Saturday, August 25, 2012


You can't really see the size of the log that little dog is struggling with.  She would try to pull a telephone pole out of the water to please me.

Today was a prosperous work day on Douglas Lake.  There were a lot of anglers out in boats for a change and I kept focused and busy.  The photography is another story.  I felt it time to make some alterations to the camera settings in order to liven up the photos with more vivid colors.  I even read the book on the subject.  I blew it.   I was working at the mid point of the lake and didn't expect to find any worthwhile subjects to photograph today.  Was I ever wrong!   When I downloaded the photos tonight I discovered that I should have left well enough alone with the camera.  The colors were over saturated.  I noticed a bald eagle sitting high in a tree and clicked away.  I'm too embarrassed to post all the shots.  Well, I'll put one or two up here.
I never thought I'd run into a bald eagle today.  This makes seven separate bald eagles I know about on Douglas Lake.
What I didn't see was a second bald eagle sitting to his left hidden by the branches.  I was off my game today big time!
I discovered a bald eagle nest on the upper end of the lake and the old boy was sitting in the top of the tree above it.  He is one of the seven that I now know about.  That's a lot of eagles for this end of the lake.

The nest is partially hidden by a leafy limb.
Boat wakes were rolling against my boat and the thing was rocking madly.  I probably would have messed up these pictures even if the camera was set up correctly.

These have to be the worse pictures I've ever taken.  If no then, close to it.  This eagle is going nowhere and he will be mated and young will be in that nest in the spring.  I'll do a much better job for him - I promise.  I'm going up to the Holston River on Monday in search of otters and beaver.  I better have this camera sorted out by then.  Actually, its sorted out now.  The thing is just a sophisticated computer.  Garbage in and garbage out..
Whoa!  Where did this guy come from.  He almost took the roof off the boat.  Just saw him at the last minute.  Turkey Vulture.
The vulture photo is an odd one.  It almost looks like a painting.  He's a big boy for sure!
He was low - too low.  He had to pour the power on as he passed the boat or plummet into the water.

The eagle changed trees and then he flew directly toward the opposite side of the lake.  I can find him any time I want.

The shift was over and I missed my dogs.  I owed them an afternoon out in the woods.  
The above shot is an example of over saturation.  Its pretty but doesn't appear as it did in person.

I sometimes rant and rave, complain and criticize somewhat but, when its all said and done I am very lucky.  I am able to enjoy my passion every day I breath.  Oh, the lakes over here are sad fare and there are too many people for my liking.   These lakes don't even begin to stand up to the pristine condition of the lakes west of here where I used to live.  These lakes here are work lakes to me.  I just have to make more of an effort to find out of the way water for my personal pleasure.  Its not a common thing to be given a beautiful bay boat to carry out one's tasks every day and a truck to pull it with.  The gas is free too and its parked out in front of my house daily.   And the amazing thing is that the job takes me to the places where my wildlife passions can be realized.  I do realize that I am a lucky guy and I appreciate this position with a terrific agency (TWRA).  So, when I complain and gripe, know that I love my job and the griping and complaining is really for those who can not speak for themselves.  It is for the wild ones that I present photographs to all who care to see in order to stimulate passion for them by others.  A picture is worth a thousand words and a lot of photographs are required if they are to be saved. 
The dogs knew exactly where they were.   I opened the door and said "get out."  They went straight to the cold water creek that flows from the trout hatchery, they're favorite spot up here at Buffalo Springs.

Chestnut hound and Shade jumped right in the water.  Shade instantly laid down and rolled onto her side.  She loves this cold creek.  Chestnut hound doesn't act like a hound.  I guess its because her peers are of very different breeds.  She acts more like a , well, a poodle.  When she's excited she does give out that hound howl, where the others bark .  

These dogs are appreciative of these little outings.  I could be on a bike ride or out on my boat photographing wildlife but, I want to be here with them.  I like to watch the dull house mouse eyes light up in excitement and anticipation when I open the truck door and call each of them to get in.  They know they're going somewhere.  They don't care where they're going.  They just care that they are going.  Shade's eyes actually appear wild with excitement when she gets in the truck.  That is reward enough for me.  I often think of all the dogs chained to a dog house or a slide lead, their spirits broken - any anticipation of leaving the tether not possible, not even considered by them.  How sad!
 Look at that pretty face.  The icy water has penetrated through her hair and is cooling her body.  She revels in the feeling.  She is totally contented.

They walk up the stream, never leaving the water, enjoying the coolness against their bodies.  The golden color of Chestnut reminds me of him.  I know it can never be again but, I have the memories.

I'll try hard to get some otter shots on Monday.  Thanks for repeatedly visiting this blog.  I appreciate you all - every one.