Saturday, October 25, 2014

A SURPRISE ON THE CHEROKEE TAILRACE

Its sure hard to beat early morning just after sun up to set the mind straight.
 It doesn't even seem like I'm in the same screwed up world.
The road above leads to the house made of candy that lays deep within the forest.

Yep, its gonna be a rough morning alright!
I just finished a second drive along the entire length of my area on the Cherokee Tailrace and decided to stop for awhile in the parking lot at the dam for a break and some root beer and chips.  A sheriff's deputy friend of mine pulled in and we were passing the time.  My eyes scanned the field to our right and I noticed a white spot that moved.  It was far away.
It sure was a bald eagle and it appeared he was tearing strips of red meat off some unfortunate critter he had caught.  The distance was great and the ability to get super quality shots is minimized at such long distances.  I decided to eliminate many of the pictures I took.
All of a sudden a second adult eagle exploded from the shrubbery behind the one above and headed for a tree at the edge of the river.  Again, the distance was too great for good pictures and I didn't have time to react to the presence of the second eagle.  I did get a picture of it as the big bird approached a limb he selected to perch in.  The mess in the background of the shot is the back side of Cherokee Dam.  Its a concrete mess at that place.  
The eagle's head in the shot above has blended in with the white coloring on the concrete.  You can see his white tail highlighted against the gray of the dam.  The bird is moving straight up to a limb above him or her.
At that same moment, the eagle on the ground decided to lift off and join his mate.


 Wow, I could hear the sounds of his great wings pushing against the air even at this great distance!
He flew to the same tree his mate perched in and just watched me as I slowly walked across the field toward him.

 He is flying almost vertical into the bottom of a huge tree.
What a beautiful sight!  I watched people milling about in the parking lot totally oblivious to what was transpiring just a little way from them.  People are amazing in their inability to pay attention to much of anything that goes on around them.  A McDonald's burger in one hand and a I Phone in the other.

 I stopped well away from him when his mate left the tree.  Then he also lifted off and did a drive by just to the side of me and over my head.  Again, I could hear his wings pushing against the air as he rocketed past me causing a slight chill to run down the back of my neck.


 And, both eagles were gone in a dazzling display of dynamic flight.  Dazzling is the only way I can explain their motion.  Bald eagles don't do anything in a mundane way.


The deputy finally made a sound.  He said, "how bout that?!"
I needed to make one more drive along the river before I could finish up.
A funny thing happened when I got to Nance Ferry access area.  I wanted to take a picture of the little road that leads into the parking area of the boat ramp so I took a quick test shot before making a serious picture.  When I looked at the picture via the view screen on the camera's back I saw a deer in the picture.  I never knew it was there.  The shot was to determine brightness settings and I wasn't trying to make a picture.  That's why the shot is so blurry.  But, you can see the deer in the pic.  Total accident.  
 The final print I wanted to make is below: