Sunday, November 2, 2014

WHEN YA DON'T HAVE A CAMERA

The snow took me by surprise yesterday and the ride to the lake was interesting and beautiful.  Yes, I did get on the water and yes, it was a bit chilly.  Alright, it was cold.


Look at this sweet old place below:
Ahead to today:

The big camera is on its way to the repair facility to have a new shutter button installed and that leaves me with the D990 Canon Elph, which isn't a bad thing as that 990 is an excellent camera for scenic, landscape and macro shots.  It figures that today I was presented with more wildlife opportunities than I've had since being on Beech Creek -- and no telephoto lens.
 Shots on Douglas Lake
I was travelling to the lake on route 92 south, a four lane, when not a hundred feet off to my right in a clearing stood two of the most magnificent white tail deer I have ever seen pushing against each other, heads together forehead to forehead, antlers locked.

The muscles bulged along their legs and necks as each pushed the other as hard as he could trying to maneuver their opponent into an awkward position where its own weight would work against it.
One deer fell and the other pushed him until he slid across the grass on his side.  I hit the truck horn to scare them away from the road and shield them from view of passersby. People can't be trusted, you see.  A bald eagle was shot on Douglas Lake yesterday, probably by passersby,  and I doubt that human mentality would spare these gorgeous animals that are before me now.
The lake was actually pretty early this morning, and cold.  I piled on the warm clothing before shoving off in the boat.
The water level is really low on Douglas Lake right now.  TVA lowers it each year this time due to flood control concerns.  I'm not sure where the melting glacier snows will come from in October and November but I'm sure TVA has it figured out.
 I hate to keep bringing this up but I still can not understand why folks will spend upwards of a million dollars for property and home on this lake.  Look at the above shot and the two that follow.  These are absolutely normal scenes on the shorelines of Douglas Lake each year.   People willingly purchase this rock and mud property at exorbitant costs all the time.  I don't get it.   The water goes down so far that the homes sit as high as a hundred feet from the water.  They purchased the property as lake front property.  I guess it is "lake front" when ya think about it.  But, it seems a tremendous investment to only be able to use one's boat dock five months out of twelve.  And what a view!  Mud.
Check out the pontoon boat above.  What a way to enjoy a boat.  That babies stranded there until next April or May.  Nice!
Look at the dock above.  I don't really care about all this but a lot of habitat was ruined for wildlife so these people could build their uppity structures on this lake.  Lots of real estate companies got rich selling this property pretty lake or not.  I guess Its really a status thing.  It holds no status for me.  Anything that takes animal habitat away is a negative in my notebook.  
Common Loons are appearing on the lake in their winter breeding plumage.  A group of four are swimming close to the boat and would make great subjects to focus upon with the 500 mm lens.  Oh well.

An immature bald eagle flies over the boat and alights on a limb overhanging the water on a vertical cliff.  At the same instant I can see an osprey falling head first toward the water's surface, his wings fold back along his sides as he enters the water head first.  His head and back appear above the surface a few seconds later, the body almost submerged.  Huge wings lift him off the surface, and water trails off the rear of his  primary feathers.  
The bird expends enormous effort to move the wings in an attempt to lift his body off the water and he struggles but the huge wings have difficulty separating his body from the clinging surface but finally he succeeds and the reason for the difficulty is plainly visible now.  His talons are embedded in the back of a fresh water drum and it isn't a small fish.  The bird releases the fish with his right foot and re positions the foot and sharp talons behind the left foot thereby aligning the captured prey perpendicular to the bird's flight, reducing wind resistance.  The osprey shakes his head and neck rapidly to shed water from the feathers, much like a dog would cast water from its coat, and continues into the trees to enjoy his kill.

The morning wore on with an abundance of wildlife showing up on the lake.  Eagles, loons, ducks, ospreys and more and no telephoto to document the moments.  There was plenty more interesting sights this morning but without pictures I guess the stories are mundane.  

 Early morning still is the prettiest time.  By the way - notice the snow on the mountains.
Life is tough without a telephoto lens at my side.  Lets hope the repair facility can fix that camera so I can get back in the photographic groove.