Slider Turtle

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With all the warm weather we’ve been having the turtles are taking their rightful place. You can’t go to a river, creek or pond in the warm months without seeing turtles basking their cold blood in the sun. This guy is fortunate he has the log to himself, for now.

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Northern Shoveler in Flight

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Birds of Prey

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This Red-tailed hawk is positioned directly over the river. Looking up and down the river and the banks searching for a meal.

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Black Vulture

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These birds are the cleaners of the forest and the roadways. Thank goodness we have them. If you have ever been near one when they take to flight you can hear the power in their wings. One reason being is their wing span can reach to five feet.

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Nothing to do?

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Well if you know me that rarely happens. There is always something to do you just might not know if yet. Get in your car and hit the road. There is so much to see and it’s just waiting to be seen.

Sedum

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Do you have a rock wall where you can plug in some instant color? These plants are super durable living on almost no dirt. They require some sun but not necessarily full sun. These xeric plants are great for the hard to grow spots. They can take whatever mother nature throws at them even if its not much water and tons of heat. These just over wintered and they look great!

 

Sycamore Trees

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My last post was a close up of the ornamental fruit provided by the Sycamore tree. Here is a shot of the Stones River during the winter months. If you notice all the white trees lining the rivers edge, they are Sycamores. These trees love living on the waters edge. Their white bark is striking and they are towering trees that can grow to 175 feet tall. They definitely demand your attention.

A True Ornamental Tree

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This Sycamore tree looks as if someone has hung little ornaments on every branch. It definitely provides some winter interests however I imagine it causes a lot of extra raking in the spring.

Photo Bombed

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Okay who’s the dude trying to scare off the squirrel? Hackberries are starved for attention!

Snow Moon 2.10.17

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Tonight’s full moon had so much to see. Called a snow moon to delineate seasons by farmers. Pictured here as it rises you can see the earth shadow the dark blue colors close to the horizon. Directly above the blue colors the pinkish red color is called, the belt of Venus, nothing to do with the planet. It’s a reference to the fragmentation of light in that part of earth’s atmosphere. Below are some more captures from the moonrise.

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Lunar Eclipse 2.10.17

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Tonight’s moon featured a penumbral eclipse. It wasn’t an eclipse that was so obvious. It really just affected the north western tip. The dark area is the shadow of the earth cast onto the moon causing the eclipse. This occurs when the sun, earth and moon line up together.

Hellebore (Lenten Rose)

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Looking for a show stopper in the garden during January and February? These plants bloom from late December through March. The flowers actually will hang around to the middle of summer. They also produce several colors and reproduce easily. Every summer you can find ten to twenty seedlings sprouting beneath the plant just waiting to be relocated. We started with just a couple of plants and now have hundreds.

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Northern Shoveler

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These ducks are winter residents. They have a large spoon shaped bill for skimming the water. So many species of ducks just don’t look real.

Sunset 2.4.17

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Racoon

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The moment our eyes met. Well it wasn’t love at first site because as soon as he slid down this little embankment and saw me he did a 180 and ran off. I had spotted him walking along the river bank but he hadn’t seen me until he started towards the river. I was waiting for him as he moved through a little animal trail towards the rivers edge. You can see the surprise in his eyes. I loved that moment!

Magical Forest Floor

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Here in Tennessee it is definitely the time of year to get outside and check out the moss. During this time of the year it is at its healthiest. Pictured here are multiple types of moss on the forest floor. Primarily the easiest to spot is the Reindeer Moss, light green and Glade Moss, brilliant green. Now having said that, Reindeer Moss is not a moss just named incorrectly, it is actually a Lichen but that’s a whole different story. At any rate the forest floor is magical this time of year.

Winter Sunset

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Some of my favorite shots are the bare trees highlighted with the sun in the background. I especially like this one as you can see the half of the sun as it sets.

Golden Root

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I have no idea to what tree this root belongs. I do know that the metallic exterior gleamed like a vein of gold running down the rocks.

Winters View

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The problem with having such a mild winter is this. As soon as we have a few days of rain and clouds we feel like its been forever since we’ve had a sunny warm day.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker taking a bath.

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Most birds just jump in the water and splash around to clean their feathers. Not this woodpecker. His behavior I assume is due to his characteristics of being a climbing bird instead of a perching bird. He backed down slowly and cautiously into the water while holding on to the rock.

Below: He sticks his tail feathers in the water and splashes water on himself without letting go of the rock.

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After doing that several times he climbs back up to the top ledge where he sits for a moment drying off. I have never seen a woodpecker just sitting horizontally not clinging to the side of a tree.

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