Thursday, September 13, 2012

LATE AFTERNOON ON THE FRENCH BROAD RIVER

video

It is an odd picture isn't it?  I loaded the canoe onto the truck this morning and headed for Beech Creek.  I got as far as the town of Bean Station when the phone rang.  Reynolds Marine had my Gheenoe fixed.  I detoured down the Rutledge Pike West toward Knoxville and on to Harriman to pick up the boat.  That's why the canoe is on the truck and the Gheenoe hitched to the back.  Of course that killed the day.  I'm off on Saturday and Sunday this week and I had to get it if I wanted to use the boat this weekend.   You'll have to excuse Happy in the picture. I didn't notice her doing what she is doing until just now.  Oh boy!

The eagles on the upper end of Douglas Lake were tough to photograph tonight.  Yes, I went to the lake with the Gheenoe after I got back with it.  Mid afternoon is too early to just sit back and watch the sun move across the sky.  I put the boat in the water at Walters Bridge and headed upstream.  I knew exactly where the first bald eagle would be and he was there.  The falling sun was at his back and photographic conditions were terrible.  The shots turned out fair at best.  I'm doing better getting acceptable back-lit photos.  If you haven't been close enough to a bald eagle to see the whites of his eyes you have no idea what you're missing.

The eagle was back in the trees surrounded by foliage but near enough to the top of the tree that a terrible back-lit condition existed.  There was a 5 foot opening in front of him.  That was the window I had to photograph him.  I drove the Gheenoe upstream past him, killed the engine and let the slow current carry the boat back down in front of and past the eagle.  I would only have time for a few shots.  Well, that's what ya gotta do sometimes.  As the Gheenoe drifted past he launched from the limb and off he went.

There would be no more eagles on this side of the river.  I turned the boat to a point across the lake.  There would be one more eagle to visit.  The shoreline is a bit rocky over there and I tucked in close to the water line and idled on.

This little kingfisher looked at the boat in a curious fashion rather than in fright.  This is a testament to the beauty of the super quiet 4 stroke engine on the Gheenoe.  I could never approach this bird with the clanky 2 stroke engine on the state boat.  The little bird sat and constantly jerked his head in my direction for a quick look from time to time.  I kept getting closer and closer.




The light is not very bright back in this cove and I'm glad he is remaining still.  When he flies I will attempt to put him in the camera but, I expect the shots will contain blur.

That's the best I could do with this 500mm lens.  That thing requires a lot of light.  Low light equals slow shutter speeds.  I'm pleased overall with the shots though.
 ON YOUR MARK, GET SET-
GO!




 There he is with the white sky behind him.  No luck.  Blue sky would be super!  The polarizer is working miracles, however.  Both eagles tonight were in the poorest light imaginable.  Its a challenge I guess and what makes it fun.
He didn't sit still very long.


The sun is dropping fast and there isn't much light suitable for taking pictures so, I'll head back to the dock.  I enjoyed the evening and I'm happy the upper end of the lake has some wild spots on it.
 I detoured into green heron cove on the way back to the truck.  This is the place where I get all the great green heron pictures.  I can get back in here with the Gheenoe but barely.  Water depth is only 1.5 feet.  Next week it will be dry land.
So, there's another blog entry.  Saturday will find me back up at Beech Creek with the Gheenoe   if the bank gives me a loan to buy gasoline.  Gasoline is starting to be a serious issue and will impact my ability to get to the wild places in the near future if prices don't start coming down.  See ya.