Thursday, April 26, 2018

Chipmunk attacks wasp nest......

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to see a Chipmunk from our front window. I always have my Nikon handy for photographing wildlife because we live on ten acres and many animals come near. I grabbed the camera and quietly headed out of the front door in hopes of getting a few photos of Mr. Chipmunk doing Chipmunk stuff. Little did I know that I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to experience an unusual event and likely one that only a very few have photographed. To begin with, here is Mr. Chipmunk thinking he is sneaking across the walk to enter our planter where there’s moist mulch, flowers and seeds, but I was there with my camera.
Lucky for me, Mr. Chipmunk was oblivious to my presence and I was able to photograph his every move. He seemed to be on a mission and I wasn't clear on what he was up to.
Anyway, I noticed that Mr. Chipmunk kept looking up the brick wall and I wasn't quite sure why, but I did noticed a wasp nest in the corner above the garden hose. It was about 8 ft above the ground and it appeared that was the target of the chipmunks attention as you can see below.
If you look closely, on the right of the nest, you can see a wasp guarding the nest.
Believe it or not this little Chipmunk may have saved me from a trip to the hospital. You see, I am allergic to bee stings. Actually I’m 1 in 1000; that’s how many people are allergic to bee stings. If I’m stung, 2 Benadryl pills and a trip to the hospital parking lot to sit. I wait until the symptoms disappear; if not, a trip inside for an adrenalin shot. Almost always, Benadryl does the trick for me. If anyone around you gets stung, watch them for any sign of hives, swelling and difficulty breathing. Get immediate medical attention if you suspect someone is having a reaction.  You can become allergic at any time. I wasn't allergic until I was in my early twenties, just be aware. Now back to my story.
In a flash, Mr. Chipmunk quickly climbed straight up the brick wall and to the nest. The Chipmunk plowed right into the nest, head first and the wasp didn’t have time to react. In fact, so fast I wasn’t able to capture a picture until the Chipmunk started back down. As you can see, Mr. Chipmunk has a wasp in his mouth. It became a quick snack as he headed down and afterwards there was a lot of chatter which either suggests it was delicious or ouch that hurt. Check-out that curled tail. 
It was pretty amazing, I learned that Chipmunks are experienced wasp tracker and realized that I would have made a terrible Chipmunk because that would have killed me (bee sting). 

I did a little research on chipmunks after this happened and found that chipmunks love wasp and will attack the nest. I felt lucky to have seen this unique event in nature.  

Hey, guess what I do! I do beautiful lake maps and they've actually been on TV. You see, Folks are drawn to the my maps like a crackling fire on a cold winter night.  I try very hard to make my maps special by adding interest to the maps.


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." 
You can add a star or symbol with a few words to mark that special place, it maybe 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. 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.

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.
Also, each framed map or map over 16x32, comes with a certificate of authenticity, lake poem, and interesting facts abut the map.

I have hundreds of maps on my website that can be purchased right from the site, or I can do custom and personalizes vintage style lake maps, too. I have maps, such as Lake Bob Sandlin Vintage Style map, Lake Logan Martin Vintage Style Map, Center Hill Lake vintage style map, Lake Texoma vintage style map, Gaston Lake, Choctawhatchee Bay vintage style map, Toledo Bend Lake Vintage style map, Raystown Lake vintage style map. Lake maps will add beauty to your Lake House Decor! Find out more interesting facts about my treasured maps by going to LeoLakes.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Making Bobbers fun again...

I've been very busy lately, I haven't posted in several days, so I thought that this would be a good time for a fresh batch of fishing cartoons....... Also, I'm still on the bobber cartoon kick, because I'm trying to "Make Bobbers Fun, Again". 

This Bobber is for you.............enjoy.




Ain't she pretty! She's all dressed up in a beautiful frame and ready to go to that "lake house warming party". you will be so proud when you walk in with the prettiest gift at the party..........LeoLakes.com



Paddle over to my website, LeoLakes.com. I paint beautiful lake, river and bay decor maps. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. Also, you can personalize your lake map with a star where your lake house is located.  I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. Order soon to avoid the rush!
As you can see, my maps make a great gift.  Orders pick-up during the holiday's, so order soon. Click here www.LeoLakes.com for more information.



"Hanging a Leo Lakes Treasured Map in a lake house, is like christening a boat with a bottle of champagne!" 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

First Tackle Box.......

I recieved this hand-me-down tackle box from my dad. He had used it for years and decided that he needed a larger box and it was time for me to have "my very own tackle box". It was a small, light green, metal box with no trays inside, so you just piled your fishing stuff in the box, which worked well for a kid, sort of. I remember that I thought that I had hit the fishing jackpot, my very own tackle box. Do you know what the first thing a kid does to his own, hand-me-down tackle box?  He paints it! So, I had a can of red spray paint that I had used on a small plastic model car and painted my first tackle box, red. My dad wasn't too happy about it, but he didn't say a word. I guess he thought that it was a sign of me valuing it, which was true.  



I carried it around to all of our secret fishing holes. The only problem was that everything inside turned into a tangled mess. I quickly learned, that I hated my first tackle box. It took 15 minutes to untangle the mess every time I wanted a lure, hook or what not. After a few years, I think that my father finally got tired of the frustration and bought me a new tackle box with "trays". It was a beautiful thing! I repurposed my "little red tackle box" to my new "little red paint box" to hold all my tube paints. It's amazing that the "little red tackle box" has traveled to all of my favorite lakes, rivers and bays and now it's used to paint all those lakes, rivers and bays! Funny how it connects the past with the future. I cherish it very much.....

Paddle over to my website, LeoLakes.com. I paint beautiful lake, river and bay decor maps. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 

As you can see, my maps make a great gift.   Click here www.LeoLakes.com for more information.


Just remember: "Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream".










Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lake Cartoons Two......

Misunderstanding the bobber? They are really alive, well in my mind! Yes, I am still doing bobber cartoons. I thought that I would have moved on to some other subject by now, but no..... I am still pumping out more bobber toons, in fact, I have ten completed and ready to go in the future. I am pretty amazed by myself for continuing the bobber cartoons. Enjoy......
I like this "Reel Emergency". I made one mistake, the building should have been a multi-level tackle box. 



Yes, bobbers have needs too! If you want your bobber to reach its full potential, "Treat your bobber right!"

I do custom and personalized lake, river, island or bay decor maps. They make a great gift for the lake lover. If you would like to see if we have your body of water, go to LeoLakes.com


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Fiddling for Worms........

What is a fiddler worm? I didn't know at the tender age of 10, but fiddler worms is what my dad and uncle told me and my cousin that we would be hunting. I thought, this must be a joke like the time they took us "snipe hunting" with a bag and a stick.......


Anyway, we were off in our red 57 Chevolet Station Wagon headed to somewhere near the Tennessee/Alabama line. 

The car finally stopped on a country road near a hill loaded with cedar trees. We all piled out of the wagon. I assumed that I would hear fiddle music but only heard birds. Thank God, I didn't hear "banjo music", if you know what I mean... 


My dad told us to look for rocks about the size of a dinner plate and about an 1" or 2" thick. I'm thinking  what do we do with rocks, dig for worms. The good thing, there were plenty of rocks about the size that he described, because cedar trees normally grow near limestone in thin soil, so there were plenty of rocks. We carried three or four rocks up the hill and I noticed that there were many cedar stumps about 2-3 inch in diameter and were sawed off about two feet from the ground. 

My dad said "Okay, its' time to fiddle up some worms".  "Grab a rock and bring it over to this cedar stump". "Now watch me". He took the rock and lifted on top of the stump and began moving it back and forth, kind of like you're playing a fiddle. Humm.....I'm thinking this is interesting.....is this a joke? 

After about 5 minutes of fiddling, worms began to appear all around the stump. It was amazing! They were everywhere, wiggling in the leaf litter. 

We begin to pick up the worms "like picking blackberries". We ended up with nearly a hundred fat, shiny, red worms. It wasn't long that we all piled back in the 57 chevy and headed to our favorite fishing hole. Interestingly, we only went fiddle worm hunting, once. I think this was something that they must have done when they were a kid and thought that it would be cool for us to experience. I must say, it was a special time and I always remember fiddling for worms........ 


Hey, paddle over to my website, LeoLakes.com for a beautiful lake, river, or bay map by me. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 
As you can see, my maps make a great gift.  Click here www.LeoLakes.com for more information.








Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The tiny little mermaid story.......

Why did I start adding a tiny mermaid to LeoLakes Treasured Map? It all started with a canoe trip down a beautiful river in Florida named the Weeki Wachee. The waters are so, so crystal clear, you could see the bottom down 15 feet deep or more, which makes it very easy to spot manatees. The water temperature averages in the mid seventies year round and the canoe trip is approximately seven miles long and takes about 3 hours. 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, my wife can barely paddle and my two daughters don't have a clue, which actually made the trip very fun. Two canoes and only one person that can paddle properly, now that’s an adventure! 
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 Hardly Paddle", spent most of their time too close to the shoreline. It seemed to me that they were cleaning and inspecting every tree limp and collecting spiders on their clothing as most beginning paddlers do. Finally, after much struggle we made it to where the manatees hang-out.  It was so cool, two adults and one manatee calf. They are just chilling under the water and every once in a while they come up for air. This was nearly as good as seeing "Mermaids", which gave me an idea. I decided that it would be cool to add a tiny mermaid to my lake, river and bay maps. So, that's what I have done! In 2011, i started adding a tiny, little, happy mermaid to all my maps and the idea came on a canoe trip down the Weeki Wachee.

I have recieved much feedback since I started adding the tiny mermaid, and it has been a grand-slam. Folks just love to search for her in the waters of the map. What a great Outdoor Adventure back in 2011!  Remember "What’s in your woods, lake, river, or bay?" Get out and find out! LEO.

Check-out my website, www.Leolakes.com to see if we have your map. We have many popular lake maps such as the Lake Winnipesaukee, Great Sacandaga Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Pickwick Lake, Greer's Ferry Lake, Lake Sidney Lanier, Lake Sinclair, Table Rock Lake, and Lake Wallenpaupack. Also, we paint custom maps and have personalized maps for that special someone. Leo Lakes Treasured maps, makes a great Christmas Gift the lake house, boater, fisherman, and lake lover.




Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A River of Memories...

At five or six years old, I vividly remember our first "fishing rig". It all started when my dad came home with an old red 57 Chevy station wagon, just perfect to load up with fishing gear.  Not long after, we went to the local Sears and bought a new 14ft aluminum, flat bottom boat. Soon afterwards, dad added a 3.5 hp, Western Auto Outboard, which performed well on the little flat bottom boat. However, in later years, I remember him fine tuning it while in a large bucket of water and blew up the engine. Smoke and and water went everywhere. After the stream had disappeared, you could see a crack down the cylinder wall. Believe it or not, I still have that old motor in my studio. 

  
One last addition to the fishing rig, a dog. We called her Lucy, a white, long haired mutt that had little black spots sprinkled around her coat. She kind of looked like a chubby, long haired, dalmatian. Lucy, loved the water and would jump in for no reason, or just to get wet. She was a very special dog that always stayed near me and loved biscuits.
This is how we ran when I was a small child. Boy do I have stories to tell.
It's amazing that most of these items have survived my childhood. I still have the boat, tackle box, and outboard motor (even though it has a big crack in the side). I could have easily tossed these things out, but they are a river of memories.......Oh yeah, with all this talk about fishing memories, I almost forgot to tell you that I do lake, river, and bay maps. Check'm out at LeoLakes.com 




Thursday, February 15, 2018

A few bucks to fish.......

We started on our way during late-afternoon. I remember that when we neared our destination, we crossed a creaky, old truss bridge with wooden planks, a bit  scary for a six year old. We arrived at a farm. A farmer owned the land that was the best access to the river and we had to visit him before continuing. We parked in front of his white farmhouse and dad knocked on the door, no one was home. So, dad took a few bucks out of his billfold and left it wedged in the door. I didn't know it then, but that was the custom in order to fish on this farmers land. 
  

After unloading the fishing rig, we headed upstream, me, my dad, and our dog Lucy. As we traveled, dad would stop and tie drops on flexible limbs that hung over the water. Drops are also called limb lines, which are  nylon fishing line attached with a hook and baited. The bait of the day was chicken livers, yum...Finally we arrived at our destination, a campsite about 15 feet up a dirt bank. We set up camp just in time to start cooking over a, green Coleman Stove. What's for dinner, fried potatoes, round steak and white bread.
   


The next morning, we were up very early and ready to check the lines that we put out before making camp the night before. As we boated downstream, we came across a huge swarm of mayflies traveling upstream. They were about three feet above the water. There were thousands of them. Luckily, when riding in the boat, we could stay below the 3 ft level. If not, it would have been like a sideways rain of mayflies, not pretty. This was so interesting for a six year old kid. To this date,  I have never seen so many mayflies, what a sight to see. Did we catch fish? Yes, I think we caught a few catfish on those "drops". 

Hey, check-out my lake, river and bay maps at LeoLakes.com



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Water Dog...

While growing up, I had a dog named Lucy. Lucy was a white, long haired mutt that had little black spots sprinkled around her coat. We took her on all our fishing trips. She was a great fishing dog and would watch the bobber for hours. When I would get a bite, she would go berserk, knowing that a fish was soon to be near.    
This dog loved the water, she would often jump in the water while we were fishing. Then, come out of the water and shake, shake , shake..... water going all over near by fishermen. 


One time, when I was swimming in the river and Lucy was up on the bank watching. I decide to play a little joke on her to see what she may do. I acted as if I was drowning and called for Lucy to save me. You know what, she jumped in and swam to me. I grabbed her collar and she dog paddled back to shore. Amazing!!! 

One of my favorite things to do with her was toss her a biscuit after she had eaten. She would be too full to eat, but would take the biscuit to a spot and drop it, while sniffing around. She would dig a 1-2 inch hole and place the biscuit in the hole. With her nose, she would push the dirt back over the biscuit until it was completely cover. Funny thing, her white nose tuned dirt brown, so you could always tell that she had buried something.    

They sure don't make dogs like they used to. Hey, check-out my lake, river and bay maps at LeoLakes.com  






Monday, January 29, 2018

A few of my silly lake cartoons........

A few of my silly cartoons. Forgive me, I have a little creativity to blow off.



This why you never keep your worm near a bobber, that is unless they are on monofilament in the water.....

Hmmm.... a bobber whisperer. Interesting, very interesting. If you are having problem with your bobber, you may need to call a "bobber whisperer".... 

Oh how scandalous......a strip bobber!

Oh yeah, I do beautiful decor maps. Looking for a great decor idea for the lake house or lake cabin, frame your favorite, lake, river, or bay. Makes the best Gift!

Unlike most maps, There’s a tiny mermaid hidden in the waters which folks love to search for and some say she moves around! You'll love the waterfowl which are hand painted (touched up) on the canvas prints to give that original look and each map is hand signed by Leo. For a personal touch, you can even add a small star to the location of your lake house or special place and add a few words such as "Evan's Lake House, Est. 2014" or be creative. The signatured Ruby Meridian, waterfowl and vintage plane have a story that’s included in the signed Certificate of Authenticity.  Leo Lakes treasured maps will make a cherished gift for that special someone. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Approaching the water line

I was in Florida last week and discovered the best fishing hole ever! I was lucky to have my camera with me to document the catches. Obviously, this is not the kind of fishing that you are thinking of, but still fishing is fishing. I met a few new friends that were fishing from the shore. Mr. Bittern is shown here approaching the water line ready for a big catch.  


With in a second, a fish is near.....

and bang, Mr. bittern has the catch 

Hummm, looks like a shiner minnow. That will go well in the sunshine. Yum, yum!  

Here's another friend nicknamed "Sandpiper". Oh, looks like he has something. Got to get a closer look.......


It's a crab! It's not bad to have crabs sometimes.......Looks delicious !

Not a bad five minutes of fishing.

Paddle over to my website, LEOLAKES.com. I paint beautiful lake, river and bay decor maps. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great Christmas gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 


As you can see, my maps make a great gift.  Orders are picking up during the holiday's, so order soon. Click here www.LeoLakes.com for more information.