Cave Dwellings: March 2015
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Friday, March 27, 2015

One last “touristy” thing to do..

Right down the road from our campground here is the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and Visitor Education Center (yep, get ready for yet another “educational” blog )…And, of course, you know we just had to go see it..I Googled it and it was only $2 for us elders and you did a self guided tour ..Why not, right?

101_6977 101_6976

This place was amazing..It features a 10,000 gallon aquarium, displays, interactive exhibits and artifacts.  The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery is a technologically advanced center for fish culture..Here, hatchery staff mimic the conditions of wild spawning by controlling water temperature and light levels.  Under these carefully controlled conditions, the fish can be induced to spawn at the hatchery.  March through June is the busiest time here, handling large volumes of fish. As many as 500,00 Large Mouth Bass “fry” might be present at one time.


This aquarium had Catfish, Black and White Crappie, Bass, Gar Fish, Buffalo (no, NOT the animal, the fish), Blue Gill, and a Eel who refused to peek out from his log…

101_6945 101_6946

Soooo, the 2 legged refection is not a Banty Legged, White Topped, Flannel Clad, Blue Jeans Fish…it’s MacGyver’s reflection. I was going for the Alligator Gar Fish.” The fossil record traces the existence of alligator gars back to the Early Cretaceous over a hundred million years ago. They are the largest in the gar family, and among the largest freshwater fishes in North America. Gars are often referred to as "primitive fishes", or "living fossils" because they have retained some morphological characters of their earliest ancestors, such as a spiral valve intestine which is also common to the digestive system of sharks, and they can breathe both air and water. Their common name was derived from their resemblance to American alligators, particularly their broad snout and long sharp teeth. Anecdotal scientific reports suggest that alligator gars can grow up to 10 ft (3.0 m) in length and weigh as much as 300 lb (140 kg).”  In my humble opinion a simple explanation of this fish is …BUTT UGLY!..


Can you imagine landing a fish that ugly AND that big???

101_6953 101_6954 101_6955

The Museum was really great! They had old fishing poles, motors, lure, even an old FISHERMAN…Oh, woops, that was Dennis. There was a lot of info on the Enid Lake area. The Enid Dam was begun in 1947 and finished in 1952.  The Mississippi freshwaters are known for World Class Crappie, Bass and Catfish fishing. Enid Lake and nearby Sardis,Grenada and Arkabutla lakes are considered some of the best places for Crappie fishing.

101_6958 101_6960

They have 16 1 acre “rearing” ponds outside, and some big tanks too….

101_6963 101_6962

One of the tanks outside held baby Koi fish..They raise these here at the hatchery strictly as food for the bigger fish…They told us it was less costly to raise their own “fish food” than buying it elsewhere…

The process of culturing fish may be as simple as allowing them to spawn naturally in one of the ponds (the do this with the Blue Gills). Sometimes it requires hatchery staff to hand stripbrood” fish. Once the staff has determined that the female fish has ovulated (don’t ask..), the staff hand strips the eggs by gently putting pressure on the abdomen, releasing the eggs into a bowl…(Bear with me..).  Simultaneously, the male fish is squeezed to release “milt” (whoever Milt is…JUST KIDDING!) over the eggs. Fertilized eggs are then incubated at specific water temperatures in a carefully controlled environment.. OK, you want to see this “environment”?? I knew you would…

101_6970 Tra Da!! Sort of like test tube babies, in my opinion..These fertilized eggs are Southern Walleye.  YUMMY!

When they hatch, they are called "fry". When the fry are 2"-3 " they are released into the rearing ponds (they have 16 1 acre ponds), growing larger living on a steady diet of zoo plankton. Some fish are allowed to grow to 6" to 8" on a diet of minnows or dry pellets. Once fish grow to desired length, the hatchery staff harvests the fish and loads them into distribution trucks to desired predetermined locations”...This was like a Biology lesson. The Non Sex life of a fish..One of the employees said they have a "resident" Bald Eagle who visits the rearing ponds regularly for his buffet lunch..hahahaha! Of course they allow him that luxury..He’s an AMERICAN BALD EAGLE!!!

101_6972 101_6971

Above are 2 of their 16 “rearing” ponds..This North Mississippi Hatchery is HUGE!

Ok, so I just have just got to say that this might be one of my most informative  ridiculous blogs to date. In truth, I did find this place a wonderful lesson and a great idea to keep the fish plentifully supplied in our natural lakes, rivers and streams..




Yep, they are very aware who won the Civil War, but still determined to acknowledge the “Stars and Bars”…A very proud group of people these native Southerners…and I do admire them…






2015-03-25 12.36.46

From one of the last great “swingers”…See y’all back in Sandwich IL!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Had to show you this site…

  Our new diggs at Lake Enid, MS…Wallace Creek campground, site 30



10432538_985902241420254_7673383028640655445_n 11054445_985902338086911_1501809411535791566_n


Monday, March 23, 2015

Winding Down

OK, this is our last full week of our Winter trip…We will be getting home next Monday afternoon..Not sure I’m too excited..Sandwich just got 3” of snow today..SAAAAY WHAAAAT??? Oh well, it has rained here this past week, but it’s still better than snow..

This place is full of Civil War History..MacGyver and I visited the site of a Confederate Fort this past week..

101_6878 101_6876

101_6880 101_6874

This is where one of 8 Confederate forts was built to protect the railways in and around Grenada, MS. That picture on the above right is the Grenada-Graysport Rd, or what’s left of it. It was on this road 1700 Confederate Soldiers marched with General Earl Van Dorn into Holly Springs to destroy General Grant’s supply depot, forcing Grant to abandon his plan to attack Grenada… You can see by the other photos that the site of the fort sits up very high for a good view of the surrounding woods…

Dennis and I also visited the Confederate Cemetery here in Grenada…

101_6886  101_6889

101_6888 101_6890

.180 graves marked “Unknown Confederate Soldier” were found under the tall grasses, vines, and bushes just behind the Odd Fellows Cemetery. In 1985 it was recognized in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as a place of historical significance.  The rain had finally subsided  enough for us to explore this old cemetery.  It was right behind the Odd Fellow’s Cemetery, which was also very old and very interesting…(OK, I spent my teen years living in a cemetery, so I have a vested interest in these places!)

101_6892 101_6897 101_6891


I feel so bad that many stones are broken or in ill repair..I’m thinking many of the family have passed, and no one is around that cares to fix them…

Not ones to waste a day where the rain has finally stopped, we continued our drive into the “historical” part of Grenada, MS…There were some very cool older homes that were on National Register of Historical Places…

The Jones House 1860 Grenada, MS The Jones House, 1860

Some of the features of the Jones House include the original carriage house, a veranda and a mysterious chande­lier from New Orleans with one bulb that chooses not to work...hmmmmm.

Morrison Heights 1845 Grenada, MS The Thomas House 1900, Grenada MS

Left is Morrison Heights, built 1845………………and right is the Thomas House, 1900

Heath House 1907 Grenada MS John Lake House 1880 Grenada, MS

Left, we have the Heath House, 1907………………….and right is the John Lake House, 1880..

Dubard House 1860 Grenada, MS This is the Dubard House, 1860…just look at the steps and that wall around it..Many of these homes were set up on a small hill with steps leading from the street/sidewalk…

101_6920 101_6921 101_6924

An old courthouse used to be in the town square, but they tore it down and replaced it with a park…and a statue dedicated to the Confederate Soldiers of Grenada County, MS.

I found that saying on the statue base, middle photo, very interesting..”To the noble men who marched ‘neath the flag of the Stars and Bars and were faithful to the end.”..and underneath, “Glorious in life, In death sublime”…

The road into the actual downtown area of Grenada is built right through a swamp..

101_6926  101_6927

…and their trees are now in full blossom in the open areas…

101_6934 101_6871

That photo on the right is the road that goes across the Grenada Dam to our campground…alive with blossoms!!

OK…WAKE UP!!! I SAID…WAKE UP!!!!!..It is now safe to go back to what you were doing…I am done with my History lesson and photos..Tomorrow we are moving the Hiker ever so slowly further North, to Enid, MS..only 33 miles from here. We plan to be there 5 nights…This Sunday, we will drive to Rend Lake, Illinois for one night…and Monday, God willing and the creek sleet don’t rise, we will arrive at 518 W. Center St., Sandwich, IL..about 1PM, we HOPE!! Not sure if I will get another blog in before then, as my blogging has been very sporadic lately..I hoping my depressive mood swings will be addressed soon..I do have another appointment with Dr. Michael Moore at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis on April 21st..about my parathyroid issues..

One last thing…I want to wish our youngest child  and daughter, Christie, a very wonderful birthday today, March 23rd…WOOT!WOOT!

girlspoolchris YY1Z7057

Yep…our cute little baby girl…turned into a beautiful young woman!!