Friday, January 29, 2016

Birding Tennessee

Let's face it. When it comes to Tennessee, I have discovered there are birding opportunities all over this state. I have visited Cross Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Old Hickory Lake, Radnor Lake, Priest Lake, and well, you get the idea. I have added many birds to my Life List of which several made me especially happy. I was most excited to photograph the Wood Duck pair and then a juvenile. Exciting! Middle Tennessee, as it is called here in the Volunteer State, has its share of lakes and rivers, not to mention parks and wildlife refuges. I wanted to share some of the images with you in a cumulative view. Many of these photos were featured in a post so I hope you don't mind indulging me. Just look at the variety and tell me it is not impressive! Could this be why every time I go out with my camera, my 'photo' elbow pain kicks back in.

The breakdown top to bottom, left to right. Great Blue Heron, Mallard Duck, Bufflehead Duck, Great White Egret, Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Ringed Neck Duck, Black Crowned Night Heron, Eastern Phoebe, Common Loon, Pied-Billed Grebe, Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, Osprey (I think), Eastern Kingbird, Seagull, Long Tailed Duck, Wood Duck Juvenile, Eastern Bluebird, Red Winged Blackbird, Great White Egret, Wood Duck Pair, North American Wild Turkey, American Coot, Hooded Merganser and finally a Common Grackle.

It wasn't my intention to photograph birds when I started this blog. At that time I was actually into more landscapes and such. Several years later I purchase my first and a year later my second zoom lenses and off I went to photograph birds. Birds taking flight, birds landing, birds feeding, birds in the water, birds in a flock, bird eggs, bird nests, baby birds. Again, you get the idea. I hope you enjoyed the look back over my last year here in Greater Nashville. To think I only became a permanent resident here this week last year really seems to boggle my mind. And the areas I have visited to photograph nature in any shape or form has really helped me to feel more at home. It has been a year to remember for me in so many ways. ENJOY!

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hooded Mergansers

Every now and then one gets lucky. Late one afternoon I stopped along Old Hickory Lake. There are several places along the main road where pools of backwater are on the opposite side of the road from the lake. Oftentimes, you will find birds flocked there. This was one of those days. And yes, I added another bird to my Life List, the Hooded Merganser. These Hooded Mergansers, a flock of about ten, had flown into this backwater area and were feeding on whatever they could find.

You can tell when you look at the images they are heavily cropped, but I still wanted to share. The water levels in this pool of water are very very low and oftentimes birds are standing on land in the middle of it. The Hooded Merganser typically lives in this area of the South, as well as throughout the majority of the United States, but breed mostly in the west. As always the brown colored duck is the female while the stark black and white is the male. There are several species of Mergansers and the Hooded is the smallest of the three.

The Hooded Merganser actually nest in tree cavities in wooded wetlands where they lay on average 9-11 eggs. These ducks are most prevalent in the Great Lakes Region. It is difficult to get accurate numbers on these ducks because they are so secretive. They prefer to dive in fresh water and generally feed on fish, crayfish and crustaceans, as well as insects.

The snow has melted here in middle Tennessee and this weekend the temperatures are going to be in the mid sixties. Earlier this week it was in the teens one night and in the fifties the next day. The dramatic swing in temperatures is insane. Not to mention it is hard to know what to wear from one day to the next. I wonder is this the norm for our Winters going forward. ENJOY!

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Stable Barn, Long Hollow Pike

After Friday's major snowfall, I finally made my way out to the grocery today. Before heading home, I drove along Long Hollow Pike to view the landscape. There are several farms along this road. The road runs parallel to Main Street in Hendersonville.

This beautiful red barn caught my attention as I came upon it so I pulled into a subdivision to take a few images. Something about snow and barns. A perfect mix. There is a large pasture to one side of the barn where several horses were grazing.

This barn is very small, but I love the shape of it. I think it's a stable barn as best I can tell from Google. What I like about it most were the cupolas on top of the barn. There were three cupolas with the center one housing a weather vane of a horse perched above it.

Keep in mind when driving after a snowfal, there are less places to pull your car over to stop and take photos. So you have to pick the time and place wisely. Hope everyone is safe and warm especially those folks in the States who have encountered Jonas. ENJOY!    Linking to the Barn Collective

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winter Snowfall

Mother Nature has not been kind to the lower Midwest, the south and most of the eastern United States this week. Wednesday came with a sheet of ice to all of middle Tennessee. The temperatures climbed above freezing very very early Thursday so the ice melted quickly. Late Thursday evening rain began followed by snow in the wee hours of Friday morning. I awoke to find four inches of snow. As the day wore on, Winter Storm Jonas dumped nine inches of snow in northeast Nashville, specifically Hendersonville, and almost as much south of the city. Southern Kentucky received a foot of snow in some parts.

Stepping out on the patio to capture this image, reminded me of just how cold it is. While I have to dig out my car today or tomorrow, I am not looking forward to it. The temperatures are in the twenties with wind chill in the upper teens. Notice the pine cones hanging from the tree? All of the fir trees have tons of pine trees hanging down from them around my place. So beautiful. Take care if you are in the path of Jonas. Stay warm, stay safe. ENJOY!

Photographer's Note: My blog was remodeled earlier in the week. One wrong key stroke and my layout and template was gone forever. I thought I had a backup copy, but I could not find it. Things are more or less back to normal, give or take. Back up your template by saving the HTML code under Template. All you need do is go inside the template HTML and copy and paste it to a word file. Since I know some CSS code I was able to recreate the template for the most part. Back soon.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ode to Spring

Winter harkens the darkest of days, with bitter cold and snow filled skies.
As Winter days bring sleet and ice, we dream of a warmer season.
A season filled with sunny days and warm wispy breezes.
Of misty raindrops that water each flower petal nurturing new life.
Of bright yellow Daffodils and pink and white Dogwoods in bloom.
We dream of Spring.

I captured this image on a warm Summer's day as I drove through West Virginia on my way home to Kentucky from a trip to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. A field of Poppy flowers greeted me at a visitor center there. The sun was shrouded by clouds, but the pinks, lavenders and yellows of the Poppies were so beautiful. ENJOY!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fishing on the Lake

There are ample opportunities along Old Hickory Lake to fish off shore and in a boat. This doesn't even take into consideration flying by if you are a Great Blue Heron.

There's a tiny park that sits between the road and the lake, along the peninsula road that runs north to south on this particular stretch of Old Hickory Lake, and oftentimes, you will find Ducks and Canadian Geese fishing there. Every now and then you will spot a Heron or Egret too. This guy was so intent, I don't even think he flinched when I pulled up in my car to snap his photo. He was just that focused on the task at hand. One of the many reasons I chose to move to Hendersonville was the wildlife areas around the lake. You never know what you will find. The weather has been in the teens and sixties here in middle Tennessee. I think the major fluctuation of temperatures is going to be the norm from here on out with our weather. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Back soon. Carol