We get many birds in our yard nowadays - robins, cardinals, blue jays, other birds that I see often but cannot identify.
LC told me of a time a few years ago when he saw a hawk in the yard.
The hawk had killed a squirrel and was already eating as LC slowly walked towards it in the corner of the yard. LC apparently got too close and the large bird flew away while still hanging onto his kill with long talons................
As soon as we climbed into the fishing boat yesterday at Woods Reservoir it quickly became apparent that the weather was very warm, very unsettled and very windy.
Regardless, judging from the surprising number of vehicles in the parking lot across the road from the boat launch, it was apparent that many others had the same idea that we had to head out onto the water.
I was surprised to see 10 or so vehicles. All of them trucks and all of them hauling boat trailers.
The water was choppy, and instead of heading to the right out of the cove and exploring close to the dam, we decided to stay closer to the boat ramp and wander and fish and photograph in and around Bird Island (Elder Island)................
LC and I boated on Woods Reservoir infrequently throughout the winter during what turned out to be an unseasonably warm seaon.
Throughout the winter we saw only an occasional fishermen along the shore or hidden deep into a cove.
Yesterday there seemed to be boats everywhere.
A fisherman along the shore, two or three boats in a cove, two boats in another cove, surprisingly five boats strung out along the shore of one very long stretch of channel.
Many of them the same size as our little boat, or just a little larger.
Big and fancy power boats also now beginning to make their appearance.
As always the part of me that selfishly does not want to be around others, and does not want to share this place with others, was a little disappointed.
It will only get busier and busier from this point forward as the weather continues to warm and the days continue to get longer................
One of seven fish my Mountain Boy happily caught yesterday..................
The very long and wonderful Cumberland Plateau off in the distance..................
I snapped this picture of a large flock of birds flying just above the water as we made our way closer to Bird Island.
Pictures of the island and mature birds beginning their nesting routines on an island that has recently been ravaged by violent weather, are in the blog I posted yesterday..................
I had packed a lunch of sandwiches and watermelon and cookies and bottled water, and after we left Bird Island we headed across the lake towards one more much larger island.
I have two very strong memories of this island.
The first is bushwhacking through down trees and very long grass and thorny bushes, looking for a challenging spot to put a checkpoint for a navigation training that I organized for a group of adventure racers the summer before I left for Juneau.
I ended up hanging the flag from the branch of a tree close to the center of the island.
The second is stopping on this island with LC and my youngest son.
Chris had a couple of weeks off between the time he graduated from basic training and the time he was due in New Jersey to begin work at the Air Force Base he was stationed at.
He spent a week with me and LC doing quiet things, and then spent his second week in Murfreesboro partying with his then-college-student older brother.
On one of those quiet days in Tullahoma we took a kayak and the canoe out to Woods Reservoir and paddled on the lake.
Chris was so big that he could not fit his legs inside of the cockpit of the kayak, and instead hung them over the side of the boat, with his feet dangling in the water.
A ridiculously large man in a boat that look ridiculously small for him.
After spending a long time on the water we all three headed over to this same island and again pulled off the water to eat lunch.
My youngest son swam briefly in the lake while LC and I watched from shore, all of us greatly enjoying a very quiet afternoon.
When he was done swimming Chris sat in the water at the edge of the shore, not yet ready to climb up and onto the island.
LC looked down at him and good naturedly yelled "Splash around Little Fella!!"
My son laughed like a little kid and obligingly splashed around, and then we all laughed.
Heading towards that same island yesterday...................
One of two duck blinds located close to the shore of the island..............
The water level is much higher than it was that day a few years ago when my son was with us, and much higher than it was only a month ago.
Yesterday there was no beach to dock the boat on, and I climbed precariously out of the boat and tied it off to a tree.
LC climbed out behind me, we grabbed the food, and settled down on the edge of the island to eat lunch and enjoy where we were.................
The day was very warm, very hazy, increasingly cloudy and increasingly windy.
It looked and felt as though a storm was building.
Thoughts of heat and humidity and storms building across a lake are summer thoughts.
But this was March and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
As LC continued to eat and relax I wandered the area close to the boat.
Only one very small section of what is a very large island.
Much of the land close to the water looks similar to these pictures, but I know from explorings in years past that away from shore this island quickly turns into an overgrown jungle of vegetation.
I have always wanted to boat over to this island and camp here overnight..................
This huge and beautiful and quiet island in the middle of Woods Reservoir and only a short distance from the bird sanctuary was a really wonderful stop for us.
It was solitude - no boats or people or noise, and it was beautiful.
A beautiful place.
As we looked again at the sky, the weather was unsettled and we did not know where it was going.
And so it was time for us to begin bird watching and photographing and fishing our way slowly back towards the boat ramp..................
One more pass-by of Bird-Elder-Island.................
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it............Mother Teresa