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

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Spring 2008
Richard Loller

June 16-22 

Last Week of Spring

Well, where does the year go?  Here we are, halfway through 2008, and I'm still somewhere around March.  I hope things slow down a little soon.  Maybe getting old is when you have a harder and harder time keeping up.  Anyhow, lots of good things happening, so let's look at the bright side.
I like the big map of Tennessee at BiCentennial.  Every now and then I'll go and stand on Lucy, just to remember what it was like growing up there.
Tuesday I got this interesting shot of bugs living in the Queen Anne's Lace.
The Kodak with the 12x zoom made beautiful photos, but it ate batteries like crazy.  So I reluctantly sent it back.  I then found that Canon had recalled my 10x and they are now going to repair it gratis.  Nice.  Towhees are still mating.
The trumpet vine blossoms still look fine.  Won't be long until they start to go.
My best shot yet of a yellow throat.  Maybe I should have kept the Kodak.
The magnolia blossoms are still opening, but this one is a little past its prime.

  June 9-15 

Green River Trip

This was the weekend for our family get together.  This year we went to Mammoth Cave National Park, which is about halfway between Lexington, Ky, where Hanley and Denile live and Nashville.  James' Father and Suzanne came, but Natasha was in France and Anne couldn't make it down from Maine.  The park turned out to be very nice.  Our B and B was quite good.  And we found a good little restaurant for breakfast, since nobody wanted the cereal the B and B provided.  Pretty good time was had and it wasn't too far to drive.  Which was good, because the air conditioning went out on my truck on the way home.

Here's where we stayed in Kentucky.  The Wayfarer Bed and Breakfast was convenient, right next to the park, and comfortable.

Big event of the family outing was the float trip down the Green River.  Sherry begged off with her back but the rest of us made it.  Above are James, Denile, Hanley, Travis and Zinnia.

Mike and Suzanne made it too.  Hi James.

I've got the camera and fished a lot, so no photos of me.  Just of the few fish I caught.  Mostly small largemouth and a couple of decent smallmouth.

The river had quite a few locusts floating around in it.  This one got lucky.

When we stopped for lunch Zinnia, Travis, and James got to get together.

Hanley shoots me.  I shoot the three.

Got a nice shot of this butterfly convention on a sandy spot near the river.

Here's Sherry with Travis and her darling Zinnia at the Cream and Sugar Cafe in nearby Cave City.  It had good food at bargain rates.  What a find!

Just a bit down the road from the B and B is this pessimistic spot.
Monday at BiCentennial Park and the magnolias are still going strong. Tuesday at Shelby Bottoms and I discovered where all the cotton  comes from when the cottonwood trees are filling the sky with fluff.

June 2-June 8

Well, Tuesday I had to go with Sherry at 9am to get shots for our trip to Africa in September, so it disrupted my schedule.  Instead of going to Shelby Park to start my walk, I went to Two Rivers Park, only a mile or so from the house.  From there I could cross the new walking bridge on the Greenway and hit Shelby Bottoms from the North.  So, that's what I did.  The weekend was hot as hell, so I went creek fishing both days early and came home and did the chores late in the day, after the front yard was in the shade.  Good week.
View of the Western side of the walking bridge and the huge mound made so that people could climb at a gradual slope.  Especially the handicapped.
Good shot of a toohee male shopping around for a breakfast in the grass beside the path.
View to the north, upstream, from the walking bridge.  Very impressive.  The Greenway system is still growing, but already it's become a very valuable asset to the city.  Thank you Mayor Bill Purcell.
Thursday I noticed the wild roses blooming everywhere.  Love those guys.
These tree swallows were breeding on the ground until I showed up to disturb them.  They flew up and down and all around and ended up clutching one another and sinking out of site into the grass beyond.  Ah, Spring.
Saturday.  Too hot for chores, so I went fishing on Creek J, way upstream where it gets wide, slab rock bottom,  and inches deep in places.  Trees arch overhead and make it shady and the water is cool.  Perfect.  Except that I picked up lots of chiggers and ticks getting down the bank to the creek.  They are bad this year.  Not enough cold weather.  Yuk.
Red Eye fell for this plastic crawfish.  But I had little luck with it on small mouth bass, so I switched to...

a little spinner bait Wal-mart sells for $1.29.  It is like a rooster tail, but the body is a tiny plastic minnow that looks like a rainbow trout.  The small mouth loved it and four or five would rush for it when it hit the water, even before I began to pull it back.  That is, they did that at first.  But the water is very shallow and clear and even bass have a brain, if tiny, so after a little they got cautious and I had to work hard for a hit.  Still, I caught 5 or six from 12" to 16", which are nice fish.
Sunday.  Replay of Saturday.  Too hot, so I tried Creek F, way upstream.  It is more open and generally deeper than Creek J, with lots of moss now.  Later the moss will cover most of the water that is still open here. 

Have to use a floater diver Rapala here because the water gets pretty shallow lots of places and there is moss on the bottom and the top.  The bass are hiding under the floating moss, so you work it along the edges.  Or, if you can get it far enough ahead so they haven't heard you or felt your vibrations, they might dash out to open water to take it.  Caught 5 or six, one over 15", all large mouth.
Noticed the dove next on the arch was empty when I went by. Climbed up and reached in and two eggs were there.
Looked around and found these feathers and a bare skull in Bruce's yard.  Must have been a hawk or owl.  Doves are so stupid about where to site their nests.
Sherry's flowers by the front door.
And along the walk.
The new bed in front of the house, bordered by the walkway to the recycle bin.
Beautiful yellow lily in the front bed by the arch.
The veggie garden is going nuts.  That's the yellow iris to the far right.
Golf ball size tomato already.  Won't be long.  Yum.

May 26--June 1

Well, another busy week filled with new Spring things.
Stopped in front of a bluebird box early Tuesday morning at SB and got dive bombed by three tree swallows.  All the bluebird nests there are full of swallows.  Got a good photo of one close up.
Pretty good shot of a yellow throat.  They are pretty hard to spot and very shy, so any photo at all is a good one.
Walking with Becky Friday morning before yoga class.  This Puryear Mims monument to the friendship between early settlers and the Indians is nice, but the Tennessee state bird is about to give the Indian another bad deal.
First bird's nest on the great arch.  A dove, who sat there bravely through a lot of noise and bother when I clipped the hedge below.
Planted four squash plants and looks like we are going to get some.  Yeh!
Onions did well and are getting big enough to eat.
Beets are still a little small, but will be ready in a week or two.
Saturday afternoon a couple from the church threw a big crawfish boil.  It was good and lots of fun.
Under the tent digging in on the deads, corn, and potatos.  Beer too, natch. That's Sherry down on the end getting her share.
Live Dixieland Band was great and folks got down and partied hearty!


May 19-25

Well, lots of new things coming now.  Magnolia's blooming, hedge too, cedar waxwings gathering in our sycamore, maulberry's ripening--seems like each day brings something new.
Monday before going to the Y.  The magnolia blossoms are opening up.
Tuesday at Shelby Bottoms and the hedge is blossoming everywhere.  Smells good, but bad on alergies.  It's an exotic that takes over if not checked.  Bad.
The indigo buntings are working hard to win a mate.
In their case the ladies aren't as showy as the guys.  How do I know this is a lady?  Not long after this a male flew down and hovered just over her.  She thought he was cute so they did their thing while I stood there with my camera in its case.  Just call me Mr. Never Ready.

The maulberrys are coming along.  Won't be long now and every bird in the county will be working them over.
I knew slugs were slow, but this one was in almost the same spot I saw it last week.  Talk about taking it easy!
The toohees are working hard to get their mating songs just right.
Red and yellow and white honeysuckle is pretty and everywhere.
Storm brewing and our sycamore is really dramatic and lovely.
At the very top a group of cedar waxwings.  They come in in a flock most evenings and swoop out now and then to catch bugs.  Soon they'll be working over the maulberry trees at Shelby Bottoms.
This is the chart of the beans I've planted at Travis' house. This was three or four weeks ago.   I used the heirloom beans she had, so we will have a really interesting harvest if they make it that far. At the front of the row I planted a long row of bush beans so we should have lots of beans of some kind in a couple of months.
Here is the setup looking from the road west toward the river.  The beans are coming up through slits in black plastic.  It was a lot of work putting them in.  There are lots of weeds under the plastic, but the straw helps stiffle them.
I planted the bush beans along the front of the climbers.
At home I got the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant staked.  That's squash behind the crock.  Got sweet basil and dill in the crock.  Way in the back I planted okra again.  The first batch didn't come up.  I also planted some bush Roma beans between the big plants and in a little section I had left over.  Whew!

Sunday I went up to Creek J in my little Old Town kayak I got at the TCV auction.  First time I've been out in it.  Pretty cramped, but OK once I put a rod holder and tackle carrier on the front.  Pretty plants on the bluff.
Maybe Sherry can tell me what these are.
Caught several buck bass, none of any size, but saw several big ones.  The creek was clear and clean.
The main entry to the creek was jammed up with logs, but there was a clear route around an island.  Upstream the log that had blocked off the upper creek was gone--part of the log jam below, I'm sure.  All in all a peaceful and beautiful outing.  It was hot before I got up into the creek, but perfect there.  Thanks.

May 12--May 18

Well, it is still fairly chilly in the mornings, between 45 and 60 degrees.  The indigo buntings were out in force, many of them hopping along the edge of the walkway, evidently eating something in the grass.  Thursday I went to Memphis for the funeral of my last aunt, Aunt Dot.  Got to see the cousins on Mamma's side again.  Everybody looks good.
The male indigo buntings were hunting something on the edge of the walkway.  They were fairly brave and didn't fly until I got pretty near.
The wild roses are beginning to bloom.  Always lovely and so short lived.
Then there is the big old brown slug on the handrail of the bridge.  Pretty!
Hundreds of swallows were skimming the pond for a morning drink.
This one actually got caught in the act.
From left, the preacher who presided over Dot's funeral, Ian, David, Ansley, and Anna Ware, Anita and Doug Ware, and Randy Matthews.  The othe guy is me.
On our Friday morning walk before yoga class Becky and I found this dead bird at 4th and Church.  Probably flew into the glass. 
Sherry thought it might be a fox sparrow, but I think it's probably some kind of warbler.  Have to get an expert to help.
Saturday morning I got this shot of Hootie way out of the house.  Later on, when Billy and Ginger were on the deck with us, we saw Hootie fly back to the house and there was another owl in the doorway.  Probably they were nesting all along.  Haven't seen them since so maybe they've left with the babies.
This is a bad shot of six crappie I caught at Percy Priest Sunday afternoon.  They are swimming aroung in my cooler, my makeshift live well.  But, hey, any shot of a bunch of fish is boring.  At least these were alive, at this point anyhow.


May 5--May 11

Gosh, the days are going by so fast.  Somewhere in the last two weeks I planted pole beans at Travis' house and then put black cloth over it and then put up a trellis for it and then went back and helped the little beans find the holes in the black cloth.  All a lot of bending over and rough on the back.  And I don't have a photo of any of it.  Just as well.  Not a great memory.  Here's some better ones...
Monday before yoga in Germantown.  Beautiful Iris plants in full bloom.
Back at BiCentennial Mall this pretty blossom is all over a tree I don't know.
Tuesday and this young buck with beginning antlers gives me the once over.
Something got this little mole.  Maybe the high water.
Wednesday was my birthday--number 67.  So I stayed home and did all the things I like best.  To begin the day I checked the owl house and there was Hootie, back after a long absence to wish me a happy birthday. Good thing number one.

Then I went fishing, it was a beautiful day, and caught a couple of crappie, enough for our dinner.  Good thing number two.  Then I came home and went turkey hunting.  Got one and the other one is N.'s.  Nice young jakes with 4 or 5 inch beards.  Just right for eating.  Good thing number three.  Finally, Sherry cooked a delicious dinner with my brithday special treat--Strawberry Shortcake--for desert.  So I'd say this was a birthday to remember. 

We waited for my birthday dinner so Travis could be with us--she had choir practice Wednesday night.  On Saturday I cooked the turkey and we were all sitting on the deck when Hootie soared across the back yard and snatched a downey woodpecker off the feeder.  He then landed in the bushed on the river bank.  Bad photo, but that's him, the grey blob, with the downey in his claws--the black area below.
Then he flew over to his house and ducked in to eat in peace.  Hootie and my birthday seem to be linked.  We saw him and his family, mom and the kid,  the last time James and Travis came down to celebrate on the deck with us on my birthday.  Anyhow, owls have to make a living too.  Just suprised screech owls attack birds that big.

April 21-May 4

Well, this segment covers a lot of ground.  Got to catch up somehow.  It includes the last frost, which I saw at Shelby Bottoms, but not at home, and the grand opening of the long awaited Greenway Pedestrian Bridge linking Shelby Bottoms and Two Rivers Park.  Naturally, it had long ago been crossed by Mom and me.
April 22, Tuesday, and it was full moon and warm at Shelby Bottoms.
These mallards wee enjoying the high water along the paths.
But Thursday it was cold again.  Frost back on the new shoots and almost below freezing.
This toohie didn't let the cold slow down his courtship.  He was working out!
Got a couple of shots of this yellow throat courting at the top of a slender tree.  Almost never see them after courting season is over.
It was pretty cold as my self portrait in the window of the truck shows.
Friday it was warmer.  I got Becky to pose on our walk  in front of this huge rose bush on the corner in front of the old library at 7th and Union.

Friday, April 25th, at BiCentennial Mall before I went to the Y to teach my yoga class.  The redbuds blossoms were carpeting the sidewalks.

May 3rd.  Went down to the Grand opening of the Greenway Bridge not three minutes from home.  Mayor Karl Dean  made a nice short speech.
Colorful park rangers on horses.  I have seen exactly one park ranger at Shelby Bottoms in all the time I've walked there in the morning and he was on a four wheeler.  I suppose the horses are only for show.

After that sheer boredom as every politician and his dog had his say.  I'd been over the bridge long ago while it was still under construction and Sherry and I had gone not long before this when it was finished, but not officially open.

Wisteria blossoms already and the vines are to the top now.  Sherry says vines sometimes fail to blossom for many years.  Good for our vine.

On the other side we have three kinds of clematises.  A nice blue one,  Mrs. Chalmonderly,  and
...this lighter one with the hairy center, Nelly Moser.   Both very pretty and growing fast.
This deep burgundy is a Niobe clematis.
I weeded the beets and everything else.  Chard, mesclum lettuce, spinach, onions and garlic.
Finally got my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in.  Need some bush beans and whatever else I can fit in.  After this weekend I was plum beat.  Couldn't stand up straight until Wednesday, except during yoga.  Don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do all this.  Need a share cropper!

April 14-April 20

Well, this was a really mixed up week.  Cold, rainy, warm, and full of ticks and chiggers.  Can't ask more than that!

Tuesday morning at SB park.  Someone left a bicycle leaned against a post at the entrance at Fortland Drive.  Trusting soul.  It was there again on Thursday!

Tuesday it was right at freezing.  Damn the frost--the buds are coming on!

Cocoon covered with frost again on Thursday.

Torpor among the hatched-out bugs.  But the sun was only minutes away.

Two does watching me from the edge of the willow thicket around the pond.

Goose slowly moving away from the bank where I disturbed her.

Not photoshop.  Just nature giving early risers a reward.

The tree swallows have once again stolen all the bluebird houses.  This one was up and waiting for it to warm up a bit before hitting the bug trail on Thursday.

I was dressed for the cold, but my hands were still cold as ........heck.

Sunday I went turkey hunting at N.'s farm.  Found a print early.  Got there around 3:30 and hunted hard.  Set up my blind and called from various spots, but, although I heard gobbles here and there,none of the gobblers felt like I was a hen worth courting.  Sort of hurt my feelings, if you get my drift.

Around 6:30 I was set up near the south pond and one flew in.  A hen.  Then another and two more.  They fed all around the field in front of me but never got near enough to shoot.  But I had sworn not to shoot a hen and hoped a gobbler would join them.  None did.  I finally gave up and went home around 7.

Along the road near N.'s farm I saw these yellow flowers growing on waste ground.  Brought one home.  Sherry says they are Yellow Primroses.  Final note to this day of hunting.  I was covered with seed ticks and chiggers and it was almost two weeks after this when I finally stopped itching and scratching.

April 7-April 13

Well, as usual I'm late getting this up.  Just too much other stuff to do and now that the days are longer I spend less time on the computer.  I'll try to do better, but don't bet on it!

What is this thing?  A snail without a shell?  I see them all the time at SB.

Wednesday Sherry and I crossed the new bridge near our house.  This is the Greenway bridge for people uniting Shelby Bottoms and Two Rivers Park.

It was still pretty dark when I want hunting with N. Thursday.  These are our two turkeys.  I actually got back home, changed clothes, and got to work on time.

Friday morning at the Uptown YMCA on the 30th floor of the 5th/3rd Bank at 5th and Church.  That's the Shelby Street walking bridge just below and the new one just beyond.  I was here because the Downtown Y was closed.  No many Yoga students showed up.  Just enough to have a lesson.  That's just right.

Sherry's azaleas starting to blossom.  Pretty and cheerful.  Great time of year.

Turnips are starting to bolt.  Time to get the last. Sure are good.

Beets doing well.  Time to weed and thin.

Lettuce mix needs thinning too.

Garlic is very green and healthy.

Onions coming along very well.

Spinach looks good, but it's spotty.
Sherry's new bed near the house.  All perennials that do well in shade.

The toy snakes in the ivy near the front door keep the wrens from nesting there.

It's that time.  New plants all over the place. Gonna look fine before long!


March 20-April 6

Well, my computer broke down around the first of March, so I'm still catching up.  I'm too far behind to write much about the photos.  I'll just tell you when and where mostly.  Once I'm caught up maybe I'll go back and fill in details.  Maybe not.
Thursday, March 20, first day of Spring.  I took this to line up the corners of the pavilion with the position of the sun.  Should be near due East now.
This pretty bloom is probably Dogwood.  Shelby Bottoms is coming alive.
Can't find the name of this little pretty.  Right on the ground.  It was gone a week later.
Lots of water in the slough and the sun coming though the trees was nice.
That's two deer looking at me through the saplings.
Good Friday was a holiday, so I went fishing and caught 3 nice crappie.
Garlic is doing well.
Onions look good.
Parsley is coming back.
Turnips are getting really big.  We ate some this week.
Saturday I went fishing at Percy Priest.  This little warmough had a tale to tell.  He hit my jig on the fly rod and then a very hefty bass took him.  I fought them both for over five minutes and, of course, the bass coughed him up just as I was reaching under with the landing net.  This one is tough.  It swam off.
I did catch four nice crappie.  I took them over to N's farm and gave them to him while I went Turkey hunting.  No luck.  But hey!  I didn't have to clean them!
Beautiful little wild flowers covered the sides of the road from Percy Priest to the interstate.  Don't know what they are.
Here's a long shot.
Monday, March 31, during my walk at Bicentennial Mall.  The crabapple trees are coming on strong.
Tuesday, April 1, at Shelby Bottoms.  The tree swallows are staking out the bluebird boxes.  Where are the bluebirds?  Cold and rainy.
Sunrise over the pond with a lone redwing blackbird greeting the day.
Another shot from the corner of the pavilion.  Is the sun a little farther north?
Sunday, April 6, turkey hunting at N's farm.  Saw these tiny and beautiful flower on the path.  No one knows what they are.
Hunted from 12:30 til 6:30 and saw 7 turkeys, no good shots.  Also a herd of five deer and a small covey of quail.  These cows are staring at me behind my camo cloth at my blind.  They finally lost interest and drifted on.

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