Sunday, May 31, 2015


Right at sun up is the best time to be on a lake in East Tennessee.

I wanted to be on the boat ramp before the Sunday crowd arrived so I could get a parking spot and get out there on the water to avoid the rush.  There wasn't a soul on the boat ramp parking lot.  Oh well - that's alright by me.
A gentle breeze was blowing as the big engine idled out into the bay.
 A couple families of geese were slowly making their way across the lake.  It seems they like to swim to the islands that lay dead center in the river channel, or center of the lake.
 The bunch here in these two shots are older than the ones in the first shot in the series.

 A great egret makes his way along the dark shoreline headed for his breakfast bar on a stony point just ahead.  He'll find shad in that area as well as bluegills.

And my old friend the black crowned night heron appears out of nowhere.  How beautiful he is.  Another black crowned flies past my boat and I try a hip shot with the 500 mm lens.
I've had better snap shot results but this one isn't too bad.  Lucky shot!
Below:  Great Egret
 Below:  Double Crested Cormorant
 Below:  Great Blue Heron

And, then a discovery.  Look at the roses.  I found a shoreline with about a half acre of these roses on it.  They are even climbing high into the trees.  The property is TVA property too.  What a display of color!  Amazing!
 These are not wild, indigenous roses as one might think.  These are domestic runaways.  They probably were planted on farms and along homes back before the dams plugged up the river and everything was flooded.  These roses are a link to a rich East Tennessee past.  They have to date back 60 years and more.

And then it happened!  A tremendous roar that shook leaves off the trees and something big and silver flashed by the mouth of the cove I was in.  Holy Tomolie!!!

 It had to be going at least a hundred miles per hour.  At least!
 It banked to the right and was gone in an instant.

 Look at that rooster tail!  This is one reason I wouldn't recommend swimming in the center of the river channel on Cherokee Lake.  I'm sure this guy could see everything that was in the water in front of him......

Actually, the morning was the best one I've had in a month.  Quiet.  Quiet!  Thanks for checking out the blog.  I'm getting better posting here - just a little.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


 I took a photograph of the osprey at rest as my boat passed by at a distance and beneath his tree.  Little did I expect to see an advertorial conflict occur.  There was a lot of distance from me to the osprey and I wasn't sure how the quality of the photos would be affected.  The results are acceptable I guess.
 From beneath the resting osprey came another interloper at top speed and he was heading directly toward the resting bird above.  He moved swiftly and quietly.
 He made contact with loud, multiple shrieks, talons extended and appeared determined to dislodge the resident osprey.
 The bird on the bottom tried to cling to his perch but the attacking bird's weight pushed him off balance.
 The postured and screamed loudly while making daring advances on each other.
 They chased each other through the sky briefly and returned to perches all the while crying defiantly.

 Once again they closed in struggle with talons extended.  It certainly appeared to be a serious confrontation and I'm sure it was to them.  They actually made contact twice during this argument
The attacker made one final lunge downward toward the resident osprey in an attempt to intimidate him into leaving.  It didn't work.  The attacker swooped past the resting bird with great speed and rested on a limb.  They both faced off and shrieked at each other constantly.

 More intimidating action by the interloper was to no avail.  He may as well depart to find his own territory.  This place was taken and well protected.

 Finally, the unwelcome visitor departed.
 This entire event played out in less than five minutes.  Its a matter of being in the right place at the right time and not only watching but seeing.