Friday, September 27, 2013


I noticed a great egret in a tree while idling down Beech Creek heading for the confluence with the Holston River.  White birds are difficult to photograph without getting a washed out white image.  I had a few ideas to try and did so.  I wanted to get his plumage just perfect.  The big bird appeared contented and at ease with my boat as I slowly passed by.  I made a couple of quick adjustments on the camera and took a few shots.  
 I believe these shots are indicative of the exact color of this birds plumage.  Maybe I got it right.  The big helper here is the deep blue sky.  A white or gray sky probably would change everything.  That's part of the fun of photography.
 Things were looking good.  I don't think I can capture the plumage color any more perfectly with the equipment I am using.  I am satisfied.  Here's a better closeup shot:
Look at the feet on this guy.  These are cool birds.
This is going to be a really pretty day.  Everything was perfect.  I saw the resident osprey dive toward the surface from on high and plunge into the water at full speed and appear to fly up through the surface while returning to the sky.  I can't understand why they don't break every bone in their bodies.   I thought about why they dive through the surface on this water and the only thing I can think of is that the river does not have a lot of shad which swim close to the surface where they are redilly available to the osprey.  I believe they see fish one to two feet below the surface and the only way they can reach them is to dive through the surface to the sighted fish.  Just a guess.  I didn't bother to photograph the action due to the distance.  I have a couple shots up here from a couple days ago anyway.
I only noticed this beaver lodge today.  It's been concealed by dense river grass all summer long and has been revealed this week due to the recession of the grass.  The beaver has hidden the sticks that make up his lodge very well keeping them tight against the river bank.  You can bet there is a hole in the bank side that has an underwater entrance.
I was coasting along about 8 miles per hour 35 feet off the shoreline when I noticed a silver colored movement in the dense foliage.  I stared hard at the spot where I thought I saw the movement.  Nothing.  Then I began to see an outline that didn't fit.  Still couldn't put it together.  The flash occurred once more and I had him.  The giveaway was when he'd move his ear.  The lighter colored hair on the inside of his ear acted like a tiny flag when he flicked flies off his ear.

How beautiful is that!  He's a picture postcard.
Isn't he beautiful?  He has long, tall beams with two tines on the tip of each beam.  I guess I'd call him a 4 point.
Here's one more shot.
He became very nervous and  bolted.
What a great moment!  I'm  fortunate to be in an area where there is such a great diversity and population of wildlife.
I was approaching an open space that bordered a corn field.  This was an area where a flock of turkeys would congregate each morning.  I said it before - I know where the critters are on this river and can go straight to them when I want to find them.
And, the turkeys were there as expected.
This river has an incredible habitat that borders it on both sides.  Wildlife is more plentiful here than in any other habitat I've explored in East Tennessee.
There are about 30 birds in this flock but I can't get them all in one shot due to the foliage between the river and the fields.  That's a good thing.

So, there you have it.  Another great morning.  I'm off tomorrow and am justifying spending the money for gasoline to get to Calderwood lake with the canoe.  I'll sleep on it and make a decision in the morning.  Thanks for looking in...