Thursday, November 1, 2012

SURPRISES ON THE LOWER LAKE


The wind was up and I needed to run on the bay areas of the lower lake.  The lake would be covered with white caps and roller waves.  I'll leave the loaner boat at home and take the big bay boat today.  It's a Cadillac    I also thought it would be a useless time for any photography.  I was pleasantly surprised as the afternoon wore on.
Not every day can start perfectly.  I got the trailer and boat back from the welder four days ago and it sat in the driveway ever since.  I was using a loaner boat on the lake.  I decided to hitch up the bay boat an ride in relative comfort today.  I pulled it out of the parking area and noticed a flat tire.  What luck!  The last old tire on the trailer that was worn on the inside was flat.  I put the spare on an drove to get a new tire installed.  
It felt good to be on the lake in this boat.  The wind was howling and white caps covered the lake.  This would be a rough afternoon.
The water wasn't too bad at the ramp area and looking downstream.  The wind blew harder as the day progressed.
I was really looking forward to being out here today.  I have been turning wrenches on the engine on the loaner boat and I was beginning to think I had a new position with the agency as a mechanic.  The sky was blue and the sun was shining bright.  Everything was in place for a great day, except for the wind.
I ran onto three fishing boats almost immediately and thought I might be really busy with anglers today for a change.  They were the only fishermen I saw the whole shift.
I stayed close to the shoreline as the water was too rough out on the main body of the lake and anglers would be in the coves, creeks and on the shorelines in wind like this. The binoculars came to my eyes and I scanned the lake for boats.  Nothing.  Then I glassed the shoreline for critters.
The above shot is of a great blue heron entering the water head first.  He was just flying along an dove straight down head first into the drink.  These are wading birds and do not have webs between their toes nor are they supposed to act this way.  Evidently they do though.  



A loon floats by.  He is in his winter plumage.   He's the last bird I expected to see out here today.



 Gulls have been moving onto the lake in force over last month.  These fast airborne perfectionists are a very interesting bird to watch.  They are like jets sometimes and like helicopters at others.
The gull above is a ring billed gull.  The two floating below are bonaparte's gulls.  Both are common to these waters.  Interesting to note that I rarely see them flocking together.  They seem to always "buddy up" with their own species.



I picked up a squirrel in the binoculars.  I wouldn't have veered over so close to the shore for a squirrel but, this squirrel had some odd coloration.

Gray squirrels don't have that white marking.  This squirrel is an oddity.  That white contrasted against his dark gray hair will mark him for predators.  He better keep one eye on the sky.





Its amazing what I find with those binoculars.  I could have never seen this little guy with the white design on him without the eyes of the binoculars.
Yep - never know what's coming up next.

I stepped around the tower of the boat to scan the lake once more for fishermen and looked up into the trees.  There looking back was a bald eagle.  I couldn't believe it.  He was staring down at me intently.


These bald eagles always select trees that are highly back lighted.  I adjusted the metering of the camera quickly and allowed my knees to flex with the rolling of the boat as it rocked with the wave action.  I don't know how I successfully got the shots I did.  Just horrible photographic conditions.  I'm thankful I got what I did.  Then I saw the second eagle in the deeper foliage.  This was a mated pair.


 

   These eagles were really watching me closely.  I wish I could see the second one better but the leaves were thick where it was.  This boat is rocking like crazy and I was really doubting these shots would turn out.  



 Then they were gone.
 I'm glad I brought my camera today.  I almost didn't.








The day went along without incident.  I didn't run into even one fisherman after the first three at the start of the shift.  This rough water has be beat up and I'm sure that fishermen stayed home because of the rough water.  Seven hours is a long time to ride waves.
I'm taking the canoe to Indian Boundary or back up to Beech Creek very shortly.  The weather is great for canoeing.  Love it.  Hope you liked this post.  I didn't think I would have enough photo's to have one.   It's 10 PM and I'm really tired.  Happy and Chestnut are warming up the bed and I can't wait to jump in.  Catch ya later.