Couple o Birds


Eastern Bluebird – Sullivan County TN – May 2015


European Starling – Seven Islands State Bird Park – May 2015

The bluebird is either a juvenile or female – the males are completely blue.

The European Starling was first brought to the US in the early 19th century by Shakespeare enthusiasts. Now among the most numerous song birds in the country. Wonderful coloring.

We will be leaving Tennessee after this. Next couple of posts will be from the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia – Florida border.

The Martha


The Martha – Abingdon, VA – May 2015


ETSU String Band – The Martha – May 2015

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be in” – Martha Washington

It was certainly easy to be happy sitting on the lawn of the Martha hotel and listening to bluegrass music. ETSU is East Tennessee State University, they have a fabulous ethno musicology program – among other great studies.

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Doors – The Martha – May 2015

Cultivated Flowers


Flower – Abingdon, VA – May 2015


More Flowers – Abingdon, VA – May 2015

Here are a couple of flowers seen growing in front of the Martha hotel in Abingdon, VA. The Martha is the site of a former women’s college – Martha Washington College. Now has been added to my list of historic places to stay. We had a lovely brunch there.

Cliff Swallows


Cliff Swallow Houses – Domtar Park – May 2015


Cliff Swallow – Domtar Park – May 2015

“The perch swallows the grub-worm, the pickerel swallows the perch, and the fisherman swallows the pickerel, and so all the chinks in the scale of being are filled” – Henry David Thoreau

This was my first encounter with cliff swallows, they build their nests from mud under bridges. Probably used to build them on cliffs but…. This park was in Kingsport, TN.

Can’t say enough about Thoreau, he saw the connections in nature at a time when most folks were just killing stuff.

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Pair of Daisies – Seven Islands State Bird Park – May 2015


Daisy – Seven Islands State Bird Park – May 2015

Can’t say enough about the Seven Islands State Bird Park – if you are ever in eastern Tennessee / Knoxville area – this is a must see. In addition to hiking there are  facilities to launch a kayak or canoe.

Blue Birds


Juvenile Eastern Bluebird – Sullivan County – May 2015


Elusive Adult – Seven Islands State Birding Park – May 2015

Successful birding trip to Tennessee. ID’ed many new species. Lots of history from the late 1700s and early 1800s as this area opened up to exploration by westerners. Saw some working coal mines, which are odd, because there are 50 or so cars in a parking lot and one small building underneath a coal elevator. At first I was curious where the people were – it was far too remote for a park and ride.

Finally music wise I got to go to the Ralph Stanley museum in Clintwood, Va, something I’ve wanted to do for years.

Song Sparrow


Song Sparrow – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015


Singer – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015

“Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird?” – Pablo Picasso

I found taking photos difficult in Tennessee – number one the birds were smaller and faster. Also, the mountains and trees seemed to block me in. I guess I just need the wide flatness of Florida.

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Wildflower Wednesday


Thistle – Seven Island Bird Park – May 2015


Wild Sunflower – Seven Island Bird Park – May 2015

“In wildness is the preservation of the world” – Henry David Thoreau

Seven Islands State Bird Park is a Tennessee state park on the French Broad River. It is reported that 180 species of birds have been spotted here. Pretty good for 425 acres.

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