Sunday, April 14, 2013


Shade and I were at the extreme North end of Cherokee Lake where the lake necks down to river size.  The Holston River feeds Cherokee Lake and it is the same water I boat on where Beech Creek is located.  The Holston above the John Sevier Steam plant is quite different than this water.  The John Sevier "overflow or weir" dam separates the river into upper and lower river at the plant's location as well as the wildlife habitat situation on both stretches of the river.  

The houses diminished as the top of the lake tapered down to river width and farmland bordered both shorelines.  Thank heaven for farmers and their land.  They are the only buffer between the water and the hungry people who desire to eat up the land beside the river.  The shorelines on both sides of the river contain a varied but rich habitat for wildlife and the grain left on the ground in the fields is a bonus for the critters who reside here over Winter.

This is a scenic river all the way North to the town of Surgoinsville.  The lake, as can be seen above, is narrowing down to river width.

The river became a real river from this point on.

I prefer rivers to reservoirs due to the varied, picturesque scenery and wildlife habitat.  Usually, the homes on the river belong to families who have had the property in their families forever.  The houses usually are quaint and humble.  The mansions normally found along the popular lake sides are not here.  

A rusty colored form moved along the rocks in the picture above.  I would be passing by there in about a minute.  That rusty form is below:

The fox was about two hundred feet away and he was wary.  Everything in his world came to a total stop when he saw this huge white boat passing by.  He was very difficult to photograph but I felt good about the shots.  He didn't hang around long.

He was in the shadows and I was on a fairly slow shutter speed.  The vibration of the engine was buzzing through my arms and affecting the camera, as usual.  That's the breaks.  I like to be at at least 1/1000th of a second on critters but I think the camera was 1/400th for these pictures.  They will probably be a bit fuzzy if enlarged.  But, I got im.
Above:  The river's politicians.  Reminds me of the White House politicians.
What do you think Shade?  Not much - huh?
I didn't think so.
Then a delightful surprise appeared.  The first baby geese of the year.  How bout that?

Mom had better keep a keen watch on her brood with that fox lurking about.

Can't wait until the baby ducks start hatching on Beech Creek.  That water will be covered with baby ducks.
I noticed a couple ducks on the shoreline up against the brush-line on the river bank.  They were a pair of wood ducks.  They definitely are a breeding pair looking for a nesting site or returning to a nest - one of the two.

I hoped with all my might that these shots would turn out.  I'm happy with them.  I wish I could get closer to wood ducks so the shots could be cropped really big.  Canoe or blind are the only ways to go.  These shots here were pure luck, as most all my shots are.
Nothing like being on the river with your best friend.

I'll keep this entry on the short side.  I have a habit of dragging out the entries longer than necessary at times.  Shade and I were ready to return back to the boat ramp..  We were very far up the water and it would take about 45 minutes for the return trip.  Hope you liked the posting.  Tomorrow will be another Beech Creek day and hopefully some baby ducks and who knows what else.  See ya later.