Monday, May 19, 2014

MORNING ON DOUGLAS LAKE


I got down to the Dandridge boat ramp before sunup this morning so I could get a jump on the fishermen and be the first one out there on the water.  I launched the boat and discovered I didn't have any navigation lights.  That's odd.  Then I found out that the trim tabs didn't work.  That's not good either.  It seems I lost the power to the dash. I laid on my back looking at fuses with a flashlight and they were all good.  Fishermen were pulling into the parking lot and I was taking up space fooling around down on the water beside the dock.  It's illegal to be on the water without navigation and anchor lights so I loaded up and pulled it to the lot so others could launch.  When the sun was high enough I launched again and was on my way.
The morning was chilly and I liked it that way.  The fog was present on the water creating all those wispy tendrils that add mystery to the water.
This was bald eagle country and I kept a sharp eye on the tall trees lining the shoreline for any sight of them.
It didn't take too long for the first immature bald eagle to appear.
 I would guess this guy to be about two years old or two and a half.
This shoreline has always been loaded with eagles every spring.  They are migrants and many will roam back north to parts unknown.  

I think I'm doing a fair job of dealing with that heavy back light.   It wasn't long before the second immature eagle appeared.

This one made a spectacular leap into space when he left the limb.
Look above at that amazing image.  These birds are sensational!
I counted two additional immature bald eagles as I continued up the shoreline.  When I crossed the lake to return back down the opposite side - I saw none.  But, I did run into a sleeping great blue heron high in a tree.  Note the background is not back lighted.  Remember, it's the opposite shore and I'm facing away from the sun.
 He is totally out of it - sound asleep high above the world.

A wood duck box hangs on a tree precariously close to the water.
I can always count on an osprey to add pzazz to any Douglas Lake morning.


 Now, that's a classy lift off - nothing fancy and by the book.
I had to mess with the boats and it took some time so I didn't get to photograph as many eagles as I wanted to.  I saw more but ignored them.  There wasn't many fishermen on the water at all and I did get to talk to all of them.  Hope you enjoyed.  See ya.