Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Turkey on Clingmans Dome
I met this girl on April 1, 2008, the first day that Clingmans Dome Road was open during 2008. (It is closed from Dec 1 through March 31 every year.) As I pulled into the parking lot, she came running up beside my car. It seemed she must have been used to getting food from people in cars. Of course I did not feed her. It's not good for the animals to get used to thinking of humans as a source of food. Anyway, I parked the car and got out. She put some distance between us but still let me get close enough to get several good shots of her. I called her "Lucky" because I felt so lucky to meet her.
I returned several more times during the month of April, and each time I returned, she was there. Toward the end of April, she was walking around among the people at the western end of the lot. Sadly of course, people were feeding her, luring her over to get snapshots of her beside them and their cars.
I returned this week (May 20) and did not see her. I hope she found a better place to live and is doing well. After all, she's a wild turkey, not a pet. I still feel lucky to have met her.
Black Bear in Smokies
On April 2, 2008, I was driving up Newfound Gap Road (from Gatlinburg, on my way to Clingmans Dome) when I stopped along the side of the road to photograph some trees that were lit nicely in the late afternoon sun. Since it was mid spring, the tree tops had a variety of color due to the buds that were forming in the branches. As I photograhed the trees across the valley, I heard a loud sound in a tree not far from where I was standing. I looked over, knowing it was something large, and I saw a black spot moving along the edge of a tree. I kept looking, and shifted my camera. I readjusted the settings too, since a bear tends to move faster than a calm landscape... In any case, here are two shots that I got while standing there alone by my car. Little did I know that day, that a month and a half later (May 19) I would meet my first bear alone in the woods. That second meeting was even more exiting than the one along the road since I was three miles from my car and all alone in the woods.