Friday, October 18, 2013

Today was definitely wildlife day. Bob and I had the treat of observing a meadow full of elk both in the morning and in the late afternoon, when they were much more active. The Smoky Mountain herd has about 160 elk and a large group of them hang out in the Cataloochie Valley, which is where we saw them. It is bugling season, and we were treated to that sound a number of times, especially from ...the impressively large male who was king of the harem. Another male had clearly been rubbing his antlers against a tree and was wearing a branch eith which he had become entangled like a crown. On the way out of the valley we saw grouse, more wild turkey, and even a quick glimpse of a black bear in a tree. 
We also spent several afternoon hours hanging out in the group camp site where our book characters will have an adventure.  It is perfect, isolated and wildish but with bathrooms.  It also has a creek running through and  a delightful variety of trees, which we used a book to learn to identify.  We probably made a funny picture, Bob in his traveling reclining chair with books in his lap and me running around picking up leaves and pinecones to match against the pictures.  It was a blast!
 Tomorrow and the next day will be driving days, not quite as much fun, but we will have our audiobooks and each other's company and memories of a great family,wildlife and fall color trip.

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