Friday, February 14, 2014

A WINTER STORM IN EAST TENNESSEE

And then everything just went black.
Well now, this will be a bit of a problem tomorrow.  This is two hours into a snow storm that came up toward Tennessee out of Georgia I think.  I snapped these shots when I thought it was over.  Wrong!  It started snowing again within fifteen minutes of the pictures and didn't quit till about noon next day.


So, I grabbed the stainless bucket and went outside to the faucet to get water for the girls and when I turned the corner at the end of the porch, my feet slipped straight out from under me and I went down hitting the ground squarely with the entire length of my body making contact perfectly with the ground.  I do remember the back of my head and shoulders being jarred and I believe I could actually feel the ole brain bang around in the skull and an instant sharp headache.  I laid there on my back for an instant as the headache instantly disappeared.  Then the lights went out.  Ten minutes later I got up none the worse for wear.
I had laid plastic sheets over near the raised deck and the outside water faucet earlier in the summer and it was covered with snow.  When my feet hit that wet snow I went down quicker than instantly.  Whew!
I got some coffee, put a coat and boots on and sat on the porch with Shade to watch it snow.  Chestnut hound wouldn't stay out and Happy only wanted to sit on my lap, which I wasn't in the mood for so she went inside.  Good ole Shade stayed with me.  I was scheduled to be on the lake next day and it was obvious no one would be out but, I needed to collect data for a fish report due that night so I was gone just prior sunup.  
 The shot above is at Walters Bridge that crosses Douglas Lake up river.  It's difficult to find anything pretty on that mud hole even in the winter when the mud is covered in a blanket of white.  I got some water temperatures and got out of there..  
I headed to the Holston River (tailrace of Cherokee Dam) to get some water temperatures and check to see if there was another fish kill like the one that occurred only a couple days ago.  
At least the scenery is pretty over here next to the river.  The county or someone has spread brine on the roads at least once during the night, but it evidently has washed off and the snow is once again sticking to the asphalt.  

The sky is really gray and bland making it difficult to achieve any color in these pictures.  Then, when I think about it there isn't any color out there to record.  
 I suddenly became appreciative as well as amazed at the 4 wheel drive option on the truck.  How we take the simpler things for granted!
I scanned the river's surface with binoculars to see if I could spot any shad floating along.  They were there, many, many floating on their sides.  The water has been 37 to 39 degrees for the past few days and the shad can not endure that extended temperature, I'm told by the experts.
 This snow poses absolutely no threat or worry to me whatsoever.  This is nothing like what I grew up with in Pennsylvania and I get a kick out of listening to announcers on the radio describing pending doom from the amazing storm of the century that is halting the progression of life here in Tennessee and eventually will prevent the ability of all humans to acquire food at stores.  Schools are closed as well as all government agencies "in the cities."  That in the cities part is funny.  The citie is where the roads are cleaned and yet the government closes down.  Wimps!  People call in to the radio shows delivering their on the scene descriptions of the winter weather tragedy unleashed upon the south and I can't help but think of one thing.  Where are all the enormous, shiny BMW, Humvee s, Cadillac Escalanti's and all the other high gloss 4 wheel drives seen daily in the summer months.  Most have all the off road accessories including lift packages, roll bar with lights on top, oversize wheels with impressive fat tires and aggressive tread.  Not one -- not one is on the road or anywhere near it.  Gotta keep that wax job clean I guess.  So they use the wife's Honda Civic or the VW.  Interesting!  But, that's all ok.  Plastic is attracted to plastic.  You'll have to think about that one for a moment - maybe longer.  All said with tongue in cheek:)


I have enjoyed this snow fall as it made everything look clean and fresh.  The normal appears different with the snow but, I'm over it and ready for some good ole Tennessee weather that will allow me to get back on the river in comfort and enjoy the wild stuff again.

I'm thinking that I should have taken all these pictures in black and white but then, it seems the natural colors of the day is black and white even when shot with color settings.
Most of these pictures were taken shortly after sunup and the critters are, for the most part, still in hiding.  Even the birds are scarce at this hour and not a deer stirs.

I pulled into Nance Ferry park lot and stayed long enough to collect a water temperature and to notice if the shad are still dying, and they were.

There was one more spot I needed to check.
The eagles were in the nest but remaining out of sight.  I could see a wing lift above the edge of the nest occasionally.  The nest appears well protected and I wonder how much snow gets inside the nest.  I know the parent eagles lift their wings to shelter their young from the falling elements but what do they do for themselves?  Probably just sit in there and take whatever comes their way.
I'm done here and must be on my way home.  I can't justify continuing on the route beside the river as I know there is no one out today.  Tomorrow is another day.
Winter is just another month to enjoy although it can become tiresome at times when it lingers on as it is.  Won't be long until we'll be complaining about the heat.  It's a human thing.  Later......