Wednesday, November 14, 2012

COOTS


No, the above aren't coots.  I'm a sucker for a passing mallard.

















Above:  No, no - that's an american crow.  No coot there.
Now your looking at coots.











Coots inhabit open bodies of water.  They seem to be especially attracted to large bay areas.  Coots weigh about a pound and a half and are dark gray in color.  These are american coots.  I see them on every lake I've ever been on accept Calderwood Lake.  I've noticed a few on Chilhowee Lake but not many and not frequently.  I think coots are valley birds and refrain from climbing the mountains to gain access to cold mountain lakes.  Cold mountain and warm valley lakes have different food sources and species of fish, as well as a much greater quantity of fish in the lower lakes as a food source,  and that probably is the greatest influence on their selected habitat.
Wow - just look at em!  They appear to be on a mission.  They are simply out for a collective paddle across the bay.  They can be seen in groups as well as individually through the summer.  When winter arrives they congregate in mass for what appears to be some migratory Exodus to unknown parts.  In reality, they group in very large numbers for protection and comfort derived through gregarious activity.  Why they overdo this strange action in winter is a quandary


   Quite an interesting little bird.  Oh, they build their nests on the water.  Yep.  They do.
The photographic opportunities this morning were limited, to say the least.  I was at the shoreline ready to launch the boat for work just before sun up.  I photographed one of the most spectacular sun rises I have ever seen.  The following shots aren't photo shopped.  I don't own photo shop.  Can't afford it.  They're pretty much as they came out of the camera.  Views like this are part of the perks of this job.


   














What a view to wake up to.  Hey - that's my office for today.  How bout that?  It was very cold though.  I mean cold!  It's not really a big deal.  I just dress for it and I have the proper clothing to deal with the cold.  It does take me longer to get on the water though as I spend a lot of time dressing like the Goodyear Blimp.  

Tomorrow I think I'll take the Gheenoe to Douglas Lake and run the shorelines of the lake in search of the bald eagle known as C 2..  I photographed him a few days ago and I'd like to get one more sighting before real winter sets in.

For those of you that care - I made a third visit to the dentist to handle a couple complications with the teeth extraction.  It seems that my jaw bone had bent in toward the empty tooth sockets where the molars were extracted and the bone fractured (developed a horizontal stress crack).  If ya bend the unbend-able too far it will break, or crack.  The edges of the crack were very sharp like a knife and cut through the gum tissue and protruded through at that cut, irritating the base of my tongue on that side.  It was very sore and caused my throat to become sore.  Also I was developing a sharp, stabbing intermittent pain in my right ear drum.  The dentist filed that sharp area on the jaw bone with a bone file, smoothing it out.  The results were instantly noticed in the most positive way.  I guess teeth can't be  pushed, pulled and twisted out of their sockets without fracturing bone.  At any rate the operation was successful and I'm pain free.  The dentures were adjusted again and I ate my first pack of crackers on the way home from the dentist.  Hey - its a start.  

We'll see what tomorrow brings.  Keep in touch.