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

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Richard Loller

February 20, 2021.  Flash back a few days to February 20, 2021.  Sweetie Pie and I drove  to Hamilton, Alabama, to buy a labradoodle.  Still snowy but the highways were clear.  The man selling her (the black one) threw in her half-sister because he said he was ill and closing down his dog business.  At this time they had no names. January 13, 2022.  Here they are a year or so later doing what they do best.  Tapping out.
January 14.  Went back in to have the surgeon check out my second hip inplant, the right one this time.  Got it done December 1st, 2021, and as I write this in August, 2022, it feels like a new set of legs.  Oh, that's the zipper, not a nail. January 14. Bird feeder in demand after a dustng of snow. The doves are crowding out some of the little birds.      
January 14.  Here is a young house finch that needs to get into weight watchers. January 22.  Red belly woodpecker finds our suet feeder.
February 1.  Just passing through.  We couldn't identify this little guy, but finally decided it looked most like the Tennessee warbler.   February 13.  Here's anther view.  He/she is back again as I write this December 12, 2022.  
February 27.  Well, maybe it's something else.  If you can identily it please let us know. February 27.  My grandson's cat, Bubba, shows a professional interest in this projected bird.
February 25.  Here is our cat, Ms. Jane Tabby, doing what she does best in the cold and wet months. February 3. Grandaughter Zinnia's birthday cake.  This year featuring her self drawn portrait of her friend Connor.
February27.  Here's a better pic of our male red belly trying out the black sunflower seed.  March 3.  That's a drain on a yard faucet at our old house.  Problem was it kept leaking after the water in the pipe above drained out.  Our friend and former neighbor, Dennis Smith, came down and between us we fixed it. Something the plumbing company wanted $1,500 to do.  I owe Dennis a big favor.
March 3.  Here's a pic showing why the pipe needs to drain.  The cutoff is down below ground and the drain keeps the water left in the standing pipe from freezing. March 3.  Well, won't be long 'til spring.  The Japanese Magnolia is blooming up a storm.

March 3.  These little crocus flowers are some of the first to show up and are so pretty while they last--which isn't long..... March 4.  Here is my wind force and direction device newly decorated to honor the WW I British biplanes.

March 11.  First tilling for a planting of arugula, romaine, and spinach.
March 11.  Buttercups showing some spunk along our front yard at the new house.
March 11.  The magnolia sheds blossoms almost faster than it grows them. March 11.  Here's the garlic patch started last fall.  I think it was in October.
March 11.  Typical Nashville weather.  Buttercups one day, snow the next.  But buttercups are tough.  They made it through. March 12.  The bird feeders are well attended now.  Notice the snow still hasn't melted in the trays.
March 12.  It was Sunday, of course, when our idiot dog, Bunny, decided to get this bone stuck in her lower jaw.  $350 dollars later the emergency vet got it out.  They said this happens quite often.  We no longer buy dog bones with big holes. April 1.  Ok.  It's April Fool's day, right?  So when I found our pecan tree cut down I immediately decided it must be our fun-loving next door neighbor, Jonathan.  After a bit, however, I noticed the tooth marks.  Mr. Beaver had been visiting.  What a bummer!

Marh 21.  The forsythia down at our old house is coming along fine.  My favorite color too! March 23.  Sherry is always making these beautiful flower arrangements for me to admire when draining the tank.  It certainly adds a bit of class to the bathroom.
April 2.  Sherry boutht these concrete stepping stones and I laid them.  I used the tiller to make a bed for them but I'm telling you, I'm glad they weren't any bigger! April 2.  Here is were our stepping stone walk meets my daughter Travis' walk.  She had it done by a pro, of course.

April 3.  Those are Christmas limas above and romaine below. The romaine was ready to eat in two or three weeks.  The beans weren't ready until October. April 3.  The blue globe is an imitation hornet's next and the little box with the jar below is a carpenter bee trap. Carpenter bees are supposed to avoid hornets, but those that don't crawl into the trap and fall into the jar.  We have had a lot of trouble with them before this.

April 5. Here is a pretty bad pic of a monarch butterfly.  I include it because we saw none this year in Nashville.  This is one at Frank and Mary Lee Mann's farm in Alva, Florida. April 6.  Here's a shot of Mary Lee's garden fountain where the young alligator they named Al lived until recently.  Al has run away from home and is enjoying his freedom somewhere--we hope.
April 7.  That's Frank and me in Front of the highway convenience store and restaurant where we met his friends Squeekie and Danny.  That's his replica MG TD with a VW engine.  At one time in my youth I would have given my left little toe for one.  Now I'd rather have the toe. April 7.  Here is where we went to fish since Frank had always wanted to hire a guide and fish Okeechobee for those huge bass for which it is famous.

April 8.  Well, it was pretty cold and dark when we started and the boat speed chilled even Frank.  Not to mention me even though I was more warmly dressed.  Our guide, a retiree from Michigan, guaranteed we would catch bass and big ones or we wouldn't have to pay.  We told him we had the bass catching curse and he just... ....laughed.  However, the gar above was one of three fish we caught--two gars and one catfish. The curse was stronger than the guide. When we got back to the dock he forgot to give Frank back the fee.

April 10.  However, we did have fun at Tommy's Smoot's fishing shack off Pine Island.  Frank's sons and grandsons joined us and though the fishing curse still held tight we did ... enjoy good food and adult beverages.Got a view of a friendly porpoise and several tour boats full of envious folks.
May 10.  Frank's brother Pat brought all his sons and grands in this fine boat.  One of them slept in it too. The Frank Mann curse didn't prevent his nephew Teddy from snaging this fine bass.
April 19.  Sad news.  Here we are at the Crab Shack at Tybee Island, Georgia, near Savannah.  Sherry and I met them in Savannah because Frank had cancer and this, along with fishing Okechobee, was one of his bucket list wishes... We gave the camera to some doofus who was supposed to take a pic of the four of us.  No pic.  So, when I got home I pasted up tis fake one.  Still, it was the last time we had with Frank.  He and I went back to Freshman year at Vanderbilt in 1959. He died in July.  Good by, old friend.
April 21.  After Frank and Mary Lee left for home, Sherry and I stayed in a great old house in the historic district.  Here I am in Forsyth Park against the fountain.  We ate lunch in the park andOn our way back to the room we saw several of these...  messages attached to posts and trees. They helped cheer us up a bit after saying goodby to Frank. What a good idea and so simple!  Here is their facebook page:
April 27.  Well, here is  our rose breasted gross beak.  I imagine he's on his way back up north.  We see him once or twice a year, going south or heading  north. May 7.  Our little Carolina wrens eats suet out of the feeder and he also knocks bits out too and eats it on the deck.  Yum, yum...
May 8.  The wisteria is beginning to cover the screen behind our deck chairs.  Go little flowers and leaves.  Get with it! May 8. Sherry's deck frowers are starting to come along too.  So nice to have a sweetie who makes our lives so much more lovely.

May 15.  This is a downy woodpecker hole they made in our dead pig nut hickory tree.  We saw them go in and out, but don't know if they raised and little downys.. . . Here is a better view.  How can such tiny birds with such little beaks knock a hole in a pig nut hickory?

May 26.  This is a photo of a male pileated woodpecker.  We used to see them quite often at our old house (only 4 doors south of our new one) where they had a nest hole in our big sycamore.  It was a great nest hole used by screech owls, wood ducks, and of course, by the woodpeckers over the years.
Here is a fake photo I made of one sitting on the gate to our deck which I can see through the glass door.  I made this because I failed to have my camera ready when he flew down and sat there.  Every morning I sit and watch the birds and usually am ready to make a pic of any new ones.  Did I have the camera this day?  No. No. No.

May 28 The beets got off to a good start and in another two weeks I would have been picking them.  But a DAMNED SQUIRREL got in and ate almost every beet and dug up the ones too little to eat. June 26.  It took a while but I caught this beet thief and ruiner.  He now lives far away near the banks of the Stones River.

May 28.  Here's a view of the garlic.  This is not long before it was ready to be dug up.  Around here July 4 is traditional time to dig, but also if the stalks are half or more dead you go ahead before that.  This year it was so dry I dug early.. June 22.  I dug the garlic today and hung it up until July 29, took it off the stalk then and popped it into a closed paper bag.  We are still eating it now, December 7. It will probably last another month or two.  I wish all crops were so easy.
April 27.  Inside these Santa suits were two liters of Valentina Hot Sauce which were my Christmas present from son Hanley.  Funny part of the story is after I poured some into a smaller container and stored these away I promptly forget where I stored them.  We searched for a month or so before Sherry finally found them way back in a closet.  Oh well, at least I hid them well. May 28.  Arugula and romaine coming along well.  We were eating it already.

May 28.  This is my kale patch.  The kale did very well and we got a lot of it before the bugs got into it seriously. June 3.  Bunny is a dedicated squirrel dog.  Once she got the idea that squirrels were ok to chase from Rayray she buckled down to it. She has never caught one, but has gotten close a few times.  If she was something other than white she would probably score a lot.
May 28.  These are cow peas planted along the same fence as the Christmas limas.  They matured a lot earlier and we were eating them by the end of August. August 12.  Here some are.  They have long pods and you let them dry up.  They are tiny peas, but worth the trouble of shelling them.
June 6.  This is a cross between a white domestic turkey and a wild turkey. He has been hanging out with the flock of 12-14 wild ones that stays mostly on the Gleaves farm field not far north of here.  But they do wander up and down the street and we often see them in our yard.
June 6.  Don't remember if this is our first visit by a hummer,
but it may be the first one I got a good pic of.   They are so great!

June 20.  Poor old male redbird.  He molted really badly.  We called him Baldy and  it took almost all summer before he grew back his feathers. June 10.  Mom house finch with her fuzzy male newbee.
June 26. This young doe visits all over the street.  So far she's avoided the cars.  Hope her luck lasts.  There are quite a few deer along the river and at the Gleaves farm here.  My daughter and I tried to grow a fall garden at her house (next door to us).  I was doing most of the work, of course, since she now lives near Vanderbilt.  But I finally said to heck with it.  I got tired of weeding so the deer could find the lettuce, etc. easier June 26. Fellow  speeding  on  McGavock  failed to make the turn onto Pennington Bend.  Maybe sleepy, overcome with booze, or just plain nuts. I hope all the deer and turkeys crossing the road all the time can be lucky--I know they won't be careful.
August 1.  View of the  mountains  near  Erwin, Tn.  Sherry and I met Sister Ann and Son Hanley so  we could  raft the Nolachucky River.  Sherry did it in a  ducky kayak and  had a great time.  Ann and  I crewed Hanley's  rubber raft. Here is an example of the decor of the cabin we rented.  Yeah, the view was fine and the beds were comfortable but did you ever see so much junk hanging on the deck wall?  That's just a sample.  We had three wash tubs decorating our bedroom.
August 26.  Repair of a culvert north of us cut Pennington Bend in half for over a month.  We were ok unless we wanted to visit someone north of construction.... Then we would have to go south on PB, left on Music Valley and left back on PB.  Fortunately we did not have anyone we needed to visit up there.
August 30.  Here's a young redbird with what we thought was an underdeveloped upper beak.  Turns our the end is just dark as became apparent as it got older and the dark color faded. August 30.  One of our favorites, the male towhee shared the goodies on the table with a daddy redbird.
September 2.  Here's a sample of the harvest from my garden at the little house.  The cukes and a long think Japanese variety--but very good.  Note the few tomatoes and the fair crop of okra.  Okra did very well, tomatoes not much. September 2.  Here is  our neighbor and her boys.  She is a great runner and pushes these two  4 or  5 miles whenever she can. Penningon Bend is a great road for walkers and joggers.   I could  jog  5 miles if I wanted to.  I just don't want to!

September 10.  Here is the little gulf fritillary caterpillar getting ready to go into its chrysalis. . . . .  And here it is after a few weeks in the cage.  It is trying to decide if it really wants to get out there and fly away.  And where are all these flowers?  And which way is south?  So many questions.

September 24.  Well,  I finally gave in and got a hearing aid.  My first one on the right was pretty clunky.  My second one on the left was pretty good.  I lost it for over two weeks until Sherry found it in the shower.  By a miracle it still worked fine.  Then I lost it at Kroger or Goodwill pulling my mask off--I think.  Anyhow, it is gone for good this time and a new one is on order.  Blue cross paid most of the original cost so I'm out the $600 co-pay for the first one and will pay $250 for the replacement--instead of $2--$4,000 most people pay for them.  Hey, at my rate of losing them  I'll stick to the $250 replacements!
October 15.  Found this  bike in a ditch 200 yards north of  our house during my  daily bike ride.  Have to show you my bike sometime.  This one was damaged and so when no one answered the note I left where I found it I gave it away on Craigs List.  

November 4.  During this fall both Lucy and Persephone, or Percy, daughter Travis' cats, went to that big cat house in the sky. Here is a pic of Percy not long before she died.  Note the slaved legs...  where she had had shots.  This is the scene of the grave site with the cat's photos and votive candles after the grandchildren had their day-of-the-dead ceremony for their beloved feline friends.
November 19.  Watching the birds not long after sunrise.  Here's a lucky pic of this yellow-bellied sapsucker poking holes in . . . our big sycamore down by the river.  I never saw it come back to check for sap, but maybe it did.
November 4.  We  had  invasion of  5 or 6 blue birds this morning.  They flew from one of our 3 bird houses to  another  just like. . .   house hunting humans.  They did this last year too.  And, just like last year, the decided they didn't like the neighborhood.

November 7.  Here is my  garden just showing  the red clover peeking through the straw I covered it with.  Cleaning out the garden, tilling it, planting the seeds, spreading the straw.  Gardening is  hard work, but it has a point--good food--so it's worth  the sweat and sore muscles. November 7.  Here is a close up of the little red clover.

November 17.  My neighbor put this high dollare gas grill on the street although it just needed a new ash pan.  I gave it to the hispanic guy that cuts our lawn.  He was delighted. November 18. These dogs are fed every day with good dry dog food.  But are they satisfied?  That's Bunny on top of the table slurping up the corn mix bird food.  Rosy is in the game too.

November 29.  Saw this big truck parked in front of a hospital this morning  I guess these are the ones to call if you need any destruction done. December 1.  Volunteered to work at Glen Leven historical site this very cold morning.  The girl with me is our instructor Savannah Nordstrum from Norway.  Didn't take her long digging and hauling before she shed her jacket.  Me,  I'm just barely above freezing.
December 15.  The female red belly woodpecker finds our suet feeder.  But decides she's rather have a taste of peanut butter.  Also a favorite with the downey woodpeckers, the wrens, the chickadees, the warbler, and a passing through white breasted nuthatch.  There is also a mocking bird that gives it a peck now and then.
December 23.  Yes, that is the temperature outside our bathroom.  I spent the next four days making numerous trips to our old house checking the faucets that would drip.  I also put a heater in the basement which eventually got them all running.  In the meantime, Sherry cancelled the guests coming during this time.. The birds love the feeders now that it's so cold and all the ground is covered with snow.  At one time I counted 14 redbirds and many little birds at the feeders and on the deck.  They don't fight when it's like this--too busy getting all they can.
December 24, The grandkids, Travis, and Aunt Ann decorated the little wooden tree I made so many years ago.  Every time we get it out I wonder how that young man that was me had the energy and the skill to conceive and build it.  Whoa!  Cristmas Day.  We visited our daughter and her gang for present opening and breakfast.  We took along our son, daughter in law, and my sister Ann.  Once there I forgot to take  photos.  So I'll end with this one of the grandchildren's new cat, Bubba.  He  had agreed to wear the  Christmas bow, but didn't really get into  the spirit except for  playing in the piles of wrapping paper and ribbons.  Merry Christmas to you all and may 2023 be merry and bright!
December 29.  I teach Zoom yoga from home on Mondays and regular yoga at the Donelson library on Thursdays.  Barry and Bonnie, our most faithful students gave us this majestic bluebird house before class.  Barry made it.  I'll bet the bluebirds that move in will snub the other ones in the plain boxes I made. And because this journal of fishing and farming is way short on the fishing side this year I'm throwing in this shot of two huge trout caught by daughter travis January 2012 at the Nolichuky River in Erwin, Tennessee.  Son Hanley, left, and I were both fishing too but Travis skunked us with not one--but TWO--monster trout.  It was her first try at trout fishing too.!

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