Thursday, March 31, 2011

Osprey Two

Sometimes when taking photo’s outdoors you just don’t know what you’re going to get until you get home and review. That’s the case with this photo I call “Osprey Two.” After a close inspection of the picture, I notice a white streak in the sky. Looks like a jet vapor trail across the blue sky. But you know, I have never seen a vapor trail take a right turn so quickly. Maybe it’s a UFO? On second thought I never did hear of any other reports of sightings on that day, which surely I would have. I know it’s someone parachuting with the smoky thing attached so you can see them fall to earth. Nope, that can’t be right. 

Its Osprey poop! Dang, check out the quantity, and how straight, long and powerful it is. It could be used as a weapon. I certainly wouldn’t prefer to be under or behind this projectile. It probably showed up on radar.  Oh yeah, notice the title, “Osprey Two”, it fits don’t you think? Remember; what’s in your Woods, River, Lake or Bay, if you don’t know go find out! 

I hope you enjoyed the poop and remember; what’s in your Woods, River, Lake or Bay, if you don’t know go find out! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Village Idiot, Every Village Has One, or Two or more.

Every village has a village idiot and ours certainly does. What does it take to be the village idiot? Most likely it’s the cunningness to do things that should never be thought of, considered, contemplated or attempted. When you hear the words “Hey ya’ll or use guys watch this,” then you know the village idiot is about to do something that should never be done. I know that you know who they are, but I don’t think they realize that they are the idiot until just before its too late. These are not accidents because they do know what they are attempting, but fun over comes brains. Lucky for them, there are the folks, like you, who come to the rescue of the village idiot and help them out of their predicament and tend to their injuries. You know what they say,” It takes a village to raise an idiot” and that’s because the idiot would have never lived passed the age of 5 if it weren't for all the help from villagers like you.  

Now you may be thinking that the village idiot is human, not always. Sometimes there is an animal behind the silliness. This fishing village idiot is only 2 feet tall.  Here we have Ralph the Raccoon wrestling a Gator over a Bass. What an idiot. 

He He He, Remember: “What’s in your woods, lake, river or bay. Get out and find out.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monster fish tosses lurer - A Kentucky lake Treasure.

I have discovered that a treasured paradise doesn’t have to be miles and miles away from your home and have palm trees, sand, with aqua blue water. It can be as near as the post office. You probably have a local outdoor paradise that you treasure. In fact, some of these beloved locations may be a paradise to only a few. It may be because of the time spent there, the wonderful memories attached, or the location of where that monster fish tossed that lurer into the brush.
The reason may not even be apparent, but it’s the warm feelings that come with the location that determines your paradise. It’s more the sense of being in the right place, at the right time. Kind of like the moment you feel the tug on the pole and realize this is big or the time you cast out while fishing with chicken livers and find that the liver has come off and attached itself to the top of your fishing buddies left ear. These places and times end up being the treasured paradise that you go to in your mind when you need a break from a rock and a hard place. Go there now, I will see you back in a minute.  One such place for me is Kentucky Lake. I have painted a map of Kentucky Lake in my old treasured map style. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Kentucky Lake is the largest man-made lake by surface area in the U.S. If you travel across the dam and look down the lake, there is a spot that you can’t see the shore. It’s hard to believe, but if you add the area of Kentucky Lake and Land between the Lakes together, it’s half the size of Delaware. Kentucky Lake is a Treasured Paradise. Remember: “Adventure outdoors and find out what’s in your woods, river, lake or bay”.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hunting for Wild Mermaids!

Not real hunting, but more like searching for wild Mermaids. I should tell you that I am a non-believer. I do not believe in the actual existence of mermaids, ghosts, witches etc. Now that I have that out of the way, what is a Weeki Wachee? It’s a beautiful river in Florida. The waters are so, so crystal clear, I could see the bottom down 15 feet deep or more, which makes it very easy to spot wild Mermaids, that is, if they’re actually real. Rumor has it that they're several wild Mermaids living on this river and they play tricks on you while paddling down. The water temperature averages in the mid seventies year round and the trip is approximately seven miles long and takes about 3 hours, which is perfect for wild Mermaid hunting. Also, you go with the flow. I like going with the flow.                                                                
I began by paddling down the Weeki Wachee with the family. One thing that I did learn on this trip and that is, “somebody can’t paddle and it’s not me.” Two canoes and only one person that can paddle properly, now that’s an adventure! Oh well, back to the story. I am thinking that wild Mermaid hunting is like Snipe hunting and I don’t want to be holding the bag, if you know what I mean. But I did feel a tug on the back of my shirt while paddling around a bend. Could it have been a wild Mermaid? Nah, probably a limb, and then up ahead I saw a few canoes gathered around an area in the river and I heard the word Mermaid.
My immediate thought was, paddle faster. But it took awhile because I had to help the other canoe. Miss Can’t Paddle At All and Mrs. Can’t Hardly Paddle spent most of their time cleaning and inspecting tree limps or collecting spiders near the bank of the river as most beginning paddlers do. Finely, after much struggle we made it. Dang, there’s no wild Mermaid. Its just some fish. No wait. It’s wild Manatees. Cool, two adults and one smaller manatee. They are just chilling under the water and every once in a while they come up for air. This is nearly as good as seeing Mermaids.

What a great Outdoor Adventure! We finished the trip and we never did see a wild Mermaid, but I can say that I saw wild Manatees, can you? Also, was that tug on my shirt a Mermaid, I may never know? Remember "What’s in your woods, lake, river, or bay?" Get out and find out! LEO.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Best Fly Fisherman in the world!

That’s right “the best fly fisherman in the world!” This guy or gal has all the latest gear and years of experience. What makes the best fly fisherman? Is it a keen eye, fish knowledge, the best equipment, or the sharpest hooks? It’s likely all of these. I took these pictures of the "World's best Fly Fisherman" at Lemon Bay. It is of a Fish Hawk. One can argue that the Fish Hawk is the best fly fisherman, even better than the Eagle. The Fish Hawk or Osprey as it is better known, is a master flying fisherman. Above the water, the Osprey spots a fish, dives down and hooks the fish with its very sharp talons.
Mmmmmm, fresh sushi for today's lunch. Nothing's better than dining on top of a perch overlooking Lemon Bay. 
Looks like this guy has caught a nice Catfish and is having a meal right on the spot. Often the Osprey will carry its meal head first and land on a perch above the water to have its meal.
Fresh Catfish is good with lemons, I mean Lemon Bay. The Osprey's diet consists of fish.
This fish must be a head turner, checkout how the Osprey has his head. Actually, the Osprey will turn its head about 180 degrees and twist the meat off the fish. As you can see, the Osprey has just about picked this fish to the bone. 
A nice close up of a fisherman who has just finished a fine Catfish lunch. It was talon licking good.
When the Osprey has finished the meal, the fish is pushed off and drops to the  ground where the Crows or Sea Gulls come by and finish off the remains. The Osprey is truly a fly fisherman. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Venice Rookery

I made it to Florida's Lemon Bay. So far, I have taken a few hundred pictures and the weather is great. I have lots of great photos. Checkout these pictures of birds at the Venice Rookery which is about 10 miles from Lemon Bay. The Rookery has an island in the middle of a small lake. The birds nest on the island for security. Click on pictures to enlarge photo.


A pair of Great Blue Heron's with their chicks. One of the Great Blue Heron's just returned from the Gulf on a fishing trip and will feed the chicks. The adults take turns fishing, feeding and protecting the chicks. The other heron is about to take flight.
Looks like there are three chicks and the adult just finished feeding the chicks.
A better picture of the chicks.
Here is a close-up of the chicks. See the fish tail hanging out of his beak. The other chicks appear to be a little concerned. Did he just eat that huge fish.     
It took a little while before the chick could finish the meal. 
I think this Egret looks like an angel. What do you think?
Great Blue headed back to the Gulf to fish. 
Here you can see other folks taking photo's of the birds. They appear to be professional photographers with very large lenses. They gave me lens envy. More pictures to come. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lemonade Bay?

No, it’s Lemon Bay and it’s better than lemonade! We will be heading out on spring break very soon and I hope to smell salt water, coconuts and hear the sound of waves. Lemon Bay is near Englewood Florida where the day time temperatures reach 75-80 degrees. This is one of my treasured outdoor locations so I have painted an old style map of the area.

I plan to post some of my outdoor adventures, including shrimping, bay fishing, and a visit to the rookery. This time of year the rookery is quite crowded with Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets, Anhingas and Night Herons.
Follow along and remember: What's in your woods, river, lake or bay? Adventure Outdoors and find out!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Critter Cam captures picture of Robin Hood in Woods!

Today, I went to retrieve Critter cam, my motion detector camera that I put out in the woods to capture photos of animals that wandered near. The LCD on the camera indicated that 18 new pictures had been taken. Woo hoo, probably 18 pictures of a fox, coyote, bobcat or something really neat. Yes? I eagerly took the digital card back to the house and slapped it in to the laptop. I quickly loaded the pictures into the program, 1st picture a Robin. Not to fear seventeen to go, 2nd picture Robin, 3rd Robin, 4th Robin, 16th Robin, 17th Robin. Dang, seventeen pictures of a camera hog Robin. I can’t believe it. This Robin is messing with me.  Hmmmm, this must be Robin Hood and he is stealing camera time so all the other animals can sneak by Critter cam. Oh well, I'm feeling lucky tomorrow and hopefully Robin Hood will be in another part of Sherwood Forest. Oh yeah, here’s a picture of Robin Hood
Remember: What's in your woods!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Tackle Box Time Capsule!

Every tackle box has a story, some can only be told by their owners and others can only be told by their contents. The year was 1986, Top Gun was the top movie, Ronald Reagan was President, gas was .89 cents/gal, and this tackle box was being used to catch fish. Since then it has been kept in the garage, on a shelf, behind the Christmas wreaths where it has been collecting dust for a number of years. It came into my possession many years ago after my father passed, at too early an age. It’s been a few years since I have opened the box and I don’t really remember what it holds.
I do remember fishing with this tackle box as a kid. Back then it was like opening a fresh box of the best chocolates with all the swirls and shapes tempting me and urging me to try every one. Will it be the same? As I unlatched the golden buckle on the aluminum box, I began to smell a musty odor apparently from being sealed for many years. I lifted the tri-fold, black bins out and peered at the contents. The multi-color lures, hooks, floats, and spit-shots, are beginning to show their age, less colorful, less shiny.
At this moment, I remember the lures that caught the big fish. I even remember some of the fish that we caught, the wonderful meals that we ate, the warmth from the camp fires we built, and that smell of water proofing from our tent. But most of all, I remember the feeling, the feeling of being with family and friends in the great outdoors. It’s true; every tackle box has a story. What’s in your tackle box?
I think I will move this tackle box back into the house. Hope you enjoyed! Oh yeah, if you would love a beautiful decor map of your favorite lake, river, or bay, then check-out my website leolakes.com. Makes a treasured gift for the lake lover!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Caney Fork River.

The water’s of the Caney Fork River are wonderfully clear and cold. This river slices through the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, making scenic gorges.

My old style map art is of the river from below Center Hill Dam to the Cumberland River. This part of the river is home to Rainbow and Brook Trout. Some say that the Caney Fork is one of the best trout rivers in the state of Tennessee. I have been to the Caney Fork several times, fishing, floating and just viewing its fresh waters. Click map to enlarge or go to my treasured maps website, LeoMaps.com to see beautiful decor maps of your favorite lake river on bay. 

Hey, Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream! Need a great gift for the lake lover? I paint river, lake, and bay decor maps and hide things in the waters. I don't hide snapping turtles, but I do hide a tiny mermaid/fish in the waters of all my lake map paintings that folks love to search for. I call my maps treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure, like the Caney Fork. 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 maps. If you would like to see more and read about my treasured maps go to LeoMaps.com.