Thursday, September 3, 2009

A little bit of time on the river

In the middle of last week, to celebrate our anniversary, my husband and I paid a visit to the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge-Busseltown Unit~just a couple of miles away from where we live. The river is pretty peaceful and quiet during the week, I'm sure it was pretty packed for Labor Day weekend-boats of all kinds, jet skis and people enjoying the last holiday of summer. Sometimes, we get lucky enough to see a big barge moving product up and down the river.
Looking south and looking upriver. Sounds funny, doesn't it? Rivers in North America are supposed to flow south-this one doesn't. The Tennessee River flows southwest out of the Knoxville area, west across northern Alabama, then takes a turn north and flows through West Tennessee until it dumps into the Ohio which eventually empties into the Mississippi. We've spent some time swimming in this river, but its not all that clean. You come out of the water feeling that you need a shower.

Lovely golden yellow wildflowers are in bloom all over this area.

Across the river are some nice looking bluffs. The water reaches pretty good depths near these bluffs, usually 50-60 feet deep. The Tennessee River splits the state of Tennessee into three sections- East, Middle and West. We're on the West Tennessee side looking east at Middle Tennessee.

A good find for the day included this White Tail Dragonfly. It was patrolling a small area looking for prey. I got to watch this one as it munched down whatever it had caught. After its meal it was off again looking for another victim.

The purples of autumn are starting to bloom. I'm not sure of what these are but they are very pretty. I was kind of bummed out--when we visited about a month ago there was lots more interesting things in bloom. A lot of it got mowed down, probably in anticipation of all the weekend visitors that were going to use this area for their good times.

Here's an interesting wildflower~Heart's-a-bustin, or Strawberry Bush. These haven't busted yet, but when they do the seed head opens to reveal purple insides and bright orange seeds. I'll have to remember to come back and get a shot of these once they pop.

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