Monday, October 28, 2013


I stopped the truck in the dark at the water's edge and shut off the engine, sat back in the seat and listened to the rain pelting down on the roof and windshield.  The windows were opened to add the sound of water falling through the trees to the natural water music orchestra.  How perfect nature is!
I idled down the river and all of a sudden the overpowering fragrance of freshly cut clover hay came to my nostrils.  I shut my eyes and breathed deeply.  What a great smell!  My eyes looked down at the deck of the boat and I realized how much I missed her and how important she is to me. 
The migratory birds have not arrived so I occupied the camera on the usual fare - mallards, teals and a new guy to the water here that I haven't seen here this year.
The newer guy on the water is a coot.  Coots are gregarious birds that are usually seen in great numbers swimming across vast lakes, much of the time in single or double file.  The flocks are suddenly reappearing here on the Holston River.  Notice the odd size, color and shaped feet he has.
Coots take flight much like the cormorants, running across the water, stepping high and fast while flapping their wings rapidly to gain lift.  They are awfully fast when airborne.

Birds of a feather don't always flock together as can be seen below.  A mallard pair shares a log with a coot.
Soon there will be buffle heads, wood ducks, merganzers and more on the water in great numbers.  It's a waiting game at this point.  But, the mallards are always nice to watch.

Early morning is chilly but, not cold -damp but not wet.  It's delightful.  A beaver crosses in front of the boat. 
And the trees are becoming colorful.
Two red tail hawks were languishing on their high perches and became disturbed at my passing.

All is well on the river.