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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SOME INHABITANTS OF CHEROKEE LAKE

It's amazing how life can throw a person a curve ball that can actually change his or her forward momentum.  In my case I get fast balls.  I can see a curve ball coming every time because I'm savvy about life and I'm practical.  A fast ball, however, can make it past my radar and upset my time line of life.  That happened to me this week.  The fastest pitch I ever had to deal with blasted past me before I knew what happened and I don't like it. I'll deal with it.  Enough said.
Immature bald eagle

 He appeared out of nowhere.  Its his element after all.  I looked up for some reason and there he was and I could see he was disturbed by the big engine noise that was fast approaching him.  I'd guess him to be about three years old by the white that is materializing on his plumage.  He's a beauty!

How boring and mundane the waterways would be without the beautiful great egret. This beautiful bird hilights any shoreline it visits.  It is representative of natures highlighter that intensifies the beauty of the shorelines of Tennessee.






There is one other shore bird that is very common and sometimes overlooked as a beautiful asset to all the lakes and rivers.  He is the great blue heron.  Below is a great blue who has caught a rather larger than normal fish for his dinner.  He is very guarding and protective of it - so much that he is forgetting to eat it.
 He sees the big white boat and the engine definitely has his attention.  He is uneasy.

 He looks right and left to see if he can carry his catch to some isolated area where the big white boat and noisy engine can't follow.
 He finally says I'm outa here.

 The problem is that he is flying in the direction I'm going and I'll probably run into him again shortly.

 Look how he keeps low to the ground.  Its humerous to watch but its life or death to him.  Food is the reason for life out here, without getting into science...

 He flew down the shoreline and I did come upon him once again.  But, I turned away from shore to distance myself from him and allow him to rest and eat in peace.


 And then I came upon the ospreys.



 These magnificent birds were guarding their young, or eggs.  I'm not sure.  One thing is for sure and that is they were reluctant to leave that big nest and that usually means babies.

 They were back lighted against the light sky but they still appeared magnificent and the dominant feathered creature in the sky.   The bald eagles were on the opposite shoreline when these photos were taken..


 Their motion is perfection in every way.  There's never a mistake.


A tree stuck straight up out of the water and on it was an osprey nest.  Two noble birds guarded it and were very defensive.



 













And one last thought.  Tennessee has a form of fishing called limb line fishing where a bated fishing line is dropped into the water from a limb or other structure and allowed to sit unsupervised.  I've seen osprey, cormorants and now a great blue heron fouled in the line.  It struggles until the hook is wound up with the line closer to the bird and finally embeds itself in the birds flesh and the bird either starves to death or drowns.  This isn't sport fishing.  Its meat hunting.  The people who set these baits don't seem to care how often they visit their set.  See below.  Its obscene how we treat wildlife and it sickens me.  This form of fishing should be stopped.
 That's a great blue heron that has drowned.  He has either become fouled in the limb line or has picked up the catfish that was on the hook thereby hooking himself.  In any case its a form of fishing that is obscene.  Yes it is condoned and is legal. 
 Below you can see the line hanging down from the limb.  The jug has a line attached to it also.  This is meat hunting.  Hell, go to the damn store and buy a fish.  Protect our wildlife for heavens sakes.