Friday, November 17, 2017

Today's Catch!

In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would get close enough to get a decent image of an American White Pelican. They tend to be very, very shy. For several days now, however, these beautiful birds have been roosting on an old dead tree on Old Hickory Lake. There are about eight or ten of them hanging out right across from my place this week and I am loving every minute of it.

These large aquatic soaring birds breed in interior North American and overwinter in Central and South American. They eat fish, carp, chubs, catfish, yellow perch and jack fish. Now if I can just get a nice shot of them flying across the lake, my desire to photograph the American White Pelican would be satiated. Have a great weekend all. ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

American White Pelicans, Old Hickory Lake

Imagine my surprise today to find American White Pelicans roosting on an old dead tree on Old Hickory Lake. I was about to turn into my complex when I looked off to the left and saw a whole lot of white in the middle of the lake. I knew it wasn't Great White Egrets as it was just too much white. I pulled into the tiny parking lot on the left next to the lake and got out to investigate.

I had read on the Birding News website which you can find at this link, Birding ABA, that the Pelicans were migrating South and had been seen at various wildlife refuges East and West of Nashville, albeit several hundred miles away. Apparently, these guys decided to make a stop over on the lake and roost for the evening. One by one they eventually congregated together, as a few of them were still swimming towards the group as I spotted them. My guess is they had just landed within the last half hour. What a treat. ENJOY!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Fall Forest Colors

We have had very little Fall weather here in Tennessee. It seemed we only had a few days of real Fall feeling weather and then it turned cold and has been that way since. Many areas of the States have significant snowfall on the ground. I heard on the news there are more snowstorms coming for the northern states. I wanted to offer a bit of Fall inspiration today. I love the yellows and oranges and even reds in this image. Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Even more inconceivable is that I have been planning when to put up Christmas decorations. Are you ready for the hustle and bustle of the Holidays? ENJOY!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Beautiful Cade's Cove

It has been many years since I had stopped at Cable Mill in the farthest corner of Cade's Cove, but I decided on this trip to pay a visit.

Along the road to Cable Mill, I happened upon several Deer grazing in the fields. Tourists were everywhere photographing them. Several of the Bucks attempted to play fight, but I didn't capture it.

I love to watch the Deer grazing. It's even more fun to try and get good images of them. It looks like these guys are keeping a close eye on all of us photographers too.

John Cable Gristmill was built back in the late 1800's and, along with five or six other structures, moved to the far end of Cade's Cove where the national park also built a Visitors Center in a log cabin style. The gristmill is barely visible in this image, but it's there.

It had been at least fifteen years since I had stopped at Cable Mill. There was one yellow Maple tree in its Fall regalia. I wished I could have brought it home with me. It was beautiful. Sorry for the construction work in this photo, but I still wanted to share it.

The sun was shining making the leaves on this Persimmon tree really pop. While I was capturing this image, people kept getting into my shots. I just kept shooting around them. I did something different this trip. I kept a mental note of all the license plates from different states that I saw during the time in the park. When I left I was up to 21 different states. All of the Southeast and mid Atlantic states were covered and a few Northeast and Midwest states were represented. The farthest state from the park I happened upon was from Oregon. Gads what a drive. ENJOY!

Linking to Foodie Friday & Everything Else

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Blue Smoke Across the Mountains

As I looked out across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last week a sense of nostalgia overtook me. I saw the unmistakable blue smoke that is the trademark of the Smokies. That mist lingers above the mountain range from the rain forest. It still seems odd to me, even now, to think of the Smokies as a rain forest, but in fact, it is.

Most of the color has gone from the trees, but I like the spark of yellow from the one tree that seems to be holding on. I had a darker image planned, but lightened the shadows to bring out the trees. I like the detail. Fall has come late to Tennessee and parts South. Did you hear this was the hottest Summer on record for the United States. With all of the wildfires and drought we have had over the past 18 months throughout all of the United States, I can see why. Back soon. ENJOY!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Beautiful Japanese Maple Tree

As I drove along the roadways in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last week, I happened upon this gorgeous red Japanese Maple tree. I have such a time identifying trees. If it's not Maple or Oak or Birch, I probably will guess wrong the first time.

I thought this tree might be an American Sweetgum or a Sycamore, but I believe it's a Japanese Maple tree. There are so many different species of trees in the Smokies, I couldn't begin to name them all. The one thing I didn't see much of in the park this year were the Red Maple trees. So sad. I can always hope for better color next year. Hope your week is off to a great start. ENJOY!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Landscape, Great Smoky Mountains

In the Smokies this year, there is a subdued color pattern. No doubt a byproduct of the slightly dryer conditions over the past few months. Leaves are gone from higher elevations with peak colors in middle elevations in the mountains and on the roadways. Lower elevations are a variation of color pattern depending on where you are in the park with a lot of brown color mixed in. It's still evident where the wildfires impacted the mountains and the lower elevations around Gatlinburg.

Capturing images of the mountain ranges is one of my favorite things to do here. The cloud cover was heavy on this morning dampening the vivid colors. However, I managed to snap this shot just as the light was peaking through the clouds. There's still a good deal of green in this shot, as it's the lower portion of the mountain range just outside of Gatlinburg, just as you are gaining elevation in the park. This was taken with my 55 mm which I normally don't bring along. I wanted to get more of a landscape of the mountain ranges. As I went to snap this image I noticed the stone wall in the bottom left and decided it could stay. I really like it. Back soon. ENJOY!

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Mountains Are Calling

Soon I will make my annual sojourn to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this Fall. A place of such natural beauty with forests and valleys and rivers. I captured these images many, many years ago with a very different camera. These were taken with a Pentax 1000 manual camera using Fuji Nokia slide film. Somehow, against all odds, I had set out to learn to take photographs using this manual camera given to me by a dear friend years before. Here are some of the best photos of the park I captured using this mode of photography. I guess you could say I mastered it as best I could.

On this particular visit I had driven over the mountain and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway quite a ways before turning back to the park. On my way back over the mountain I stopped at Morton's Overlook late in the day and waited about a half hour to capture this sunset. The only sunset I have ever captured I can even say I'm remotely proud of.

I had also paid a visit to Cade's Cove during that same trip and was lucky to capture these two White Tailed Deer bucks going head to head in a field right off the entrance to the park. They weren't actually fighting. They were only sparring. Still it was a sight that stopped traffic. I'm certain I've posted these images before, but probably back in 2009 or 2010. Remember I said they were taken from many years back. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I might try to get to Cheekwood tomorrow. The only thing holding me back will be 50 degree temperatures. Perhaps. ENJOY!