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

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Phila Hach and Richard Loller


     This is Sherry, me, Ernest and Burdelle Campbell.  We are treating them to dinner at The Mad Platter, a restaurant just a block away from their Germantown home and  owned and run by Marcia and Craig Jarvis.  
     Marcia and Craig are the nice folks who rented us their vacation home in Costa Rica.  For info and all the photos we took on that trip go to this link and then scroll down to early May, about half way down the page.
    Burdelle and Ernest entertained us many times at their beautiful old brick home when they hosted numerous benefits for environmental and political causes.  Ernest died this year and the large circle of friends and associates he left behind miss him dearly.  May he be the first to greet us when we pass over.


This ground hog, woodchuck to all you Yankees, lives down on the river bank and enjoys the nice clover in the vacant lot next door, now belonging to and maintained by Metro Nashville.  It certainly looks  nicer than the dump they tore down.

No winter would be complete without a  shot of our current Screech Owl living in the aging owl house.  Looks like I need to refurbish it this spring.  Did I mention that a hive of bees moved in one year?  They were gone the next spring, so I think it proved a bad choice.  Found old dried honey comb when I cleaned it out.


This is an authentic bond issued by Texas when it was still a republic.  Don Bathrick gave it to me sometime in 1980 when we were both working for Dean Witter Reynolds.  I made this photo to sell it on Ebay.  Don't remember who bought it or what he paid.

Here is something else I sold, but on Craigslist.  I went all the way to Byrdstown to buy it.  Would have been a good deal, except that  the 14' jon boat I then owned didn't fit very well and the tires leaked.  Not so much of a bargain if you have to spend  days rejiggering it and trying to fix the tires.  Finally sold for what I paid, $200.  I guess that is the learning curve.  I bought and sold a couple more boats, motors, and trailers.  Also bought and sold several kayaks.  It was a nice easy way to learn something useful  and a good use of your retirement time, as long as you break even or at least don't lose too much.  


I'm not the only one diddling in boats and trailers.  Harry bought this combo and we took it out once before he sold it.  I think he came out about even on the deal.

Looks like the large mouths are still biting on Percy Priest.  


Beautiful small mouth on Creek X/

August is the magic month on the creeks.

Not the same fish.  Even bigger.

From what I can find in my Peterson book, this is an immature night heron.  It let me get real close, which is a good reason to believe it is immature.

It flew off, but I ended up paddling the kayak right under it.

Later on I got close to the same one and it's sibling.  Great day for birding.

Here's a beautiful dragon fly my grand daughter found.  It wasn't dead, but just lay around, moving it's wings a little.  I expect it had hit a moving car.  

Another view.  Don't tell me little girls are squeamish.  This kid loves to hunt worms and grabs them like a hungry robin.

This is below the dam at Center Hill.  The blue heron was standing on a ledge near the waterfall when I paddled up.  Decided to fly just as I snapped the shutter.

Pretty nice trout, around 16" and a walleye.  Don't normally catch walleye in the pool below the dam in hot weather.  Just a fluke.  I was trolling a shallow diving rapala, which also makes it pretty unusual for one to hit that close to the surface.

This is a kick.  When Morgan Stanley bought Smith Barney and moved their office over to our office they pulled down all the pictures and offered them to anyone who wanted them.  My son in law James,  borrowed my truck and got over 50.  I have so far sold only 5 or 6, but hey!  You can buy any you want for the ridiculous price of $25!!!  Go to this link to see the selection, most of which are still available.  Hurry, they may go fast if the housing boom keeps up.

The granddaughters also found this Giant Leopard Moth outside on the deck.  We just watch it and took its photo and it eventually flew away.  

This is a yellow billed coo coo.  I know because when I was a really mean little boy with a bee bee gun I shot one.  We used to call them "Rain Crows" because they were supposed to only call when it was going to rain.  I don't shoot them anymore.

One of my favorite creeks was pretty deserted except for the old house in the background which people sometimes visited on weekends.  Now, evidently, the owners are planning to live here.  Roll on, Civilization.  Roll on!

I guess you get tired of photos of fish which, by the way, aren't dead.  They are only resting a bit until I get the photo and put them back.  I only keep the crappie and the occasional sauger or walleye.  Bass aren't something I want to clean.

Wish I had got a better photo of these mating damsel flies.  The upright one is depositing sperm into an appropriate safe place located  just behind the head of the other one.  I think.  Anyhow, they are pretty weird, almost as strange as us!

These flowering plants are all over the marshy land near my favorite creek.  Sherry told me the name (was it Marsh Mallow?), but only after I had waded ashore despite lurking snakes and chiggers  and filled a black trash bag with the leaves....

Why?  Because I thought they were Jimson Weed and I was collecting the leaves for Milwant to make his muscle soothing lotion from.  What a dummy.  Still, they do have pods and leaves and flowers somewhat similar.  But no cigar!

Now here is a dead tree that the woodpeckers loved until the roof started leaking.

I don't know what these pretty flowers are.  Look it up and email me.  richard@storyhouse.org

No, I don't know this one either.  But I do now I took the photo on the 4th of July.

Same  for this  tree.  Those are  the seeds, I think.  Anyone know?

Now that is a bass that eats right.  She  was over 18" long.

Caney Fork dead snakes have no power to scare my baby doll...


Ever watch these little guys?  You can't catch them, so they must be able to see pretty well.  But how?

There must have been a trillion of these little flies on the water.  I guess the trout and other fish love to see them arrive.


I do know what this is.  The blossom of a prickly pear cactus.  

It's May 7th, my birthday, so we went to have dinner with several friends and family at Phila Hach's little guest house beside a spring creek.  The babies and their parents waded while the rest of us had a nice little glass of wine and waited for the delicious meal Phila prepared.  Such an interesting person she is.  Ought to write a book about her.  If only I could be as productive and alert at her age!


Well, we went to Dolphin Island, south of Mobile for a week to get away from the pollen.  I took my kayak and caught these two nice trout the first day.  This gave me hopes that kept me going all week.  It was a fluke, of course.

I did catch this flounder  on a shad rap sometimes during the week.  It was frustrating, but hey! if I quit fishing every time I was frustrated I end up watching daytime television in a  nursing  home.

This is the view from the deck of our rented house that sat right on the edge of the gulf.  It wasn't planned that way.  The gulf redesigned the lot.

I did catch some crabs which we are with gusto.  Glad I took the nets.  By the way, she fishing pier which I utilized the last time we were here was now sitting on a sand bar.  Lots of houses were lost and the entire shoreline was changed.  I guess because of the hurricanes.

Pelicans are so dramatic when they dive.

Don't know for sure, but think this is a Louisiana heron.  We saw it at the Audubon sanctuary not far from out house.

This is a pair of Little Blue Herons, as near as I can tell from the bird book. 

Sherry's college friend Alice came down to spend a few days with us and we all went kayaking.  She and her family had invited us to join them here for years and we went a time or two and really enjoyed it.  That was some time before this when Peter, Alice's husband, was alive.  He and his sons took me out in the Gulf fishing for red fish and grouper.  We caught a bunch, although the weather was rainy and rough early on.  Closest I've been to sea sick when we all had to stay dry in the cabin with the diesel fumes.  But it cleared up eventually and we all had a good time.

This little aircraft came over while we were boating.  Looks like fun!

Get this crowd at the city park.  A bunch of nutty Audubon birders has heard a rumor that a redstart was flitting about here.  Sure enough, despite the noise and bustle of the crowd, it was.

This is the male and very nicely colored he is.

But this is him doing his courting display.  Unfortunately I didn't get a good pic of it so this one is from the web and only shows him from behind.  But the one we saw was hard at it for quite a while and all the folks there must have got their limit of photos and videos.


When the forsythia in the front yard flashes out you know winter is going out.

Didn't catch a lot, but this guy was almost 14" long.

March 13 and the mesclun mix of lettuce is coming right along.

Had a good day at Brush Creek.  Usually two nice size crappie will feed  Sherry and me for one meal, So these added to the big one above  provided at least 4 meals.

I put in these two photos of our 2213 house because I want to remember how it looks in March now that we've moved 4 houses north at 2313.  Numbers are nuts on Pennington Bend because early on there was nothing on the street but summer residences.  It flooded every winter, so people hung the furniture from the rafters and went back to their other houses until after the winter and spring floods were over.  For a story about early settlers see Efness by William Weems on my Storyhouse web site.  His parents were early pioneers out here on the river.  In fact, my daughter and her family bought the Weems home and live there now, next door to our new house.  Pennington Bend may flood us once a life time (we hope only once), but those of us who live on the river won't live anywhere else..  Click here to see the segment on the flood of 2010 which caused much loss and displacement.  

Time to start the root veggies.  These beets usually do very well as long as I thin them out early on.  If I don't the little roots get long and crooked and that's bad.

Planted this garlic in October or November and it grew some then and then just stopped until the ground warmed up again.  It'll be ready to dig around July 4th.

Harry Breaks A Leg


Well, Harry is one good sport.  He broke his right leg, both bones, just above the ankle when his kayak turned as he was getting out.  He yelled for me and we used what we both remembered from our Army Medic training (I remembered more from the Boy Scouts).  I used his life preserver for a splint and tied  both legs together to stabilize it additionally.  We called 911 and since I couldn't lift him into my kayak I tied the two together and he pulled himself over the edge with his elbows.  I towed him back toward the ramp, maybe a half mile away.  Got mighty tired before a paramedic came down in a borrowed jon boat and motored us the rest of the way.

It was sure a welcome sight to see the ambulance waiting at the ramp.  The folks who were with it seemed efficient and all went well as they got Harry out of the kayak and onto the stretcher.  Harry, being Harry, insisted they go to St. Thomas. "I'm damned if I'm going to Cheatham County Hospital.  Just put me in the back of my truck and  Richard can drive me there."  Whatever the arguments against it they took him there.  They helped me load the kayaks on the truck before leaving and I took the truck and kayaks to Harry's house where Sherry met me with my truck.  Harry's wife had already left for the hospital so we just left the keys under the mat.

Well, here he is smiling or the camera as I get one last shot before they close the door.  I'd say that is what you call a true blue Bubba, with a capital B.

Oh, I almost forgot.  We saw an immature bald eagle that day before all the excitement.  


This is a creek chub, a minnow sort of fish that never gets much bigger than this one.  However, that doesn't keep them from trying to devour a floating rapala.  What gall!

These  pair of blue herons were building a very nice nest on Brush Creek when I went there with crappie on my mind.

That nice cabin in on a very narrow strip of land and probably flooded in 2010.  The people who lived there before that had donkeys, cows, a llama, and, believe me or believe me not, a camel.  Don't know if they drowned or not, but whoever lives there now has no animals and I've never seen them when I was there.  

You know, it can get cold and a witches ....heart...around here, but even if January and February we have warm spells.  I always like to see the turtles come out and enjoy the sun.  Makes me feel sort of like I'm not the only idiot out here.


It's January in Ft. Myers  and I'm down here to do some fishing and warming up.  Here's a view of Frank's 10 acre orchard.  All kinds of oranges and stuff.  He says he should have planted only one kind since the buyers won't come pick them for so little of any one variety.  He donates them to the homeless and volunteers come out and pick them.  Of course he sends us a Christmas box or brings it with him when he comes to Nashville.

Here's that limpkin that lives on Frank's pond.  She had babies the year before and they all hunted snails together.   I missed them then, but hope to see it one year.

Ok, now I know what a fire ant hill looks like.  They are all over the orchard and yard.

I had thought they were big, but they are tiny, about the size of our piss ants.  If they get on you and bite the place makes a little boil and itches for a week or more.
I found that out fishing off the bank.  I was standing on a next but soon found out.
I'm very careful now.

The dirt road that leads to camp has a slough running beside it and often times a resident alligator.  This one was only 6 or 7 feet long.  But long enough to be given a wide berth.

In the almost 50 years I've been visiting the hunting camp it has changed from a collection of tents around a campfire with a hand pump on a homemade table to something like an Everglades Hilton.  This is the outdoor cooking area and the indoor  kitchen and dining room.  All the conveniences now, including gas, electricity, and running water.

Now the campfire is largely symbolic and is dandied up with a brick border..

The dining room sports a ceiling fan and electric lights.  These run off a gasoline generator as does the  water pump.  It was working on this machine that got most of the end of Frank's thumb several years ago.  The guys put the severed piece in ice, drove him to the ER and they sewed it back.  Lucky boy.

Frank and I visited the camp when none of the others were around which give him the perfect opportunity to add a tasteful decoration to son Lin's jeep.

I have no idea why this is appropriate and I did not ask..

Now instead of Frank bringing his kids his kids bring his grandchildren for whom some interesting touches have been added.  Hunting camp or spa?

Here is the outdoor kitchen and dining area.  No comment.

I love the humor of this.  Give enough guys enough time and materials and they will build the Taj Mahal.

Yes, the toilet flushes and the water runs in the sink.  Only thing a little different from back home is that it's wise to check under the seat for anoles or frogs.


Caught in the act of brumbling around in the bushes.

This is the deer stand Frank and I spent several days fixing up.

I'm even using the kayak for crappie in the winter.  Well, I did it once.  It is hard to fish and keep it where I want it with any kind of wind and it is almost always windy on the lakes in winter.

Still, I caught this nice bag of crappie below the dam at Center Hill out of it.  Must have been a calm day or the dam might have knocked off the wind.  The result was good so that's all that matters.

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