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

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Fall 2008
Richard Loller
December 1-20
Well, the end of fall weather has been like this: cold and wet and then a nice warm day and then cold and wet.  Tomorrow night Winter arrives and we quit fooling around.  It is supposed to get down into the low teens and stay cold for the next week.  Hello, Mr.Winter!
Our friend Joy invited us to the Mansker Station celebration on Saturday night.  Turns out it is a big do in a state park where all the locals dress in colonial costume and among other things, serve silibub and cookies.  Of yes, Betsy got me on the dance floor and we looked just as good as most others. 
Didn't take long before I shed the sweater.  Those old time folks didn't need central heat to keep warm at a party.  Interestingly, most of the dancers were kids and ladies.  Just like the old days when the men were outside hitting the jug.
Garlic is snuggled down for the winter with a covering of straw.
Onions too.
This is some of the arigula.  There are other lettuces and some turnips too.
Harry Murphy and I went out Sunday and it was cold, but out of the wind not too bad.  Fished at the mouth of the Stones River where it hits the Cumberland.  Not too hard to reach on foot now that the Greenway is complete over there.
Harry carefully prepares the perfect lure.  We both got skunked.
Friday night and Sherry talked our neighbors into going in on a limo to ride around and look at the Christmas lights.  Ginger, Billy, Phyllis, Charlie, and Richard all smile for the camera. 
Ginger and Sherry look pretty pretty, hey?
Here we are again.  What a lark!  Oh well.  Actually, the limo was pretty cramped and it was hard to see behind you.  Only one door at the back so you had to stoop and crawl to the front.  Next time I'm renting a van.
Sunday was Bill Collins funeral.  That's Bill up there at his computer. 
Afterwards at Melissa's house for some food and time with old friends.  That's Josh, Clint's son, Sheldan, Bill's brother, Valerie, Sheldan's wife, and me.
Josh was adopted by Clint and Betty when he was 3 or 4.  Here he is with his girls.
The 18th was our 44th wedding anniversary.  Here Sherry is, delighted with her present--a room humidifier which, after one night, she decided she didn't want because it made too much noise and kept her awake.  Oh, well...
Later we met Travis and James at M'ambu, a nice restaurant.  She is still as pretty and cheerful as when we met, even after all these years putting up with me.  How about that?
I decorated the great arch of Pennington Bend as directed by the boss.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself, as shouldn't.

Our little homestead of 40 years.
Saturday was cold, but no wind, so I tried Crappie at Percy Priest.   The water was dead calm and very clear.  It was dark and misting rain all day.
I caught only one fairly small crappie, but several nice stripe and some bream.
Saw line after line of gulls flying toward the north on the way back to the ramp. There must have been hundreds of them.

November 18-30

Well, actually I snuck in something from November 11th, but that's ok.  Thanksgiving come in this batch with family from Maine and Lexington coming in.  Also there were several good days of fishing, so I feel very lucky and thankful.  And that's the point of Thanksgiving, isn't it?
Talking to my friend Harry Murphy on Veteran's Day (November 11th) about the times when we  used to have to march in the parade downtown with the 369th Ambulance Train (Rail) every year.  It was a comedy of incompetence and errors.  Above is the medal Jim Bateman made me on the occasion of our march on November 11, 1968.  Man, that is 40 years ago.  Unbelievable.
Tuesday, the 18th.  Ice on the puddles at Shelby Bottoms.
Checking up on the southward drift of the sun.  The two corners line up with the sun on September 21 and March 21, when it is pretty much due East.
Thursday, the 20th, and the edges of the pond are iced up.
Rain and cold stopped the fishing on the weekend and into the next week.  Here we are at Thanksgiving and the table is ready for us.  Ann came in from Calais, Maine, and Hanley, Denile, and Natasha drove down from Lexington, Kentucky.  So it was a family meal with James, Travis and the babies, Zinnia and Elizabeth.
James and Travis cooked the Turkey and made the gravy and three different delicious pies.  Oh, my aching tum tum!
Friday, the 28th, I went fishing at Dozier's dock on the Harpeth.  Cool and cloudy, but not really cold.  Down here at the mouth of the Harpeth the current can actually run upstream if Cheatham dam is closed.  Then it will reverse when they open the locks.
Had good luck all in one spot.  Kept five really nice ones and let five smaller ones go.
Saturday I went back and noticed this brown spot (the nearer one) and thought it looked like a dead cow, but couldn't be sure with no binoculars.  Need to put a set with my fishing gear.

Sunday I beached the boat and went to see.  Sure enough.  Wonder why the owners, whose house was not far off and in sight of the cow, didn't bury or burn it?
The sun came out only briefly on Sunday lighting up these beautiful bluffs along the Harpeth.  Sometimes we take the beauty of our little area of the world for granted.  Really, it's spectacular.  Again I'm thankful.
Lots of downed trees along the lower Harpeth and that's where I was catching crappie.  Caught four more on Saturday.  The river is great to fish just now, since we haven't had any real rain for several weeks.  After a big rain the water is muddy and fast and all this good fishing is no more. 
Only caught two on Sunday, but both were huge.  Enough for a meal for Sherry and me.
Also caught this 14" largemouth.  He was a real battler and almost got away down among the tree limbs on the 4# mono I was using with my jigging pole.

November 1- 16

Well,  still walking less because of the rain and sore knee, but got some Shelby Bottom photos in the last two weeks.  Not much fishing done that amounted to much catching.  Seems like a cold front hits every weekend.  But that could be faced.  It's the strong winds that make fishing from a small boat a real pain.  Maybe later on we'll get some mild weekends with warm fronts and calm days.  Not now.
Saturday, November 1st, and I picked butter beans. 
Actually, the official name for these is Christmas Limas and they are speckled with a reddish-purple color when fully developed.  They are slow to mature, though, and many of them aren't yet filled out.  But really good eating!
Harry and I tried Brush Creek on Sunday, the 2nd.  We were after crappie, but caught not one fish.  Harry broke the tip of his new jigging pole and I did not get one nibble.  To compensate, we got to see the Blue Heron pontoon boat that takes customers out of Riverside Restaurant for a little cruise.
Harry is a stronger paddler with a more streamlined kayak, so he is way ahead on the trip back to the truck.  Just another day of fishless fishing.  Still, a day spent trying beats a week cooped up in the house, so no complaints.
Tuesday the 4th at the pond at SB just after sunrise.  It is very low just now but still peaceful and nice early in the morning.  I keep hoping to see the beavers or an otter, but no sign of either this year.
It was misty and damp this morning as you can tell from the moisture on this bunch of honey suckle blossoms.  They keep on blooming until a hard frost.

Hawks have to make a living too.
No walks for a while due to rain, but on Tuesday the 11th I went around the river trail and had to climb this barrier where the bridge is being repaired.
Thursday the 13.  I got this nice shot of lichen on an oak branch.
I thought this milkweed pod was interesting.
There are paths like this through the thick brush in several places.  Maybe deer make them, but I don't think deer would make this wide a path.  People?  If so they don't care a fig for beggar lice and cockleburs.  Not for me.
Saturday, the 15th,  was cold and misting rain, but I pulled all the vines off the trellis and harvested all the limas that were still hanging in there.  Sherry and I shelled them later while listening to Prairie Home Companion.  James chopped up the vines with the mower so their nutrients can go back to work next year.
This is the last of the crop.  Sad in a way, but they will sure taste good.
Sunday after noon it cleared off and I raked leaves off the lawn and blew them off the driveway and the deck.  When I got tired I went down to watch James who was taking advantage of the weather to lay out his streetside fence. 

October 2008

Well, it's been busy. I was sick for a week after Africa.  Then we had the judging of the Preservation Foundation contest entries.  Finally, and most importantly, we had the birth of granddaughter Elizabeth Mae on October 19th.  Not too much time left over for diddling with this web site.  On top of everything else, my left knee has been aching, so I dropped or shortened my walks in Shelby Park.  All this is to say that the pictures are few and far between, so all October can be covered in the space one week has sometimes taken up.  Hope you like them anyhow.
Caught this pretty brook trout below the dam at Center Hill on the 5th.  Good day.  Caught several crappie, stripe, and trout.  Harry Murphy went too.
Monday morning at BiCenntennial Mall, Oct. 6th.  Crabapple blossoms don't know how to tell the difference in fall and spring.  When the days get about equal to the nights they are programmed to bloom.
Crabapple buds are so pretty.
I had to trap the groundhog that was eating up the dropped bird food because it had dug a hole under the house.  Just too much damage one could do the the insulation and heating ducts.  His new home at Shelby Bottoms is much better.
Friday my friend Paula and her friend Paulette met me at Farmer's Market for lunch and afterward we visited the History Fair at BiCentennial Mall.  Here they are posed with Abe Lincoln.  Great exhibits all over the place.  Lots of kids.
Saturday the 11th and I worked hard planting turnips, left, garlic, middle, and onions, right.  you can also see the various lettuces that were planted earlier coming along.  I used Jim Taft's little tiller and it did a great job.  Thanks, Jim.
Those are the turnip rows on the left.  I planted the kind with actual turnips, not just tops, so I'll have to thin it later or they won't develop.  Good crop of Swiss Chard still, middle, and some tomatoes, right, still coming along.
Still lots of pretty blooming plants at Shelby Bottoms.  Saw these asters Tuesday morning.
Also saw this lovely thing.  According to Susan Stahl, our resident wild flower expert, it's a Liatris. 
These are my favorites.  I love yellow.  A common Primrose, Susan says.
Saturday the 18           th.  Picked a hugh load of butter beans at Travis and James' house.  Also used Dave Dawson's big tiller to make a new garden spot.
Doesn't look like much work, but the lawn is covered with crab grass and it's really hard to dig it out.  Also struck this old telephone pole anchor and tried to dig it out.  No go.  Just have to cut it off next time.  Worked over 6 hours finally getting the plot ready and planted.
I'm really glad the tiller stalled when it hit this thing.  Hate to hurt DD's machine.
Travis started labor Saturday afternoon, so we kept Zinnia while they traveled down to the Farm in Summertown to the midwife.  Elizabeth Mae was born at 11pm on Sunday night.  She looks just like her Granddaddy!  Just kidding, she was lucky and got her mother and grandmother's "prettiness genes"
Tuesday morning at the pond at Shelby Bottoms.  Dawn is here and it's cold and still.  Pond is less than half full.  Need a good rain.
Thursday morning at the same site, but earlier.  It can be so nice to be up very early and all alone in a place like this.
  Saturday I tried my favorite method of fishing for crappie at Percy Priest--small cork and jig on my fly rod. 
Caught this one lone crappie and let it go.  Sometimes I think you mostly catch the slow learners.  All the smart fish keep their mouths closed.
Sunday Harry and I tried the mouth of the Harpeth River where it empties into the Cumberland.  We put in at Dozier's restaurant.  Caught two pretty good crappie, but it was very slow in between bites.
We saw the biplane in front towing a glider.  Later we saw the glider sailing lower and lower until it disappeared behind some trees across the Cumberland.  Hope it found a nice place to land.

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