Sunday, April 19, 2015

A PENDING STORM

The above shot shows the parking area at Douglas Dam on the headwaters, which is nothing more than where the dam is located.  The parking lot is totally full with not one spot to park in.  The fishermen are even sneaking into the campground to park their trucks and trailers.  Every boat ramp parking lot on the lake looked like this yesterday.  My area of concern was clear at the upper end of the lake for this afternoon and I had to park all the way at the other end of the lake and run the entire length of the dam to get where I needed to be.  This is normal activity for this fantastic fishing lake.  The only problem is that the lake is as big as it is and can't change and the amount of water sustains just so many fish and can't change, and that leaves one last part to the equation.  Humans.  They descend upon the lake in greater numbers every year - so many that there is not enough parking spaces for them..Oh well!

As I came up the lake past Dandridge from the dam I noticed a commotion over at the Point Restaurant and Lounge.  A wedding was taking place. I called it a wedding.  How foolish.  A friend from Face Book corrected me that it might probably be a prom gathering.  Shows how domestic I think... How nice, I guess....I put the hammer down!


 The lake displayed drift wood, garbage and other floating odds and ends, as it does annually during each spring.  I've never quite got used to seeing this mess as its just not natural.  Normal flow of a body of water would allow this junk to flush right on down stream but this is a controlled waterway and it must react to the desires of the hand of man.  Not a bad thing I guess.  What do you think?  Actually this mess exists in the middle of the lake where curves and corners in the waterway slow the flow causing the debris to hesitate in place until faster current caused by TVA draw down or heavy rains wash it the rest of the way downstream.
This was going to be a great day on the lake even if I did have to run the entire length of it.  I sat the engine on 40 miles per hour, sat back and let the boat have its head.
The new bridge that would replace Walters Bridge was right on schedule.  The piers that will support the roadway appear mammoth!


I keep the camera on the seat beside where I stand so I can grab it for quick shots as I pass by and see things.  The noise of the engine woke up this duck and he popped his head up really fast from behind cover.  Click, click.....



Canada Geese are competing with one and other for mates and the activity can get aggressive at times.  The courting process is interesting to watch.
 The males lower themselves close to the water in order to appear submissive to the females while the females act nonchalant and uninterested.
 The two males below are squabbling and screaming at each other as they follow along behind a female.
  Side by side the slither, silently toward the shoreline where they will have it out.
Displeasure is voiced and a loud honk or two is directed toward the female as she swims on downstream, away from both of them.
 One of them has to go.  And so the courting process ends when the best man drives away the competitor.  He will catch up to the female and the mating process will complete itself on the rocky cliffs where a soft down nest will be fabricated from the wispy feathers from the female's breast that will hold two or three eggs and the future of the species.
And then I saw an old favorite sitting in a tree as if waiting for my passing.
He is beautiful and healthy by appearance.  I know he will not wait for me because the heavy boat traffic on Douglas Lake is disturbing him and he will not tolerate my loud engine passing under him.  I do what I can with the camera.  The boat need not stop or slow.
 Modern cameras are amazing.  The boat continues to move and I focus and press the shutter button over and over.  I hate auto shutter where shots slam over and over.  Hate it.  I kept the boat on course.  The big eagle's posture remains unchanged due to the rapid shots I'm taking while travelling.  But he pictures are slightly different and worth collecting.

 I knew I was about to lose him and then he was gone, but not before I captured his spirit in my picture box.

 Then I saw his son in the next tree.  Talk about some fast camera adjustment changes!  Everything was different.  Light was dim, the eagle in the middle of the trees surrounded by green leaves with light shining through.  Great fun!  So, this is one of the babies from the nest at point 18 on Douglas Lake.
Welcome to the world young eagle.
 Dad flew upstream about ten trees away and is keeping an eye on junior.  I'll not tarry long here
 These eagles have enough disturbance in their lives without me adding to it.  I'll just drive on by.  I have a mission to accomplish and I never allow anything to interfere.
 He's a handsome boy!
 Is he a boy?  I think he is due to his size, which is slightly smaller than the female.  I've seen enough eagles to make a valued guess.  
 And, he had less patience with me than his dad did.




 He landed in a tree not far from his dad.
 Then, he was gone



Then, a movement in the sky to my right caught my attention
It was the other sibling.  Big sister was there with dad and son and I couldn't see her way back in the trees.  They made my morning.  She flew to a tree near father and son and perched there.  I could only get a couple shots as I moved past them.



I had a sudden desire to be in a canoe.  I love canoes and have sold them all.  I'll have to correct that situation soon.
I checked to assure that no one was trapped under this floating hickey.
Things can turn bad fast out on these lakes.  I was heading back downstream at the end of the shift when I noticed a storm brewing.
 Now, just where did I put my rain suit?  Oh ya.  Behind the seat in the truck.
Needless to mention, I  got really soaked.  High winds, big waves and a great day!  Don't get better than that.  See ya