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

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Richard Loller

Well, 2016 was a good year, except for the outcome of the election.  Still, I guess we will muddle through.  I wish I'd taken more photos of the garden since we had a pretty good year for most of the standard veggies, but not for the tomatoes and peppers.  They did not do well.  

I'm going to have my soil analysed soon (it's February 2017 as I write this) to find out what is going on.  I suspect all the leaves I've been putting on the garden and chopping up and tilling in may have made it too acid.  We will see.

January 20.   We got an pretty good snow fall (8 inches) and the grand babies made the most of it.  Click here to see a short video. Sister Ann was around then to help them build an igloo and stayed with them when they were sleding down the little hill next door.
A rare visitor to our bird feeder, a male Towhee. February 16.  Three old refugees from Dean Witter Reynolds. I met Mike Denny and Steve St. John at The Sutler, sadly not the original Sutler but the gentrified up one.  Did we sink a few beers and tell some old but good ones?  Duh?
March 30.  A nice developer wanted to build 60 narrow houses on our street.  He evidently hadn't checked out the zoning.  He gave up when it was pointed out he was trying to develop a conservation area in the flood plain. April 24.Puppy sometimes wants out and then back in right away.  He is always polite, however. Instead of barking he just waits for someone to notice.
May 12.  I have, once again, failed to take many photos of the garden.  This is in May and the roma beans and lettuce are coming along great just now.  This is the second planting of the beans.  Note the fence which I put up because a rabbit was eating the tops out of them. May 15. Fishing in the pool below the dam at Center Hill I got this pic of a mamma wood duck and some of her babies.

May 19.  Harry set up a group trip to Dale Hollow, a place I had never fished.  None of us caught much, but he did snag this crappie. I got to the motel first and, to kill the time, went down and threw some lures around the boat ramp.  First cast, caught this nice bass. Only one I caught over two days of fishing.
Harry's friend John took us all over the lake in his bass boat.  Got to admit the speed scared the hell out of me. John caught a fine smallmouth the first day and was the only one of 5 or 6 of us who did.
May 29.  Well, Sherry and her old friend Inez were off to Argentina so I took off to Alva Florida to go fishing with my buddy, Frank.  Here we are towing a boat back to the dock.  One of two broken down boats we rescued that day.  Go figure...
I got this photo of a piliated woodpecker in Frank's back yard.  There were a pair of them hanging around while I was there.
Frank lives on 10 acres on the Caloosahatchee 
River about 10 miles east (upriver) from Ft. Myers. These huge "republican boats" speed by coming down the Atlantic inland waterway and across Florida from all points north. Fortunately, Frank's shore line and boat house are buffered from the huge waves by an island off shore.
Another visitor to Frank's yard.  This red shouldered hawk.This limpkin is a frequent visitor to the pond on the property.  It eats the large fresh water snails.
I took a walk to the park a mile away and saw this gopher tortoise just inside.  They were endangered but now are on the come back. We went down to Lake Okeechobe and fished.  Not much luck the first afternoon because of the strong wind.
  When we got on the lake early the next morning it was calm and still and we had better luck.  In addition, we got to see the beautiful dawn break over the lake. Caught this one on a zara spook, which is a topwater lure.  Man, it's heart stopping when it's calm and quiet and suddenly a bass slams into your lure.  It would be a good way to die of a heart attack when your time comes.

When I got back Sherry wasn't home yet and the mimosas had grown way over the deck and were smushed down by a heavy rain the night before.  Has a trimming job to do. June 16.  Took Nicolo, the son of a friend of Sherry's, to Creek J and although he didn't catch any bass he certainly knows how to hold one for the camera.
Well, actually this is the same fish which I caught but I wanted Nicolo to have  his photo opp. June 27 and Harry and I try Creek J.  He draws first blood with this large mouth.
Ok, this is the story of the "holy ants."  Here you see my hummingbird feeder and above it is a home made "ant barrier." This consists of a plastic container with a screw through the middle and water around the screw. This means ants can't get...to the feeder without crossing the water from the screw to the edge of the container.  Yet they were getting to the feeder. How? That was the mystery.  The solution is all explained in a short video my son and I made.  Click here.
June 21.  I was baby sitting grand baby Elizabeth and we seemed to see all he game there was that day.  On our way to Lock Two park we saw this mamma  with her babies on Pennington Bend.We were supposed to be fishing, but the wading seemed to be more appealing.  
Puppy went with us  and enjoyed his outing.  Here he is resting after a big run down at the boat ramp at Lock Two Park. Then while we tried to catch a bream or catfish here comes a big flock of Canada Geese and spoils the spot.
So, we went to the pond at Two Rivers Park and here are three bucks sauntering into the woods.  By the way, we never did catch any bream but we didn't care. First of July and Harry and I are floating the Caney Fork from Betty's Island to Gordonsville.
 Got this good bass where Smith Fork Creek hits the Caney.  Always a potential hot spot. Nice shot of a bald eagle that did not seem to care if we were there or not.
Almost down to the take out at Gordonsville and we pass under an old railroad bridge with a hugh nest on top.  Probably either the bald eagle or an osprey, but we didn't see the owners. Well at great expense of energy and hassle I put a rabbit fence around my garden because something was eating the tops of my beans.  Then when I weeded a spot near the fence, what did I find under these weeds?

A bunny nest with four babies.  I took the photo and covered them back up.  Didn't have the heart to throw them out. Left the loose place in the fence for the mama to get to them.  Two weeks later they were gone so I patched the fence.  What a fiasco!
September 4.  Trip with Harry to Creek J.  Flowers all over the place.  Great time of year.I even caught a pretty hefty large mouth.
I think these are called yellow sulpher.  Correct me if that's not rightSherry could name this but whatever it is it's nice
This little guy stayed on me or the boat for over an hour.  I guess he's just lazy or else he wanted the salt from my sweat.There's Harry making the turn to come back at the top of the creek.  
Started pulling turnips in September.  Gave some away, ate some with the greens,  and made saurkraut with a lot of them. It's lots of work, but the kraut tastes great with just barely a tang of turnip - just enough to make it interesting.
Peter Virden visited us  in  mid-September.  He and I  got rained on pretty  much  on Creek J.  We did find a great lunch at an Ashland City Catholic church that was having a benefit.   We went up to Caney Fork and waded at Betty's Island.  We both limited out and Peter took home 14 trout the next day.  It's nice to go fishing with a guest and actually catch a few.
October 1. Sherry's Spanish class visited for a potluck dinner at our house around Thanksgiving. Pretty good turnout.One of the prettiest and tastiest dishes was this flan made by the teacher.  That's the kind of teacher you want to have.  Comprende?

As usual Sherry's arrangement of petunias and other stuff made a colorful addition to our deck. They came early and stayed late.  She had a hot hand with the flowers.  What a treat.
It was October before the Heavenly Blues finally started to bloom at our house and the heavenly blues I planted this year at 2213 died after growing all over the arch on the side yard.

The ones on our mailbox are all over it but had not a bloom until late October.  Even so they bloomed before the ones on the front of the house.These graced our hopeful sign...What a tragedy...

The ones I planted on Travis' mailbox  bloomed like crazy as early as mid-September. That is the hardest and worst soil of all the spots and they never get watered. Go figure twice.  But these finally covered the front porch and bloomed in November.
October 2 - Whoo!  Whoo! Whoo!Fished from around noon until almost 4 with no luck. Very quiet, no wind, so I used smaller lures. Finally decided I needed to fish as far ahead as possible. Got a good strike, but it didn't stick.  Ready to gave up and then caught this 16 inch smallmouth on the way out. Mosquitoes were after me and I was running out of dope. Got home around 5:30.  Except for one lucky hit it would have been a complete bust.
In November I joined a bunch of other old farts from the Madison 50 Forward who had a troop called the Loose Caboose Players.  We gave a show at the 50 Forward in Donelson which people actually paid good money to see.  The show was called "Old Radio Days" which meant we could read our parts as if we were on the radio.  Then I had a solo comedy act which went over pretty well, if I do say so myself (as shouldn't).  If you want to catch my act click right here.Finally, a few days before Christmas I got all the boxes from the attic and put up the wooden tree I made when our kids were little. It's been a good little tree and all the home made ornaments our kids and the grand kids made over the years make it that much more precious.  Nearly killed my knee putting this stuff back up there.  Next year it gets stored in the 2213 garage.

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