A Lesiurely Afternoon Boat Ride on Pickett Lake

Last June of 2013, we made another visit to one of my favorite parks to hike and photograph nature. Pickett State Park is located on hwy 154 ,east of hwy 127. It is next to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in the north central region of Tennessee.

This trip turned out to be different than most. We saw the people rowing in the lake. The boathouse  was open and the canoes were available to rent so we decided to try it.
I haven't rowed in a small boat for many years but my boyfriend assured me it would be fine.

I was worried about my camera getting wet if the boat can capsized.
We ventured into the calm water and I immediately felt very tranquil.

The scenery was spectacular!
I'm glad I took the camera and here are some of the wonderful shots we captured.

All along the banks and cliffs of the island are caves and shelters. The shrubbery, flowers and blue green water made it all worth the trip.
The best part was rowing under the arch that we could only admire from the opposite side.

Rhododendrons, ferns, vines, small trees, and mountain laurels along the banks

We found a cave and shot some
 photos looking out into the lake.

another small lakeside cave long the water.
The reflection on the lake was beautiful.

We passed a beaver den on the way back to the boat dock. I didn't see the animals . It would have been a good shot.
I only regret that it wasn't very sunny. The photos may have been more colorful.

Dreaming of Summer

In the mist of the worst winter in recent memory,  I am dreaming of summer. Last June, we visited a beautiful, lush green park in Indiana called Ferdinand State Forest. It is about an hours drive west of Louisville, KY.

I was amazed at the lush dark green trees and grass along with the beautiful twin lakes.

They looked like giant mirrors, reflecting the tall trees in the background.

This one is my favorite shot from this trip. it looked like a perfect mirror reflection. The weather was a little overcast and water was still.
Not many people were in the park on a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes you can capture the perfect shots or mood when no one is around. I've had others step in front of my shots many times. It's a bit frustrating but I have to expect that in a popular location.

I had always thought of Indiana as farm country and didn't know it had a beautiful forest like this one. The southern section is very much like Kentucky, but it's not as hilly.

I can see by the impatient look  that it's time to finish up the last shots before we go.
We will be back this summer to bask in the beauty and tranquility of this lush forest in Indiana.
These were taken with a Nikon D3200.

Walking on Water--Almost!

A few weeks ago, we traveled down to Picket State Park in Tennessee. It has become one of my top places to hike and photograph nature.

The weather forecast called for upper 50's; nice after weeks of cold and snow !
There was snow covering the ground and to my surprise, the lake was frozen over!
walking on water
Some people were walking over it. It was a strange site to see; warm temperatures and a frozen lake.

My boyfriend ventured out on the ice and it didn't crack. He was walking on water, so to speak.
I also ventured out but not as far.

It was beautiful to see the reflections from the trees and stone banks on the opposite side.
We hiked on the snowy trails and experienced cold ravines
and then on top of hot ridges. We came upon a frozen waterfall and stopped to take a some photos. It was frozen solid!

The natural arch was melted and so warm, that I had to remove two layers of clothing.

What a wonderful way to spend a winters day. Walking in tee shirts and photographing icy waterfalls.What a site!
It's a treat to get a warm day in the middle of the coldest winter Kentucky
has seen in many years. We took advantage of it and came away with some great shots. I always take along my Nikon on these hikes. You never know what you'll find.