Friday, November 23, 2012


American Loon (Winter Plumage)

The day after Thanksgiving and the radio is gearing everyone up for Christmas already as the bastardized old time, original Christmas songs are being played on the most powerful radio stations.  Promises of great shopping deals are already advertised between the perceived, improved upon Christmas songs from the past.  What ever happened to the original Christmas tunes I grew up with.  Can nothing be left alone in it's original format?  Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Tennessee Earnie Ford, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams and others would all roll over in their graves if they could hear how their great Christmas music has been butchered into rock and roll crap.  Great Scott - someone is butchering Jingle Bells with what is called rap music!  That's it - I can't take it!  My radio just got thrown, with extreme velocity, out into the front yard.

This is the way I come upon them.  A dark, vertical thickness situated on a limb indicates the possibility of an eagle at rest.  They are always at the water's edge high in tall trees.  I give up trying to get good photos of them when the sun is behind them.  I simply capture the sighting and no more.

I am on Muddy Creek today.  I'm not scheduled to be on the main lake.  Today is a state holiday but the Nashville Fisheries computer doesn't recognize holidays and scheduled this day for Muddy Creek.  Of course I could take the day off if desired but, I really enjoy my job and I'm usually up at 4AM in the mornings anyway.  Sun-up found me on the boat ramp at Dandridge waiting for a group of anglers involved in a bass tournament to launch their boats.  I waited and waited in the parking lot until they all got their toys launched.  I did have some great conversations with a few of the participants.  I love talking to fishermen.  The boats all floated about in the bay at the end of the dock and at the firing of a gun (blanks), they all roared out of the bay headed in all directions.  It's funny to watch really.  All this rigmarole just to catch a bass.  
 They're off!  Look at em go!  They're having fun out there.  This gives them a reason to buy $40,000 bass boats and a $50,000 truck to pull it with.  Catching bass is serious business down here in Tennessee.

I chuckled out loud to myself.  Those boats have up to 250 horsepower engines and these guys pull hole shots at full throttle when they start the competition.  They head in all directions at the same time.  The funny thing is that hardly any of them know where they're going.  So funny!  Rip out of there like Beelzebub's tryin to bite em in the ass and they blast off into oblivion!   How entertaining!
Another of the great birds appears off to my right.  I simply recorded the coordinates and moved on to Muddy Creek.
The eagle hacking tower is located very close to the Dandridge boat ramp where I launched.  I decided to check it out at the end of the shift.  There was a long cove that dead ended before I could lay eyes on the tower.  The buoys above indicate to keep out.
I would very much like to visit that hacking tower and photograph it.  American Eagle Foundation does marvelous work with and for eagles and they deserve all the publicity they can get.  It's a privilege to help them in any way I can.  I suspect that C 2 is hanging out at that tower as I've not encountered him on the lake in days.  Wouldn't that be something to photograph him standing on the tower where he originally was released from 8 months ago?  Wow!
I stopped at an area where the ruins of a house is visible.  I find these ruins interesting.

   I still find it hard to believe and understand how and why these people were uprooted in this valley so many years ago, their land simply taken at pennies on the dollar.  Its a lesson to remember.  What government wants - government gets.  There is a grove of stunted trees that these folks obviously planted when they lived here.  The trees are in rows and somehow barely exist when the water level all but covers their tops.

An old rusty door hinge is all but disintegrated by the passing of time and the erosion caused by the natural elements.  That simple, little piece of metal lying in the sand brings connotations of a thriving family who lived here.
I wonder if these folks can still appreciate and honor Thanksgiving after their lives, no doubt, were devastated by this government seizure.  I bet they do because they are Tennesseans and the old culture belongs to the land.  Those kinds of people can't be held down.
Shade - come on girl!  Where is she?

She's engaged in lake cleanup.  

Well, I have to go out and buy a new radio now.  I didn't like the old one anyway.  It's reception was horrible and would only pull in three stations.  No big loss.  I'll pick it up out of the yard on the way to the truck in the morning to dispose of it properly.  I'll dump it in the trash can at the Shell gas station.  Hope your Thanksgiving went well.  Stay safe.