Sunday, March 22, 2009

"As Wild As I Get"

I know I've said it a thousand and one times, so one more
time won't hurt; " I dearly love the Appalachian Mountains!
Particularly the Smokey Mountains...........
Aside from the wonderful history found there, it is a place
where one can often observe the wild animals in their own
habitat and sometimes in a man made habitat...........

No.......encounter with the wildlife can be complete without
including the dreaded Snake.....I encountered this one on
my hike up to The Walker Sisters Cabin( a post for later)
in the GSMNP.........I let him be and he did me......

The first night in my cabin.....I heard a noise on the back
deck, upon a careful investigation, I had a real friendly caller!
The next night I was prepared for him with a newspaper
plate, filled with Sardines!This ritual went on for a week........

He arrived at dusk dark.............. Climbing about 40 feet
up a pole and through the railing..............
Here he comes..........hungry as a bear!

Feasting on a Sardine dinner................
Then he would mosey over to the corner for an hours nap!
Only looking up if I turned on the light..............

After the nap........ it was
Thanks dude, I'm outta here.....
There he goes!
In the daylight......we played hide and seek!
"I told you not to look while I'm trying to find
a good hiding place , he says"

Not yet....... but I'm almost ready!

Okay Miss you can't see me now! HA!

Now this guy had played this game with more than one
cabin dweller................he was GOOD !

Then there's the Elk..........the park introduced them in
Cataloochee Valley, which is on the NC side of the park,
several years ago. We sited these on the NC/TN line
making their way to the Tennessee side of the park!
In a couple more years, they should inhabit the entire park

They pay humans with cameras no mind whatsoever...

THEN..........there's the man made habitat! This gorgeous
Silver Grizzly is caged in Maggie Valley, NC........
He stands against the tree to beg for food........

At the same place..........Black Bears!

So there is a taste of my walk on the Wild Side in.....
The Great Smokey Mountains of Appalachia.........
This truly is, as wild as I get!


Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh Carol, I love the Smokies also--EXCEPT when there are too many tourists around.. We stay away in the summer and fall weekends and holidays. BUT--we've been all over the Smokies (mostly hiking and waterfalling). LOVE that area!!!!

My 'ex's mother knew one of the Walker sisters --and the family used to spend time in one of their cabins up there. I was OUT of the family by the time they started renting the walker's cabin. But--I know exactly where it is!!!!!

We've encountered bears a few times while hiking --and they usually run from us (thank goodness).

Have a great evening.

Reader Wil said...

You've met some interesting animals! Thanks for the tour! Have a great week!

steviewren said...

I love the Smokies too and I haven't been there in 6 or 7 years. Too, too long. I love the drive up the mountain that is right behind Gatlinburg...turn right at the third red light.

Your visitor was certainly persistent, but who can blame him with a free fish supper every night.

Anonymous said...

What great creatures and my goodness that racoon was getting a gourmet meal!
Wishing you a great week ahead.

Renie Burghardt said...

Love the pictures Carol! I have been to the smokies, too, and loved them, but I encounter lots of wild animals right here in the Ozarks. No elk yet, but they are reintroducing them. We do have black bear, lots of snakes, raccoons a plenty,armadillo's, and I even have a pet possum. Well, he isn't exactly a pet, but he will take food from my hand.

There is almost nothing wild that I don't love!

Great post!

Big hugs,


skywind said...

Well, spring has arrived, and the animals have begun to come out activity. :)
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Kay Dennison said...

What a wonderful trip!!!

Susan said...

Good morning. Snake totem messenger below - perhaps this will make you look forward to meeting up with them. Bears in cement enclosures is tres sad but I guess at least their safe from hunters. And a handful of pistachios a day (1.5-3oz) could keep the Lipitor away.

xo from les Gang

Tess Kincaid said...

This was fun!! Love these pix, Carol! The Smokies are wonderful, aren't they?

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

We sneak out on the weekdays or in the winter when the tourist aren't so pletiful. I had to live here a little over a year before they taught me the back roads.

Enjoy your visit and make some friends with the firendly critters Carol!

Sandi McBride said...

I love Maggie's been a couple of years since I was there, but I do love it and the people there...but I hate that the bears have to be in such a place as far from home like woodsey comfort as you can get...lovely pictures and the little Raccoon is adorable! I'd be doing the same thing, opening up sardines or JackMack! Loved this post

julie king said...

i had no idea that you could see elk in the smokies! my husband and i spent a week in a little cabin in the smokies a few years ago and we had a little family of raccoons visit every night. i love how you took a progression of photos of your little visitor.

Isabel said...

Your night visitor is ADORABLE :)
Beautiful place!

NCmountainwoman said...

You are SO lucky that the black bears didn't come for the sardine feast! Now, that would have been far more wild than you wanted.

Did you happen to read Wayne Caldwell's "Cataloochee"? I understand he is writing a sequel.

Sweetie said...

What a great post. I would love to visit the Smokies. Every summer we take a few of our grandchildren and stay in Elk County for a few days. The elk are so calm that they actually lay in people's yards. There aren't any bears though!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah yes, Edward has treed (that spelling doesn't look right) a raccoon before. A harrowing early morning that was!