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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:25 AM   #1
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Default Hot day at Bays Mountain

East Tennessee (like much of the region) has been experiencing some very hot & humd days recently. So we decided to take a short, cooling hike around the lake at nearby Bays Mountain Park. It's a city-owned park, and a lovely natural area, with great views, good long trails, and fine old forests in the high country. There are also great wildlife displays, and some easy hikes all around the lake.
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:26 AM   #2
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Took a few moments, before hitting the trail, to visit the native wildlife exhibits. The river otters were having a great time cooling off in their own private pool!
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:28 AM   #3
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Out on the trail, we noticed that things were really dry, despite the abundant moisture from the lake. Soil here is very sandy, and does not hold water well. Most of the springs and seeps were dry, and it was difficult to find anything green that was not wilting!
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:29 AM   #4
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But the lake was full of a variety of water lilies. None yet blooming, but all great perches for the abundant dragonflies (Mostly Blue Dashers and Slaty Skimmers).
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:31 AM   #5
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There must have been a recent hatching/emergence of underwing moths at Bays Mt lately - we saw lots of them out & active, but had a hard time finding one perched.
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:33 AM   #6
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Highlight of the day for all on the hike were the deer. Deer at Bays Mt are usually rather unconcerned with people. They spend a lot of time along the shore on these hot summer days, just enjoying the cool water and the lush plant life. Here are several views of does at a "pool party." Any preferences?
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:35 AM   #7
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We spend so much time hiking in wilder places, on longer, more difficult hikes. But it's nice to be reminded that the nearby and the more accessible places are just as rich in discovery. Sure do hope your days are also full of rich discovery!

Thanks for any comments & critique!
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 2:51 PM   #8
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They are all wonderful but the posing of the turtles with their heads crossing like drawn swords is my favorite. The lighting and color look nice and natural as well.

I am also seeing many Salty Skimmers and Blue dashers up here and in Maine.

Nice work Mole!

Lou
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 10:12 PM   #9
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Those red eared sliders are wonderful, a fun shot. But it's the river otters that I really love, they are just so much fun! These are all beautiful, and give me the idea that I should visit my local county park, there's a pond there and some tame geese, along with volunteer visitors consisting of a variety of ducks, mostly. That's about the only place I can think of to see some dragonflies, though there aren't many there.
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 8:59 AM   #10
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As always, I love your composition . . . and your subject matter! It is always difficult to pick a favorite in the wonderful work you do, but I believe the two turtles image is my favorite, too.
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