Monday, October 29, 2012

Smoky Mountains National Park

Last week I camped at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  I was joined by Steve Hinch and his new bride Edyta.  It was a perfect week with early morning temps about 40 and warming up to 70.  There was hardly a single cloud in the sky all week.  A big thank you to Edyta for serving up SMORES each night around the camp fire.  

Cades Cove has been preserved by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to look much the way it looked in the 1800's.  Once home to a small mountain community, whose settlers came from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, Cades Cove is today the largest open air museum in the entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Cades Cove is home to several pioneer homesteads, barns, pasture and farmland - a fitting tribute to the hearty people who lived here in the days of yesteryear.

The draw in late October is the fall foliage.  There is an eleven mile loop road through the Cove valley and during the fall season it can take two to three hours to travel the loop.  I've included a few pictures here from the trip.  To see more, please visit my web site at  

Cades Cove Fall Color

Carter Shields Cabin, Cades Cove

Little River, Tremont

Mountain Spring

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to share.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Circle B Bar Reserve - Lakeland, FL

It has been a while since my last post after our trip to Yellowstone and Glacier.  I spent the time recovering from surgery and am feeling great and ready resume all my fun activities of photography, swimming and cycling.

This past week I visited Circle B for the first time since last spring.  There is not much happening yet but with the cooler temperatures and migrations starting up we should begin to see more activity soon.  With the nice rainfall in September there is plenty of water in the marshes.  Shortly after arriving I saw this Belted Kingfisher perched over the marsh.  I watched as he would dart off over the water and quickly dive for small fish, then return to his perch.  This shot was taken with Canon 7D, Canon 500mm + 1.4 extender at f/5.6 at 1/500 sec.

Belted Kingfisher

In the same area I spotted the following bird perched just taking in the new morning sun.  I wasn't sure what it was until I asked a friend to help with identification.  It is a female Red Winged Black Bird, as in most birds, so different from the male.

Red Winged Black Bird, female

I selected my last picture as my photo of the week.  We found this majestic Blue Heron along Alligator Alley.  The dense spanish moss made the perfect backdrop for him.

Blue Heron

It was great to be out with the camera again.  I will be headed to Smokey Mountain Nat'l Park next week in search of cool temperatures and fall colors.  As always thanks for visiting my blog.