A day at the river.


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Thread: A day at the river.

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    Member TJ1985's Avatar
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    A day at the river.

    This will be a little blend for talking and showing. I hope those on the forum will enjoy it. BTW, I apologize for the size of the pics. I figure if ya click on 'em, you might as well get a big picture to look at!

    Today I decided to take my camera along on my mother's dialysis day as her clinic is in fairly close proximity to the Tennessee River. Her dialysis is usually a hands-off process for me and it leaves me with a lot of time to kill so I figured I might get off a few shots of things I felt were interesting. I'm not snapking by any stretch of the imagination but I can take an okay shot. Admittedly, though it's been a long time since I even put charged batteries in my camera, I felt like it'd be fun. It was.

    I also learned that the surest way to kill a river is to bring out a camera. The normally active area was... devoid of activity. Where normally there are a lot of squirrels and birds moving around and doing their thing, today, even sitting in the truck with camera in hand seemed a little too risky for the critters. Alas, I did capture a couple of the elusive buggers.

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    I call him Burdy. Mainly he earned that moniker because... he's a bird and "birdy' is too sissified. Burdy knew my plans and only gave me a one shot opportunity. As soon as I got him in the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger, Burdy bugged out and I never saw him again. BTW, this is the only of these shots where I used any sort of "correction" in software. It came out way dark because I wonked up my settings, but he cleaned up pretty well I suppose. Other shots are, save for a little crop action, as they came off the camera SD card.)

    As I said, the Tennessee River was largely displeased with my presence and it kept me at arm's reach for most of the day. I sat on the rocks, I sat in my truck, I climbed into the bed of my truck and sat on the cab... still no action, no... pizazz. no sparkle! I must have sparkle! Then, as I'd been contemplating calling the whole damn day a bust and going to the pool hall to hustle a few bucks, I spotted an old acquaintance who has watched me wait a few times. I call him Turty.

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    I call him Turty because... He's a turtle and I'm short on creativity right now. Nearly as I've been able to research, he's a "Northern Map Turtle". I... I call him Turty. This little guy poked his small frame up numerous times but he only moved into a good spot for a hack photog like me a total of twice. He popped up a couple times in a little closer space but it was with small branches on either side which my camera Autofocus spazzed out with. A photographer of better quality could overcome. A photographer of my quality... waited for him to surface in a better spot.

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    As I watched Turty do his Turty thing I couldn't help but notice that the bigrigs on the highway a few hundred yards away were getting a lot louder. Oddly though, the sound was coming from the other direction around the bend the other way... Weird. Then I noticed the dock peeking from around the bend.

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    Ah, the dock. But... there is no dock to that direction for about 30 miles of winding river... So... The hell's that dock doin' 30 miles out of place? It wasn't a dock. As the vessel moved around the bend I recognized it as a river barge. As it snaked around the bend I recognized it to be a damn big river barge. Totin' 3x5, a total of fifteen containers, he managed an astonishing speed considering the size of the pusher vessel.

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    As the big girl rolled on by I realized that she was a he, the vessel's name was the Arthur E. Snider. A little binging (Bing alternative to googling) told me that he's 12m wide and 48m long. A rather biggish vessel for the Tennessee River. I'd presume that with his size, he might be up at the top size of what the Pickwick Dam (that 'dock' I mentioned 30 miles back the way he came) can handle.

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    The amazing thing about ol' Arthur, he's only drawing 2.3 meters. That is, that vessel, at least the pusher portion, can float through seven and a half feet of water without touching bottom. That's a mere 20 or so inches (.56meters) deeper than my own height. In short, if I were submerged in fifteen feet of water (an idea that has been suggested numerous times before) and this boat went over me... it wouldn't touch me.

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    Watching Arthur pass beneath the Bridge, which to my knowledge has no name beyond "The Savannah Bridge", it put into scale how large Arthur was and how large the bridge is too.


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    The worry of a fishkill due to oxygen deprivation was also laid to rest, as Arthur churned things up as he rolled on by. Though, not all things on the river are so... low speed/high drag. Some vessels are pretty sporty and move along like they're made for it.

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    All in all, not a bad day on the river. As I reflect on the day, maybe it was a little too warm, maybe the animals were a little camera shy, but it was a nice day for reflections.

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    About five minutes after this shot, the wind picked up and totally crapped on this little cove, ruining the placid nature of the little cove with ripples galore. Oh well... Better to be lucky than good.
    If I can't go down rockin', then I won't go down at all. - Waylon Jennings.

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