In April 2023, I spent a week in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee on a photography trip with friends. What a pleasure it is it wake up at 5AM and head to Cades Cove and not returning to the cabin until after the sun sets in the evening. Sure beats work!!! During these kind of trips, I enjoy landscape photography along with wildlife photography. This photo essay focuses on some of the scenic landscape of Cades Cove, some Black Bear, and mostly all other wildlife we encountered during the day. Of course, Black Bear is my favorite subject so I'm saving those stories, photos, and video for a separate essay.
The Carolina Wren is not an unfamiliar bird to me. We have them in Pennsylvania too. I was standing along a small creek next to a field when I saw these two and more flitting around anywhere from the ground to the treetops. They kept coming down to a specific log sticking up from the tall grass so I set my tripod at a low angle and waited. Eventually, my patience paid off.
I like to spend a lot of time off the roads in Cades Cove. Anyone who has been there know the people on the loop road can test your patience so I prefer to park, grab my backpack and gear, and head into the woods. Doing so allows me to find my subjects and photograph them away from all the hustle and bustle. One of the critters I found was this Eastern Gray Squirrel chomping on a nut.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The grasslands along Hyatt Lane wake up every spring with singing grassland birds. One of the most recognizable songs comes from the Eastern Meadowlark.
Who doesn't love our largest woodpecker, the Pileated Woodpecker. You probably know them best by their drumming that echoes through our forests but most of the time you'll find them on the ground or tearing apart a rotting stump.
We saw this female in the same spot a couple days in a row.
After photographing a Wild Turkey gobbler in this area, this doe and I crossed paths.
There are a lot of Wild Turkey in Cades Cove. It's a lot of fun once you find a strutting gobbler. This image was made on an extremely foggy morning. Can you see a part of the mountains in the background?
Finding them in the fields is nice but I especially like the woodland photos.
When you see them in the sunlight, you notice their Coat of Many Colors. Yes, that was a Dolly Parton reference. Hey, it was in the smokies!
There are white domestic turkeys but the naturally occurring white turkeys are commonly called smoke-phase birds.
The gobbler up front is staying close to the lone hen in the back.
We're going to end this photo essay with a 10 minute video containing clips of landscape and wildlife (including some Black Bear) from Cades Cove.
Thanks for viewing and I hope you enjoyed this photo essay. If you would like more from this visit, please check out my other essay displaying the landscape of Cades Cove. Click the link to view "Cades Cove 2023, Scenic Splendor".
Coming soon: Cades Cove 2023: Black Bear