Image #193 – Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) - Slate colored

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) – Slate colored

The snow and clear, arctic air have combined to give absolutely gorgeous lighting for my bird shots. This Slate-colored junco has some beautiful highlight on his brilliantly white underside and all thanks to the snow. Had I walked outside and placed a spotlight I could not have done it better. ❧

Image #192 – Practical or Greedy?

Female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

I think practical.  The bird seems young and it is probably her first snow fall so why not take as many seeds as the beak will hold?  ❧

Image #191 – Snow Event

Image #191(1)We had snow today, at least three inches. It started in the early morning and lasted all day with varying degrees of intensity. I was delighted since it was what I had stayed for–winter.  Photographers want to record experiences and I wanted some pictures of winter. I’m not sure why. I hate the cold but, oddly, snow seems warm to me. Tango and I had a good walk in the early afternoon, up Potts Branch Road to Little Cove Rd.  The snow was coming down  steadily. It was quite lovely.Image #191(2)

Tango had never seen snow and he thought it was …well, who the heck knows what he thought?   He seemed to enjoy it. I could tell he was confused about smells. He would nuzzle his nose deep into the snow, trying to follow a scent. I worried a few times that he would topple over into one of the many creeks that was along our walk but he is too clever for that. In the end, as you can see, he was happy and, like me, enjoying the experience. ❧

Image #191

Image #190 – Bunny and Ellery

Image #190

Frequent readers may recall Image #180 from a few days ago. It featured my 93-year old cousin Bunny with her great grandson Winston. It is only fair to post a picture of Bunny with her other great grandchild, Ellery.   Two great grand babies in one year!  Ellery is the oldest, she was born about nine months ago. Winston followed about seven months later.  Bunny was able to connect with both of them and in reviewing the pictures tonight I was struck with how animated Bunny was during her encounters with these babies. The very old and the very young are similar in many ways. I wonder why we don’t combine their care into one facility? ❧

Image #189 – Dry Falls — Summer and Winter

Here’s another view of the Cullasaja River.  Yesterday’s post (#188 –  Cold, Cold, Cold) showed a peaceful portion of the river but it is more renown for its remarkable series of waterfalls, there are four major falls on a relatively short span of river and all can be seen from the highway that runs between Highlands and Franklin. In fact, the Cullasaja River is solely contained in Macon County.  It spills out of the mountains near Highlands and then empties into the Little Tennessee River near Franklin.  Eventually the water makes its way to the Mississippi River after passing through the Little Tennessee, the Tennessee, and the Ohio Rivers.

This post gives you two very different views of the rather oddly named Dry Falls. There is certainly plenty of water so I was unclear as to why it is called Dry Falls but learned it is because you can walk behind the falls and remain relatively dry — most of the time.

On Friday no one was walking under the falls. The ice was too severe, the way too treacherous.  Quite a contrast to the second photo of the very same falls taken last July. People strolled leisurely under the falls in the warm summer day. ❧Image #189

Image #189(1)

Image #188 – Cold, cold, cold

Image #1881

My friend Bonnie on the Cullasaja River.  Don’t let the sun fool you. It was cold!

Cullasaja means “honey locust place” in the Cherokee language. It runs through a gorge that has multiple waterfalls and scenic overlooks. The gorge is part of the trail followed by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto in 1540. ❧

#187 – Got Your Back

Image #187This sparrow, I think it is a White-crowned Sparrow, landed on the handrail of the deck near my gargoyle. During this frigid weather, that has seized most of the nation, the birds are flocking to my feeders in great numbers.  Normally there are waves of birds who will all fly off at once and leave the feeders empty for a while. Now, however, it seems the feeders always have visitors. Some look very ragged and I wonder if they will make it through the night. The wonder is that any of them make it through this cold. ❧