Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I enjoyed being with the dogs at the old state park yesterday, but it's an irritating drive over there, and an expensive one.  That little trip cost me about $40.00.  That's a lot of bucks to exercise dogs.  I really appreciate this river experience as I can escape from everything, and I mean everything.   I can leave all the government crap on shore.  The only problem is that it's all back in my face when I drive home.
I thought about all the forest pictures I posted from the outing in the state park and almost deleted the entire post.  I was using a lens that isn't made for scenic photography and I experimented a little too much with it.  The shutter speeds were too low and I made camera settings using full manual with low ISO.  The results were shots that weren't crisp.  Today, I'm back using familiar gear and I hope to turn in better quality on tonight's entry.  Shouldn't have posted those shots last night.  Sorry.
The beaver appeared almost immediately.  I saw him coming across the lake toward the right shoreline.  He turned upstream and continued on his way.  I stayed well back and just enjoyed his company as I idled upstream.
 I didn't disturb him in the slightest.  No reason too.  I've got lots of pictures of him and his friends.
A coot was waiting for the sun to rise and warm the air.
It's amazing how animals use their surroundings to remain camouflaged.  I know how to look for critters and these deer didn't fool me.  Well, one deer didn't.  Two did.  See below.  They were right on the shoreline behind weeds and briers.

It would be very easy to just drive or walk past these guys and never know they are in the area.

 They really blend in to the environment perfectly.

Coots are very interesting birds.  These coots just appeared on this river two days ago.  I need to read up on coots to see if they migrate anywhere.  Cherokee has coots on the water all year round.  As I said, these simply appeared.
And, you already know I like mallards and will photograph them when opportunity presents itself.

I love to catch them in flight with the camera.  The moment they leave the water is best.

And, another grebe.

Notice the fresh mud on their shells.  They are burying themselves in the river mud during the night and coming out during the day to soak up the sun.  Soon each of them will disappear for the winter - buried in the mud.

Big creek is gorgeous any time of year and a new beaver lodge is revealed with the dying back of the river grasses and cat tails.
Below, a turkey vulture is contrasted against fall foliage.
And a red tail hawk checks the shoreline for ground squirrels and any other careless critter.

I gotta post some more mallards.

Pied bill grebe

 Two more old coots.

 Another beaver lodge that was hidden all summer.
I notice the beavers are shy from the water in the daylight.  This is no doubt due to an increased boat presence.  Duck hunters as well as fishermen are cruising the river more and more making the otters and beavers active at night and in hiding during the day.  That's the way it has to be.

That's it for now.  I have to fire up the vacuum cleaner and suck the lady and stink bugs off the bedroom walls.  See ya.