Monday, October 5, 2015

Great White Egret, Old Hickory Lake

Back in early Summer I captured this image of a Great White Egret standing in a meadow at Old Hickory Lake. He seemed content just standing there and I certainly didn't want to interrupt his quiet moment. So I snapped a few images and moved on.

Now I am moving on. Soon I will be moving to Hendersonville, Tennessee, just northeast of Nashville and home to many country music stars. It was Johnny Cash's last home which was situated on Old Hickory Lake. My place will be right across the street from Old Hickory Lake. I am so excited. I hope you will join me in my excitement. Some day when my property in Louisville is sold, I will consider putting down real roots, but for now I am excited I found a place with a lot of the things I would look for in a home. And especially being right across the street from the 'lake' can't wait. Egrets and Herons, I am a coming. ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sunflower, Batey Farms

Bathed in bright evening light this beautiful Sunflower stands ready for picking at Batey Farms in Murfreesboro earlier this Summer.

I hope everyone is having a great week. I am knee deep in deadline week and busier than a bee. ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One Seasons Ends, Another Begins

Fall is bringing a change in the leaves. Do you see it there?

Soon there will be yellows, oranges and reds. A new season is upon us. I wrap my arms around it relishing in all its glory. ENJOY!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Welcome Autumn

HELLO AUTUMN. Come on in.
We are ready for you here in the South.
We await your crisp Autumn days filled with vivid blue skys.
We are anxious to carve the pumpkins and stack the hay bales.
We can almost hear the spooks in the haunted houses and smell the spiced cider as it is poured.

Most of all, we await your bright reds, oranges and golden yellows that transform our landscapes.
So, come in Autumn. You are welcome here. ENJOY!
Linking to Rattlebridge Farms

Sunday, September 20, 2015

North American Wild Turkey

The devil is in the details. Surely you have heard that saying before. It came to mind when I saw the detail in this image I captured of the North American Wild Turkey. The blues in his head and neck. The grays and whites of his feathers. The browns and blacks of his tail feathers. Two North American Wild Turkeys pecked at the grasses as they trotted through the prairie meadow at the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between the Lakes, in southwestern Kentucky last week, as I drove the route to view the Elk and Bison.

The Elk and Bison are the heroes of the meadow there. As I drove the route I decided that the wildflowers growing in the prairie meadow there, and the Turkeys trotting in the short grasses beside the meadow, perhaps they should be the heroes. The yellows and golds of the Goldenrod. The whites of the Queen Anne's Lace. The lavenders of the Thistle. The tans of the tall grasses. Could those things not be heroes too. ENJOY!
Linking to Saturday's Critters

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beast of Burden

There is no other way to describe one of the largest mammals on North American soil.

Another view of the Bison at the Elk and Bison Prairie at Land Between the Lakes. ENJOY!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hamilton Creek Sailboat Marina

For as long as I can remember I have had a love affair with sailboats. I especially love the wooden sailboats I oftentimes see plying the waters in New England when I visit there. But I will take any sailboat, wooden or otherwise.

Aside from the occasional shower, the weather here has finally cooled off and last evening was gorgeous. After running errands, I stopped to capture a few images of the boats at Hamilton Creek Sailboat Marina in east Nashville. The marina sits on the west side of Percy Priest Lake about ten minutes from where I live.

One of the things I like most about where I live is being near two large bodies of water, Old Hickory Lake and Percy Priest Lake, not to mention two rivers, the Stones River and the Cumberland River. The weather has been perfect for sailing or any other kind of water sport. Blue skies, blue waters and soft breezes. Thanks everyone for all of your great comments on my images of the Elk and Bison I posted recently. I really appreciate it. ENJOY!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bison, Land Between the Lakes


As you drive your car around the route in the Elk and Bison Prairie at Land Between the Lakes, you begin to see glimpses of Bison up ahead. Taking in all of the Bison up ahead, you notice they are scattered throughout the fields, the pond, the side of the road. Some are even laying in a dust bowl hoping to rid themselves of insects on their large backs.

What a treat! Approaching the main herd in your car, you notice there are several large Bison standing right in the middle of the road. You have to stop the car and wait. Your head goes up as you see movement in your rear view mirror. You see him. A very big Bison lumbering up the middle of the road directly behind your car. He is going to have to pass right by your car to get to where he is going. He does. As he lumbers past your driver's side door, you hold your breathe and say a prayer, and you don't move a muscle.

Finally, thankfully, he makes it past your car, meanders into the herd of Bison just ahead, and stops right in the middle of the road. Now there are several large Bison right in the middle of the road. Five minutes pass. Ten minutes pass. Fifteen minutes pass. Finally, the two large Bison in the middle of the road slowly move to the side of the road. One of them lays down just off the pavement. Now is your chance. You slowly move your car down the road past all of the Bison. As you pass the last one, you began to breathe regularly again. This is the Bison at the Elk and Bison Prairie at Land Between the Lakes. ENJOY!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Elk, Land Between the Lakes

While visiting the Land Between the Lakes Elk and Bison Prairie, I wasn't sure I would even see the Elk as it was the middle of the day. Elk tend to come out early in the morning and later in the afternoon or early evening. The first drive through the prairie, I captured this image of an Elk resting near a thicket of trees and brush not far from the road. This was the only Elk visible at that time.

On my second visit, the same Elk was still resting in the same place I had left him about an hour and a half before. As I approached the area in my car and pulled into a parking lot, the Elk popped up and walked gingerly over to the brush. He munched on leaves from the brush and trees for a bit which allowed me to capture a few images. There are about 55 Elk residing in the prairie right now. I can only attest to there being one as that is all I saw.

Normally, when I see the Elk in the Smokies they are grazing on grasses in the meadow so it was rather nice to get to see them doing something a bit different. They are such huge animals. When meandering my way through the Bison a few minutes earlier, an Elk had gotten too close to the Bison and was ran off by several of them. I don't know if it was this Elk. My guess would be it was a different one.

It has been a wet Friday here in Nashville. It is supposed to clear up by mid day tomorrow. I have a few images of the Bison to share with you. It goes without saying that I have been working really hard since I moved to Nashville. So it has been nice to get out the past few weeks and pay a visit to Fall Creek Falls, Cheekwood and the Elk and Bison Prairie at Land Between the Lakes. Have a great weekend. And to those who lost their lives in 9/11 and those who survived to live on in their name, God Bless You. ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fallow Deer, Land Between the Lakes

Land Between the Lakes is a patch of land that sits between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake in the southwestern part of Kentucky. It runs north to south between the two lakes. It is only about an hour and a half from Nashville. I decided to visit recently before the cooler temperatures drifted in and the leaves began to change color. I especially wanted to visit the Elk and Bison Prairie.

After a brief visit to the Elk and Bison Prairie, knowing I would stop back before heading home, I drove a few short miles to Hermatite Lake. This is a small lake that sits on the eastern side of Land Between the Lakes. I had hoped to captured images of the Lotus flowers there, but after a short hike realized they were not in an easy spot to photograph.

As I was leaving Hermatite Lake, four White Tailed Deer wondered into the parking area. Except one of the Deer was very very light in color. A quick 'Google' search determined I had encountered a Fallow Deer. The one lighter colored Deer was a Fallow Deer. Fallow Deer are indigenous to Asia and Europe and were imported to the United States back in the early 1900's. There are as few as 150 Fallow Deer remaining in Kentucky at Land Between the Lakes.

They are considered an endangered species and hunters are prohibited from hunting them. Beside being much lighter in color, the other distinctive marking that sets the Fallow Deer apart from their counterpart, the White Tailed Deer, is their large flat antlers. Their antlers resemble a Moose's antlers although I am not sure if they are as large. You never know what you are going to find when you venture out. Amazing find. Back soon with images from the Elk and Bison Prairie. ENJOY!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Thatched Cabin, Howe Garden

It is late Summer at Cheekwood and there is ample evidence that Fall is slowing creeping in. Inside the botanical gardens there are a variety of different types of gardens. After several visits one quickly becomes fond of particular gardens. I am not surprised that I am becoming quite fond of the Herb Garden and the Wildflower Garden. Both are filled with plants and flowers and fluttering butterflies and busy bees all around.

At the entrance to the Wildflower Garden, officially the Howe Garden which was just renovated in 2012, sits a quaint thatched cabin. On the opposite side of the cabin there is a small woodland like setting with wildflowers growing around the trees. Meander along the garden path and you come to a beautiful arbor. Walking through the arbor, you nudge yourself to turn and look back at the setting. This is the scene that awaits you with the thatched cabin quaintly setting in the background and the plants surrounding the cabin. I hope this sets the stage for a relaxing Labor Day everyone. ENJOY!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jaume Plensa Sculptures, Cheekwood

It was a nice day to spend an afternoon at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. While the temperatures were in the mid 90's, it wasn't particularly humid. This was the second outing for our Meetup Group. I chose Cheekwood because of its diverse landscape as well as the variety of trees, plants and flowers.

An internationally acclaimed Spanish artist, Jaume Plensa, has constructed several large scale sculptures at Cheekwood titled the 'Human Landscape'. My favorite was the large stone sculpture called 'Laura With A Bun' which sits at the entrance of the botanical gardens. This 23 foot tall cast-iron sculpture was based on an individual portrait. Jaume Plensa is known for his ability to use a specific individual to express universal traits in a grand scale.

The second sculpture is 'Awilda and Irma' and also continues Jaume Plensa's use of a portrait as a starting point for the creation of a piece of work. This sculpture is a more open work using stainless steel mesh allowing the light and the surrounding landscape to be a part of the work. Plensa constructed these sculptures in a pond to accentuate the relationship between land, water, light and air and the work itself. You have to admit that this is definitely not the normal type of sculpture you see outdoors. There are evenings in October when the gardens is open in the evening. I plan to visit one evening to view the sculptures lit up.

This last image is a sculpture called 'The Soul of Words I and II'. It is comprised of two painted stainless steel figures, shaped by symbols and letters from eight different alphabets, set upon a collection of white river stones. This work invites the viewer to imagine a conversation between the two figures and the human dialogue. There were several other sculptures I didn't make it to as well as several in the museum. Cheekwood is a fantastic place to visit and a perfect place for a photography outing. I met some great people today who were very serious about learning photography. Another outing is scheduled for Fall at Cheekwood. The gardens will be featuring 5,000 mums displayed throughout the garden landscapes. The Turner Seasons Garden will also feature Scarecrows created by different community groups situated along the pathway. I am really looking forward to photographing the mum display. I hope wherever you are on this holiday weekend the weather is a tad cooler than here in Tennessee. I am anxious for Fall weather to cool things down here. I'll be back soon. ENJOY!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beautiful Fall Creek Falls

Just outside of Nashville, about an hour's drive east, sits the rugged Cumberland Plateau. The plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau in the Appalachian Mountains. It stretches in eastern Tennessee from Alabama all the way to northern Kentucky and rises over 1000 feet above the region around it. To say it is a waterfall lover's 'paradise' is putting it mildly. A few of the major waterfalls in the area include Fall Creek Falls, Rock Island Falls, Cummins Falls and Burgess Falls.

The largest and most visited state park in Tennessee is Fall Creek Falls State Park. I spent an afternoon at the park photographing the infamous 256 foot Fall Creek Falls which is the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Fall Creek State Park has numerous waterfalls, cascades, gorges, streams and even a large lake. There is also an inn with a restaurant and an outfitters shop and general store in the park.

In Fall Creek Falls State Park you can view Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades. I was able to take a hike to a suspension bridge and catch a glimpse of Piney Falls through the foliage. It was getting late in the day so I didn't drive to Cane Creek Falls. Photographing Fall Creek Falls with Fall foliage surrounding it is on tap for my next visit. Having forgotten my tripod clamp on this trip, these images were captured while my camera rested on the barrier at the overlook to minimize camera shake. I was surprised they came out as well as they did considering I didn't use my tripod.

This outcropping is situated to the left of Fall Creek Falls at the overlook. You feel as though this beautiful gift of this spectacular waterfall is more than enough, and then you turn and see this gorgeous limestone outcropping jutting far out into the gorge. So beautiful.

This last image of the enormous gorge was taken along the drive through the park. What magnitude this gorge area is. It is amazing to think all of these gorges and waterfalls are situated within one state park, but it's true. This was my first adventure to the Cumberland Plateau, but definitely not my last. What a way to spend an afternoon. There were areas within the park especially around the gorges that reminded me of the Smoky Mountains. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Water Lily, Bernheim Arboretum

There were several white Water Lilies gracing the pond that sits in front of the Pavilion at Bernheim on Sunday.

I have posted a few images recently of Water Lilies at Murfree Spring Wetlands, but couldn't resist one more photo as the Water Lilies at Bernheim were gorgeous. ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dog Days, Bernheim Arboretum

Summer is winding down here in Mid America. Already there is a chill in the air at night. As I headed out of Louisville this past weekend, I stopped for a brief visit at Bernheim.

Many of Summer's blooms have already waned, but there were still a few flowers hanging on all around the Pavilion. Bumble Bees were swarming a long row of bushes along the walkway leading away from the Pavilion. Supposedly, this is the Seven Son flower. I don't remember seeing it in bloom in Summers' past. The Bumble Bees were all over the blooms like maniacs.

My niece's wedding went off without a hitch. The newlyweds are in Jamaica this week on their Honeymoon. Fortunately, Hurricane Danny hasn't posed a threat. And I don't believe the hurricane that's tracking right behind Danny will either as it seems to be taking the same path as Danny and will no doubt head up the Eastern seaboard. Hope you are having a great week. It's been in the mid eighties here in Nashville this week with very low humidity and I am so very, very grateful. I'm also off deadline and hoping to get out later this week and take a few more images. ENJOY!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Crimson Phalaenopsis

There are so many gorgeous Phalaenopses blooming at Opryland Hotel that there were almost too many to photograph. But I tried!

This beautiful deep crimson Phaelaenopsis had to be one of my favorites. There was only the one that I noticed in the Cascades Canopy, but one was all it took.

It has been a very busy two weeks. I am on deadline with the magazine and readying myself for a trip back home to Louisville this weekend to attend a wedding. I haven't been home in almost six months. I am anxious to see my two sisters and their families. And seriously, aren't weddings fun. Especially when all one has to do is show up looking all scrubbed and coufed. Perhaps I will capture a few wedding images to share. And if all goes as planned I want to make a stop on the way back to Nashville at Bernheim. ENJOY!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Water Lilies, Murfree Spring Wetlands

There's a change in the air. Can you feel it. Here in the South cooler weather is finding its way into our daylight hours, while evenings begin to shorten and a coolness envelopes the night air. I will welcome Fall as it grows closer. Summer's dog days of heat will soon vanish replaced with a change of season. Emerging colors of crimson, orange and various hues of yellow will brighten the landscape.

Fall pumpkins already grace the local markets. Soon Fall decorations in every shape and size will follow. Pumpkins, gourds and bittersweet, along with scarecrows, stacks of corn, harvest moons and pumpkin rides. After a record setting heat this Summer, I am eager for the change in the season.

Leaving the Sunflowers at Batey Farms after a brief stop, I drove over to visit the wetlands, just as the rain was diminishing. The Water Lilies were turned in for the evening. The humidity was heavy. A lone female Wood Duck was milling around in the swamp picking through the pond weeds. I would have captured a better image so I could share, but my long lens was at home. ENJOY!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Simple Sunflower

Is there anything more gorgeous than a beautiful yellow Sunflower?

Despite the raindrops, I captured a few more images of the Sunflowers at Batey Farms today. Some of the Sunflowers were fading and others hung over from the rain. But all in all, it was still a beautiful sight. ENJOY!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sunflowers, Batey Farms

After spending the afternoon leading a great group of folks on our first outing together at Murfree Spring Wetlands, I stopped to grab a bite to eat at Parthenon Grille in Murfreesboro. I chose to sit at a table next to the bar. I struck up a conversation with a young couple sitting at the bar about the outdoors. They mentioned their 14 foot Sunflowers they had planted this year. After showing me a photo of just what they were describing, I realized these had to be the tallest Sunflowers I had ever seen in my life. I asked them if they knew of any Sunflower fields close by.

These beautiful images are just a few close ups of the Sunflowers I captured upon following the couple's directions to what has to be the most gorgeous Sunflower field I have ever laid eyes on. Seriously, words could not describe it. Batey Farms decided to plant what has to be at least 50 acres of Sunflowers. It was surreal to pull up and see this enormous field of Sunflowers that seemingly went on forever right before me.

I wasn't sure who to thank more, the couple at the bar, or the Batey Family for planting such a gorgeous plot of Sunflowers. As a side note, I saw more tripods floating around in that field of Sunflowers than I think I will ever see again in my lifetime, and who could blame them. I want to go back to capture some images when the light isn't quite so harsh but it will have to be quick or the Sunflowers will be gone. Thankfully, the temperatures weren't in the mid 90's as they have been for weeks. So it made for a pretty good day to be outdoors in the sun. ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Purple Phalaenopsis

Another view of one of the more colorful Phalaenopsis Orchids or 'Moth' Orchids currently blooming at the Opryland Hotel last weekend.

For those of you wanting to see some of the photos of the hotel itself, I will share some images of the Delta Islands canopy soon. The Delta Islands canopy was the most diverse area in the hotel with shops, restaurants, cascading waterfalls and a river running through it where you could grab a leisurely pagoda ride. Back soon. ENJOY!