Monday, January 10, 2011

SNOW IN EAST TENNESSEE - Maybe I'm Dreaming and Still in Pennsylvania

click on photo's to enlarge
Oh boy!  It's 7AM and I'm headen for the river with the canoe.  But, what's this?  A look out the window indicates otherwise.  SNOW!  There was at least 8 inches of snow on the ground.  It all fell to earth last night.  My truck and boat were covered.  I would love to put the canoe on the water but, my two wheel drive truck would never make it to Chilhowee Lake, let alone get me back.
I walked outside to survey the conditions.  A quick look down the lane beside the habitat didn't look too good for two wheeled vehicles.  I'm actually thinking about hauling the canoe out.  The dogs were at the gate ready to go.  Notice Douglas simply sits still with his imploring eyes saying;  "take me, take me."  He takes that stance and gives me that "take me" look every time I leave the habitat for any reason.  He breaks my heart.
I think I'll go over to the diner across the street for a hot coffee and ask folks how the roads are.   Oh well;  I guess I won't.  The diner is closed.  I'll have to drive down to the 411 diner three miles down the road.
 The roads are in terrible shape.  The state only has one snow plow and he didn't get over this way yet.  The old truck goes fine as long as the tread has snow to grip onto.  But, it's slow going.  I can't believe the snow.
The shots above and below were taken leaving town.  Remember;  we don't have any salt.
I know you're laughing if you are reading this and live in Pennsylvania.  This is nothing but a usual snowfall for you.  But, you have to remember that Tennessee rarely receives snow fall in this amount and the state is not prepared to handle it.  The outlying homes are not reachable by school buses and schools close on snow days.  The mountains usually see double the amounts of snow fall that we get in these valleys.  The shot below is of Route 411 South.  It is a 4 lane highway.  
I picked up a large coffee at the 411 Diner and am driving over to the boat ramp on the Tellico Parkway, a spur road off Morganton Road that is on the lake.

The truck is doing a good job of holding traction.  The turn off to the boat ramp is just ahead.  I want to see conditions on the water.  There is a lot of snow in here.  The snow is really deep on the road to the boat ramp.
I think I'll forget any ideas about putting any boat on the water.  The Gheenoe would have been a real water adventure today.  Can you imagine the absolutely fabulous pictures I could have taken using the Gheenoe?  The possibilities are endless.  The boat ramp was totally useless.   The only way to launch a boat and retrieve it would be to carry my own salt and sand.  I'd have to put it down on the steep ramp before launch and again when I pull the boat out of the water.  It could be done.  If I had known this snow was coming I would have prepared for a launch.  No one takes photographs on the lake in this weather.  No one.   It's an idea I could embrace.  The launch area was empty, as expected.
It would be a perilous chore to even line the boat trailer up with the ramp today.  Everything blends together in a blanket of white.
Better to take a ride the long way back and get some Winter shots along the way.  I like old buildings and barns and will keep look out for a photo opportunity.
The land is beautiful this morning.  I'll give it that.  The snow remains white until it melts as the state doesn't apply ashes or salt to any large degree.  Beautiful it is and beautiful it will remain, at least here in the country.  The city is another story.  Been to a city once.  Didn't care for it.
The trees and shrubbery are dressed in their Winter best.   The snow is inconvenient but, the landscape is gorgeous.
I used to take a lot of black and white photos years ago.  I always enjoyed controlling the subject with filters adding shade and light where ever I desired.  Digital is super but, there are limitations with digital cameras.  The software in the computer must be relied upon to shape the image for creative photos.
Below is an old building photographed and displayed as it came out of the camera:
I could have shot this image in black and white with a film camera.  I can do it with this digital camera also but, I don't feel like losing my current settings.  It's easier to create the black and white image with computer photo software when I get home.  See below:
The black and white image projects a cold, cold feel to the picture.  It depends what one is looking for when taking the shot.
The shots above and below project a sense of isolation in the scene.  The shot could have been taken in Wyoming or South Dakota.  But, it was shot not two hours ago here in Tennessee.  The pictures speak of wilderness.  I like them.
  I guess it's pretty safe to say you will never see small children and small or even large gatherings of people in my pictures.  I like natural settings.   I'm that way with color also.  I see too often boats on the lake and rivers painted bright psychedelic colors.  Many penetrate into the shallow waters that reach back into the Smoky mountains.  I get a disappointing feeling when I've paddled the canoe through some restricted, out of the way section of water and tie it off, allowing it to float freely close to shore only to look up and see four kayaks double paddling onto the scene.   One is florescent orange, another is psychedelic purple with silver lightning bolts on the sides,  the third bright yellow with huge gold stars on the bow and the last one brilliant metal flake silver.  I'll ask a question here.  What qualities constitute litter?  Think about it.  Why would anyone select those bold colors to take into a wilderness setting?   I'm not knocking kayakers here.  Not in the least.  I'm not elevating myself above any one or any thing.  But,  what is it that makes folks select these obnoxious colors?  Maybe they would work on white water.  White water kayaking is a crowd sport.  But, here in the back country?   Wild colors are about as attractive as a tin can on a gorgeous sandy beach.  There I go again.  I gotta control my rants.  I'll probably get nasty notes about this entry from angry kayakers.  Hey;  I love you guys;  really!  I'm just highly opinionated.
Back to the snow.
The place below has been deserted as long as I've lived in these parts:
The word that comes to mind to describe the following building is----Stark!
The shot below makes me think of the word----Frontier
There is one old building near home that I really like.  It has charm and character.  It follows below:
A couple more shots from different angles:
How about the ol black and white routine for this old building?
If I were to select a property to live on the rest of my life;  it would be this place.  It is gorgeous.  But, it's not for sale.

That does it for this Winter's entry.  The time is 1:00PM.  I have to check the roads to see if I can get the dogs to the forest.  It doesn't look good at this point in time though.  Stay warm and see ya all next time.