Day Trip To Reelfoot Lake Tennessee

Jan302015BaldEagleInSweetGumTreeNest.

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Jan302015BaldEagleInNestInSweetGumTree.

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Jan302015BaldEagleInCypressTreeOnReelfootLake.

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Jan302015DucksFlyingReelfootLake.

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Jan302015DuckFlyingReelfootLake.

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Jan302015MallardFemaleBathing.

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Jan302015MallardMaleBathing.

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Jan302015BaldEagleJuvenileFlyOver.

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Jan302015BatFlying.

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Coot Running On Water And Bald Eagle Nest Restoration

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Jan292015BaldEagleCarryingGrassToTheNest.

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Jan292015BaldEagleHeadAboveNest.

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Jan292015BaldEagleFlyingThroughPinesWithGrass.

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Jan292015BaldEagleFlyingUpThroughPinesGrassTrailingLanding

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First Day Back Home Mostly Eagles

Jan282015BaldEagleMaturingPerchedIt is always good to get back home. During winter I do not have a lot to do on the farm. The gals do the chores of feeding and caring for the goats. It is to early to start any garden work. So I rambled around the area to see what the eagles were doing. There are still a few along the Tennessee River below Kentucky Dam, but with the dams not spilling any water the feeding action was nearly non- existent. Checking one of the local eagles nest one of the eagles worked on the nest bringing a clump of grass. Then flying out and returning with a couple sticks and arranging them in the nest. The eagles seem to be adding a lot to one side of the nest right now. The other side seemed to be slumping last year. That makes me wonder about the intelligence required of birds to make a nest balanced? I also wondered why it appeared that only the male was there working on the nest? I can not recall a time when working on the nest that both eagles were not there.

In the afternoon I went over to Barkley Dam and found a few eagles there. Fellow eagle watcher Ron had told me about a small nest that was hawk size that someone told him they saw a pair of eagles in. I found the location and took a long distance photo seeing one maturing eagle perched beside the small nest. The nest I would guess left over by another bird, hawk, heron, owl? The tree and location of the nest does not look substantial enough to hold an eagles nest. Then an adult eagle flew out of the nest. I had not seen it through the viewfinder. I moved closer and the maturing bird flew off then returned and perched in a tree next to the nest. Interesting behavior, we will have to check this spot now and again to see what is going on. My thoughts is that the small nest is a convenient resting spot. Easy to fly in to and comfortable to rest in. The adult eagle that flew out was laying down. That about wrapped up my two visits around the river and a couple bays on the lakes. I did not see any American White Pelicans. Last year they began regularly using the Barkley Dam tailwaters in February.

On a side note I spotted a few unusual birds but was unable to get a good photo. I saw a Hairy Woodpecker, a few Yellow Rumped Warblers, and a few Brown Headed Nuthatches. We are supposed to have a little sunshine today, that will trigger thoughts of spring.

A friend had said he would take a few of us to Reelfoot Lake in Northwestern Tennessee a while back. If things work out that day adventure may happen Thursday. Reelfoot is a great place to visit. The cypress tree choked lake a haven for eagles in the winter along with ducks, geese, and pelicans……….

Jan282015BaldEagleFlyingWithStick.

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Jan282015HawkDivingOutOfTreeBellyView.

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Jan282015RedShoulderedHawkJuvenilePerched

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Small Adventures Enhance Life

Jan262015NightSkyFromPineMountainKentuckyThe small adventures enhance life. For me it is often a simple walk in the morning.

Jan262015SunriseA chance to be enthralled by a colorful sunrise.

Jan262015KellyAndKrisWalkingInTheRainIn a way we are always alone in what an adventure means to us. The pieces of the experience we hold dear and cling to our memory. This past weekend the “Little Woman” and I ventured to Pine Mountain State Resort Park in South Eastern Kentucky. An area where Daniel Boone came through the Cumberland Gap and began the exploration of Kentucky. We shared our adventure this weekend which included a photography contest with our son and his girlfriend. Mother Nature provided us with a dukes mixture of weather to enliven our good time. Steady rain on Friday changed to snow over night. This allowed us to wake to a fresh new world. Snow is an instant change of scenery. Then in the afternoon the sun broke through the clouds melting the snow faster than it arrived.

Jan262015LodgeThe lodge at Pine Mountain has a fantastic overlook on the backside of the layered western foothills of the Appalachians.

Jan262015LodgeFireplaceRoomPineMountainThis was one of my “Little Woman’s” entries in the photo contest. A capture of the fireplace room in the lodge.

Jan262015ElkHeadAtPineMountainLodgeThe elk head that hangs above the mantle a state record for Kentucky when harvested. Yes, once again elk roam in eastern Kentucky. A successful restoration project by the Kentucky fish and wildlife department.

Jan262015PreDawnSnowPineMountainWe enjoy the balconies of the rooms at many of the Kentucky State Resort Parks. The views a pleasure for the eye. I don’t often photograph at night or use a tripod, yet the views inspire me to do the work this style of photography requires. Looking forward to the next day’s adventure at any of the parks has me up well before daylight,  chomping at the bit.

Jan262015HoneymoonFallsIt does not have to be a chance to see an areas best waterfall I look forward to. It so often is the simple things. Forms of life so easy to walk past and fail to appreciate.

Jan262015FernThis macro capture of my wife’s maybe not a winner in the contest but a winner in my book.

Jan262015BeardedLichenNor was this capture of bearded lichen I entered a contest winner. I choose my favorites when entering these contests. My favorites are usually the captures that after many failures I feel finally captured the look and feel of the subject.

Jan262015WaterFlyClearCreekWhen we are at Pine Mountain we always end up walking the trail along Clear Creek that flows along the base of the mountain. The rush and roar of the stream so delightful to the ear that my gal recorded a snippet of it with her phone. On occasion she would stop and play it for us taking us back again for a few seconds.

Jan262015HollyBerriesIn one stretch along the creek a patch of Holly lines the bank. The color of the berries and shape of the leaves captivating in the pouring rain.

Jan262015SnowOnHemlockThe next day it was snow capped branches that caught my eye near the same location.

Jan262015RedBelliedWoodpeckerOf course for me no adventure is complete without a few bird sightings. In this shot the snow scattered on the lichen on the tree as pleasant as the striking red cap on the Red Bellied Woodpecker.

Jan262015TuftedTitmouseIf I remain still enough a bird will often light near me and give me the look over. I am pretty sure his look is of curiosity and not the same as my appreciation of the titmouse’s charming splendor of subtle hues in its feathering. The look of his tuft, dark eyes, and blue gray feet.

Jan262015WaterCascadingCumberlandGap2On Sunday morning the contest was over and we all wandered down to the town of Cumberland Gap. I enjoy the many cascades of water that tumble down the mountain.

Jan262015WaterCascadingCumberlandGapThe cascades with their tiny pools and moss covered rocks a pleasure to behold.

Jan262015BarnWithLightAll adventures come to an end but on this trip we did not head straight home. We drove north for a visit to kin as they say in Kentucky. Sharing a meal, an evening of chat, and a chance to recall past adventures with my brother and sister in law at their new home in the mountains. We waited until daylight to head towards home. The north wind blew in as we slept. The dropping temps brought with it a light snow that coated the barns that line the road in the valley of the mountain. We very easily could have spent the morning there photographing the snow covered backs of the barns, cattle, horses and donkeys we passed.

Jan262015SandhillCraneFlyingWingsDownThe vision of past adventures and the sounds we recalled of them forced us on. We had a planned stop by Cecilia Kentucky to see if the Sandhill Cranes were there. This shot I captured while my wife drove fast along the road trying to keep pace with a few cranes shifting fields.

Jan262015SandhillCranesThreeFlyingThe Sandhill’s seem to do a lot of shifting around here. Feeding a while in the corn stubble then off they go to alight again not far away.

Jan262015SandhillCranesLandingIt is after hunting season so the cranes are a bit human shy. It won’t be long until they will be doing their breeding dance a little farther north in the Ewing Bottoms in Indiana.

Jan262015SandhillCraneFlyingWingsSpreadWow, the huge size and magical sound these birds make never fail to captivate us. So much this time that we forgot to turn off the headlights for the couple hours we spent watching. Last journey we had a flat tire. This time a dead battery delayed us. In my younger days these troubles would have spoiled adventures for me. Age has taught me it all works out in the end. Go ahead and enjoy the wonder of nature around you. I walked to the edge of the road with jumper cables in hand and the third vehicle that passed were a couple good old boys in a pick up pulling a trailer. They stopped, gave us a jump and we all smiled with the appreciation of a helping hand as we all departed for home……………….

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Foggy To Clear Wonderful Morning Outdoors

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The last day for a while at home was wonderful. I love foggy mornings and the river provided. Then a visit to an eagles nest was superb. The timing was great, the eagles arrived shortly after getting to the nest site. The pair worked on the nest for an hour then left to be seen heading skyward soaring together. It was one of those days when I was on. Sort of in a zone choosing camera settings to the changing light conditions. I loaded up this post with pics I felt were quality and captured the morning. We will be away until next week. I will not post until our return, which will be Monday or Tuesday. May your days be as blessed as mine was today with the wonder nature provides. Be back soon………………….

Jan222015BaldEaglePerchedInTheFog.

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Jan222015FoggySunriseBelowKentuckyDam.

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Jan222015SunriseBelowKentuckyDam.

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