Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Norris Dam State Park
I continued my search for fall colors one afternoon last week by driving to Norris Dam State Park. Located just north of Knoxville, Norris Dam is a very tall, picturesque TVA dam on the Clinch River. I've visited the dam countless times in my life, I've skied on Norris Lake, but I've never taken the time to visit the historic pioneer village area that is a part of the State Park. I use the term village loosely as it consists of two structures really, a grist mill and a hay barn. On a dark, cloudy Wednesday afternoon in November I pretty much had the place to myself. While conditions for photographing the river and dam were most unfavorable, the yellow leaves behind the grist mill provided the perfect backdrop for great photos. I was shutter-happy for the time being, that is until I realized I had forgotten to put fresh batteries in my camera and the old ones were dying... fast! Sigh! Oh well... With some careful camera management I was able to capture some of the beauty of the day.
At Norris, the bottomland just below the dam was once the site of a forestry test project. Basically they portioned out the land into sections, planting one type of tree in each section. Now the area is a maze of easy walking trails and a haven for birds, white-tail deer, and other wildlife. I caught sight of the first deer emerging from the upper ridges in where else? The apple orchard of course! It was quite the sight as a few rays of sunshine had found their way out from below the cloud cover to illuminate the deer in a golden glow befitting a fall afternoon. Breathtaking!