Sunday, August 25, 2013


I was on the river well before sun-up and was enjoying moving along at a super slow pace while listening to the birds come alive along the shorelines.  I stopped the boat in the center of the river and let the very slow current carry the boat back downstream.  I was the only one out here.  I watched as the moon pulled back into the now blue sky and the sun took over the task of running the day.
It's neat to watch the sun take it's turn on running things.  The beauty of an East Tennessee river was rapidly being painted on a fresh canvas.
It's impossible to be in the doldrums when one watches the amazing morning materialize on this gorgeous river.  It makes one want to leave any problems far back at home.

The water was smooth as silk and the eye couldn't identify that there was actually a current.  The boat slowly but surely maintained it's travel downstream at a very slow speed.  Still, there was not one boat on the water.  I decided to try and troubleshoot an electrical problem with the state radio.  The radio works in the truck but not on the boat.  Fortunately I put the multimeter in the boat's dash a couple days ago.  I drifted close to shore and decided to beach the boat for awhile to allow time for anglers to arrive.  The bow slid gently up onto the wet mud, the engine switched off and all was quiet.
I was getting nowhere with this radio.  I stood straight, bent my head back and rubbed the kink in the back of my neck.  When I bowed my head forward I noticed the cardinal flowers, and the tiny wings flitting about that were attached to the most delicate body.
Above:  My attempt at creativity.  Look in the center of the shot.

The little hummingbird was so tiny.  I don't think I ever saw one this small.  He was persistent in his investigation of the cardinal flowers.  The flowers were shaded and I couldn't get a good shutter speed.  The boat was still grounded so I walked to the front and things got a little better.  There still wasn't enough light to allow a fast shutter speed.  I wouldn't be able to stop his wings, and I had to time the shots for when he would hover in place.  This would prove to be an interesting exercise, photographing this little guy.

I call the next series of shots "The Vignette Sequences."  Pretty original -huh?

The little fellow would get tired and alight on a stem from time to time.  This is a real photography lesson for me as I'm forced to deal with a subject that is in less than desirable light and constantly moving about.  In short - none of the shots can be set-up as they could from a porch or a yard.  I pushed a lot of buttons on the camera getting these pictures.

Poor little tired guy!  There's a lot of pictures here as I constantly manipulated the camera settings during the entire shoot.  I figured I'd just put most of them on this blog entry.  I have a habit of overdoing things.

He was really far away from me too.  Most of the shots were taken at the long end of the lens, 500mm.  So, there you have the flight of the hummingbird.
I had to get on down the lake.  The little hummer took off up the shoreline and was tasting the nectar from every flower he came to.  Wonder where his friends were.
Wonder if he knows his tail is in the water.  Wonder if he cares at all.
He's there just like always, watching the water - watching his kingdom.

I hope readers aren't getting burned out looking at immature black crowned night herons.  They are a really unique bird and sometimes they do the silliest things.  This one was practicing his hunting skills, or learning how to hunt on his own.  He isn't very old at all and I believe instinct is driving him to go through the motions of catching his dinner.  You'll see what I mean.

Every time a dragon fly or a mayfly would buzz past - he would stand up tall and stretch himself out vertically as if he was about to do some great thing, which he never did.

I like to put myself in their, critters, heads when I watch them and I try to think of what I'd be thinking of if I was in their shoes, feet, paws or whatever.
Now, look what he started to do.

He bent down and plucked a stick from the water.  Then he threw it down again only to strike out and grasp it again in his bill.  

I really think he was actually practicing his aim.  He'd be ready when the time came for actually catching prey for his meals.  This was a humorous thing to watch.
Well, I'm running out of photos here.  I hope you enjoyed something in this entry.  This river can't be beat for wildlife experiences.
I couldn't drive past Big Creek without taking a photo.  That is one gorgeous piece of water.
That's all for now.  Hope to see ya tomorrow.