Elk watching in Oconaluftee Valley, N.C. October, 2015 On a recent trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, we went to Oconaluftee Valley to see some of the Elk there. There weren't any out in the big front field, so several of us in our group went around back by the creek to see if there were any crossing the creek to get to the field. Well, we saw two large males go over to the field, and then most people left. Two brave people decided to stay to see if the elk would come back over the creek to the other side where the harem was. So I timorously stayed with them...we really weren't supposed to be so close to them. We set up our cameras and tripods and as we were talking, about 50 feet away one of them just showed up. They are quiet and sneaky! He slowly started crossing the creek and we quickly started photographing him. As you can see from one of the photos, I was hiding behind a tree because he was only about 20 feet from me! I'm glad I got up the courage to stay.
We then left the creek and went over to the field where the harem was. It was getting to be dusk, but there they all were. The first photo is of two males looking like they were fighting, but we think they were playing. The next photo is the big daddy, who was "snarling" at us to get away from his harem. Actually, we were across the street and the park ranger was there, so we weren't in any danger. The last photo is him in his glory, done with a painting effect.
The Last of the Water Lilies for the Season October 10, 2015 I'm sad to see the end of water lily season, but looking forward to Fall colors! There is always something good about each season. This applies to life, too.
Instead of climbing Stone Mountain, which was a little daunting for me just looking at the steepness, I opted to go on the Nature Trail with a friend from the GNPA group we went with. It was fun and much cooler in the woods than out in the hot sun, but didn't produce many flowers. We saw a lot of mushrooms, though! Here are a few mushrooms and other little gems. We also saw a pretty little bird that at first was pretending to have a hurt wing, but we soon realized that it was leading us away from her babies or something else she didn't want us to see.
We have two bluebird houses in our backyard. We were privileged to watch one of the little ones jump out of his house for the first time. Very exciting! He was obviously quite scared because Momma was off with the first one who left, and this little one did it on his own. Very proud of him!
Momma going out for more food.
These babies are always hungry!
Ok, Momma. Where are you? I'm ready to jump, but I'm scared!
Wow! I'm on the ground. I think I'm supposed to practice flapping my wings now.
Made it to the fence. Hey, and who are YOU? You don't look like my Momma!
I feel more at home now that I'm back in the tree where our house it.
But these cars were for sale. This was on a short trip to Tennessee to photograph elks, and on the way we stopped at this little very old car lot. The sun was beautiful and soft on this car. These photos are of a 1937 Plymouth, the kind where the front and back doors open both from the middle. These pictures were taken with my iPhone, which actually I have more respect for the more I use it!