Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Sun

Americans all across our great United States are outdoors right now looking at a partial or total eclipse of the Sun. At 1:27 pm today, I viewed a total solar eclipse of the Sun here in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Needless to say, these photos do not do it justice.

There are no words to describe this event other than to say it was out of this world. Sorry for the pun. ENJOY!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

National Lighthouse Day

August 7th was National Lighthouse Day! Paying homage to these beautiful rustic structures of by gone days,
I wanted to share a few of the lighthouses I have photographed over the years from my travels around the Eastern United States.
Lighthouses are very much like old barns. They are aged by time, cherished by all and photographed by many.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Down East Maine, Mt. Desert Island, Maine

Big Red Lighthouse, Lake Michigan, Holland, Michigan

Hooper Straight Lighthouse, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland

Pumpkin Island Lighthouse, Eggmoggin Reach, Little Deer Isle, Maine

Point Betsie Lighthouse, Lake Michigan, Frankfurt, Michigan

Brant Point Lighthouse, Nantucket Harbor, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Sankaty Head Lighthouse, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Assateague Light, Assateague National Seashore, Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Grand Haven South Pierhead Inner Light, Lake Michigan, Grand Haven, Michigan

Did you know Lake Michigan is dotted with lighthouses far and wide. What a discovery as I visited many of the quaint little towns that dot the landscape along western Michigan's lake shore.

On another trip, I visited beautiful Cape Cod, where I took a ferry ride to Nantucket Island. Needless to say, I happened upon two lighthouses. My favorite was Brant Point Lighthouse which greets you as you enter Nantucket Harbor.

On a week long trek hob knobbing around Mid Coast and Down East Maine, in beautiful New England, I was fortunate enough to capture a few images of the famous, and oft photographed, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. This beautiful lighthouse sits on the tip of Mt. Desert Island in Down East Maine.

It bears mentioning I came upon several beautiful lighthouse on a trip to two national seashores in Maryland and Virginia. On Chesapeake Bay, the maritime museum was so amazing as I walked around the grounds taking in old artifacts from days gone by. But the real highlight was capturing the Hooper Straight Lighthouse which sits on the museum's grounds next to the bay. I had seen this unusual lighthouse displayed in numerous tourism brochures. Yet, I never thought I would ever get to photograph it. But on this particular day it was right there for the snapping.

I truly love photographing lighthouses. I hope you enjoyed this trip back in time and I can't help but wonder if you have a favorite of all the lighthouses I have captured. Do tell. ENJOY!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Up Close With A Turk's Cap Lily

On the road to Clingman's Dome, which leads to the highest elevation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, if you look very closely you just might catch a glimpse of the beautiful Turk Cap's Lily. If you are very lucky, you will find a spot to pull off the road to photograph them as I did on my recent visit.

Before my trek to the Smokies, I had read on the national park's Facebook page that the Turk's Caps were in bloom. I immediately wanted to photograph them. I didn't think I'd actually get to. So imagine my surprise when I found them in bloom along the road up to the summit of Clingman's Dome. The Turk's Cap Lily bloom in Summer in the higher elevations of the park. Since I rarely visit the Smokies in Summer, I had never made their acquaintance until this trip.

Along the road to Clingman's Dome I only saw one clump of Turk's Caps, but on the way back down there were several. Luckily I found a spot or two to pull off and capture these images. Needless to say, I was in my glory. Oddly enough, I thought I might see these flowers blooming along the road up to Newfound Gap, as that is a higher elevation too, but I didn't. We are having an 80's kind of weekend here in Nashville with an occasional scattered thunderstorm. Could it be that the 90 degree days are behind us. Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the weekend and your weather is cooperating. ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Egrets, Egrets & More Egrets

Oddly enough, at the beginning of Spring Great Blue Herons seemed to occupy the majority of the nests at the Heron Rookery on Old Hickory Lake, along with a few Black Cormorants and Black Crowned Night Herons, and nary a Great White Egret. Fast forward to this week and it's all about the Great White Egrets. They were plentiful at the rookery.

The Egrets were busy flying in and out and in and out of the rookery. And at times creating havoc as they flew in. I'm guessing this guy didn't have clearance from the tower for this landing.

I love to photograph these gorgeous birds as they are so regal looking with their solid white physiques. Hope your week is going well. It's a balmy 81 with virtually no humidity tonight here in Tennessee and I am super happy about it. ENJOY!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Out of the Nest

The Black Crowned Night Heron juveniles were out of the nest when I visited the Heron Rookery on Old Hickory Lake today. This little guy was hanging out at the nearby boat dock with three other juveniles.

Sorry this image is so busy, but I just had to show you the other three juveniles hanging out on the boat dock. I wonder exactly when they begin to turn colors as adults. I'll have to look that up. Thankfully, I didn't have to get close to get this image as I had my long lens on my camera.

Later on one of the juveniles flew up into a nearby tree. The afternoon sun was getting low in the sky making for a really nice warm shot. I wished I could have been there when these little guys fledged the nest. All four of the juveniles looked to be a few months old at best. The parents were in the large Heron Rookery sitting on branches not far away and really didn't seem to care what the kiddos were up to. These last two weekends in Tennessee have been fantastic with temperatures in the mid eighties and lots of sunshine and blue skies. Oh, how I wished it would last. Hope you are having a great weekend. ENJOY!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fontana Lake View, Clingman's Dome

What a view from the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Looking out from Clingman's Dome, alt. 6,644 feet at the tip of the observation tower, you can see Fontana Lake in the distance. The forest around Clingman's Dome is a spruce-fir forest, but due to the cool, wet conditions here making it a coniferous rainforest. You notice the change almost immediately when you turn off the main road to make the drive up to the summit. You also notice the 10-20 degree drop in temperature.

Fontana Lake snakes its way through the valley below and is actually situated in eastern North Carolina. Clingman's Dome actually sets half in North Carolina and half in Tennessee. On a clear day you can see up to 100 miles and perhaps even seven states.

I snapped this photo with one of those beautiful Spruce Firs in the foreground. I just love these beautiful trees. The blue haze hung over the Smokies making for a beautiful blue hue. The weather here in middle Tennessee finally cooled off a bit and the sun gave us a beautiful weekend. Thank goodness for those cooler temperatures. What a sweltering July. Have a wonderful week. Back soon. ENJOY!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Ready for My Close Up Mr. DeMille

On the off chance I might see an odd bird of sorts, I stopped off this week at a tiny peninsula that juts out into Old Hickory Lake and is actually in Old Hickory. Old Hickory is on the opposite or south side of Old Hickory Lake just south of Hendersonville. Not a thing was stirring except for one lone Great Blue Heron who seemed content, visitors or not, to stand in the water right next to the edge of the parking lot and intently look out across the lake. I assumed he was ready for his closeup.

The Heron stood in the lake's shallow waters where the grasses were growing intently looking out at the lake. Fishing, no doubt. It was a cool 97 degrees today. I believe it was the hottest day of the year so far. UGH! Wouldn't it be great if it snowed one day during a heat wave. Sorry. I was out in the heat today working and I think it affected my brain. Stay cool all. ENJOY!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dragonfly Snaps

After my Sunflower photo session, I drove to Murfree Springs Wetlands in Murfreesboro. In spite of harsh light and heat, I walked around the boardwalk. Not much was stirring except an abundance of Dragonflies. I 'think' this is a Blue Dasher resting on a plant near the edge of the boardwalk. His wings are so beautiful glistening in the sunlight.

I eyed the edge of the boardwalk and spotted what I believe is an Eastern Pondhawk perched on a plant. I am not an expert when it comes to Dragonflies, but I do enjoy photographing them. I thought I would share one of the explanations I found for the origin of how the Dragonfly got it's name.

In old Romanian folklore, the dragonfly was actually a horse ridden by Saint George. St. George rid the mythical town of Silence of the dragon that lived in the town’s pond and poisoned the town. After wounding the dragon, he leashed the dragon and gave it to the town’s princess. Saint George’s horse became a giant flying insect when cursed by the devil. In the Romanian language, the word for dragonfly translates into Devil’s Horse or Devil’s fly. The Romanian word for devil is drac, which can also indicate dragon. In English, it translated to dragonfly.

The weekend is upon us and with yet more days of high heat and humidity. Today was 97 and I'm sure the heat index was in triple digits. There's no relief in sight either. Am I allowed to say I'm almost ready for Fall. Did I actually say that? Oops. Stay cool all. ENJOY!