Friday, December 14, 2012

MORE DIVERSITY AND HUMANS IN AN ENTRY

Animal shots taken with Sigma 150 to 500 mm telephoto lens

The little work unit I work with held a little get together yesterday for a Christmas lunch at our work center located in the woods at Buffalo Springs Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  John, our supervisor, brought most of the good stuff, as he always does, and I am told it was succulent.  John brought smoked venison and deer steaks, turkey and a ton of other good things to eat.  I watched in fascination as my co workers shoveled the food into their mouths non stop and continuously for a solid hour.  Yes, I said I watched.  I enjoyed the pleasure of everyone's company and added my sarcastic remarks throughout the entire dinner.  Remember - I ain't got no teeth.  It was tough to sit there and watch all that wonderful food disappear.  John tossed me a piece of fudge and said I ought ta be able to eat that.  I laughed.  It was really a nice get together.

There's a crew for ya!  These guys keep the fish alive in East Tennessee all by themselves.  They're either good at it or we have some really hard case fish over here in these reservoirs.  Seriously speaking though - there's a lot of years of outdoor experience sitting at that table and a bunch more years of fish smarts standing over along the wall to the right.
That food sure looked and smelled great!
I stayed until things broke up and stopped down the road at a place called the pump house that the trout hatchery operates.  I have seen the place before but I didn't know we owned it.  I like it back there.


There is a short, gated gravel road that runs along the little brook to the old pump house.  As you can see above - there's a beaver or two in this creek.  I'm told they don''t show during daylight hours so I guess I won't be able to photograph them.  I really like it back here as it's hidden from the road that runs fairly close by.  It's pretty.
If you look to the right of center in the shots above and below you can just make out the pump house.  I really like the ambiance of this place.

I couldn't' find any critters to photograph but I am glad I made the stop here.  I think Shade would like this place.  It's far enough away from the road and it contains all the terrain necessary to keep her busy and interested.  That girl really needs to get out into the woods.  It's been months since she's been out.  
The day was enjoyable and it was good to see everyone in one place and catch up on the news.  Most of us work alone or in many out of the way places in East Tennessee and don't see each other very often.  That's a good thing.

That all was yesterday.  Today I ran the boat in the afternoon on Muddy Creek.  The day started out very cold but warmed up to a to comfortable temperatures by noon.  I started the day at the dentist office but, we won't go there for now.
I noticed an aluminum boat that looked familiar parked on the shoreline of the main lake about half mile above the mouth of Muddy Creek.  I pulled on over to it and found the guys pulling in trap nets, weighing and measuring fish by species.

They had a good catch they were working with.  There were lots of sauger, largemouth and smallmouth bass and walleye.  It's necessary to monitor the health of the fishery continuously as well as water quality concerns combined with many other factors that govern the health of the fish populations.

One of the guys operated the scales below.  Then the fish were measured and all the data documented.
This was a lot of human interaction for me at one time and I decided to get on down the water.  I made a couple obnoxious, sarcastic remarks and departed stage right.
I didn't see any fishermen from the mouth of Muddy Creek.  This creek has been fishing rather poorly all last week and I really didn't expect many boats.  But, I did see a lot of eagles.  I counted ten bald eagles on three miles of shoreline.


An immature bald eagle was tearing a small rodent apart and enjoying a meal perched high in the top of an old snag.



Ten minutes further and another immature launched.  I'll leave the eagles alone for the rest of the entry.  They are amazing though.




They are sure spectacular in flight.
I caught up with five fishing boats on the opposite shoreline and had some nice conversation with fishermen.  The time went fast and it seemed the shift was over too quickly.  I eased down the creek to the main lake and made my way slowly back to the boat ramp.


The above bird is a coot.  They are very fast once they get their motors running.  One appeared to be high stepping it across the surface of the lake.  There are nice reflections in all the shots above.

Well, the comments are recommending diversification in the blog entries so that tells me you're all getting tired of looking at eagles.  I'm working on keeping it varied in content.  There's a canoe paddle ride coming up shortly too so, keep an eye on the blog.  I appreciated you .