Tuesday, July 24, 2012


click on photos to enlarge
The bow of the boat gently touched against the shoreline. There, on the right, stood a very young great blue heron. He actually was ignoring the presence of this great white monster that just floated in beside him. I slowly reached down and picked up the camera and eased toward the forward deck at the point of the boat. He was keeping a watch on me but still stood his ground. I stooped down and sat on the gunnel (edge) of the boat and allowed my legs to hang over the side. He still did not fly off as I expected him to. He was only 15 feet away from me and acted like I didn't exist. I started to click pictures one after another. The 500 millimeter lens will do a great job on him at this distance. The resultant pictures are amazing!

I slid over the side of the boat and took step toward him. He turned his head slightly toward me but still made no effort to move away. What's wrong with this kid? I continued to click away. He became a bit agitated after the 5 th shot. I had enough photographs.

I allowed the camera to hang around my neck by the strap and faced the lake. I put my hands behind my back and stood and stared out at the water just like he was doing. We were about 15 feet apart. If anyone would have walked by and noticed us they would have thought we were together simply enjoying the morning. I believe if I would have had a small fish that I could have extended my arm to him and hand fed him. Of course I would never feed a wild animal. That guarantees their demise. But, I believe I could have done it. I wanted to pet his head so badly!
He is a very young bird, born in the rookery across the French Broad River at the Rankin boat ramp. He was born this year. Hopefully he will grow to fear humans for they are bad for him. Good by little fella.
The sudden flight of a large bird from a tree near by startled me. It was the same juvenile bald eagle I saw yesterday. This bird sits tight in the trees until the boat is right on top of him and then he flies off. He is in the exact territory he was in yesterday. I've got his habits pretty well figured. Again, as yesterday, he caught me off guard and I only got shots of him after he passed. The second shot is of his back when he landed in a tree. The first shot is a bit better as he turned his head toward me to judge my position. He appears in yesterday's entry.

I never grow weary of looking at bald eagles. They are magnificent to watch. Once you see one up close you will be hooked - and grateful for the privilege.

Natures butterflies, her white angels, still linger along the shoreline.
The title of this entry is Wild Faces. Well, look at the face below: The green heron is a difficult bird to photograph but occasionally I get lucky. Today I got real lucky! What a handsome bird! What a difficult bird to capture up close in the camera.

I watched a turkey vulture circle and circle and finally land with a few of his brethren. I noticed a black vulture standing at the outer edge of the group of turkey vultures. The turkey vultures were giving him the cold shoulder and one was even making quick lurches toward him.
 Above:  Coming in for a landing.
The above photograph shows the difference between the black and turkey vultures. The turkey vulture, on the right, has a red head, a larger body and a greater wing span. The underside of his wings are two tone. The black vulture is a smaller bird with an all black, hairless head. Their wingspan is shorter than that of the turkey vulture. The black vulture will flap his wings more often when in flight than the turkey vulture. Turkey vultures can soar for very, very long periods of time. You may think it odd that the two species are together he re on this beach. Not so. Turkey vultures can smell carrion up to three miles distance. Black vultures are primarily sight feeders in that they circle about until visual contact is made with dinner. Therefore, the black vulture has incorporated the practice of following the turkey vultures in flight because the turkey vulture increases the possibility of finding dinner for the black vulture. Black vultures are Democrats.

 Turkey vultures have a habit of regurgitating their food if they need to flee danger and fly away quickly.  Its called lightening the load.  Quite a bird!
Below is a farm silo that has been remodeled into an apartment. I love this place. What a great idea!
I've waved to the owner of this property and intend to beach the boat in front of that silo and ask if I can photograph the inside of it. He always smiles when I float by. We'll see. Oh - there is a gorgeous home over to the left of the silo. I understand that he remodeled the silo just to do it. I like that thinking.

I successfully worked the bugs out of the computer and increased the speed of the internet a little bit. The recent computer crash drove me to near insanity. I have no patience with computers. I just expect them to work. I've calmed down a lot since yesterday. You should notice higher photo quality in this entry. I was able to re-download my Canon Camera Software. The photos for the previous post (last night) were downloaded from the camera using a very generic process and the picture quality suffered. Anyway - we're back in business. Hope you enjoyed this post.                         Oh - one last thought.  Always remember to put the drain plug in the boat before heading across the lake.  See below: