Sunday, March 12, 2017

Snuggled against the Blue Ridge Mountains

Snuggled against the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a crystal blue clear lake with beautiful panoramic views. That lake is Rhodhiss Lake. Located about 1 hour away from Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina, making it just far enough to keep it peaceful, yet close enough for the urban amenities.


The lake is fairly small with a surface area of 3,060 acres and 90 miles of shoreline. Boating and fishing are the main recreational activities. Rhodhiss Lake is becoming known as a tournament lake by the increasing number of fishing tournaments being held. What makes this a special lake? Probably, the sandy bottom, which makes for some crystal clear water and the beautiful mountain views. The decor map above, is a custom map that I did for a customer who lives on Rhodhiss lake. I paint lake, river, and bay maps, both custom and personalized. See more at my website www.LeoLakes.com.

Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big screen!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lake Oroville Map

I did this map for a nice lady in California last year. Little did I know that a dam on this map would be in the news. If you look closely, you will find Lake Oroville, which has been in the news due to massive flooding and spillway damage. I hope things are getting back to normal and the folks remain safe.

If you need a great gift for the lake house, lake lover, or fisherman, check-out my treasured decor maps at LeoLakes.comHere is a recent comment from one of my customers: 

"Hi Larry, I received the maps yesterday and they are beautiful.  Thank you for shipping them so quickly. I’m sure the folks that I give them to will treasure them. Thanks again, Evelyn"


I call my maps treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. These maps make great gifts for the lake house owner, lake lover, or fisherman. I have over two hundred on my website that can be purchased right from the site, or I can do custom and personalizes lake, river or bay maps, too. If you would like to see more and read about my treasured maps go to LeoMaps.com.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Kook! Kook! Kook!

It was a hot, mid-summer day near Sims Bridge on the Duck River, I was fishing with my dad.  Kook! Kook! Kook! "Hear that" I said to my dad. "What bird makes that sound?".  "That's a rain crow." said my dad.  "Why is it called a rain crow" I said. "Because they say that when it calls, rain will follow shortly". Well, that was the last question that my ten year old brain had about the rain crow and it was almost fifty years ago. My dad had a great deal of knowledge about this river and our family has a long connection to this water.  In 1937, my father's family moved near the river and has been coming to this same spot for 80 years!


Just last year, on the banks of the Duck, in the same spot, I heard "Kook! Kook! Kook! ".  I had a flashback. I instantly remembered that moment almost fifty years ago setting on the banks of the Duck River. When I arrived home that night, I did some research on the Rain Crow. I found that it is called a Cuckoo and locally it may be called a Rain Crow because it's call is normally on a hot, mid-summer day or before a thunderstorm. It is believed that the clap of thunder will set it to calling. They breed in the Eastern U.S. and winter in South America. Interestingly, they are only one of a few birds that eat hairy caterpillars. The best that I can tell, they live about five years. So, that bird could have been the 10th to 20th grandfather of the original bird fifty years ago. Kook! Kook! Kook.... 

I wanted a map of this beloved river, but found that you couldn't find really nice river maps. So, I created my own map. Here's one of the first test map that I painted back in 2010.
I enjoyed creating the map so much, I turned it into a business. After many tries, I finally perfected my style and created Leo Lakes Treasured Maps. You can find out more about my maps at LeoLakes.com.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Backlash....

I was looking through my dad's tackle box the other day and found some interesting stuff. I believe this is from the late 60s or early 70s. Can you believe fishing line for $.23 or 60 hooks for $.98. My father was old school, using only braided line and only baitcasting reels. The line weight was in the 25 lb. range. I remember casting his reel many times. Each time, I would reach back and cast a long cast, watching the bait zoom across the water and splash down. Unfortunately, I would look down at the reel and find "the mother of all backlashes". Have you ever tried to un-backlash a backlash? Well, it's like putting toothpaste back in the tube, after you've brushed your teeth.    

This is the reason, that I prefer to fish with an open faced reel. In fact, I was the typical 1960s fishing kid that grew up using a Zebco 202. This was a great reel for a kid, you almost couldn't destroy it. It was like the Energizer Bunny and kept going. I out grew the 202 as a teenager and moved to a wonder reel, a Mitchell 300. Ohoo, this was a smooth reel that would cast forever. It was like driving a red sports car with the top down and a hot blonde in the passenger seat, sort of. I still have that reel, but it has been taken out of service for posterity's sake. Anyway, this is my reel history...

Check-out my lake, river and bay maps at LeoLakes Treasured Decor Map! Great maps for the lake house. Also, makes a great gift for the fishermen.  www.LeoLakes.com




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I made it to the centerfold...

I made the centerfold, my first! Here's the story. This publication called me and asked if they could use one of my maps in their magazine. Of course, I said yes and believe it or not, they used it as the centerfold. Now I can say, I was in a centerfold, sort of...oh yeah, my wife is jealous!     



Anyway, do you need a great gift for the lake house, lake lover, or fisherman, check-out my treasured decor maps. Here is a recent comment from one of my customers: 

"Hi Larry, I received the maps yesterday and they are beautiful.  Thank you for shipping them so quickly. I’m sure the folks I give them to will treasure them. Thanks again, Evelyn"


I call my maps treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. These maps make great gifts for the lake house owner, lake lover, or fisherman. I have over two hundred on my website that can be purchased right from the site, or I can do custom and personalizes lake, river or bay maps, too. If you would like to see more and read about my treasured maps go to LeoMaps.com.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My map, My Story!

A few months ago, I got a call from a TV Studio. They wanted to use one of my maps as a prop in an new TV series. The series was planned to premier in February. They were interested in my Lake Conroe map and by the way,  Lake Conroe is located in Texas. I shipped the map a few months ago and have been waiting for February to arrive. All this time I have been wondering how will they use the map, will it be displayed in an office, behind a desk of the main character? Will it be prominently displayed in every show or only be a quick flash during one show? 

Guess what, I will find out tomorrow, February 2nd starting at 9:00 PM Central Time. The show will be on CBS. Oh, I forgot to tell you the name of the show. The show is called "Training Day" and it's a cop show that sounds like it will have an interesting plot. Be watching and see if you can find my map. I'm planning on playing the drinking game while watching the show. You know this game, you take a drink every time you see a specific object or hear a specific word. Soooo, when I see my Lake Conroe Map, I will take a drink. If I wake in the morning and have a headache, then I will know that my map was a success....  

Checkout my maps......LeoLakes.com

Monday, January 23, 2017

Leo Lakes Treasured Maps

It looks like a "lake decor bomb" went off in the room, but this is the way that I like it. I've taken a few days to work on the entrance of my studio. I painted the painting/maps and added the Great Blue Heron to the door panels. I made the fishing pole lamp and added the old tackle boxes, which were my dad's.  I was born and raised to honor all things lake, rivers and bays. I have been lucky to turn what I love into a nice little business. This area gives me inspiration as I walk though the doors on my way to the studio. 


Now, check-out the photo. See anything interesting? In the lower, middle of the photo, I had a canadian goose photo bomb this picture. Yes, he stuck his head up just as I snapped the picture.


Also, check-out my maps, they make the best lake house gift! I have over two hundred on my website that can be purchased right from the site, or I do custom and personalizes lake, river, or bay maps, too. Oh yeah, I hide a tiny mermaid in the waters of all my maps that folks love to search for. Find out more interesting facts about my treasured maps by going to LeoLakes.com


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

First post of 2017

This is my first post of the 2017 year. I have been busy! Personally, I will have to say that December came in as a lamb and left as a tornado. In fact, I was so busy that I didn't even have time to post. My last post was December 12th. Anyway, it has finally settled down and I now have some time to spend on my blogs. 

I'm not a big new years resolution guy, but I do put a little time in things that I want to do or improve for the next year. Here's one that I will attempt to attain in 2017. 



One thing that will help me do this is a new Nikon 500mm Telephoto Lens that I received for Christmas. My hope is to capture some really cool water fowl photos while in my kayak. In fact, I went to the beach last week and took a few photos.
  It's a pelican gang casing out this boat.


Evening photo at Destin Florida fishing dock.
I can tell that this guy is a good fisherman because in Florida, behind every good fisherman, there's a Great Blue Heron.
The wife in her winter bikini!

Check-out my website, www.Leolakes.com. I paint custom maps that make a great gift for the lake house, boater, fisherman, and lake lover.