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Tracking Tom

Celebrating my Mother-in-law’s birthday last weekend, we met them at our favorite spot on earth: Cades Cove.  Smoky Mountain National Park is a very large park and we do sometimes frequent other spots.  However, because of our love of photography, well…Cades Cove calls us more often!

After days and weeks of unseasonably cold weather, Tennessee Spring is finally here.  No really, it is!  Even though it’s been weeks since the official first day of Spring, the warmth did not arrive until recent days.  The animals were out last weekend enjoying the sun about as much as we were.  Although the big bear we saw was from a good distance. 

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Continuing along the Loop Road, we see a whole flock of turkey hens and two males fighting over them!  Excited for this rare opportunity, I grabbed the camera and my Dad-in-law and I were out of the car, shooting as we went!  Tom 1 would flare out his tail feathers and chase Tom 2 down the slope.

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Not to be outdone, Tom 2 tried his best, but not once did I see his tail feathers bloom!

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This is where having a little patience finally paid off!  After years of waiting for the right moment, Tom 1 turned to look at me while I was shooting him!

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Just getting that last shot in really made my day and made the trip over a complete success!  Spending the afternoon with my in-laws, sharing a picnic lunch before heading around the Loop Road made for a wonderful day for us.  I can’t wait for the next visit!  Who knows what I’ll be able to shoot then!

Jeffery Camera 2014–Cades Cove

These were taken on our recent visit over to the Cove just after our area had all that extra snow!  Most of the snow was gone and the roads were re-opened so we could get into the park.  It was cold but it was so beautiful.  I am always refreshed mentally and spiritually when we go to this little corner of Heaven on Earth.

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In a little while, Spring will be here and there will be many more reasons to return.  Until then…

The Buck Stops Here

How wonderful to be in Smoky Mountain National Park, once again, and see a whole group of young bucks living it up! As you know, Cades Cove is one of our favorite places.  It seems that every time we go there and just wait and watch and listen, we see something different.  I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we had fun shooting them!

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One by one, they quietly slipped out of the cover of the trees.  Just when you thought there were no more, another poked its head out!

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By the time they all emerged, there were about 6-7 of them!  All young, all frisky and ready to play.

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First a little snack to build up energy….

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What was that?

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I better go check it out!

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I though I heard something.

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Whoa! Sorry, you got in my way! This is FUN!

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I can run faster than you!

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Geez, I just don’t know which way to turn! Left, right, right left…..

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Did you hear that?

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Thanks for showing up at our Buckaroo Bash.  It was really fun!

Smile, You’re on Jeffery Camera!

Easter Weekend 2012

This weekend Jeff developed a stye in his camera eye, but before it got really bad, he was able to get a few beautiful shots of Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National Park. As always, I hope that you enjoy these.

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter!

This year we decided to spend our Easter at Cades Cove and try to catch the sunrise. Since Jeff has a little bit of a problem with his camera eye (a lovely stye developed yesterday), I was the lucky girl holding the camera.

Enjoy the views – they were breath-taking! And it was about 38-degrees, too!

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We started out as early as we could. The Moon was still out and was so beautiful. Not only because it was a full moon, but because it was so beautifully bright.

I tried to capture this before we hopped in the car and headed out to Cades Cove. Since I never seem to remember the tripod – this is my best version of catching a shot without using one by leaning on the car!

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When the sun finally came peeking through, it was a so warm! The deer were out as well as so many of the turkeys.

We believe it must’ve been a day of celebration for the turkeys since it is probably the holiday where the least amount of turkey is eaten!

The deer quietly grazed while the sun continued to rise and as you’ll soon see, we were fortunate to have a few walk right in front of us! This is something that doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, you hold your breath. 086

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Cades Cove is always a place where we feel that we can leave stress behind087 and find ourselves completely refreshed and revitalized to tackle the next week.

This photo to the right is a view of Sparks Lane. All the recent storms have left all the streams flowing and some spilling over. This section of the Lane hasn’t seen water run across it in a very long time!

And this time of day is absolutely perfect! There is almost no one there, leaving little to disturb and distract the animals.

What a wonderful way to spend Easter! This was the best one we’ve had yet!

I hope that if you are ever in the area, you will take the time to visit Smoky Mountain National Park and Cades Cove. You won’t regret it!

Happy Easter!

 

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Smile, You’re on Jeffery Camera!

My husband is a phenomenal graphic designer as well as photographer and we will be posting some of his work for you to enjoy. We love going to neighboring areas and taking photos while delving into the history of it. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the adventures to take them!

Enjoy! These photos were taken at Cades Cove in Smoky Mountain National Park.

Cades Cove Bear Sparks Lane

This bear walked right in front of us on Sparks Lane. If you’re a frequent visitor to the park, you’ll know that this is where a LOT of blackberry bushes are. And during blackberry season, it is one of the best places to see black bears! Beware, though. Don’t get too close and do not disturb the bears! Admiring them from a distance with an awesome lens is the best way to enjoy them!

Cades Cove Church

Throughout Cades Cove there are churches and cabins. All reminders of the small community that actually lived there for many years. This is one of my favorite photos of one of the churches on the Loop. It reminds me so much of the chapel where we were married in on nearby Bluff Mountain.

Young Buck in Cades Cove

Nothing like coming up on young bucks grazing in the tall grasses in the Cove. We love the occasional treat of “running into” one of these gorgeous creatures. We always find it difficult to contain our excitement, but somehow we manage to stay calm! Being in the presence of these beautiful creatures just takes the words out of my mouth! There are none that would adequately describe these moments! Let your eyes take it all in!

Until next time………..

Frosty’s Cades Cove Christmas

Christmas Day Frosty came to visit and we decided to take our friend back to a place that is very special to all of us. If you’re looking for a great day trip for the family or a great place to take visiting friends and family, Cades Cove, in Smoky Mountain National Park, is one of the best places to go. Once Frosty heard about the idea, he was excited to go and couldn’t wait for us to get there.

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Cades Cove is a short drive from Sevierville and Pigeon Forge and there are a couple of ways to get there. But we feel that going up over the mountain through Wears Valley into Townsend is the quickest way from Morristown.

Just 7 miles from the fork in the road near Townsend, the winding road takes you up over the ridge into Cades Cove. It’s a beautiful drive no matter what time of year you go. Frosty reminds us to remember our camera so that we can catch the wildlife up close and personal.

There is a fabulous picnic area set under the trees. You can bring your portable tents to create extra shade in the summer or simply picnic under the trees.  There are outside grills available for your convenience and public restrooms close by. Before heading around the Loop, we always stop by the campground store. There is a really nice camp store that sells the most fabulous soft serve cones for just a couple bucks. You can also get drinks and quick snacks as well as souvenirs. There are vending machines but they don’t always work. We find that we end up donating to the Park more often than getting a drink out of the machine!  Frosty Adventurer at Cove Campground

There is plenty of parking by the camp store so if you have a group of friends who want to all ride in the same truck or van, this is a great place to meet and leave their cars while you all go around the Loop together!

Next to this parking lot is the campground itself. There are sections for RVs, tents and group camping. Right now parts of the campground is closed for the season, but during the summer the drifting scent of burning fires lifts through the air. There are trails all around both for hiking and biking or even just a casual stroll. If your family enjoys the outdoors, this is the place to be.

You may be lucky enough to see a black bear or two, young bucks, fawns and does and possibly a turkey or two! On several occasions we have seen coyote, foxes and hawks as well. On a hike you may see a beaver or an otter. You just never know. It was really cold the day we went, which is how Frosty likes it, so we didn’t see a lot of wild life like we usually do. It was actually a deer kind of day.

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There were bucks of several different ages and many does that would come right up to your car. We were excited to see them so close and when three of them decided to walk across the Loop Road in front of us, they each gracefully stooped to crawl under the fence instead of jumping! We were all so disappointed at their laziness! Later on we were lucky enough to see a couple of does leap over the fence in front of us. What a beautiful sight that was!

 

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A favorite place for many is the creek that runs right over part of Sparks Lane. The water is so cool and refreshing in the summer. When there has been a lot of rain, you’ll have to be careful because the water tends to rush through and have a bit of a current. It seemed a little unsettling to Frosty as he looked out the window at it. The water was high enough to reach the bottom of the car and you could feel it sloshing under the floorboards! Dad was our driver and was careful to get us to the other side without the car slipping once. I think we all let out a quiet collective sigh of relief once we were on the other side.

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I think we can all agree that the views around Cades Cove are breathtaking. Years ago, a group of families settled here and were, for the most part, self-sufficient. There are churches and graveyards tucked away all over the area. There is a watermill at the halfway point as well as various cabins (many are reconstructed) on the very spot where families once lived. You will find that this valley is rich with heritage and history that is worth checking out. And it is a wonderful place for shutter bugs with an itch for building their portfolios. We have had many wonderful moments catching black bears, coyotes, deer and the stable horses on camera. The Park Rangers are willing to share the history of this magical place with you and a Tour Book is available at the beginning of the Loop for a small donation.

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We love going to this little spot of Heaven in the Smokies and hope that you will fall in love with it as well.  It is so peaceful here no matter what time of year you come. In the fall, the valley is a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and yellows and in winter, the white blanket glistens like jewels in the sun. During the spring and summer the blackberry bushes are in abundance and the birds sing their hearts out. What a magical place this is!

Take the time from your busy schedule and take in the view. Cades Cove is an excellent day trip and well worth the drive.

It may become one of your most favorite places to visit.

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