Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Pelican Brief

I know what you're thinking. I used a play on words. Well, you would be right. You see I spent a brief time today photographing the beautiful American White Pelicans that finally made their way back to Old Hickory Lake along the peninsula where I live. There are two peninsulas in Hendersonville where the lake runs up both sides of those peninsulas for several miles.

In this first image, the late day sun was shining right on the Pelicans as they floated along the lake. This is one of the best images I have ever gotten of the American White Pelicans. I wished there had been a little more light but I like the way the sun is shining on the birds.

It's not easy photographing these birds on Old Hickory Lake as most of the background is going to be the back yards and docks from the houses directly across the lake. This image seemed somewhat noise free for the most part. Basically, there were Pelicans up and down the entire lake along this peninsula everywhere. I suppose you could say they have made themselves at home here on the lake.

Leaving the Pelicans, I ran errands, and afterwards before going home, I stopped for a few more minutes to snap photos of the birds. The sun was shining a tad more too. The wind had picked up making the water choppy, but I captured a couple more photos in spite of it.

We started out in Tennessee this week with sub zero temperatures. It was minus 1 degree last Sunday night. Monday brought an ice storm and later in the day snow. We averaged around 2-3 inches total with about an eighth of an inch of ice under it. It made for hazardous driving and tons of school closings. Fast forward one week to today. It is 65 degrees and balmy. The flu is ravaging every state across the U.S. and Canada too. This H1N2 strain is the worst one and apparently that's what most people are getting. I hope wherever you are you are warm and healthy and the sun is shining brightly. I'll be back with a few Duck images in a few days. Have a great week. ENJOY!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Walking on Water

Walking on water, this Great Blue Heron and many other shorebirds are standing on top of Old Hickory Lake, after a frigid sub zero week of temperatures, left the surface frozen.

Of course, as you walk on water, you run the risk of slipping. Sorry for the blur, but when you walk on water, you slip and things get a little blurry.

Today is the first day the temperatures climbed out of the 20's and actually made it into the low 40's. I ventured out briefly. There are temperatures predicted to be in the 60's mid week. First, however, an ice storm is predicted for the Monday morning commute. Ahhh, Winter throwing everything it can possibly throw at us. Stay warm, stay safe. ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Frigid 'New Year'

The start of a New Year has brought with it frigid, sub zero temperatures. A 'bomb cyclone' as the meteorologists term it is making its way up the Eastern seaboard tonight with 60 mile an hour winds and snow and ice and sleet. This frigid weather immediately took me back to a visit I made almost a decade ago in January to Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio. I watched and waited for the perfect opportunity when frigid cold and snow would leave an ethereal landscape of white. Then I set out to photograph the frozen waterfalls in Hocking Hills.

My favorite image was of the Upper Falls of Old Man's Cave. A twisting path lead down to the waterfall with a thin layer of snow that had blanketed the region the night before. The path was slippery as the snow had covered the remains of an ice storm earlier that week. Temperatures were in the mid 20's so I drove to Walmart in Logan and bought thicker gloves to wear. My North Face jacket, wool scarf,  thick gloves, boots and jeans were just enough to achieve my goal against the cold. It was simply stunning to see huge frozen icicles hanging from what I later learned was Blackhand Sandstone cliffs. I fell straight down on my bum once making my way to the base of the falls. Here's an excerpt about Old Man's Cave.

Old Man's Cave derives its name from the hermit, Richard Rowe, who lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. His family moved to the Ohio River Valley around 1796 from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee to establish a trading post. He and his two dogs traveled through Ohio along the Scioto River in search of game. On one side trip up Salt Creek, he found the Hocking Region. Rowe lived out his life in the area and is buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave.

This next image is the very frozen over Middle Falls of Old Man's Cave with barely a sliver of water falling over. I struggled to get a decent vantage point to snap this image. I finally gave up and snapped this image and moved on. Sadly though, I couldn't reach the Lower Falls. The stairway down was a solid sheet of ice. You couldn't get down and you would never get back up. There is also an Upper and Lower Gorge between the different falls which I didn't photograph. The entire length of the trail to these falls and gorges is approximately a mile.

Thanks for coming along with me on this trip back in time. I would love to be there right now taking new images in various perspectives having learned so much more about photographing waterfalls since that day. Stay warm and bundle up if you go out of doors. Thoughts of warm mittens, hot cocoa and warm bowls of soup come to mind as I put up this post. ENJOY!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year In Review

As I look back at 2017, I found a harsh political climate, not to mention a climate that left us with hurricanes in the South and wildfires in the West. We saw more terrorism in many states, even in my own. Demonstrations plagued our cities, big and small. We are a divided nation it seems. Then came a giant leap in the women's, and even human rights movement. With the unearthing of sexual harassment, this brought to bear one's credibility. With it came destroyed careers, shattered lives and broken families. And we are left in shock and disbelief in this the supposed greatest nation in the world.

In my world, however small, I awoke each day with new hope of capturing Mother Nature in all her splendor and beauty. As best my mind's eye could focus through the lens in my Nikon, I snapped image after image at every twist and turn on the road I traveled. I long for more, but this year ends on this day and I am left wanting.

The year 2018 will bring more opportunities and more images, with different settings and beautiful scenery. I hope to bring you, my friends and followers, who so graciously compliment me as I post, more of what is beautiful in this world. Thank you for all of your well wishes. I will cherish them always. I leave you with my very best images I brought up from the depths of my archives of this year 2017. 

I pray all that is wrong in this world will be overshadowed by all that is right in this New Year. Whatever climate we find ourselves in, be it political, weather or controversial, I hope you will look to Mother Nature for the beauty and splendor in our world. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Linking to Foodie Friday and Everything Else and Metamorphosis Monday

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Best of Winter Birding

There are so many wonderful opportunities to snap bird photos during the Winter months. As I was cruising my archive, I noticed a trend. Many of my best bird images were taken during the Winter months. These images are from the states of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. Most were taken in the past five years. Birding spots include Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest and the Lexington Reservoir in Kentucky, to three popular lakes in Greater Nashville, Radnor Lake, Percy Priest Lake, and of course, Old Hickory Lake. There's even an image of a Sandhill Crane captured at Ewing Bottoms, in south central Indiana, on a sunny Winter's day. I'll be making my annual pilgrimage to Louisville soon and wanted to share another Winter post before I left. I hope you are having a Happy Holiday and you are getting ready for a very Merry Christmas. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I'll try to post once more before the big day. MERRY CHRISTMAS!