Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BALD EAGLES ARE PARENTS & A GLORIOUS DAY ON THE LITTLE TENNESSEE RIVER

click photos to enlarge
What a grand day!  I awakened without any pain in my leg.  The old back ached but no pain caused by nerve pinch.  I know it won't last because this anomaly has occurred before.  I wasn't going to waste the opportunity to be on the river.  I would ride down the Little Tennessee River and check on my eagle family.  The wind was blowing harder than I would have liked but, I didn't care.  I was going.  I felt great! NOTE:

The blog site has been enlarging the pictures to the degree they are becoming fuzzy.  I'm not sure what is happening.  I shall have to reduce enlargements more before posting to the site to combat this occurrence. 
You'll probably be tired of looking at bald eagles by the time you get through with this blog entry.  I love them and sometimes I overdo the photography.  Don't forget to click on the shots to enlarge.


Mom wasn't shy about showing off her baby.  They both sat up tall and casually looked all about.  Junior is a cute one.


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Many of these shots are similar but, the opportunity to photograph a mom bald eagle with her young one only comes along once a year.






The experience to be so close to these magnificent birds is overwhelming.  They are elegant and grand and I'm so very happy to see the same pair of eagles still together after all these years.  There is so very much that can happen to separate them.



I was becoming alarmed though.  I only saw one baby.  There have been two survive from this nest over the past 4 years.  I held hopes that two would have made the transition from young to adult this year also.








He's a beautiful baby!













But wait.  What is this?  Another little head has popped up on the other side of mom.  I feel better now.  We have a brother and a sister.  Nice going mom!
Life is good!  THIS is worth anything to observe!  THIS is what it's all about.
The wind has blown the Gheenoe over in two feet of water.  Lucky for me I glanced down at the depth finder.  The wind is strong and it's rocking this boat like crazy.  I've got the camera set on 1/1300th of a second in hopes of avoiding fuzzy shots.  Below is a very proud and concerned mom.
Below is a favorite shot of mine.  Heck;  they all are my favorite.
Dad has just made his appearance and he is grand!
There aren't many words to say about this scene.  The pictures say it all.
I had to throw the shot above in.  He's a sweet kid!
You have to admit these are magnificent birds.
I think its time to wander on down stream and let the eagles in peace for awhile.  There may be an opportunity for a photograph on the way back up.  I was interested to see how the great blue heron rookery was doing.  I missed all the birthing last year at the rookery and was curious if the group of herons still used the island.  Speaking of herons;  here's one now:



They do have a dignified manner about them and they truly are graceful in flight.




The Little Tennessee never lets me down when it comes to wildlife.  There is always activity on these waters Summer and Winter but, Spring is when the activity is the most intense.
This canada goose has selected a really great spot to lay her eggs.  She built her nest of twigs and feathers back under an overhang on a rock cliff.  She will do well and be successful with her young tucked back in there.  She and her young will be also be hidden from the keenest eyes in the sky.
A cormorant is caught off guard by our passing.
Finally;  the heron rookery appears directly ahead.  I'm early.  The nests are being attended by the adults but no thin, snake like necks are protruding up out of the nests.  The babies are not born yet.  The colony appears to be healthy with a large group of nests.  I hope this trend continues.
There are a great many people here in Tennessee who still think, well, they always thought, that the great blue heron nests on the ground.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As you see here, they nest in the very tops of the trees, exhibiting what seems to be a desire to be as far from the ground as possible.


I think it's time to head back upstream and zoom past the eagle nest and head for home.  The wind is really pushing the water hard and I hate to speed into the rough water.  It's not only hard on the boat but it's hard on me too.  What a day this is!
They appear to be prehistoric.  Ha;  they are prehistoric...
I took over 400 photographs today.  What you see here is just a sample of all the pictures.  I would bore you to death if I posted them all.  The eagle nest is coming up on the right.  I will shoot a couple shots from distance without stopping.
That's it for this great day.  It felt so good to feel the sun and wind on my face and to glide over the water and feel the occasional light spray of water on my hands.  Tomorrow I get a steroid shot in the back and I'm not looking forward to that.  This whole sciatic nerve problem gives me an entirely different view on life in general.  It's all about health.  Everything important revolves around health.  I hope you enjoyed this blog entry and thank you for allowing me to share my happiness with you.