Wednesday, September 3, 2014


There's not a body of water in Tennessee that is as beautiful as Beech Creek and the Holston River at the John Sevier power plant.  The Gheenoe was on the water at sunup and gliding effortlessly and slowly down Beech Creek toward the junction with the Holston River where it would turn left, downstream, and follow the left bank in hope of sighting the eagles who reside on that mountain side.

The earth smells clean and fresh at this hour and the dense, moist air amplifies the sensations.

The fog is slowly lifting out on the Holston as can be seen above and the view is a tease for what surely is coming later in the morning - brilliant color!

 The best time to enjoy fog is when it is transitioning into what appears to be wispy vapor that rises off the water to cling just above the surface.  Today, however, the fog simply started to disintegrate revealing the shoreline in gradual bits and pieces.  Distant panoramic scenes appear primeval in nature.

 I'm particularly fond of the shot below.
I have a partner for the day whose name is Clarissa Sharp.  Clarissa had been associated with the Indian Cave property and I met her through my TWRA association with the boat ramp and angler access on the property.  She is a very accomplished photographer and her accompaniment today is appreciated.  I found myself taking more than usual care with my photo endeavors as this lady can take astounding photographs.  If anyone could make a living selling photos it is her.  Some of her photography from today is posted on this blog entry and will have her name on the lower right corner of the photo.  Check below.  Whew!  How's she do dat?  Her camera is a Sony 230 and the lens is a basic 55 mm and she does wonders with that set-up.  
I've shot the bridge below that crosses Beech Creek hundreds of times and it never looked this good.

 The shot below is reminiscent of what a new world might look like to an explorer

 The shot above and below is someplace dreamed about and she portrays that place perfectly.  Actually Beech Creek is indeed a dream place.
More photos by Clarissa will appear later in the entry.  There are a ton of flower shots in this posting many of which are cardinal flowers.  Cardinals are one of my favorite flowers in the world dicing for first place with the passion flower that is common here in Tennessee (the state flower).   So if you get bored simply turn the entry off or scroll on through the pictures you find that test your ability to remain interested.  Fall is almost upon us here in Tennessee and the river is wrapping up summer very quickly with a final display of summer color but, the fall colors are already being unveiled on stage for that part of the play.   Hope you enjoy the kaleidoscope of colors and subject matter in this entry.  I'll try to keep the dialog at a minimum.

 The gorgeous cardinal flower
 A lady wood duck adds her color to the morning.  Such a pretty girl!

 Mallard Duck

 The infamous green heron

The Gheenoe has been on the water since sun-up and its now noon and there hasn't been one boat or human on or near this river in all that time.  We are surrounded by the most gorgeous wild flowers imaginable, on mirror water edged by the most lush green forest.

 Yellows, blues and reds blend together with white to lend a feeling of summer's softness.  Yet, there is an effort by nature to insert a bright set of colors that predicts the end of the warm, elegant summer and ushers in the more formidable months of winter.  Those colors are subtle right now but soon will be the predominant landscape.

The limb on a small mimosa tree shakes and a black crowned night heron flushes out into the sky.  A quick camera shot and, well, the moment is luckily captured.
A small unidentified duck is working slowly back along the bank where the foliage is heavy.  I don't think it is a wood duck female due to the absence of blue coloring under the wing primaries.  It might be a wood duck but the shadows are heavy and hide her well, and happy I am for it.

 Does the word persimmons ring a bell?

The colors are unending.  How many people walk near, through and around all this and never notice?

I warned you I like cardinal flowers.

 The reds on this flower are so bright they look as if made of red wax.
Clarissa took some really super flower shots.  A few follow.  I can't post many of her photos as their super quality will make mine look bad and I'll lose readers.  

Her shots are indeed museum grade quality.  How's she do dat?

 A slow and easy putt down the shoreline of the Holston was a delight and a joy. Look at the shot above and the one below:
A turn up Beech Creek from the Holston River presented a surprise.
 It is the shell of a huge snapping turtle.

Then, a second turtle shell appeared so quickly I couldn't get the camera on it.  Another large turtle head joined beside the first.  It was two huge turtles mating.

The sun was high in the sky and it was getting to be time to leave.  The birds and other critters were heading for the shade and I likewise would be doing the same.  The boat was put in ultra slow gear to get back to the ramp.

Time to say good by for now.  Hope you enjoyed the morning spin around the lake.  Until next time and beyond - God Bless America!