enough for the shot while he carved away at the lucky bird, now part of all of us.  Immortality.
Here they are in their new home surrounded by the bounty of the delicious feast.  A good start to a long run of great Thanksgiving meals.
Mom pitched in with her delicious dressing and I provided the arugula for the salad.  Another of Mom's delicious contributions is in the basket.  Rolls which were so good they brought tears. 
Another of Mom's great dishes.  Pan broiled oysters just like her mother made before her.  One of the best ideas anyone ever had to do with the squishy little things.
Don't forget the peas and onions.  They did not go to waste.
Had enough yet?  Mouth watering?  Sweet potatoes and pecans.
The desert table consisted of the cranberry bread with a modest amount of butter, pumpkin pie, and lemon-pecan pie.  Enough!
Afterward we made a stately progress down the Bend to the bridge and back.  A jolly stroll down memory lane.

November 18-19

Saturday I fished the Fall Creek area of Percy Priest.  Sunday I went up to Center Hill to fish the pool below the dam.  Did better at Fall Creek.  They had the sluice gates open at Center Hill Dam making it impossible to fish and, since I couldn't fish in the river with nothing but my little trolling motor, I had to turn around and go home.
Water at Fall Creek was down two feet Saturday to 488, low enough for this attractor to be out of water and for me to look for the glasses I lost last Summer.  I walked for half hour on the mud and rocks where they went down, but they are covered or someone else picked them up.  Oh well, I've got another pair.
This 10" stripe was an eager eater, but not the crappie I was seeking.  Spent all day fighting the wind and giving them a chance but only caught a lot of small ones and three big enough to keep..
This is how I was fishing with the fly rod.  Using a 1/64th jig with a white and chartreuse tube below a tiny cork.  It casts fine and is really fun when you catch a lively bream or crappie.
Speak of the devil.  Here's a nice lively bream that was so pretty I put him on my boat seat to make a colorful photo with my new Canon SD600 "Elph" camera.  Oops.  Forgot about the fish slime and had to wash it off and sit on the other side.  Reason for new camera--mine got stolen along with my gym bag by someone who smashed the window of the truck.  Third time now!  No more parking outside the garage when I'm at work. 
Three bubs in a boat.  I was crossing to fish the attractor near them.  They had a powerful trolling motor I envied when they left for parts unknown.  Said they weren't doing any good either.  I pulled three keeper crappie in while they watched and enjoyed their good natured comments.
This is the dam at Center Hill at noon Sunday.  It was really cold and windy with only peeks of sun.  See the boiling water?  That's the sluice gate which they open to aerate the water.  It creates great turbulence so that you can't put a little boat in when it's running.  So, I went all the way back home and did my chores.


November 11-12

Friday night Hanley arrived with our cousin Beatrice from El Salvador.  She is in Lexington staying with them while she learns stuff at the hospital about breast cancer.  The chief expert there is a fellow from El Salvador who invited her there to learn.  We had dinner with them as well as James and Travis and got to bed quite late (for me, at least!).  Saturday James was off for a sail boat race at Percy Priest so Travis, Hanley, and Beatrice went off to see the town.  While they were gone, I cleaned up the yard and finally planted the garlic I've had for the last three weeks.  Saturday night we all went to eat at Monell's so that Beatrice could get a dose of butter and sugar, or what we call "real southern cooking."   It was all right, but too much and too sweet.  Sunday we went to church and the children's choir, which Travis helps direct, was really good and cute too.  After we grazed on the many leftovers and watched the Titans great effort against somebody or other which they lost at the last by a blocked would-be winning field goal.   Oh, well.
This is why I put off planting the garlic.  Bend over and get up over and over again. Thank goodness the stuff can fit into a pretty small area.
No matter how you plant it you have to get down to the hole and stuff it in and cover it. 
Almost finished.  I also planted some arugula lettuce as an experiment for Sherry.  While it isn't likely to come up and survive this late in the fall, it may come up early next spring.
Beatrice and Hanley.  The young people went for a walk around Radnor Lake early in the day before we went out to dinner.

Here is cousin Beatrice with Sherry and Travis at Monell's Restaurant where the home cooking is just like Mother used to make, if your mom had a heavy hand with the salt and sugar!

Here we are, all stuffed full as Thanksgiving turkeys, smiling for the camera. 

November 4-5

Well, on Friday it frosted pretty good, so it was time to pick the last of the butterbeans and the few string beans left.  Also pulled all the cherry tomatoes that were big enough, including the green ones, plus the peppers, jalapenos, bell, and bananas.  Finally, got some egg plants, one regular of fair size and several small Ichibans.  Then pulled up plants, stakes and cages, chopped up vines and stalks, and left only a few radishes and carrots and the lettuce that is still going.  Next weekend I'll plant the garlic and let the garden rest awhile.

Sunday I fished from the ramp at Fall Creek for crappie with my fly rod.  Guess what I found when I got there.  I had left the gas tank for the motor at home.  Oh well, it was good excercise and the day was absolutely beautiful.
Bare trellises that had string beans and butterbeans.  Cleared out garden except for winter greens.  Note new trellis over the drive for the Jasmine Sherry plans to plant next spring.
Travis and James have a good sunny spot and grew quite a bit of good things this year--the first.  James tilled it up except for a few okra that are still surviving.  Next year they are planning great things and I may share crop with them to give my garden a rest.
Sunday I went over to Fall Creek and when I got there found I'd left the gas tank for the motor at home.  Bummer!  Still, it was very nice and little wind, so paddling wasn't too much of a chore.
Caught this black nosed little crappie on the first structure I tried.
I was using the fly rod with a tiny jig below a tiny cork, but caught very little on the Game and Fish structures.  These two nice crappie were caught on a log in fairly shallow water near the bluff where people fish from the bank.  It's always good for one or two and this time was no exception.


October 28-29 

The Great Arch of Pennington Bend

Saturday and Sunday were cold and clear, perfect weather for hard work.  I started on the  holes for the trellis posts and got four dug 18" deep and plenty wide.  Then I nailed two 2 x 4 x 10's together to make a long straight edge and nailed two shorter 2 x 4's at the proper width and 90 degrees to the horizontal edge.  This way I could even up the holes on opposite sides of the drive, etc., etc.  Saturday evening we cleaned up and went to our St. Ann's dinner club Halloween party.  We were both too tired to find costumes, so we went without, thinking that Scott's costume would be so spectacular there would be no point in competing.  Suprise!  No one had a costume!  Sunday I finished the basic trellis construction and picked the last of the peppers and almost, but not quite, the last of the tomatoes.
I had cut and bolted the arches together last Summer, but I waited for cool weather to do the rest of the job.  Probably the longest and hardest bit was measuring, cutting and nailing the vertical posts and fitting them to the arch--then remeasuring and recutting and pulling things apart.  Finally, it got done.
This is one part of my leveling device.  There's another vertical 2x on the other side of the long horizontal piece.  The vertical pieces are identical in length, so when they are both at the bottom of the holes and the horizontal piece is level then the bottoms of the holes are level.  Note the flat rock the 2x sits on.  This keeps the post off the dirt and lets the concrete fill around the wood completely.
Here you can see my levels on top of the horizontal piece.
Here you can see that the hole on the left needs to be deeper.
At this point I've got one post on the left in and braced fairly well.  The arch in attached with wood screws and is where it should be.  The one on the right is tied to the arch.  Next I screwed it into place and then leveled both.  A long process.
Late in the afternoon I was ready to set the two posts in concrete.  I first loosely filled the holes with big rocks before I poured in the concrete since the holes were quite big and I didn't want to mix more concrete than I had to.
I got two posts with one arch across set in concrete on Saturday before I quit.
Sunday the concrete base for the two posts and one arch was hard.  Putting in the other two posts and arch was much easier since I could use the first part for leveling the second part.
Late Sunday I had the basics in place before I quit.  I has set the two new posts in concrete, attached the arch, and put in the basic cross pieces.  I decided not to finish putting in the remaining cross pieces since Halloween was coming up and I didn't want to tempt young folks to climb the structure and swing across.  I'll put them in next Spring as Sherry's climbing vines need them.
Here is Sherry's Halloween Cheese Ball.  It went to the St. Ann's dinner party, came back, went to Travis and James' dinner party Sunday night and came back.  In fact, I finished it off only last night--November 5th.  Pretty big cheese ball.  But Good!!!
Of historical interest.  Here are the last peppers, finally.  We actually got more tomatoes after this, but it froze hard last Friday night (11/3/6), so I pulled the rest and chopped up the vines.
Mom's Calla Lilies were still blowing and going this Sunday, but the frost got them too, finally.


October 21-22

Well, maybe one day I'll fill in all the missing weekends.  In the meantime, I'm working hard just to get something in for this weekend, what with the award stories to judge and all.  Whew!
Man, Saturday was a full day.  Early on I picked the last of the string beans and a big batch of butter beans.  The string beans are now gone, but there are still plenty of butter beans not yet plumped out.  We are hoping there will be enough sun and lack of freezing weather to bring them on.  Down to 32 degrees tonight (Monday the 23rd) though.
After I cleaned up we picked up Travis and headed for Ed Brown's End Of Season Volleyball Party.  We stopped by and picked up Barbaros and Ozje.  They cooked some delicious stuff on the grill, but Nancy, Ed's wife, had cooked plenty of yummy stuff too--chili, and this and that and other things that were good!
Travis and Sherry smile sweetly while the Turkish contingent cooks in the background. 
Here is the entire Volley Party Group, excluding Sherry, who snapped the photo.  That's Nancy on the bottom left and next to her is Ed and his three legged dog.
In order to cram the maximum hassle and pleasure into one day we got home from the wild Volleyball party and left to meet Heloise Shilstat, the Kayak Queen and friend, at Solo Mio for a before concert meal   We then enjoyed Anu Tali conducting at the Nashville Symphony.  She's from Estonia.  This was a notable performance in that I stayed awake for the entire thing.
Sunday I worked all day on the foundations and frame for Sherry's trellis that will span the driveway.  Here are two of the large 18" deep holes I dug for the posts.  Needless to say, I was pretty sore that afternoon and next morning, but a Yoga class put everything right.  Or, better than it was.

Octobr 13-15

On Friday the 13th (ohhhh....unlucky day?) Becky and I walked down to the new Shelby Street Bridge and over it and back over the old one just in time to see the Music City Star come in and unload.  On Saturday I worked my rear off in the yard and did some preliminary work on the trellis, but took no photos.  On Sunday I went up to the pool below Center Hill and caught several Brown Trout which I couldn't keep and a couple of Rainbows, which I could.
Here comes the Star passing the docked city fire deparment boat.

There go the passengers for their busses.  Note the guy in the middle pushing his bike he brought on the train.
Found brown trout here, where the discharge comes out of the side wall.  They were pretty active for a while and then stopped.
Not too big, but a nice size to eat--except I had to throw it back since the limit is 18".
Fine little 12" rainbow, but I caught only one other so I threw them back to grow up some.
Just before I left I saw a river otter on the rocks against the south bank.  If you look hard you can see it just beneath the water where it slipped just as I shot the photo.

October 7-9

Well, some of the bird shots are pretty clear, but others get fuzzy.  Anyhow.  Here is the weekend and the Monday after, since I got some great shots of the moon early on my walk at Bicentennial Mall.
About the last of the beans (I thought), actually I got more later.
You know--I dug a deep pit and filled it with soft humus and planted these damned carrots in it and what I'm getting and have got are the same small, lumpy, no good carrots.  Someone tell me what needs to be done?!?
My sweet baby poses with a beautiful eggplant that came on despite the bugs and triumphed.  We enjoyed it a yum-lot.
Still have plenty of the purple peppers.  In fact, it's now (as I write this) November 1 and we have many more.  They'll be fine until the first big frost and then we'll pull them just in time.  ?Maybe
Here is a new Calla Lily.  They die and new ones keep coming back.  As of now (Nov. 1) they are still blowing and going!

On Sunday I went fishing below Center Hill Dam and caught many Brown trout, such as this guy, but had to throw them back since the limit is `18".  Hell, if I caught one like that I'd die and go to heaven!

Sunday afternoon, after I got home from Center Hill, Sherry and I saw this strange bird.  He/She moved so fast it was hard to decide what it was.  But definately a migrating one.
Of course, I took many photos, but most were blurred or were of the place where he/she was just before the snap.  Anybody with a real knowledge of birds, please tell us what this was.  Pretty!
Monday morning I walk at the Bicentennial Mall, or around Germantown, since I have to be at the YMCA at 7am to teach Yoga.  Moon was full and beautiful.  Got a good shot here on the maximum magnification.
This shot was not maximum magnification, just normal.  But I thought it was pretty nice between two of the carrillion towers at the mall.

September 30-October 1

I really can't remember what I did Saturday, but this is what I did Sunday.  Went up to Creek J and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and sights.  Even caught one small fish.
This is a log that has been in the creek at the bend where it's deep ever since I've fished this creek.  But today, when I rubbed against it for a while, I notice what a beautiful thing it was.
These asters were growing on the bank, but drooping into the cold clear water.  It never occurred to me before how lovely they were.  Maybe I'm getting old and (shutter) sensitive!
Is this a beautiful stretch of creek, or what?
Yes, I finally caught a few bass.  Poor little guys.  Go home!

September 23-24

Eppie came out to watch me work in the garden on Sunday.  On Friday we went to see Hanley, Denile, and Natasha.  Natasha was in a ballet that night and we attended.  Beautiful theatre and a very professional and lovely performance.  The focus of the trip was the new house.  Hanley and Denile have really worked their tails off.  It needed a lot of love and care and they have provided it.  The night we were there it stormed and rained in buckets.  Hanley found a new leak, but located the source and stopped it.  They are going well and we are proud of their progress.
Pretty house with nice lines.  It needed care and a lot of work, but that's what it is getting.
View out the back door.  Plenty of room for the dogs and a nice garage/storage building.
That's the house, just across the tracks.  Trains don't bother me.  I grew up in Lucy a rock throw from the L and N tracks. 
Early Saturday morning I took a long walk in the wet and found this Islamic temple not too far from the house.  Takes all kinds of folks to make a village.
When we got home it was time to pick beans.  This is the haul of butter beans.  Lots more, but not full.

These are the purple bell peppers and one older red one that had changed color.
The eggplants are finally fulfilling their promise.  These are getting about the size of cantaloupes.  Won't be long before time to pull them.
Mesculum lettuce on the left and radishes on the right.  I thinned both before the end of the day.
This was the haul of string beans.  Boy, were they sweet!
The big tomatoes are about done, but the little cherry tomatoes just keep on keeping on.

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