Saturday, May 13, 2017

Exploring Our Backyard - Phipps Bend

If you've read my blog before you might remember that I am participating in a photography challenge to take at least one photo each week that meets a weekly challenge.  This week's challenge is to make a photo in your own back yard.  I did that, taking a photo of some potted plants.  On Thursday I took the challenge a little further and expanded my "back yard" to Hawkins County Tennessee and the Phipps Bend Wildlife Preserve.

Those who have lived in this area since the late seventies and early eighties will remember Phipps Bend as the site of a TVA nuclear power plant that was never completed.  The project was 40% complete when it was abandoned in 1981, leaving the skeleton of cooling tower base and a few buildings.
Abandoned Cooling Tower Base
Since then, the Phipps Bend Industrial Park has grown up next to the TVA site and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has also created a wildlife preserve between the old site and the Holston River.  A 3-mile out and back hiking trail/gravel road snakes along parallel to the Phipps Bend in the Holston River.  This easy level hike passes by beautiful ponds, wetlands, wide grassy fields, and the river.  We were there to see and hopefully photograph some wild birds.

What we found was a beautiful area full of wildlife, flowers, and yes, some colorful birds.
Yellow Flag "Batman"  Iris

Oxeye Daisy
 With the exception of one hiker and two equestrians on horseback, we didn't see any other people.  We did see more than a dozen white-tailed deer in the tall grass and one large snapping turtle on the trail.
Can you see me?

Indigo Bunting

Orchard Oriole 
These are just a few of the photos I made on this trip.  My bird photography skills need some work and we have plans to go back next week to try again.  I am more happy with some of the other photos from this trip.  I am trying something new to share these photos.  I have made a 2:40 slide show that shows my 27 favorites from that day that tell a story.  I hope this works and you enjoy the show.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed the walk. Such a peaceful soundtrack. Wonder how old the Snapping Turtle was? You and June are wonderful ambassadors of natural areas near you!