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Sunday, September 27, 2015


Beyond Magnificence  

I just had to include the shot below of the mallards.  They are gorgeous in flight.

Most of these shots are of ospreys in flight.  They are dynamic raptors and amazing to watch,  and they seem to enjoy watching me.  Notice where their eyes are focused on many of the shots.  

The water is really getting low on Douglas Lake.  
 I'll never understand the answer to the mystery of why folks will spend entire life savings to build a house on a lake side that has water five months out of the year and mud, rocks, rip rap and garbage are present when the water recedes.  The dock above is fifty feet up on a mud embankment.  Why even have a dock?  Just me I guess.  The water belongs up at the green foliage line on that shoreline.  Pretty, isn't it?  I also will never understand why these flood control lakes are drained to the degree they are so early in the year.  I mean, it isn't like there is some large snow mass up in Pennsylvania, Vermont or Canada that may melt at any time and flow down the French Broad River and flood the Tennessee Valley.  So, why lower the lakes so early?  Oh well.......
Below is a pretty piece of rock I found today.  This is getting pretty bad when I have to photograph rocks.
I've said some things with tongue in cheek here on this entry but, what I'm going to say now is no joke.  It is a damn shame what has been done to the rivers and streams in the entire state of Tennessee.  There are dams on every river and numerous dams on some.  The wildlife habitat is practically ruined and it exists only where a dollar can be made from hunting, trapping and fishing.  The real crime is that it was done with the consent of the citizens of the entire state except for dams created for the war effort.  Ask yourself why TVA has no competition.  Ever wonder about that.  While your at it, ask yourself why Tellico Reservoir exists beside Ft Loudon Reservoir.  It is not flood control and it has nothing to do with making hydroelectric power yet it is a TVA lake.    Real Estate ring a bell?  OK, I'll shut up.  Hope you liked the Osprey....

Thursday, September 24, 2015


It isn't a big deal but I was cruising up the shoreline of the Holston River when I noticed a bald eagle plunging into the water far, far out in front of me.  It was impossible to get any kind of shot with even the 500mm lens.  But I watched him as he flew across the wide river to the opposite shore, turn and flew to the center of the river where he assumed a course that would allow him to pass "sort of" near to my boat.  I got the camera ready just in case.
 The sky was cloudy but a ray of sunlight pierced through and that eagle flew right through it.  I wish I were closer for that picture.  See following Pic:  Look closely at the upper right hand corner of the shot below.  A second bald eagle that I had not noticed was following behind.  I mean Wow!
 On and on he came - closer and closer.
The second eagle is still behind but I made no effort to capture the shots that would have included him as I didn't know at the time he was even there.
 Then he saw the boat and veered off to my right but kept flying upstream
 I got him as he passed by.  Could have used a bit faster shutter speed though.  Things happen fast.  I'd say this eagle is around 4 years of age as he has most of his white plumage but he is flecked with white on his face and tail.  
 See the shot below where the white flecks are present and also the shaded area on his face and tail feathers.  Hes almost adult and almost immature.  Humm - never thought about that.  What do you call an eagle at this stage in transition from youngster to adult?

 I did some quick shutter button pushing on these shots.  I'm amazed I even got him in the viewfinder.  He is still very far away to my right side.  He flew to a distance away to my right side where he felt comfortable passing on upstream.

 His face isn't completely white yet.  He has a ways to go.

 The second eagle flew low near the trees and then swooped up behind the first eagle.  Certainly is no photographic quality in these shots against the green foliage as the camera was set for sky.  No big deal.  Captured the moment anyhow.
 Its follow the leader in the shot immediately following:  Actually they both are immature eagles.  Possibly the male has found a potential mate in the second eagle.  Who knows?  He will have a mate by December I bet.

And then they were gone

  And the water became a lonly place without them

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Yep, I sold the old girl to a friend with the stipulation that if he decides to let it go, he gives me first dibs on it.  I kind of think she'll find her way back to me eventually.  Here is a quick movie of my good, good friend solo in the SS Minnow today.
Here's my friend James coming into the dock to load up.  I'm really glad he ended up with this boat.  This thing has been a labor of love for me all this time.  I just worked on it here and there as time and money allowed.  I can't do the motorcycle and the minnow at the same time.  And its even tougher when I'm trying to sell this property.  The Minnow has a good home.


 He was in a very difficult spot to get a good picture.  Surrounded by rich greenery and badly back lighted - he would be a challenge.  Its the way things go when in a boat.  I trundle along the shoreline and come upon them haphazardly and accidently with the photographic successes in the hands of fate.  Tough shooting but I did get him in decent shots, I guess.
 He is one of the two siblings belonging to the pair of adults who reside above the overfall dam on the Holston River just above the John Sevier steam plant.
 I believe he is this year's immature bald eagle and has been cast out into the world by his parents to find his own property rights.  He has followed the river downstream to a tiny cove densely foliaged with a stand of tall hardwoods.
 He didn't like to hear the big white boat passing across the opening to his private cove and bolted from his lofty perch.
His head and beak can be seen through that little hole, window, just center in the picture above.  No luck with the camera or that shot would have been a National Geographic picture if it weren't for the leaves and limbs.  I am awed in the presence of this huge birds each and every time I am in close proximity.  Just an amazing creature.  Their faces always display determination and intelligence.

 The shots above and below are indications that Summer is through and Fall approaches.  Actually Fall is here.  I love that season but am no friend to the one that follows Fall.
 A grebe passes in front of the boat.  Hes so tiny yet resillient.  They can dive under water and come back to the surface a hundred yards away in seconds.  I am constantly amazed at their prowess in the water.
 This is a rather attractive shoreline where I stopped to stretch my legs after three hours on the water.  Shade was due for a stop too.  Its attractive here but not what I call real pretty.  I hate to see those desolate shorelines this time of year.  Not natural and mostly ugly.   Ya can wrap a present in bright, colorful wrapping but if there's a rock in the box, it remains a rock.

My sweetie

 Above:  The shoreline along the Holston near Melinda Ferry Bridge above Quarryville.  Its a spectacular shoreline, primitive in nature on overcast days.
 This is the cove where the immature eagle was perched.  It flew straight over the boat, as they often do when leaving these tight, short coves.  Shade seems to be saying, "did you see that?"
Below is just a dark, pretty piece of rocky shoreline that I found attractive.
The scene below is always a welcome sight.  I know the place well.  If you think its pretty in this picture - you should see it when the water is over top those rocks on the left.
So, thats it for this entry. I'm going to put more and more entries on the blog from now on.  I'm just more comfortable writing here than I am on Face Book.  The 40 year old BMW will be taking a day ride soon to Hot Springs, North Carolina, that is, as soon as I can get a luggage rack installed behind that solo seat.  I can't carry anything on the bike right now.  I'm working on it.