Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Running Wild

Cave Run Lake, Kentucky

Across the river and an hour south, we enter wildness—
Daniel Boone National Forest and within its northern boundary, 8,000-acre Cave Run Lake, its surrounding hillsides several shades of gray, as it begins each day in stillness below a morning mist.

With the sunrise, we are suddenly surrounded by the glowing red banks that rise steeply above us to a darkened tree line and drop sharply through the water below. Slowly, we follow the lake shore, separated by just inches at times, as it jogs and dips for miles and miles into quiet coves, crooked fingers of a giant hand.
This space between land and water, rocky and rough, yet rich with life.

The roots tangle here, in the last effort of each tree’s survival, as those at the edge slowly tip and tumble—the walls beneath them each year, crumbling further back, releasing them into the depths of the lake.

Eastern Kingbird,
Tyrannus tyrannus

An Eastern Kingbird darts out and back—successful in grabbing a small meal from the air, before perching in a snarl of fading, weathered wood. Then, too, moves on along this edge to the next, skipping and feeding as she goes.

(click to enlarge)

Fence Lizard,
Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus (ssp.)

Warmed in sunshine, a plump, spiny lizard sprints within this red and gray patchwork, then stops for a moment, dissolved in a puddle of color, her long and slender clawed toes, curled carefully around a small rock. Invisible in her frozen stare, our eyes are locked until she disappears into a crevice and we paddle on.

Black-shouldered Spinyleg,
Dromogomphus spinosus

The young trees, sycamores, river birch, and sweetgum, begin here, rooted from seeds set out across the surface, floating until they are settled in the stillness of this edge to start again.
A clubtail dragonfly with emerald eyes finds their small stature and broad leaves a welcome resting spot as he cruises this immense watery landscape, acres across.

All so different, all so new, so wild—
and our day on the water has just begun.

See more Camera Critters here.

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Michelle Johnson said...

Imagine my surprise when I saw this post as I'm only a 45 min drive from Cave Run. Sounds like you're enjoying your visit. I love that first picture- it allows for some mystery. And, that Kingbird is beautiful. Hope all is well. Have a great day.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I've spent a fair bit of time on and around Cave Run Lake (a dandy muskie fishery!) and you've done a great job capturing its diverse beauty. I especially like the second shot of the hills and fog.

You've made me want to go back again soon…

Michelle Johnson said...

I came back to offer a suggestion. There's a place called Lockegee in Morehead, KY you might like to visit if you get the chance. It's a beautiful place to hike and take pictures of the rock formations. If you need directions just e-mail me at sparkyj-7@hotmail.com. You won't be disappointed if you go. On the drive up there's flowers lining the roadway. You'll want to stop and photograph all the butterflies that gather there.

Arija said...

What a wonderfully serene loveliness to glide through and enjoy a day on the water, with all the wonders that your silent approach displays.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a gorgeous place. I enjoyed clicking to enlarge the photos. I found the lizard. She was a beauty as was the dragonfly. I don't think I have seen this one before. I think I would have remembered those green eyes.

Robin said...

Makes me miss Kentucky....

Kelly said...

...beautiful. Cave Run Lake is on our itinerary for a quick getaway this fall. It looks gorgeous! Love your descriptive writing...perfect and peaceful as always.

just say aww! said...

Beautiful photography!!

Kathiesbirds said...

Love the morning mist shots and the kingbird. I envy you and your canoe!

Anonymous said...

I have never been to KY, but it seems like a beatiful, wild place.

Cezar and LĂ©ia said...

Beautiful and very interesting post! :)
happy camera critters
Luna(from Brazil)

Brooke said...

What a beautiful scene!

Shelley Munro said...

It looks like a beautiful place. I enjoyed my virtual visit.

Island Rambles Blog said...

nice shot of the kingbird, I only have seen one once and they are too hard to photo ...great photos on here as always...hope you had a lovely weekend.

Joy said...

Such a beautiful kingbird!