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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:23 PM   #1
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Default East TN Ridges

One more set of late December hikes - from several different rambles along the nearby ridges.

Bays Ridge trail is a great place for December moss and lichen watching.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:26 PM   #2
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And Pretty Ridge is rich in ripe winter fruit (Viburnum) as well as old home sites...

(the last shot shows how quickly nature is reclaiming the old home sites.)
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:28 PM   #3
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Back Hollow also holds some interesting remains of human habitation.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:31 PM   #4
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Old fields are rich bird habitats in early December - thanks to the abundant seed crop and fine cover. Old fields on the ridges above Fall Creek are no exception! Here's a rather patient Song Sparrow enjoying the early winter sunshine, and a Carolina Chickadee sheltering in the thicket.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:34 PM   #5
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Eastern Red Cedar fruit is beginning to decay/ferment - a favorite treat for our American Robins.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:37 PM   #6
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Several folks seemed to enjoy the fungus shots from a few weeks ago. So here are a few more. We noticed these very tiny gilled mushrooms on some elm logs, and took the time for some close shots. Here's a comparison of the DA 35 macro, and the A 50 f1.4 plus Raynox. (can you tell which is which?)
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:40 PM   #7
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And here are some even tinier ones, a related species on a standing, moss-covered dead elm (Mushroom species are often very specific as to which "host wood" can nurture them).
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:42 PM   #8
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We returned from one of these ridgeline hikes to find a "surprise package" on the park office doorstep. Someone had found an injured Screech Owl that needed a bit of care before release. (It is almost ready to return to the wild...)
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 3:44 PM   #9
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Hope you enjoyed a few glimpses of our East Tennessee ridges, and that you will share your comments, critique & suggestions. Also hope you & your family had a fine & blessed Christmas, and are looking forward to a great new year!
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 11:13 AM   #10
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A very nice series! Interesting about your comparison shots between the DA 35 and the A 50 with the Raynox. I like the color and contrast a bit better with the A 50 +Raynox combination. That really surprised me, I would have guessed that it would have been the DA macro. Very interesting!
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