Friday, August 26, 2011

What’s in a Hole?

Have you ever been walking around in a field or woods and KA-POW you trip in a hole? Yep, I have and it’s not fun. The first thing on your mind is—WHAT THE……. Then you realize that you’re in a deep, dark hole and there might be something in it that can bite. Hopefully it’s only your foot and not your leg or even worse, your whole body that falls in. Now this is not a fairy tale like Alice in Wonderland and I am not Johnny Depp, but your mind does go crazy for a second when you fall in. This got me to thinking “What’s in a hole?”  So, I set out on an adventure to find out “What is in a hole”. 

Obviously there are more holes in the country than the city, right? In the Ten Acre Woods where I live, there are lots of holes, but I wanted the perfect hole with a creature living in it. After a long search over the Tennessee hills and in the hollows, I found the ideal hole. You may or may not ask—what is the ideal hole? Simple, it’s big and there are signs of activity around the opening. I know, I know, you think I’m crazy but come on you’ve looked at a hole before and wondered what’s in there, right.  
How do you take a photo of the animal in a hole? It’s a job for “Critter Cam” (CC) my motion detection camera. I set up CC near the hole, turned it on, and waited. Hopefully in the next few days we will know “What’s in the Hole”. I have added a “What’s in the Hole” list of possible animals on the left side of this page.  PLEASE TAKE A GUESS and let’s see who’s a master of the domain. I told wifery that I might sell t-shirts that say “Ask me what’s in the hole” but she said NO! NO! And Oh NO! Hey, you just don’t get this stuff on Nat Geo or Animal Plant only here at OFS. Stay tuned for……………
REALLY SICK CAT UP-DATE- Our cat with Bobcat tick disease (See past post for full story) seems to be doing better? He is eating and drinking water. We have seen him cleaning himself, rolling on the ground, and chasing a butterfly, all good signs but he is not out of the woods. Unfortunately,  we think our other outdoor cat has likely succumbed to this disease because we haven’t seen her in 3 weeks. RIP Keeble! Also we have two indoor cats that are loved by our teens. Currently, they do not have the disease. I can say that if these cats got the disease, it would be a very sad place around here. Wish us luck! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who brings 100 pairs of shoes to a wilderness?

Why do you bring 100 pairs of shoes on a trip, a trip to a 13,000 acre wilderness on the Cumberland Plateau? 

Before I attempt to answer this question, let’s take a look around this wilderness. 
It has mountains that overlook the beautiful Tennessee country side.
There’s much wildlife that roams the domain.
Lakes, creeks and many miles of trails honeycomb this wilderness.

So who would bring so many shoes to the wilderness? It’s obviously a female and you know how y'all are. It’s my daughter. She is going off to college and we delivered her to Sewanee: The University of the South. The college is located in Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau in the middle of 13,000 acres of a natural paradise. Here she is headed to lunch and a few other pictures.

I have no answer to why she is bringing 100 pairs of shoes. I do remember once that my wife brought 8 pairs of shoes for a two day trip. This calculates to 4 pair of shoes per day. Callie will be there 240 days which calculates to much less than 1 pair of shoes per day. Wow, this makes me feel better. Just think it could have been worse (240 days X 4 pair per day = 960 pair). Anyway, we got to adventure a bit on the 13,000 acre domain and I must say, it is very beautiful and can’t wait until fall rolls around.

CAT UPDATE: Our cat with “Bobcat tick disease” is doing OK right now. We are giving him an herb medicine that has shown some success against this dreadful disease. Only 3% of all cats live without any medication and only 25%-30% with medication.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's not a Coyote!

It’s been a very busy week. We moved our 18 year old into Sewanee: The University of the South this weekend where she will be freshmen. I haven’t been able to report on our cat since the Vet visit. The problem turns out to be a Bobcat so to speak. Not a direct attack by a Bobcat but a disease from a Bobcat called “Bobcat tick disease” Cytauxzoon Felis.  It is identified as a blood parasite found in Bobcats in the south but moving north and west. The Bobcat is unaffected by the disease. A tick transfers the disease to the domestic cat (This disease doesn’t affect humans, thank God).  Domestic cats infected with the disease tend to lose liver function within a few days and become jaundiced, losing color in the gums and nose. The vast majority die in one week. This is a very difficult disease to treat. The Vet indicated that there are no standard treatments and the cat is likely to die. We are not sure what our next step will be with Creamy, but we are researching treatment. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

What fly's do in their spare time!

WHITE COYOTE POST UP-DATE-- The cat has come back after missing for 7 days. Headed to the vet. Update later.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The White Coyote

He won’t swim after a duck or fetch a stick or come when you call him. He likes to sleep on the porch and will only play when he is ready. He will meet you at the door with a mean purr and a long hard nudge with his head, all humped up like a Halloween cat while rubbing against your leg. Being an outdoor animal, Mother Nature wasn't kind to him. His marking was that of a cup of coffee that had been barely stirred, white and light brown. Mice and chipmunks were safe around this cat. In the woods he stuck out like a white paper plate. I never found evidence that he had caught a rodent, but it wasn't for trying. 
His name was Creamy and was named by my 15 year old. Creamy was born in 2006 to a feral cat that was hanging around our house. With much pressure from the family, I went along with their desire to take them in as our cats. I have never been much of a cat person and always preferred dogs, but Creamy helped me warm up to cats. 
We haven’t seen any sign of Creamy in about six days. Lately, our other outdoor cat has been very skittish and cautious, almost ghost like. Occasionally I see Coyotes in the area. Yesterday I spoke with our neighbors and they reported seeing a very light, almost white Coyote the size of a Husky hanging around near their house. Also they have spotted two other smaller Coyotes. 
Hmmmm…… a large white Coyote caught on my critter cam near our house? I walked in the woods this morning. I am looking for something. To Be Continued……………….

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Trout and Such!

Yesterday, I went to the Land & Wildlife Expo at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tn. Boy were there a lot of Good OL’ Boys, Good OL’ Girls, and general southern folk just like me roaming around, even Jeff Foxworthy. 
You know you’re a Redneck when you see Jeff Foxworthy at a hunting show. That must make me a redneck! Anyway, the show was fine except I overheard a few folks comment on there being too much plot planting focus and not enough hunting/wildlife focus.
I did talk to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency about the scheduled trout restocking in Tennessee lake/rivers this winter. Fortunately, this year there are no major budget cuts to speak of and the re-stocking program will be normal. However, the agent indicated that next year the two federal hatcheries in Tennessee may be closed or reduced in output due to budget constraints. This could severely impact trout fishing in Tennessee. This winter I plan on being at a lake when they restock so I can take some photos, may be my last chance.

I just had to draw a comic about Trout as you will see. I almost didn’t post it, but what the heck. Please forgive me.
In addition, as some may know, a few weeks ago me and Buttermilk (fishing buddy) tried to push my yak through Bubba (Bubba’s my SUV). We found out that a windshield will stop a kayak every time, CRACK. The crack started out about 2” in diameter and has grown to about 12”. The wifey was kind of getting up-set looking through glass in the sunshine that would out sparkle her diamond. So it was time. You know how much a good bug shield cost? Well, I will tell you, $217.00 but they do come to your home. Oh yea, what's the last thing that goes through a bugs mind right before he hits your windshield? His Butt!! HEE!  HEE! Hope you enjoyed.

What’s in your woods, river, lake or bay? Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!

Monday, August 8, 2011



What's in your woods, river, lake or bay? Get off your butt and find out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fish Texting!

Here I am on a Saturday night with thunderstorms passing through and trying to finish this post: “Georgia on my mind” which would have been better named “A rainy night in Georgia” except I’m now in Tennessee.

8:28 pm--I get a FISH TEXT, a picture of a fish with no text. This text is of a nice catfish. It’s from Buttermilk (Buttermilk is my fishing buddy).  
I figure Buttermilk has been fishing while I was in Atlanta and he must have caught this catfish yesterday. I texted back this message at 8:30 pm:
“Nice, 3 lb Blue Cat? Where did you catch him?”

8:32 pm--“Shutes branch. No light. Forgot lantern gas. It’s raining, a lot.”

Hmmm, Buttermilk is fishing at nearly 9:00 pm, on a Saturday night, in thunderstorms without lights! For most folks this would be a predicament, but not Buttermilk. I thought for a minute-- A lot of folks fish at night, a few folk’s fish in the rain, a couple of folk’s fish without lights, but I don’t know anyone that would do all three at the same time for very long. That’s Buttermilk! Now, what to text back? Need Gas or You are a fool, fishing or You are a Fishing Fool, I finally decided on this message. 

8:34 pm “Buttermilk, you are a true fisherman”

What’s in your woods, river, lake or bay? Get away from the little screen and get on a big stream!!!!! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Georgia on my mind! Part 2

This is part 2 of the last post, Georgia on my mind, where the family and I  traveled to Atlanta for an action packed trip. Not a trip fishing, but a trip to a fishing store!

I have been wanting to visit an Orvis store (it's a premier outdoor store for you indoor types) for a while. This will be my first visit and I can't wait.  As we pulled in, you won’t believe it! In the parking lot they have parking spaces labeled “For ODS Customers Only”. Have you ever heard of ODS? At first, I thought it must be for an Orvis Designated Shopper, but that doesn't make any sense? I asked my wife if she had seen anything like that at the shoes, jewelry, dress, etc…stores and she hadn’t. 
I went in and just had to ask about the sign. I was told that ODS stands for Outdoor Deficit Syndrome and the parking spaces are for those who suffer from this syndrome. A syndrome in which an individual prefers to spend all their time indoors in front of a screen rather than being in the Great Outdoors on an adventure. Yes, it is sad. The spaces are located near the door to help the ODS folks get inside so we can help them. Metaphorically speaking, sometimes you must go inside to get outside! After I heard this I quickly ran out of the store--To move my car. Hopefully, you have figured out that this was a joke and Orvis doesn’t have such parking spaces. Just a little humor! 

For real, the Orvis store was very nice. A river stone fireplace was the main focus. The shop had lots of top quality gear that included a fly shop, dog supplies, outdoor clothing and gear . I did see the wife eyeing a nice, big dog bed. Hmmm, not sure why because we don't have a dog? Anyway, the sales folks were friendly and knowledgeable. In fact, I spoke to an associate named Drew about kayaking for a while and yes, I did make a purchase. I bought an Orvis cap. It’s nice to see an outdoor store successfully competing against indoor companies. I learned that there's 50 stores around the country and hope that Nashville will have one soon.
After finishing everyone's agenda, the Mall, the Container store, Ikea, and the American girl doll shop, etc...we headed back to Nashville and to the ten acre woods. 

Is it good luck when a moth is at the door? When we arrived home we were greeted by this little feller on our door step. It is an Imperial Moth. I have seen only a few and it's always around the summer time. They feed on broad leaf foliage and are only East of the Rockies. 
Unfortunately, they are becoming rare because they hang around artificial lights too long and are eaten by birds. 

The trip was over and I opened the door to go indoors, hope you enjoyed. Remember: What’s in Your woods, river, lake or bay? Don’t get ODS so get outside!