Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FORT LOUDON LAKE IN THE CANOE

click picture to enlarge I did some house chores this morning early and decided to take the canoe out. I needed to stop at Home Depot in Maryville and I needed a haircut too. I could achieve both these ends if I could be satisfied putting the canoe on Ft. Loudon lake. My disdain for Loudon Lake is simply that every conceivable type boat on the planet can be found on it. That, to me, removes the element of pristine, natural beauty. The interstate can be heard constantly and endless rows of homes exist on both sides of the lake as far as the eye can see. Boat drivers come in all varieties and the less than desirable ones seem to gravitate to this particular lake. They seem to have to get someplace and get there fast, all the time. I guess it's close to the city of Knoxville and access is easiest. After my haircut I was set. I gave my friend Shaun a call to see if he was up for a paddle this afternoon. He was. A half hour later we were on the water. There was one little surprise. Shaun brought his little darling daughter Abby with him. She is as sweet as sugar and cute as a button. We launched the boats at the boat ramp located in Lewisville and headed up stream; a long, long way. This was the most lengthy paddle trip I have yet taken. I can't put a mileage on this trip but I assure you it was a big un. The funny thing is that it didn't even bother me in the slightest. The only thing I can think of as a potential problem is that the palms of my hands were starting to feel tender as if blisters might appear. That is from constant rotation of the paddle in the power hand due to correction strokes. Other than that; no big deal. We drove straight across the lake and up the side to a cove with shallow water. I started to take pictures. Shaun was doing great paddling that 85 pound canoe. I don't know how he does it so well. I should have read the owners manual more thorough before putting this camera to the test. A great photo opportunity presented itself in the form of a Osprey fishing. Then of an Osprey diving on the boat. Pretty neat! The problem is I didn't have the white balance set correctly and the "sky" background is overpowering the subject due to it's brightness. I'll get to the bottom of that tonight. But the pictures are interesting anyway. As long as I put a tree or an embankment behind the subject; I got a crisp shot. But the sky as a backdrop is another story. Still interesting shots. The Osprey caught a fish and was flying with it. An Osprey flyby.......... I finally let the Osprey land and enjoy his catch. I was hoping to get a shot as he ascended to the nest. This is a sandpiper. It's a tiny little five or six inch bird that flits from rock to rock picking up insects. It can be found scratching about in the sandy soil of the shoreline. Their neck rocks to and fro with each step. It is humerus to watch. A nifty little bird. That's sort of how the day went. Nothing fantastic. Good company and a pretty little girl who giggles and has shining eyes. Now; to finish mowing grass........