Thursday, October 2, 2008

Smoky Mountain National Park, Part IV - Wildlife

During our visit to the Park we saw quite a bit of wildlife. Mostly Deer and Bears. We also saw some turkeys walking through the meadow one evening. If you are interested in other interesting wildlife we saw refer to Kristin's post ...10 Things.

One day we were driving through Cades Cove. During one stop we saw these turkeys walking through the meadow.

Cades Cove was a great place to see wildlife. There were deer throughout the area. Some of these deer photos were also captured during a drive closer to the Gatlinburg area. Sometimes the deer were right up next to the road, although my favorite photos are those where they were back up in the trees.

This buck was licking its' own nose (Click to see the larger photo). I have some nephews that would love to have this skill.

An finally, for years I have wanted to see a bear in the wild. We were able to see several bears on this trip. And after getting a couple photos, I just want to say that a photographer that can get a good image has talent! These were tough to photograph, and I will definitely need to go back to get some better pictures.

The first was the neighborhood bear. Each evening he would wander through the cabins, methodically checking the garbage cans to see if any were unlocked. If they were locked, he moved on. If not, he would go through the garbage before moving to the next cabin.

This bear was down in a valley when we spotted him. We watched as he moved up through the brush, eventually crossing the hiking path above us. Unfortunately it was fairly dark, preventing me from getting fast enough shutter speeds for a good capture. This is one of the few that does not have too much motion blur in the image.

All in all it was a good trip. Hiking in the mountains during the day. Sitting in the hot tub at the cabin under the stars. And finally some cooler weather. Smoky Mountain National Park is a must see place if you are in the area.

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