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The Smokies are easily the most popular National Park Destination in the Southeast. The numbers show it to be one of the most visited national parks. My joy is that it is nearby requiring only a 3 and a half hour drive for me. When I was raising cattle in Tennessee it was a mere 45 minutes, so my family and I were going there often.
Traveling to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are more photographically rewarding for me, but the sense of "home" from the Smokies is special in its own way.
While searching for a room at a short notice this time of year, I eventually found a place to sleep close enough to head out again in the morning, hoping to see some black bears.
They should be into their "eat as much as possible" mode preparing for the hibernation period they enter each year. I have photographed them in the spring as they come out of the hibernation. At that time they're usually eating, sleeping for 2 or 3 months and possibly having a cub or three! But this time of year they will be in preparation for the big sleep. Their cub of the year will be big enough to fend for themselves and be a lot of fun to watch. Birds always have fascinated me and will likely be everywhere. So I will watch for them as well.
As in the Tetons it is fun to photograph the landscape and beautiful sky. This year with the heavy rain there will be great opportunities for capturing the rivers, streams, and waterfalls everywhere.
Through the years I have posted many of these water canvas picture prints and they have been great sellers. At my Etsy site, I have a photo of an old oxen yoke that was photographed in the area adjacent to the old Grist Mill there.
In some ways it is funny but actually, the way it often happens is that the customer has in mind that he is buying the actual yoke. My website clearly indicates it is a photograph, but they get furious when they find out it is not the real Yoke! It was taken down a few years back and I have not seen it again, but it was easily my most popular Cades Cove photograph. I enjoy the rushing waters of the many streams that run along the roadside on the drive into the cove. It looks different each time I pass by depending upon the time of day and time of year I suppose!
I enjoy the rushing waters of the many streams that run along the roadside on the drive into the cove. It looks different each time I pass by depending upon the time of day and time of year I suppose!
Well since it is my 54th anniversary it seems that a visit to the old farm and to the Smoky Mountain will be a great way to get out and recall a lot of memories with my wife Johnnie! Stay tuned for more pictures soon...