Horn's Bluff Refuge...

by Russell Smith August. 04, 2020 233 views

I am a big believer in shoot local. Yes I love to travel and explore but for me personally it is important to find at least one local (within 30 min travel time prefer less) natural park or public land even private land that I have permission to be on (key word permission so I dont get shot or thrown the klink). After some research on line at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and a few phone calls to clarify some things I found on line for information I picked one of three local public lands. If I call it DNR please know I am refering to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency . It took me 15 years to quit calling it FWC when I lived in SC and FWC is Fla Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. I know I love change but am stubborn when it comes to some changes. Anywho I digress.

Sunday afternoon after maintence came out and fixed/replaced the faucet in the Kitchen my wife was kind enough to take me out to the refuge. Seeing as I was unsure of what it looked like or what I could see out there I took The Olympus EM-5 Mark II and the 14-150mm and the 75-300mm lens. They are my two choices of lenses for Oly and M43. The weight savings was huge and seeing as it was warm I took some extra H2O along for me.


Rural and well wild is a description of this location. Normally I will not give locations for where I shoot especially if there is a threatened or endangered species that I find in the area. That is because well I have no faith in people doing the right thing.

So I get out of the car and get my berrings then I find a small trail to walk down. Birds I mean Birds, Birds and more Birds. First one I saw was an Indigo Bunting. I will spare you the craptastic shot of that one. The lay of the land led me to believe that there was water close by and well I was not wrong.

I spent about 10 min watching this guy munching away on some food before he/she realized I was there and ran off in a comical manner.

After poking around the waters edge for a while I started walking down the trail more and felt like I was being watched so I stopped. To my delight I saw these two.

This years fawns. The photo is well not good and it is a combo of missed focus and heat shimmer or heat waves coming off of the ground causing it to be soft. Plus the 75-300 is a bit soft to begin with at 300 and I am fine with it. The comical thing about these two was they would run up about 10 meters stop look at each other and almost act like they were daring the other to move closer. Kids being kids after about 15 min they saw a Butterfly and chased it heading back into the grass behind them.

I saw this guy and I was not 100% sure on the id so I grabbed this shot then sent the photo over to the phone and used Merlin to help ID it. Common Yellow Throat is what it was.

This is nothing more than an ID shot.

A few hundered meters further down the trail I came to an opening that had of all things an acre or so of Sunflowers planted.

Well this was a great disctraction and I poked around the Sunflower plot for quite a while.

Even gave my hand at an attempt at HDR image

Not quite to my liking but it was a good exercise in how it works with Oly. I wish I had a fisheye or superwide angle lens here.

I am not sure what kind of flower this guy was but I saw him on my way back to the entrance of the property. This is definately a location that I will go back to many times. I now know or well have the start to knowledge about this place.

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Benny Law 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I love the sunflower shots.

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Benny Law 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I am hoping to get back out to this spot and grab a few more shots maybe with a wider angle lens .

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Great place to capture these lovely images! So glad you have this treasure trove of photo ops nearby your new digs! 
Thanks for sharing w/us!
+1smile+1
Always a pleasure, my friend!

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Jay Boggess 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you :)

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
John Durham 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for the info on some local areas - I live in Rossville and find it hard to get to interesting spots, especially as I recover from lumbar fusion surgery. Just not as many accessible natural areas as when I lived in NC, so I appreciate your photo safari. Love your other work, too.

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to John Durham 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I will pray that your fusion heals nicely and that there are no further complications. I was not quite so lucky with mine but mine was lower back and resulted in nerve damage and a few other complications after that. Honestly outside of local county parks look at DNR or whatever your local wildlife (game warden/conservation officer)officers website or even call. There should be a way to find public land if it is Rossville Tn. here is the link I started using to research https://twra.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=953ef9d3bd044f9d9f0f9d7c0dd6b71c

Even a ride down the roads in public land can yeild some great shots.

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
John Durham Replied to Russell Smith 2 months, 1 week ago

Sorry about your surgery. Mine was L2-L5 with three bone grafts - 5 months and, so far, so good. Thanks for the link - I'll check it out and try to find some some public lands. Keep the great photos coming!

2 months, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia Staab 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Cool find and great eye. Looks like a place to visit several times seeing all the wild life around. smile

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree. I think I could go several times a week and still not see everything to see.

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Beautiful place to explore and take nice pictures. Looking forward to more like these

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Antonio Gil 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you.

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
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