Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lake Cartoons

I've been so busy, I've been slow to post, but I have decided to add a few cartoons. You know, I'm still doing bobber cartoons. I had no idea that I could come up with so many, some funny and some not so funny. Hope you like'm and remember, "Waves make life better!" Enjoy

Right now, I'm in my studio painting lake, river and bay maps.  As you can see, my 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. I have decor maps of Old Hickory, Table Rock Lake, Lake Wallenpaupack, Lake Lanier, Toledo Bend, Kentucky Lake, and many others. 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

Oh yeah, this is part of my studio! I think I have become a map elf!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Beautiful Kentucky Lake

Last weekend we took our daughter to Governor's school, a summer program for talented high school students. On our way to UT Martin we passed Kentucky Lake. I was lucky enough to briefly get off the beaten path and take few pictures of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to fish.

This is a picture looking south off highway 79. As you can see, Kentucky Lake is a very large lake. In fact, I wondered what is the distance that you lookout over water and see no land due to the curvature of the earth, so I looked it up. At a height of 6 feet, with no land on the horizon and only water, it is 3 miles (Note: the higher you are above the water, the further you can see). What's the reason for this useless fact? If you cross the Kentucky Dam and carefully lookout over the water, there's an area that you only see water and sky like at the ocean. Now that's a big lake.

Here's a map of Kentucky Lake that I have painted, see more at If you look closely, you may find a tourist town named Grand Rivers, which is between Lake Barkley on the Cumberland River and Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River.

This little town is becoming a destination with shops, restaurants and even entertainment.  
A great place to eat in Grand Rivers is Patti's an 1880's themed restaurant. It started in 1977 and has grown into the top tourist restaurant destination in Kentucky. Try their specialty, pork chops. I have have and they're great.

Patti's is a unique and interesting place with not only a restaurant, but many shops to discover. Check it out at: Also, near Grand Rivers is Green Turtle Bay Marina and Resort located on the waters of Lake Barkley. Its a good place to launch a boat or have dinner. Just remember: "Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream".

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tims Ford Lake Memories

When I was 11 or 12 years old, back in the early 70s, my family camped at a new lake in Tennessee, That lake was Tims Ford Lake which is located near Winchester TN. At that time, the lake was only a few years old and there wasn't much development around the lake. It almost seemed a little desolate. A few years ago, I painted this vintage style map of Tims Ford Lake. In fact, that's what I do, I paint lake, river, and bay maps, but more about that later.

I remember as a boy, camping on the lake during a hot summer weekend with my father, mother, uncle, aunt and cousins. My father and uncle were very close and had been fishing together for years. This was our normal fishing family and we fished many lakes and rivers together. We arrived in our 1972 White Ford Pickup that had an "Open Road" slide-in camper mounted on the back. We pulled a boat trailer with a Sears 14 feet aluminum Jon Boat. My uncle had the same rigs, but different brands. Going down the road we looked like a band of gypsies, so someone coined the name, "Fishing Gypsies." 

Last week, my wife and I went on a road trip to Tims Ford Lake. I wanted to learn a little more about the lake, see how it has changed and take some photos. We visited both of the marinas located on the lake, Holiday Landing Marina and Tims Ford Marina. Our first stop was Holiday Landing Marina located on Fall Lick Creek. 

As you can see, the marina is snuggled right in the middle of Fall Lick Creek making for a beautiful setting. I have noticed that marinas are becoming more and more crowded during the spring and summer. I think that family's are looking for a mini vacation and marinas fit that bill. 

There's a great grill at the marina appropriately named the Bluegill Grill. I heard that during the summer months they have a fantastic band that plays on the weekends. I bet this place is lively on a summer Saturday Night. 

The next marina visited was Tims Ford Marina located on a small cove that branches off Anderson Branch Cove. TFM is a large marina with many amenities such as cabins, RV spaces, and boat rental. 

We stopped by the Hard Dock Cafe at Tims Ford Marina to see what's new. Even though it was early spring, many folks were at the cafe. While munching down on some great food, you can enjoy the wonderful view over looking the marina.

Tims Ford is a beautiful clean lake and yes, you can even catch a trout! I haven't spoke much about fishing but, the tail waters of Tim Ford Lake, the Elk River, supports trout year round. Interestingly, the lake has kept it's feeling of remoteness while adding great amenities and attractions. Remember, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!    

A bit about myself. About seven years ago, I began to paint lakes, rivers and bays maps in order to bring back those golden lake memories like the one above.

I call them "Leo Lakes Treasured Maps" and have painted over 200 from 36 states using USGS maps as guides. I feel like FORREST GUMP who started to run and run and run. I paint, and paint and paint rivers, lakes and bays. I have a goal to paint 1001.

They make a truly unique and special gift for the lake house owner, lake lover and fisherman. 
Here's what makes them so Special!

I hide a few fish and even a tiny mermaid in the waters of my lakes. Yep, but they're very shy and don't want to be found.Folks just love'm especially the kids. You might even think they move around overtime.

You will find no road names, county, or state lines on my maps. I have found that folks enjoy traveling the roads with their eyes, while trying to get their bearing. I call this the "Leo Lakes gaze."

I call my maps Treasured Maps because every treasure has a Ruby and so do my maps, each have a Red Ruby Meridian.

I add a vintage plane flying over my maps to signify an adventure to your treasured lake, river, or bay.

You will find wildlife in all my maps. These signify the natural beauty of your treasured lake, river or bay. I use wildlife that is common to the subject lake, such as Canadian Geese, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagles and others.

You can add a star or symbol with a few words to mark that special place, it may be the location of the lake house, the spot where you caught that trophy fish or some grand view. This will make a very special gift for the lake lover. 

Did you know that you can always tell if its morning or evening on a Leo Lakes map? Just look at the shadows cast by the wildlife, is the shadow on the east or west? If it's on the west, then it’s morning time. Oh yeah, I have had folks tell me that they change through the day, but don't believe them.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fly Fisherman's Catch

I've been in Florida for the last week. While there, I took a great photo of this happy fly fisherman with his catch. Well, that's not really correct, it's actually an osprey. They do fly and catch fish, so fly fisherman is not too far off. 
I spotted this osprey near where we were staying and used my 300mm lens to get a good photo. As you can see, the osprey has caught something and is having lunch.
Looks like he/she has caught a sheepshead fish. Interestingly the sheepshead is often called the convict fish because of the black and white strips on its sides. This convict didn't escape the sharp talons of this osprey. Everyday this bird would catch a fish and have lunch on the same tree. It was always a sheepshead, I wondered why? Did this bird prefer sheepshead or was it because they are easy to catch. I don't know, but they are good tasting fish.
Check out these talons. They look just like hooks and there's four on each leg. These are better than a Alabama fishing rig.
What does this osprey do at night? It roosts in the same tree that it has lunch in. Well, this one did anyway. I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful birds.

Check-out my maps. My maps make the best gift for the lake house, 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. I have maps of Lake Champlain, Lewis Smith Lake, Lake Tahoe, Lake Sinclair, Norfork Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lake Bob Sandlin, Lake Conroe, Lake Winnebago and many others. 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

Oh yeah, this is part of my studio, "here a map, there a map, everywhere a map, map!"