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

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Richard Loller

Harry Murphy and I and my wife Sherry went to Maine September 2, the day after labor day, start of the Off Season.  Here's Sister Ann's nice house and barn and garden (fenced against deer) in Eastport, Maine.  About a 4 hour drive from Portland, where we landed. Sherry, Sister Ann, and their friend Heloise went to Prince Edward Island and had a great time.  Here's a view with lupines, which I have only seen in one other place--Nova Scotia.
Before we left Ann's house her cat sitter showed up in her restored woody wagon.  It had three or four rows of seats.  Her husband did all the work.  Wow! We didn't stay long in Eastport, but we saw a few of the sights.  This is the sculpture of the old fisherman that stands on the main drag above the docks.
These are the floats that mark a fisherman's lobster pots.  Each fisherman has a different design that marks his traps.
Lots of lobster boats tied up at Eastport.
This little restaurant is hidden down near the docks.  Best lobster we had all trip and the least expensive.  Ann put us on to it. On the way to Grand Lake Stream we passed these blueberry fields and stopped to have a tasty snack.
Harry and I went to what is supposed to be the finest fishing in Maine--Grand Lake Stream. Well, it sure was scenic!
But first we visited Campobello Island, which is in Canada just across a short bridge.  This is where Franklin Roosevelt had his vacation home.  We skipped that stuff and instead went to a place Ann told us about where the shore is covered with small round rocks of many colors as far as you can see We asked the information lady if we could take some with us and she said it was illegal but nobody cared so Harry, who is nuts about rocks, took about 50 pounds and I took a few for the grandbabies, who also like rocks.
Then we went to Grand Lake Stream which is also the name of the little community on the stream.  Stayed in Canal Side Cabins, which are run by very nice folks, Betty and John. Plain cabins, but comfy. Two bedrooms, bath, and kitchen-sitting room.  Price was right too.
Actually Grand Lake Stream is only 2 miles long between the Grand Lake, out of which it falls at a dam, and Big Lake, where it ends.  Look it up.  Here I am fishing the stream.  At times, in Spring and three or four weeks after we left, land locked salmon come into the stream and beg you to catch them. Sound familiar?  Same old stuff as we had in Nova Scotia, only this time we didn't waste time in the stream but fished for small mouth in the lakes.   Too windy and no anchor in our rental boat.  Owner said we didn't need an anchor.  I said bull frogs.  Then he said, well, I've lost too many anchors renting that boat.  Can't blame him.  Bottom is nothing but boulders and rocks.  So I made an anchor from a rock and we left it in his boat, no charge.
  Saw this sign on the way to eat dinner at Weatherby's, which is supposed to be world famous and booked up.  "Be sure to make reservations," they said.  We were two of the four people there for the overpriced dinner.  I guess the fish and fishermen stop biting the day after labor day... Well, here I sit giving it a last try, but we gave up on the third day after catching nothing but little ones. They are deep now and we had no fish finder but "in October they'll be feeding shallow and knocking hell out of topwater."  Well, we will be gone, so good luck to whoever...
Anyhow, Harry and I  then went down to Southwest Harbor, which is near Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. about a 2 hour drive south.  This is the "busy" section" Bar Harbor is a tourist zoo. We avoided it except to drive through
In Acadia National Park we visited Mount Desert, highest point on the east coast. Just one solid granite rock.  Here your are looking down to Bar Harbor.  One reason it's so frantic.  Each of those tour ships can drop 2,000 tourist off to shop and gawk.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....  Also did a nature boat tour around Bass Bay which was good.  The boat was a refitted lobster boat called the R. L. Gott, who was one of the earliest settlers on the island that  creates Bass Bay.  Very good cruise and the captain and his wife made it very interesting.
Saw lots of animals. seals, eagles, dolphins, sea serpents and things and our guide pulled in a lobster trap and kept 4 or 5 legal ones and threw back the rest. Learned lots about lobsters and the fishing for them.  Including the fact that they can get very large.  This one is over 5 pounds.
Also went to a lobster hatchery and oceanarium.  Learned a lot about other sea creatures, including this horseshoe crab--which isn't a crab at all.  It's a marine chelicerae arthropod,  more closely related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions than to crabs. Saw the tanks where they raise the tiny baby lobsters to a length of about half an inch and then release them.At that size they sink on the bottom and can hide. Survival is about 50% verses 2% in the wild.  That's because they are most vulnerable when they are floating around with the other plankton.
Harry had found a fine reasonably priced motel in South Harbor called Seawall Motel.  That's it on the right and on the left is the Common Cause restaurant where we discovered popovers.
Great place run by really nice folks and they throw in a free breakfast.  South Harbor is out of the bustle of Bar Harbor but still near Acadia National Park and near everything you want to see.  Mandatory lighthouse photo from there.
Had a sign at the entrance. Their Maine coon cat is named "Speed Bump."  Get it?
Next door was a restaurant run by Common Cause, which is a charity that helps the poor.  They served breakfast of popovers and other tasty stuff.  Just give a donation. They run a soup kitchen with the proceeds.
 Popovers are delicious but unknown to most southerners.  Said to have originated at a Boston department store where management offered them free to shoppers so they would stay in the store instead of leaving for a restaurant at lunch time. Met Sherry at Ann's in Eastport Tuesday and spent the night there. Eastport is as far north as you can go on the Maine coast.  Above is part of the docks.  It's a big center of lobster fishing and other marine activities.
Did you know they have fire ants in Ann's driveway?  They are tiny and look harmless.  Little devil bit me on the top of my big toe.  It was still swollen after almost two weeks. We then drove way down south to Portland to catch the  plane and come home Wednesday night.  Total trip 8 days.  Had lunch on the warf in a fancy restaurant.  I was glad to get home.  Had lobster overload and fishing underload.

August 23, 2014             Fishing Creek J
15 inch sm


Nothing prettier than a smallmouth bass.  I took this photo before landing it because so  many times they escape  right at the boat. But here it is ready to go back home and grow up bigger and bigger.  See you next year.
August 14, 2014                                  Kayaking the Caney Fork


Harry, Joe, and I went down Caney Fork from the dam to Happy Hollow with some friends of theirs.  Could... barely see the boats around you when we started.  But after a bit it cleared off and turned into a beautiful day.
Not the best photo, but that's a doe ahead getting a drink. Later, down the stream, we saw another one not so lucky.
August 7, 2014   Veggies and flowers going wild

Tomatoes, patty pan squash, cantelopes, bell peppers and jalapenos, lettuce of various kinds, roma beans, dill, parsley,  and watermelon.

This year I planted patty pan squash, which I think is much better than yellow.  I planted 7, figuring I'd have losses to squash beatles.  All thrived, so we had squash overload to give away.  I even dried some for soups.

Sherry planted petunias, parsley, sage, and rosemary on the deck.  They did great.

Over in the corner and along the sides I planted heavenly blues.  These  are part of a vine that is climbing a really big bamboo pole...

Really is a tall one.  It got blown down in September, but I proped it back up and it's still  full of blooms now--October 25.

Worth all the trouble.  We had a really dry summer and I watered them a lot.  They don't bloom until mid summer and some don't bloom at all.  We don't really know why.  They did great in front of the house and down the street on the great trellis  at our old house.  It is really loaded and they have covered most of the wisteria.  But they'll die out soon and the wisteria will last.
June 27, 2014     One of the best fishing days of my lifetime
This hollow trunk is where the beaver I saw ducked into.   I think it has a den under the bank.  Seen it before here. And that's the big log across the creek.  Just enought room to get over when the water is up a bit.
First of the 7 or 8 nice bass I caught that day.  Most on that silver torpedo. Dern deer moved just as I shot, but it was a long way off, so I thought it was a pretty good shot for my old 10X Kodak.
This is the prize catch of the day.  17" Small mouth.  It was chasing minnows in a shallow run.  and Bang!!! This strange turtle behavior puzzled me, and still does.  Is the rear turtle trying to bite off a leg?  What?  You can see the video on Youtube.  Click Here  or on Vimeo  Click Here.
                                        June 14, 2014      Barbecue at Wedge Oak Farm
My friend Ned's daughter Karen came home from a NY City career and became a chicken farmer.
Their place near Lebanon is wife Ann's family home.  Lots of land and now Karen is raising pigs, turkeys, goats, and veggies.
Another sister, Virginia, came down with a crew of friends and they built a new chicken house.
Nothing wrong with the old one, of course, but it was a bit crowded.  
This is the old corn crib, still standing and useable if needed.
These cedar logs will still be there when you and I are history.  

Well, hello, Ducky Lucky.  Who's your friend? What this is I forget.  I think it's the old smoke house.  Now used for storing the frozen eatibles.
Who have we here?  One of the hundreds of wild turkeys that live on the farm.  They are pests that eat chicken... ...and hog food.  However, this pig, just slow cooked and ready, got plenty despite the competition.
Whoa!  Now that's what I call dinner! Well hello, young girl.  I bet you wish you could grow up to be a slice of juicy ham!
June 4, 2014    Nice large mouth at Percy Priest
Well, I haven't had much luck at Percy Priest, but today I found this deep hole up in a little cove.  That's a bouy... ...in the back there.  This was a fat large mouth almost 18" long.  She got tangled up with the trolling motor but I got her in.  Green Frog Tiny Torpedo.
May 30. 2014                Sherry and I take Charlie Burdeshaw down the Caney Fork and get drenched.
Charlie, the decon at St Ann's, bid highest for the trip down the Caney Fork I donated.  Here we are dry and happy. Still dry and happy just after lunch about half way to the take out.  After that we were wet and not happy.  Still, we survived.
May 22, 2014   Harry, Wayne, and I go to the races at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
Well, here we are at Churchill Downs.  Home of "fast horses and pretty women," or is it the other way round? No fast women attacked me, maybe because my buds scared them off.  Anyhow, fine day and a pleasant way to lose a few bucks.
Frank comes to fish!   May 7 -11
My bestest friend Frank Mann came up from Florida to do some serious fishing.  Day one.  Kentucky Lake at Cuba Landing.  Fished 5 hours.  Caught one "Tennessee Tarpon" or River Herring.  They do jump and cavort, but not eatable. Day two.  Old Hickory.  Rained and then quit.  Dark and overcast all day.  Fished long and hard.  Frank caught this one lost little largemouth that was playing hooky from his school
Day three.  Percy Priest.  Very windy and bright.  We fished these flat rocks wherever we could get out of the wind.  This is the magic spot where with only an hour of fishing left, and on a green and yellow shallow running... ...lure, probably the least recommended lure for such a day and such weather, Frank caught this beautiful large mouth.  Measured almost 20 inches and probably went a good four pounds.  So it just shows if you keep on trying you will succeed.  Maybe...
Snow!    March 3, 2014
Well, we don't get much snow but this March we got one. The birds were glad to come on the deck for a free feed. Elizabeth and Puppy tried to catch them but had no luck.  They did enjoy making snowballs and throwing them at each other.
The Boys take a night out at McNamara's Pub               February 11, 2014

Wayne                            Richard                              Harry
Well, with a Murphy in the crowd it was inevitable that we needed to try out McNamara's Pub, just down the road in Donelson.  We drank Guiness and talked to the other tourists and then came home.  Guiness isn't too bad.
January 24.  Caught the ferril tom cat that had been spraying our garage and beating up our Ms. Jane Tabby and Travis' Lucy and Percy.  He now lives across the river.
February 10.  Puppy decides to sleep in Ms. Jane's basket.
                                             Florida Trip            January 7 - 14

Well, with hopes of huge trout and redfish  fish Frank and I talked Clark Lewis, the acknowledged king of such fishing, into going with us on the Gulf.  All we got was sore arms.  Weather cold and windy. This, for my money, is the chief reason for having a ten acre farm in Florida.  A four stall garage with tons of room for tools, fishing junk, tractors, etc.  It even has a private johnny!
Well, here we are on Lake Okochoobee, probably the most famous bass lake in Florida.  Here is the total catch-a gar. What to do?  We tried Lake Trafford, closer to home, where the paper said the crappie were hot.  Here is the one Frank caught.
When I saw that I promply caught one my own self to even the score.  And that was it.  Not the worst fishing I've ever had on these winter trips.  But close. Well, the day wasn't a total waste.  We got to see Old Wally, the big gator that comes out from time to time to beg junk food from the tourists.

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