Black Tail were very common in the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountain National Forest. They were very tame and easy to approach. These two pictured here were running towards a couple of other deer near the roadway.One thing we hoped to see, but really didn't feel we stood much chance were the Black Bears. My daughter asked me if I thought we would see a bear and I answered by saying that the chances were probably pretty slim. We rounded a corner, and there was a large mama bear reaching up and pulling berries out of a tree. A few minutes later our daughter spotted one crossing a creek. Several miles down the road people were standing around looking up in a tree. We stopped and looked, and found two baby black bears and a mama. They were eating cherries out of the tree tops. One little baby was precariously hanging from a tree limb, several times he almost fell. Mama lost sight of them a couple of times and would jump from limb to limb until she could see them again. The tree would shake under her weight, and those little babies would hold on for dear life. They were so cute. All told we saw 6 black bears and got far closer than we thought possible.
Gorgeous orange mushrooms in the timber.
Update: I finally got an ID on this mushroom--- it is Caesar's Mushroom (Amanita caesarea). They are named from being the favored mushroom of Roman emperors. This mushroom is found within oak woodlands, sometimes mixed with conifers. This mushroom is highly prized for its flavor, although best to be careful as it can be easily confused with other mushrooms within this genus that are highly poisonous.
Joey, Joel and Shaylyn touring an old mill settlement. We tried to figure out why this barn was built the way that it is. Does anyone have any ideas why it is elevated?
Update: Joey did some research and discovered the reason these barns were built this way was to provide shelter during inclement weather for livestock. It also provided and area for the farmer to shelf corn.