Sunday, February 2, 2014

A WINTER LOOK AT BEECH CREEK.

Perhaps the title to this entry is misleading as I never got a boat on the water at Beech Creek.  I need to digress a bit.
Yesterday was the first break in the frigid weather we've had in a month and I planned to take the Gheenoe up to Beech Creek after I finished the morning shift on the Cherokee Tailrace, which I did.  But, what I found after driving the 60 miles to Rogersville and threading my old truck with boat through the countryside to the boat ramp was a frozen creek.  I mean frozen solid all the way across.
 Above and below are views of the creek from the park area

 Above is a picture taken facing upstream on Beech Creek from center stream.   Below is a shot from the same position only downstream toward the Holston River.
Now, I know you all are concerned about the safety and folly of such an unsafe act as walking out on thin ice just to get a picture.  Fear not as I'm not a fool.  I sent Shade.
Yes, she trotted out to the center of the creek and stopped as if trying to figure out which way to go or maybe wondering to herself  why he's all of a sudden trusting me with his camera?  She was having a great time out there though.
 So, this story has put the cart before the horse with the end of the story first.
By the looks of it, there wouldn't be any boats launching from this ramp any time soon - at least a solid day of warm weather.  One can see where someone launched three or four days ago when the ice was just forming.  I'd say he was lucky to get his boat "back" to the ramp after the temperatures really plummeted.  Notice the tracks left in the lake ice from launching a boat and the trail through the now frozen solid slush made by that boat..  I'd guess he was very lucky to be able to break through the ice to get back to the ramp when he was done on the water that day.
 Yes, it was a long drive for nothing but I became appraised of the situation on Beech Creek and most importantly I got to spend quality time with Shade.
And so, back on the Cherokee Tailrace, the morning was uneventful, with the normal sights presenting themselves for purposes of photography.  That sentence almost sounds British.  
I guess this guy will be a regular on the blog as he is on my daily route to the river (tailrace).  I'm not complaining as I view it as a privilege to even be able to look upon these Knights of the Sky.


The second adult eagle is deep down inside the nest almost unseen.  Look carefully around the top edge of the nest and you will see her.  The nest is very deep and both eagles can totally disappear in that haven.  There will be babies in the spring.    I'll get off the eagle thing as I don't want to burn anyone out looking at bald eagles, if that's possible.

I came upon these beautiful deer who had waited on me to stop and back the truck up for a decent picture.  How gracious and how absolutely "perfect whitetail" of them.



They were so healthy and alert and deer season is over, thank heaven, and they are safe now and it's ok for them to show themselves to those folks who admire their beauty.

As nice as this day is, there was no one taking advantage of the gorgeous warm temperatures.  I kept moving slowly along the river bottom all the while realizing that time was flying and I could be done here shortly.  Then I thought - done to do what?
The little squirrel moved with great determination to transport the huge nut he held within his jaws to a safe place where he could apply his woodland skills upon the hard shell.
And finally, I've been wondering how to subdue the brilliant, florescent ruby red of the cardinal so it does not appear to be illuminated with a light bulb from within.  I'm gettin there.
I may actually be  on a boat tomorrow but we'll see what the weather is like in the morning.