The Shores Of Cherokee Lake


I have posted several pictures of Cherokee Lake over the last year and half. Some of those images display awesome sunsets and sunrises over the lake. 

Every August the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) dams a portion of the man made lake, which drastically reduces the water and exposes a large chunk of the shore line. 

I enjoy walking the exposed shores of Cherokee Lake during the fall and winter months. It fascinates me what the water hides during the spring and summer with an extra 40 feet or more of water.

I think some of the most interesting and beautiful times on the lake are when the water is low. Trees that are growing in the lake are exposed. Felled trees are bleached white after being submerged in the water all summer. Jagged rocks dot the shore. Shards of broken rock line the banks. Remnants of a time before the lake; old farm silos, foundations, roadways, and old, dirt road bridges make an appearance. 

What I find on the shores often inspires me to be a better photographer. For me, images that are interesting and make you think are not necessarily knock-your-socks-off beautiful. Sometimes I'd rather capture a series of interesting photographs that contain a narrative, and encourages the viewer to want to learn more and explore the location in the image. The dry shores of Cherokee Lake offers me that opportunity.

While there are many hidden beauties of nature, there are also signs of careless human activities dotting the dry, rocky shore of Cherokee Lake. The amount of trash left behind from fishermen and summer vacationers is appalling. The complete disregard for the nature they enjoy and the middle finger they give the rest of us is a reminder that we're all not in this together. There are those who just don't care. There are those who live with such a reckless naivete concerning the world and environment around them. 

Here are a few pictures from a recent hike I took, with a friend, along Cherokee Lake. These are part of a larger project that I am working on. In fact, I have been working on this project for over a year. I have shared pictures from this project without going into what it's all about. I have shared the sunsets and sunrises. I have shared the images of trash discarded on the shores. When the water rises during the spring and summer all of the trash gets swept into the lake. I will be using these images and future ones in an exhibit that will hopefully raise awareness and educate people with what is happening to the garbage that is carelessly being left behind on the water's edge.


Perspective is everything.

Persimmon trees that grow in the lake during the summer.

Felled by either old age or a storm, this Pine tree is bleached white after being submerged in the lake all summer.

Cherokee Lake shore.

What's left of a tree from another life. When the water is high, not even the top of this trunk breaks the water's surface.

The face from the tree trunk from the photo above.