Tuesday, June 18, 2013

RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!

The rain came early in the morning while I was asleep and continued coming down hard the whole way to the Holston River at Rogersville.  It decided to stop as soon as I pulled into the parking lot beside Beech Creek.  Luck?  Hardly.
Well now - not a bad start.  A little light rain never hurt anyone.  Delightful. The rain fell at a gentle pace until I got out onto the river.
Then, the sky opened up.  That's alright.  Bring it on.  I love it.  Notice, in the shot above, the splash.  That is a carp.  They must be spawning now and are very, very energetic and active in the shallower water.
Above is a carp acting in a spastic fashion.  Spastic - I like that term.
The river here is beautiful no matter what the weather is.  Nothing can dull the beauty on these banks.  Today, however, is darker than yesterday and the shutter speeds are once again very, very low.  Some of the speeds are as low as 1/18th of a second and most at 1/30th to 1/40th of a second.  The shots are not high quality, but then they aren't going to be submitted to National Geographic either.
It's raining steady without let up.  I'm really happy the boat has a top on the tower.  As long as the rain falls straight down I'll be alright.  There is no wind, thank heaven.  Guess where the rain suit is.  Yep - it's still behind the seat of the truck where it was when I got caught in the rain on Cherokee last week.  I'll never learn.
I noticed a knot in the bow line I left laying on the fore-deck and decided to undo it before I forgot.  I heard really pretty bird songs while I undid the knot.  Pretty little yellow canaries were flocking in the tall reeds and in the trees.  The engine was off and the boat was barely drifting so I grabbed the camera and laid it across my left forearm which was placed upon the seat as a camera rest.  The shutter speeds were 1/40th to 1/100th of a second depending on whether I used the 150 mm or 500 mm end of the lens.  The bigger the number - the more light is required to maintain sufficient shutter speeds.

I took many shots, but decided to only post two here.  They worked out alright, kind of.
Most all of the critters were in their burrows or deep inside the foliage of the trees.  The only animals I saw were cormorants, great blue herons and small birds.  The rest of the river's creatures would stay hidden until hunger overtakes their desire to be out of the weather.  Hunger is a powerful driver.
I drove past the eagles mountain and held no promise of seeing any eagles.  Boy, was I wrong!  I saw something that made my spirits soar.  I thought that only one eagle baby survived this season because I had only seen one so far.  Today I saw the second youngster.  Here they are together.

This is a great sight!  I guess the term baby isn't applicable now as they are flight ready.  Immature is the proper term.  
I had my fingers crossed that these pictures would at least be acceptable to post here.  They were really tough to shoot due to the great distance and camera speeds and I didn't hold much hope for them.  Then, I saw dad.  Sir Harry was in a tree 50 yards away almost hidden behind foliage.  I could only get a couple shots before the boat would be past him.  It turned out that only one shot of him turned out.  Dad and kids.  How bout that?
Six and a half hours went past when I turned the boat upstream and saw that the weather was turning bad fast.
The further I went upstream, the worse it looked.  There was some really, really heavy weather moving down the river from the mountains.  I put the throttle forward and ran for the ramp.  
I got the boat on the trailer and just pulled it out of the water when the sky let loose with a Noah's Ark downpour.  Talk about luck!  Ya know - I love it!   It would take me about 1.5 hours or more to get back home.  The rain was really coming down and the plan was to drive slow the whole way back.  So, there you have today.  I apologize for any blurry images, but I have to work within the limits of the equipment.  The eagle immature's are the big news.  Thank heaven both babies made it.  Rain is on the agenda for tomorrow also.  We'll see what happens.  See ya.