Maybe the GPS Knows Best


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Oct 4, 2011
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The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
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Took the day off Friday and went on a little trip; I've been wanting to head south a little ways and check out a couple of areas down close to Chattanooga. First stop was to be the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge; I've heard that there's not much there through the spring and summer, after the last of the sandhill cranes leave in February. But I thought I'd check it out, then maybe head to the Yuchi refuge on the way home if Hiwassee turned out to be a bust. GPS got me in the VICINITY of the Hiwassee Refuge but then it got me lost. At one point, I decided I was going to try going a little further down the road the GPS had directed me down, just to see if I'd missed something. Didn't get far before seeing a sign "Road Ends Ahead." Odd...not a Dead End sign, but a "Road Ends" sign. Drove through a thickly wooded area, maybe 200 yards, and out into a clearing, where, sure enough, there was no more road! Just water. Water everywhere. Fortunately, there was an area at the side of the road for about 6 cars to park; otherwise, I would have had to back up down that road, because it was too narrow to turn around on the road itself. So, I pulled in to a parking space and started to back up and leave...then I saw it.

An osprey nest. RIGHT next to the end of the road. It was out in the water, completely submerged, but only about 10-15 feet from the edge of the road, and the top of the pole was also probably just about 10-15 feet above the road. Maybe not even that high. If I'd had a 12-ft. ladder, I could have climbed up and looked IN to the nest.

I never made it to the Yuchi refuge. Maybe next time. I just sat and watched these ospreys, and got the best photos of one I've managed so far. At some point, another photographer showed up and joined me. She was local and told me that over the winter, something happened to their nest; she'd gone by in January and it was no longer there, just completely gone. So, when she came back in March, she was pleasantly surprised to find them rebuilding it, right back on the same pole.

I only wish they'd had babies already!! Might just have to make the drive back down at some point...

More pictures on my flickr, and still have more to process, but I think these are just about the best (or at least my favorites...)
EDIT: It was pointed out that these were slightly underexposed. I went back and looked at the raw files--they weren't actually underexposed, *I* decided they were too bright and brought the exposure DOWN on them. After doing an edit on the last one and posting the new version, I realized that I should never have reduced the exposure on them in the first place. So, I've edited all of them and reposted a new version. So, if you'd looked at them before, and suddenly they look a little different, that's why. :D

1. Papa Osprey returns with a fish

May31_2495editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

2. Who YOU lookin' at?

May31_2535editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

3. I hate that I missed this shot! After eating the fish, Papa stayed on the nest and Mama went off for more nesting material. She wasn't gone long at all--her return surprised BOTH of us!

May31_2569editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

4. It was a little windy, can you tell? :D

May31_2592editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

5. ONE of my favorite shots from the day

May31_2560editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

6. Probably my *favorite* (EDIT: I've left this one as originally posted here, since I posted the edited version in a separate comment)

May31_2740editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

As always, C&C, general comments and witty banter are encouraged and appreciated.
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Great stuff Sharon. Love the last one, they are all great.
Some really great stuff ! Love the last one most !
Nominated for POTM!

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Cool shots, but they all look flat and underexposed.
Wow these are great.Good thing you did not floor it in reverse down the narrow road.
Nice shootin'. I love #1 and #4 the best personally.

Thanks, all! This was definitely the best I've gotten, so far, and mostly, it was just FUN to watch them so close!

Nominated for POTM!


WOW! :shock: Thanks, Charlie!! That makes my day, possibly my whole week! :hug::
Thanks, all! This was definitely the best I've gotten, so far, and mostly, it was just FUN to watch them so close!

Nominated for POTM!

WOW! :shock: Thanks, Charlie!! That makes my day, possibly my whole week! :hug::

You deserve it, Sharon! Or it wouldn't have happened! ;) lol!
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I said it on flickr, but wooo hoo!!! way to go.. Nice story too...
Just looked at them all again. I want to title #4 "Dear, do you think they know what we've been doing?" ;-)


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