Sunday, December 30, 2012


Animal shots taken with Sigma 150-500 mm telephoto lens
I headed up to Cherokee Lake early to get a feel for the lay of the boat ramps.  Its been a year since I've been around that lake.  Now, I have 4 wheel drive and can launch the big boat in more places. 

Cherokee and Douglas Lakes are very different.  One big difference is that Cherokee has blue water.  Douglas has muddy water.  Cherokee is sprawling and big.  Douglas is reminiscent of a wide river.  Cherokee's nothing to write home about but, I always liked it better than Douglas with her mud.  Now, I have Cherokee with her rocks.  Its no big deal.
When I got home I decided to just sit on the porch step and do nothing for an hour.  There were birds everywhere.  I thought it might be a good time to practice photographing the smaller species of birds and give the eagles a break.  I took some quick shots of tufted titmice, a flycatcher or two, a red bellied woodpecker and carolina chickadees.  Not blacked capped chickadees but, carolina chickadees.  They're very close in looks.  

The bird feeders are across the yard at the edge of the woods and all these birds are on the opposite side.  Funny thing!

Look at the shot I could have had below if there would have been more light.  I attached the 500 mm lens to the camera today and was shooting these shots at great magnification.  The lens at maximum aperture has a limited depth of field so all the birds that would have been in the shot are not all in focus.  I could have selected a greater depth of field setting to shoot them and then cropped the shot larger in the computer but, there wasn't enough light to use the aperture required.  Telephotos can be tough at times.  Notice that I did crop the little bird in the above shot out of the picture below.  And, dats how ya do er.

I knew the shot directly above wouldn't work out.  It was taken on 1/300th of a second, I think.  I wanted to see what it would look like.  Probably shouldn't have put it up here.

Last night was neat.  It actually snowed.  I sat on the porch and drank coffee and watched Shade playing in the new snow.  

When I left this morning before sun up, the ground was white.  I wish I'd have taken a photograph of it.
The weather has been either wet with pouring rain or very cold and I still haven't made it to Chilhowee Lake and the old Scona Lodge burial site.  I'm going tomorrow unless some catastrophic weather blows in.  That does it for this little posting.  Its not much, I know, but Winter has put a damper on things.  If I still lived in the Cherokee National Forest - we'd be in the canoe on days like this.  Its just too far to go for a few hours on the water.  It will all be OK though.  Spring is in the air.  See ya...