Sunday, May 5, 2013


A golden streak arched over a fallen log and plunged on through the bushes and scrub that lined the edge of the forest.  I called him and the golden dog appeared at the edge of the meadow where grass met the trees.  He bounded out of the tree line and came toward me at a full run.  He was beautiful.  I knelt down and reached out to hold his head in my hands and to feel the soft golden hair along his jaw line.  Then, I woke up.  It was 3AM and the rain was pelting against the bedroom window next to the mattress.  The little dog lying beside me under the covers was breathing deeply.  I knew from experience that it was useless to try to go to sleep again so I carefully got up and went downstairs to make a pot of coffee.  The dogs remained asleep in the bedroom.  With a cup of coffee in hand - I headed for the front porch when I sensed a presence behind me as my hand grabbed the door knob.  I turned and Shade was standing there ready to go.  I felt glad she was with me.  The rain was steady and made that special sound rain makes that soothes the soul.  I sat down in the rocker with my feet resting on the porch railing and Shade sat beside me, her nose twitching and her head slowly moving left and right reconnoitering the yard.  It would be a very wet morning on the lake today.
Beech Creek is a pretty thing to behold when its raining.  I turned the ignition off and walked out onto the bridge that crosses the stream.  The only sounds I could hear were natural sounds.  It was sunup Sunday morning and there was absolutely no traffic anywhere.  Folks would sleep in this Sunday morning.  Song birds were beginning to fill the air with their happy tunes and somewhere back in the trees a red tail hawk screeched out his early morning call, for whatever reason.  I was anxious to get on the water.
I pulled the boat up onto the mud with the bow line, jumped aboard and was off down the creek.  The rain was falling straight down and the boat's top should maintain some semblance of dryness.  If the wind were blowing it would be another story.
I was in a strange mood.  I guess it is because I didn't get much rest last night.  I thought about a lot of things as the boat moved down the waterway - things I don't normally give much consideration to.  No sense bringing them up here.   I was the only one on the water this morning so far and that was alright with me.  I turned left at the mouth of the creek where it dumps into the Holston River and moved on downstream toward the John Sevier Steam Plant.  A quick look-see at the bald eagles could be accomplished on the way.  I would pass right by them.
There is a bald eagle in the shot above, center of the photo.  He's a small dot to the naked eye.  The photo above is taken with the 150mm end of the 500mm telephoto. I picked him out with the binoculars as I idled down the shoreline.  The next shot was taken at 500mm.
The sunlight is very limited and I had to select 1/200th of a second for a shutter speed.  That's way too slow for shooting on a moving boat.  Even if the boat were stopped - the vibration of the engine will negatively affect the ability to hold that lens steady.  The image stabilization feature of the lens is sensational but external vibration will ruin the shot.
The next picture is the shot above after I cropped it.
That's as large as I dare go with the picture.  Any larger and it will become fuzzy.  That eagle is a long, long way off.

There weren't many critters out this morning.  The continuous rain all night drove them all under cover.  Rain is called for from now through Tuesday.  That surely will raise the water level and probable cause some East Tennessee water to reach flood stage.  
The morning went faster than expected.  I made my big loop and headed for the truck. I noticed that the water grasses are getting really green.  In another month they will choke the 60 foot width of Beech Creek down to about 15 feet.  It's no big deal and I like the grasses in the water.
It's a lazy, slow kind of day.  Rain on does that to one's mind I guess.  I got everything together and headed down the road.  It's been a nice rainy morning.  Think I'll go home and pull a few weeds out from around my roses in the rain.  I like the rain.  I like it a whole lot.