Tuesday, May 12, 2015

WIND, WHITE CAPS & STORM THREAT

Cherokee Lake was a terror today.  The wind whipped across the open bays unrestrained creating two and three foot swells with wind blown white caps that tossed spray over the side of the boat.  I had heard that storms were on the way and lightning was present with high wind over on Lake Norris which lays Northwest of Cherokee Lake.  My eyes were to the sky constantly searching for tell, tell evidence of an oncoming calamity.  Cherokee is a bad lake to be on when high wind is present.
I eased around the islands that are located in the center of the lake and tried to avoid the rough water.  It was very difficult to do.

 The sun was out big time and there was no indication of storms - yet.  So, where was all this wind coming from?
I call the shot below "Frenzy".
 I've discovered that I have a new sentiment toward great egrets.  I've noticed that each one is an individual, that is to say that each has its own idiosyncrasies when searching for food, eating, perching and other activities.  For instance, I saw one fluff his feathers and shake like a dog each time he caught a fish and swallowed it.  Another gawked and rotated his head almost clear around his body before he would fly off his perch.  Yet another fished by inserting his head totally under water for ten seconds at a time.  

 They are elegant in everything they do
 Look at that poetry in motion!






 The shots below are very near to being over saturated but that's caused by a high shutter speed combined with a too high ISO.  This is the case with lenses in the 500 mm category, at least with my set up.  An ISO of around 400 coupled with a 1/300th shutter speed would have produced that soft white plumage I love on these birds.  But then, I can't be on a rocking horse boat and be creative.  It is what it is as they say.  Who's they I wonder?




 The wind abated a bit but came back with a vengeance.

Then, the fellow below passed high overhead.  I should not have raised the camera but couldn't let it go.  Boat rocking, wind blowing and me swaying on deck as the good ship idles on downstream at a breakneck 8.5 miles per hour.

Then I saw two more eagles far off in the distance.  They were too far away to achieve any semblance of good photography but I just can't let an eagle pass.  It was father who was swirling about overhead while junior flew along the tops of the trees beneath him, and the boat rocked on.
 I call these kinds of photos documentary photos.  They are not indicative of any photo quality but save a moment in time that is important to me.  Dad is above and his youngster is below.....

 Junior is really buzzing along at top speed.  I wish you could realize how fast they move.

 Their maneuverability is amazing.  I've seen them fly at top speed through and in between large and small branches that were covered with full foliage and not be hindered in the least.  I remember a hen turkey once that my golden, Douglas startled and it flew through some hemlocks, knocking down every dead branch in every tree as it flew straight through the wall of foliage.  Not so the raptors.  Owls are another story altogether.  They are as spirits when they fly through heavy foliage.  They are "wow" birds when in flight, but bald eagles aren't too shabby.
 If only the water were smooth.  I had to throw out numerous shots that would have been super keepers and these were very high ISO.  Had to use ISO 1500 in order to use a very high shutter speed to overcome the rolling of the boat.  It happens.





 Pretty girl, I think girl.



Whats this?