Thursday, September 20, 2012


Mallards came out of a cove and blasted past the front of the boat.  They were beautiful.  The sound of their wings was awesome.

I was be in the same area as yesterday only on the afternoon shift.  As I stated previously many times - this is my very favorite area on Douglas Lake.  It's actually the French Broad River.  No people.  That's why there is wildlife there.
It seems that the ducks and geese are both flocking all of a sudden.  Could it be because Fall is upon us and many of the migratory birds are on the move?  Many stick around but many leave.  It seems today, though, I'm covered up with birds.
Mallards have been secretive all summer long.  Now, all of a sudden they are everywhere.
 It's interesting to note that the green herons are gone from the Rankin area where I photographed so many of them throughout the summer.  Even the cormorant ranks are thinning out.  The geese, however, are everywhere.  They are gathered on the river banks and many, many are flying in their famous formations across the sky's in all directions.  They appear nervous.  They are preparing for a journey that they, themselves, do not understand.

I ran into a little bird today that I have not previously seen.  At first I thought it was a killdeer but closer inspection indicates its a different species.  Below is a killdeer.  Killdeers are common.
Below is the new guy.  I have two excellent bird field guides and this bird seems to fit into the category of Plover.  I guess it to be a American Golden Plover.  Problem is that the AGP isn't supposed to be down here.  It only gets as far as the Mississippi valley.  I'll ask around for some professional information.

A Canada flies hard to catch up to the flock that left without him.  He is honking loudly as if to say "wait up."

A distant shoreline is resting place for vultures.  I've never seen so many congregated together.  I wonder how so many can find enough death to survive upon.

 Vultures actually steal from each other.  The small and infirm go the way of all weak members of nature and become vulture dinner themselves.  Vultures are obviously Democrats.  This may be the animal's Democratic Convention.  Bet I get some comments about that comment!
A bald eagle swooped down from the top of the mountain and flew along the shoreline.  Another bald eagle left a tall tree high on the mountain and, like a rocket, caught up with him and they flew together to the top of the mountain and disappeared over the top.

Today was a mirror image of yesterday so far.  Not one fishing boat could be found.  I ran as far up the river until the prop hit mud and I was forced to turn around and ease back down the river.  As I returned downstream to the Leadvale ramp, I saw fishermen.  Wow!  There were none in boats.  These anglers were positioned around on the shore.   As my luck would have it there was no place to beach the boat next to them.  I had to run the big boat aground and walk along the sloping shoreline cliffs to get to them.  There were 12 in all.  I was happy to see them.  At last I could turn in some positive data.  As I drove the boat under the railroad bridge I saw a pontoon boat tucked in behind a pier.  I went over and asked them how the fishing was.  The two men on the pontoon were not smiling.  It was then I noticed the top was off their engine.  Oh well - after I towed them back to the boat ramp I told em that I would accept a check for a hundred bucks if they didn't have cash.  We all laughed and I went on my way.
I was on my way back to Walters Bridge where the truck and trailer was.  The route would take me past the tiny cover where I photographed the little herd of whitetails yesterday.  As I approached the cove's mouth I cut the engine and the boat slowly glided into the opening of the cove.

She appeared to be alone.  I figured I'd snap a couple shots to document the viewing and move on.  Then I saw her little fawn.

I like fawns.  Who doesn't?  He slowly followed his mama.  The fawn noticed the white boat but the doe didn't pay any attention to it.  Odd.

He is a cutie for sure.  This little cove is a spot where two separate mountain sides slope down and meet.   The result is a natural valley that leads straight to this flat area back in this cove.  I hope this place is overlooked during hunting season so that these deer don't get displaced and disoriented. 

There I go wearing you out with a lot of pictures of the same thing.  I'm so happy to run into something other than birds that I sometimes go crazy with the camera.  

It was time to move away.  The boat will have floated past the cove opening in another minute.  I kept clicking pictures.  I won't keep them all but, then again, maybe I will.

Its really interesting to watch animals when they are at ease.  The mother would smell the tufts of grass, passing over some, and nibbling others.  The fawn faced his mothers muzzle and watched this process and he emulated his mother.  Very cool!

Time to get home.  Its been a nice day, especially since I got to interview some fishermen.  I'm going to ride with a coworker on his boat on his lake and photograph the job I do every day.  I obviously can't photograph myself doing the job.  I'll try to do this soon.  I hope you liked the entry.  Take care and see you soon again.