Since arriving in Tennessee on the 17th, we’ve been taking it easy with the exception of a couple of days in one of my favorite locations: Cades Cove in the Smokey Mountains. The drive is only about an hour from our current location in Lenoir City, so we have gone twice in the past week. Our first drive over was on Thursday where we spotted 2 bears and 2 cubs, 4 deer and a turkey. On Sunday we only saw 1 bear, but it was the best bear sighting I’ve ever had in the park, 17 deer and a turkey.
As you enter the loop around Cades Cove, on the left, is a field of horses. You can’t help but fall in love with these majestic animals. On Thursday, they were all grazing in the field and looked like a scene out of a movie. I love everything about this pic from the beautiful horses to the gorgeous mountains in the background.The first bear sighting had a ranger directing traffic to keep going, so there are no pics from that sighting except in my mind. That was also where the cubs were and every time we have been in the Cove and cubs were spotted, a Ranger always seems to be there making people move on. However, on the second sighting, the bear below was walking through the forest, eating, minding his own business. It seemed like everybody on the loop was stopping to get a look as well as pics. People were using everything from cell phone cameras and tablets to point & shoot and DSLR’s with the longest lenses I have ever seen.
The next 5 pics are all the same bear. These were taken on our first visit out on Thursday between 3:00 and 4:00 pm.
On our visit on Sunday, we again went around 3:00 pm hoping that being in the afternoon and after a rainfall, we would see more wildlife. We were right, as for deer, as we seen a total of 17 that afternoon. The first four were on Sparks Lane, which is the first road to the left after you enter the loop. We don’t usually go down that road, but it also runs along the field that the horses are in and they were beautiful both days we were out and I wanted to get a closer look at some of them and in the process was able to see the deer below. They had just jumped the fence from the open field to this one with lots of growth.
We continued our adventure which eventually led us to another road block where a beautiful black bear was just hanging out in the open field. Although the Rangers were there making sure people stayed far enough away, it was at a location that everyone could get out and actually get a clear view, which for me resulted in some good pics as you can see below. All my pics were taken with a telephoto lens and cropped to get a closer view. Eventually he ran through the field to the edge of the woods.
The only other wildlife we seen on these two trips was a turkey each day. Made me wish it was Thanksgiving time already. Tennessee has lots of places to visit and we have a few in mind to see over the next few weeks that we are here. I would love to hear what your favorite places to visit in Tennessee are. Please leave a comment below as to where you like to visit.
Hope to see you on the road…