Saturday, October 11, 2014


 A deer keeps careful watch on me from a distance.

Cades Cove is a beautiful place within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park that retains the aura of still being very wild, even though it has been tamed long ago.
It has been a long, long time since I visited this scenic place and decided to do so last Tuesday.  The single lane motor road through Cade's Cove is trying most times due to the tourist traffic that is a constant presence, but there are side roads and even hiking trails that can be utilized to escape the human onslaught that exists in that wilderness.  I didn't write much about the cove or even photograph it well.  I did, however have the privilege of photographing a black bear and her cubs, albeit at a great, great distance.  The photos are sad in professionalism but nevertheless they document the moment.
The black bear (sow) was a big one and she milled about on the hillside down in the valley at a point near the forest that was heavily shaded.
 All of a sudden a little black splotch with legs came bounding out of the woods toward the big sow.

Again, I apologize for the horrible quality of these pictures.
And then a second tiny cub appeared and the two started chasing each other around on the hillside.
 I had to rub my eyes because a third cub appeared and all three began to race and chase about in the short grass.  Three cubs - that is unusual and exciting.  I wish I could have gotten closer.  They may have come toward me but the 15 car loads of tourists that stopped ahead of me certainly eliminated any possibility of the bears coming near.
The moments spent watching these wild guys was appreciated and mom finally lead them to the edge of the forest where she stopped while each cub ran past her into the foliage and she finally disappeared into the brush behind the last cub and out of sight.

It seems that everywhere I went this week there were turkeys crossing my path, or I theirs.
I was counting fishermen down on the tailrace the other day and a group of birds appeared in a field close to a fence-line.  I was using the 400 mm lens and hoped they would close the distance between themselves and me so that clear photographs could be taken.  I think they obliged nicely.

 The bird below has noticed me and is staring me down.
 Yard art -- the property is looking pretty good back at the house.

 At least now, if you never saw a wild turkey and many haven't,  you know what one looks like.
And finally a run in the boat on the upper end of Douglas Lake uncovered tragedy. 

I was wrapping up the day and getting ready to leave the lake when I heard a report on the radio that an accident had occurred at the boat ramp located at the Leadvale access area of the lake.  DOA and life flight were mentioned.  Neither are terms one ever wants to hear.  I heard the call because a TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resource's Officer) was a first responder and the call came through on the radio I had on the boat.
 It appears that some younger folks were acting out with a couple trucks on the very narrow roadway that leads to the boat ramp and lost control of their vehicles.  One truck can be seen on its side in these shots.  I believe the other on was on the opposite side of the road.  These shots were taken from the lake.

 I believe there were two killed and a couple life flighted to the hospital.  Not sure.  Its not a pleasant sight but is proof that "good ole boys" require constant monitoring and watching when near lakes, not to protect them but to protect all the other people minding their own business, from them.
 A bad way to end the day.

I had a Harley Davidson rented for last Tuesday and rain forced me to cancel the rental.  I then called and lined up another rental for Monday next week and 80% chance of rain is predicted for the early part of the week so I cancelled that rental.  I'll try one more time and if that fails then I guess it just isn't meant to be.  Listen how I talk.  "Isn't meant to be."    I have criticized that cliche many times as an excuse for failure down here in the south.  Now, here I go using it.  Funny!