Tuesday, April 14, 2015

AN AFTERNOON ON THE UPPER CHEROKEE LAKE - HOLSTON RIVER SECTION

Cherokee Reservoir is finally filling up with water and with the water comes the Springtime critters.  It happens yearly.  The water is diminished and the critters leave.  The lake fills back up and the critters return.  I guess its better than nothing.  But, today was a gorgeous afternoon with perfect lake conditions and just the right amount of sun.  Still, birds in trees present back lighted challenges when photographed from a boat.  The only way to capture the bird is to shoot directly toward the sky unless his background is cliff or foliage.  But then, I've beaten that issue to death.
I kept the camera busy as I eased along the shoreline heading upstream toward Melinda Ferry Bridge.  That's where the great dog rescue occurred two days ago.  For more on that you can check out my face book page on Face Book.
 I kept the shutter busy as I would see critters flashing along the shoreline or sleeping as these Mallard drakes were.  Just quick snap shots to document the moments.
A great blue heron presented himself to the lens.  What the heck, he's gorgeous.  I have lots of heron pictures but never get tired of photographing them.  Their flight preparation is always impressive as the moment of take off usually incorporates gyrations and contortions..



 The shoreline is showing a lot of colors, mostly red buds and some white flowers.  I love when they intermingle and mix.
 Then I saw an eagle flying with a fish.  I think it was a fish as the distance was very great.  A couple crows attacked him from above and forced him down to a limb.  They continued their harassment until one of the crows broke off the attack.  The other then left also.




 You can see the black outlines of two crows in the shot above and below.



 You can see these images grow larger and larger as my boat slowly cruises toward the eagle's tree until finally I was on top of him.  He was feasting on what I believe to be a fish he had caught.  The crows were temperately out of the picture for now.





 He is magnificent!  I'm doing my best to get his color correct but conditions are not helping me.  I'm close.  What an incredible creature!








 That was amazing!  What a piece of luck.  This is a first year bird as he has virtually no white coloring.  It will be between 4 and 5 years before he gets his yellow bill, white head and tail.  He's still very dynamic even now as a youth.  He flew away and the crows instantly fell upon him.  Its not a big deal.  That's just how it is.  The crows are the ones in peril and certainly not the bald eagle.

 Sometimes these winged terrorists do pay the ultimate price for harassing nobility.  Today, however, it seems that this young eagle is content to simply evade.  Next year may be a different story.  And, as a full adult I guarantee it would be a different story.
A gorgeous pair of wood ducks passed by close to the shoreline where the water was quiet and the wind soft.

A double crested cormorant cools himself by holding his heavy, powerful wings out in the breeze.


And finally I noticed some paired up geese establishing a nesting site on a cliff.  What a great place to start a family.  There are even short caves to duck out of foul weather.  Duck and foul - humm.  Oh that would be fowl.  



 So, that's about it for this entry.  Thanks for looking in and don't forget to check out my face book page.  Thanks again.  And, be kind to a dog today and every day.