But, whitetails are not the only animal species to photograph in Cades Cove. Although typically inactive, black bears are often spotted and successfully photographed during this time of year. The most common
times of days to locate these elusive animals are sunrise and just after sunset. Lighting
conditions are not always ideal so a fast lense is often a requirement. Recent years in Cades Cove have seen a significant increase in coyote populations. Chances of sighting a coyote are high. Most are in excellent physical shape and have nearly perfect coats. However, coyotes shy from foot travel, making them best photographed from a vehicle.
Cades Cove also enjoys a large population of Pileated Woodpeckers. These are often seen, but difficult to photograph. Early afternoons in open timber are your best chance to photograph them. It is also common to locate bluebirds, eastern turkeys, barn swallows, crows, and harriers. Less commonly found
animals include the red fox, ruffed grouse and otter. Early mornings and late evenings are also the best chance to spot an owl. Recent introduction of Elk to the Cataloochee area in the Eastern area of the park may prove worthwhile to some.
Even though wildlife is accustomed to human presence, these animals are still very wild. If you observe your subject walk away from you, begin feeding the other way, walking directly towards you, or in some cases even taking notice of your presence, you may be to close for their comfort. Slowly backing away from the animal can help ensure your safety and the comfort level of the animal. Approaching to closely, or not heeding warning signs animals give can and will cause negative encounters with animals, possibly resulting in injury to you. Heeding these simple warnings will ensure a successful photography trip.
Not surprisingly, wildlife is not the only subject of interest during winter in the Smokies. Dramatic
landscapes occur in the Smoky Mountains all times of the year. Winter clouds create dramatic landscapes.
At times, clouds seem to rise out of the valleys. Silhouettes of barren trees against winterly skies can create appealing images. And changing weather patterns can bring almost theatrical sunrises and sunsets. Sunrises are best viewed from the Foothills Parkway just west of Townsend and from the Oconaluftee Valley overlook on Newfound Gap road. Often, photographers entirely dismiss the abounding streams of the Smokies during the winter months. However, excellent reflections occur during the early portion of the winter due to newly fallen leaves and their golden cast. You will also find streaming sunlight through barren trees striking rising mist rising from rapids. Areas that have sunlit stream banks and streams within shadows are the areas to concentrate on.
The Smoky Mountains has a magical touch that will stay with you for the rest of your life. While there you will no doubt have time to reflect on our Creator and the glories of nature. It's no wonder that this mystical place is the most visited national park in our country and once you to visit the wonder that is "The Smokies", you to will yearn to return as I do.
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My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog|
Juvenile Black-Bellied Plover In Wellfleet On Cape Cod
These little Black-Bellied Plovers were flitting all around the mud flats by the beach at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary the other day. Phil and I clicked away and got a few good photographs. And then I started to do research and am not sure what they are. I think they are juvenile Black-Bellied Plovers. … Continue reading Juvenile Black-Bellied Plover In Wellfleet On Cape Cod
Pretty Pink Swamp Rose-Mallow Wildflower At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
I have always loved seeing the Swamp Rose-Mallow wildflowers by the beaches in Connecticut and on Cape Cod. We called them “Marshmallows” when we were growing up, even though they come in pink or white. The were abundant around the ponds by the beach. I saw this Swamp Rose-Mallow growing in the crevice of this … Continue reading Pretty Pink Swamp Rose-Mallow Wildflower At Fort Hill On Cape Cod
Low Tide At The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary On Cape Cod
There is a wonderful hike at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary where you can go out to the outer beaches, over a boardwalk. But only go at low tide or near low tide or you could get stuck! It was a glorious day last week with a blue sky and beautiful puffy clouds. We hiked … Continue reading Low Tide At The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary On Cape Cod