Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MORNING ON THE HOLSTON RIVER

It sure felt good to be back on the Holston River after two days on Cherokee Lake. This river is hard to beat for beauty, solitude and critters.  I'm getting spoiled on this water because I've photographed almost all the wildlife that lives here and I'm finding myself passing shots when I see certain animals, like the beaver for instance.  I've already got the best possible shots of beavers and I'm not driven to photograph them. I love them and appreciate the opportunity to watch and learn from them but, I've been so intimate with their lives that to look is enough.  I won't, however, pass up unique shots.  I need to get photos of a beaver gnawing on a tree.  I think I know where and how to do it.  I need the canoe and my portable blind for that.
OOPS!  What happened here? It's just nature.  Lives are lost so that others can go on.
A little fellow appeared in a clearing on the shoreline.  I couldn't resist photographing him.  He knew immediately that he had been found out and froze in place.


He knew something wasn't quite normal but couldn't put his paw on it.  It's the big white boat he sees.



It didn't take him long to realize he had to get out of that clearing and into the trees. Little rascal!

The fog was very heavy on the upper end of the river and practically nonexistent on the lower end by the John Sevier overfall dam.  Odd thing...
I took a snap shot at an immature black crowned night heron as he leaped from a log.  Lucky shot.
 I don't believe there are too many photographs of black crowned night herons in flight.  I can now find these birds whenever I have a desire to do so.

The same goes for beavers.  I have them all figured out and know where to find them.



The color white is taboo when photographing wildlife.  All the critters I photographed instantly focused on the white boat instantly when I came into view.  Many rush away or fly off instantly.  Otters spot white objects at great distances and vacate the area quickly.  I've seen them stand up and look at me coming up the river at great distance and they instantly slide into the water from whatever object they were standing on.  I can get quite close in the Gheenoe as it is forest green and must appear as a floating log or tree limb to them.  They aren't as curious about a white boat either.  A green aluminum boat or my Gheenoe will tempt their curiosity and they will pop up through the surface here and there around the boat for a period of time before they disappear. They won't allow the white boat near.  That's good though.  
"He'll never see me out here in this grass."
The fog lifted by mid morning and the sun lighted the shorelines beautifully.

A huge flock of geese were gathered near the shoreline.  Geese are a very common bird but, they are really nice to watch and they are impressive in flight.
I especially enjoy listening to the whipping of their wings as a group of geese take to the air.  It's a great sound.  A sort of whistling sound accompanies the sound of their wings as they are pushed down onto the air for lift.



The morning passed by quickly, as it always does on the Holston.  I had to get moving.  I passed a farm on the windy country road and cows were moving from the pasture to the barn for milking.  They reminded me of my childhood as they crossed the road in front of me.  Those were the good days - the best days.
This rural, country area up here near Rogersville is reminiscent of years past when things moved slow and life was driven by ethics, honesty and pride in work.  Just like today - right?  Go ahead and compare today with then and measure the progress we've made as a society.  Ok - I won't go there.   See ya later and, thanks for looking in.