Saturday, May 25, 2013


I just knew this was going to be a special morning.
Everyone who knows me understands that this section of the Holston River is one of my favorite pieces of water and it is.  Now, I've been on a lot of rivers and reservoirs in Tennessee and I've seen a lot of beauty, and not so beautiful sights, but I've never seen the morning light displayed as splendid as this morning.  The transition from night to day caused the fog filled dawn to blend with the brilliant, bright light of morning.  For some reason night, fog and brighter than normal morning light caused images of terrain and water scapes to appear surreal. 

Dense fog covered the water at dawn, but I launched anyway.  I wanted to be on the water in hopes of capturing one of those beautiful Tennessee morning sunrises.  When the sun rose it cast brighter than usual rays of light that penetrated through the tree foliage and fog creating abstract visions.  Neither I nor my camera is capable of doing this morning justice.  This requires the efforts of an artist - a great artist.   I did what I could with it.  The results follow:
The very familiar knoll I normally pass every visit took on an entirely foreign appearance.  The bright rays of light striking it seemed to over expose the colors.  I was compelled to photograph it.  As a matter of fact - every direction I looked had an over exposed look which magnified and enriched the existing colors.  

The fog clung tenaciously to the places where the water touched the grassy banks.  Even the farmer's fence row became subject for an artist's paintbrush.  The sun was slowly beating back the fog - very slowly.

I angled the boat toward the right river bank and kept close to the shoreline.  The sun was not high enough to reach the water here.

The most basic, fundamental and normal entities suddenly took on an entirely different appearance and commanded my attention.  A simple group of cattails or a grassy point extending into the water surrounded by wispy fog and with brilliant rays of the sun in the background create an exceptionally beautiful image.

Every direction I looked appeared to be overexposed.  I can't even imagine how to offset it in the camera.  Actually, I didn't want to.  I was only feet away from the shoreline and skirting very close to the overhanging tree limbs.  Suddenly, the sun attained just the right height to cast its rays through the foliage of the trees to the water.  The fog prevented total illumination of the areas under the trees.  Only specific rays of light pierced through the foliage and penetrated into the fog to the water.  This was spectacular to witness.

Good heavens - what do you do with this?  The light is uneven, the shadows evolve into black and there are natural colors interwoven through it all.  Like I said earlier - its really a job for a master artist.

The sun rose higher and sharper, brilliant rays started to alter the drab, green colors under the overhanging tree limbs to vibrant, vivid hues of green.

The fog was relenting now and the sun was burning through to the water.  Soon, all would resort back to its normal conditions.

I am an observant person when out here and I don't miss much, but I've not seen a more beautiful morning on any body of water I've ever been on like the one I'm on this morning.  Isn't nature amazing!?  It reinforces the idea that there truly is a master architect out there who continually paints day and night to create a constant flow of beautiful, natural masterpieces of art.

The intricate web is destroyed by the elements every morning and reconstructed by midday, only to be destroyed again and rebuilt again and again and again - and each construction is slightly different than the one that preceded it.  Amazing!  It is the work of a simple, industrious spider - an engineering genius!

Conditions were returning to a more normal level on the water.  The sun was at a point where the fog was being beaten back and the natural colors were returning to normal.
Residence's of the river were awakening and staying back in the dark places behind the weeds and foliage where the coolness of the morning will linger the longest.

The honking of distant geese grew louder and louder.  They were flying directly at me.  I searched through the wispy fog that clung to the tops of the trees to gage their direction.  The flock suddenly burst through the fog and into the sun very near me.  Geese are common, but their sudden, shocking entrance onto the scene gave proof that there are truly wild places left.

The sight of them was magnificent and caused a brief tremor to run through me.  They are wild!  They truly are!  And thank God for them.
The hours marched on and old Sol sat upon his lofty thrown and smiled down upon the river.  I noticed a little brown duck far out on the smooth water.  The binoculars proved him to be a lesser scaup - a pretty little fellow. 

He flew a short distance and landed.  These ducks are not really common on this water and I like to take advantage of the photographic situations when they present themselves.

This is not the usual uneventful morning.  This morning is anything but uneventful.  It's a spectacular experience!  Am I fortunate or what!
The boat was pointed down stream and I slowly made way along the opposite shoreline glassing the water ahead for both fishermen and critters.
They are immature black vultures - born this season.  They are fresh off the nest and on the adventure of their lives.
New additions to the river are everywhere.  Immature double crested cormorants perch on the limb of a tall tree along the river bank.  They appear as children looking out and down upon the new world they've been born into.

One clings to his hold on the limb apparently apprehensive about letting go.   It's no fun sitting here alone so he quickly follows his brother and sisters.

Time grew short and it was soon time to leave.  I've said it before and here goes again - "What a morning!"  I know I am privilaged to be able to interact with these special places every day and I'm thankful for it.  I have one more thing to say.  I hope my camera doesn't break....