Riverkeeper report: Thunderstruck

Published 9:33 am Monday, January 30, 2017

Spirit of Moonpie and I spent the 18th through the 20th on the Blackwater below Franklin. The water was clear and 44 degrees. Air temps ranged from 38 to 65 degrees.

There is still plenty of trash out there from the October flood, but most of that is in the trees and I cannot get it. Most of that stuff is plastic grocery bags that will degrade and disintegrate in a few months.

I have been concentrating on the stuff that does not go away fast like the beer bottles, Styrofoam items and damn plastic bottles. There are always plenty of those out there. Fishing on this trip was fair, though I only fished one of the three days. I caught three small bass, two jacks and a few decent raccoon perch. All were caught on a blade bait jigged vertically off of the bottom. I believe I hung a striper, but I never turned it and it got off. That made me soooo happy. NOT! 

I had an interesting first day. That day was designated moving day. My base camp I have had since 1996 needed to be moved. I just couldn’t take the smell anymore there from the holding pond. I have had a lot of great memories at that place though and appreciate the mill letting me stay there all these years. I remember being there and seeing the tugboat come by, that’s how long I have been at that location. Heck, in 1996 Moonpie was only 3 years old and I was a spry 37! So it was kinda emotional the other day when I left for the last time.

Anyway, I have a new base and it is nice. It was a lot of work to do all of that. With my health getting steadily worse, it takes a long time to do that kind of physical work. I have to go extra slow because I’m so unsteady getting around and could get really hurt a myriad number of ways. But I finally accomplished the mission by the end of the day.

I would have finished sooner but I had to take a break because of a THUNDERSTORM. Yep, out of the blue, I was at the new place and all of a sudden BOOM! BOOM! I thought Moonpie was playing with the shotgun again at first, but then it started to rain. We had to run and dive in the tent muddy boots/paws and all.

As we laid there in the tent I told Moonpie, “Glad there ain’t no lighting with this, that would suck to do all this work only to get lightning struck first day here.” 

“I know. Right,” she replied, “But hey, according to AC/DC it’s okay to be thunderstruck out here on the two rivers we call the Blackwater and Nottoway.”

JEFF TURNER is the Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper. He can be reached at blknotkpr@earthlink.net.