Monday, January 18, 2010

A little bit of riverside exploration

Today was just the perfect day to get out of the house for a little while and do some riverside exploration. I haven't been out and about since the beginning of November, so when the husband suggested it~I was all for it. There's a county park about a mile from my house that's right on the banks of the Tennessee River. All of the following photos were taken in an area about 40 feet square. My goal was to find many interesting things in a relatively small area.
As soon as we got to the park, I headed to my favorite place to explore-right along the shores of the river and the adjacent woodland. The level of the river today was low, some days this area is flooded. This shell caught my eye, its delicate blue color nestled among roots, grasses and fallen leaves.

Just a few feet from the shell, these little prints dotted the beach~river otter or beaver, I'm not quite sure.

Bits and pieces of natures handiwork, delicate designs that are easily overlooked

Natures carvers have been busy in the area. I found lots of beaver gnawings throughout the woodland area just a few feet from the river.

The river workers were out today, too. This is called a barge. The compartments (in red) are loaded with all sorts of commodities: coal, grain, gravel, sand and other stuff for transport up and down the river. This barge is heading upriver, probably to ports down in Alabama or beyond. He could get all the way to Knoxville on the Tennessee River on the other side of the state if he wanted to.

The boat that pushes the load is called a tow. I've never been on one of these, but I've heard that the accommodations are quite nice.

Enough of the man made stuff, we're here to check out mother nature.

Little pockets of ice remain near the backwaters, remnants of last week's cold, cold temperatures. In other years, the water back here would not freeze.

Twists and turns from vines that have intermingled. We find a lot of this kind of stuff around this area.

Fungus covers a fallen tree, delicate little wings full of detail and interesting color.

While I was looking down and taking pics, I almost missed this rainbow cloud up in the sky. I'd never seen anything like it! Bummer about the power lines being in this shot, but as soon as this cloud moved enough so the lines weren't visible, the rainbow wasn't either.

Hanging like an ornament, this is the seed pod from a Sweet Gum tree.
Even though things have not started to bloom yet, there's always plenty of interesting things to see in the natural world.
I hope you enjoyed this little bit of river exploration.

Have a safe and happy week.


Celtic Cat said...

I enjoyed the walk along the river!

hollyzhobby said...

It's amazing what beautiful artwork nature provides for us. Great photos.

Reflections of Glass said...

What a great collection of images and textures and colors. I especially liked the seashell.


Wow, what a lovely trip to take us on, the rainbow cloud is AMAZING!! I've never seen anything like it! Your photos are soooo good.

Some sunshine for you....

Have a lovely weekend x