Sunday, December 21, 2014


The aluminum boat above is the boat I went to Pennsylvania to pickup a couple weeks ago and today is the first time I've had it on the water.  It was necessary to replace the fuel line (thanks ethanol) and the impeller (water pump).  I did some cleaning on the electrical contacts in the main switch box which was minor and the boat ran perfectly today.  I had the day off and needed to get away from these mud lakes around here so I headed for one of my favorite rivers, the Holston River at Rogersville.  What a beautiful river!  The morning wasn't too bad either.
What a sunrise.  The woods appeared to be on fire.  Even the mud flats on Douglas Lake were haunting with the sun piercing the fog and striking the wet land and mud in just the right places to instill mystery to the place.
That entire area in the picture above will be under 40 feet of water next March.  Amazing!
Above:  Yes, its a real plant - some sort of reed.  Notice the edges of the leaves pealing back.  I don't know the name of this plant but if all goes well I'll have it in my yard next spring.  
 These shots were taken early morning on or near the shores of Douglas Lake.  Its neat to have soft light at day break and I didn't want to waste the opportunities to collect unique images.

Odd Friends
I haven't been to the Holston River since early last spring.  The picture above is of the bridge (blue) that spans Beech Creek on the Tunnel Hill Road and the old rusty bridge is the railroad bridge that is used daily still today.  Lets get on the water.
 The morning light is perfect for photography.
 The aluminum boat is equipped with a electric motor as well as a 9.9 hp two stroke Johnson engine.  There is plenty of room as the deck area is wide open.  Plenty of room for dogs, tents and the like.
This is the first run for this boat and I put it through its paces.  She ran perfectly.

The surface of the water was like glass and the sun was creating some fantastic colors on the water and shoreline.

The next couple shots are amazing.  I've not seen anything to match their beauty in quite awhile.  What a fantastic morning!
 The shot above is dazzling.  No, I didn't make it.  Nature did.  I just took the picture.
 Notice the soft yellow light invading the upper left corner of the shot below.  Wow!
The shot above shows an island in the upper right corner of the shot.  I call this place beaver island and I headed for it so I could tie the boat off on the shore and sit down on a stump and survey the surroundings.  The shots below are what I had to look at while stump sitting.

The picture below was the view directly in front of me as I sat on a really nice log.  If I would have had my notebook along I would have done some writing.  The place had the perfect ambiance and tranquility I require for serious writing.
I looked down river when I left the bank and the view made me stop for a moment to drink in the beauty of the river.  Then I thought of Douglas and Cherokee Lakes.  I laughed out loud.

 Mallard ducks were crossing the river behind me.
 I noticed a large red tail hawk high in a tree on the right side of the river.  They always pick the tallest trees and seem to be very distant when I try to photograph them.  This guy is really, really far away and I couldn't enlarge him reliably when cropping the shots.  But, he came out pretty good.  These pics of the red tail are what I mean by documentary shots and not really well thought out museum quality shots.  Wildlife offers little time to plan.   I got two shots at this fellow and he was gone.

The shot below is my portrait shot.  Funny!

 Above is a bald eagle nest belonging to the resident pair of eagles who have lived here over the past seven years.
The critters were in their dens or out hunting, in the case of the eagles, and I didn't have an opportunity to capture any wildlife shots.  Spring is coming though all in good time.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures from today.