Thursday, October 21, 2010


The day started out to be beautiful and I thought I would check out the leaves with a view from the river.  I was surprised to find that for the most part, the leaves were dropping off and appeared wilted and/or dead.  This must surely be due to the very long periods of heat and no rain.  They will not show good color this year.  That's not to say the color will be off everywhere else.  The trees at Calderwood Lake, a high mountain lake, were turning nicely last week and promised good color.  I will be camping there next weekend and will record their progress.
But, today I just wanted to relax;  to sit back and let the engine do the work.  The sun was warm on my face and the breeze nonexistent.   I would explore.  I noticed turtles on logs and the occasional pied billed grebe bobbing about on the surface of the water.

I shut down the engine and watched a pair of Grebe slowly float across the water.  But, what made the image vibrant was the color of the water's surface.  The reflections of the colored trees upon the water creates indescribable colors and patterns.  I tried not to disturb the grebes, yet tried to silently position the boat to capture the best colors on the water.

They were keeping their eyes on me.  Their heads would turn left or right constantly looking the Gheenoe over.
They are a pretty little bird and a welcomed sight this beautiful Fall day.  The grebe's finally lost their patience with me.
I noticed a very narrow channel leading back off the river on the left bank.  I'm a sucker when it comes to investigating inlets and outlets on a large body of water.  I entered the water path and the Gheenoe instantly was floating over one foot of water.  Another hundred feet and I breathed easier with three feet beneath the boat.   The bank was the edge of a pasture field.  I suddenly had the urge to tie the boat off and lay on the green grass in the sun.  I've always said that a beautiful canoe tied along a grassy shoreline makes a wonderful picture.  Well, so does the Gheenoe.  It appeared, well, dignified and relaxed sitting in the quiet water.
This is a perfect spot to work on a piece I want to write concerning a proposal to hunt sandhill cranes in Tennessee.  I know there are dollars at the the bottom of this endeavor but there are some things in this life that are actually more important than dollars.  Dollars helped bring the cranes back from near extinction but the interest on the loan is going to be expensive for them.  People borrow money and skip out on the contract.  I think the cranes should be allowed to slide on their loan.

I found a great tree to sit back against and commenced to write down some thoughts.  A noisy gray squirrel voiced his disapproval at my presence.

I noticed a heron next across the channel on the other shoreline.  I would have to remember to take a picture of that before I left.  It's interesting how I can write out here on the water but can't put a sentence together at home.  Maybe it's because of all the dogs milling about at home and requiring attention.  I can be on the water in 35 degree weather and still write, neglecting the cold, and become immersed in my thoughts.  Sometime I put the words to paper so fast that they become written out of order.  I always catch that when I type the piece onto the blog at the end of the day.  This happened today.  A very loud snort startled me.  It actually shook me up a bit.  I slowly turned around and saw:
not one but, five cows.  They came up on me so quiet I never heard them.  When they got my scent they snorted, as any wild ruminant will do.  So now I had company.  They were welcome to hang out here with me.  One actually walked right up to me as if she wanted to read what I was writing.
I guess if I can't photograph a wild critter I'll have to settle for a domestic one.  They were nice to me and I to them.  An hour was long enough lounging here in the grass.  It is a long way back up river and I had better go.  I wanted to explore this inlet a bit anyway.  That cow wouldn't leave.  She stood there and watched me walk to the boat without moving a muscle.  I think she liked me.  Farewell friend;  parting is such sorrow.
A picture of the heron nest and I'm out of here.  Please take time to read the letters that pertain to the crane hunting proposition.  They are directly below this blog.  A link is supplied at the top of that blog entry if you want to copy it to send to friends.  I know it's an emotional issue but, a financial one also.  It's a shame that wildlife must suffer death in order to hold onto life.  It's sort of an oxymoron of a sort.
Below is the all important nest picture.   Thanks for visiting this blog.  I appreciate it.
Oh, I almost forgot.  I did photograph another pretty little bird.  She's below: