Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Road Trip - Part 3: Fauna

Well, these pigs aren't exactly wildlife, but we thought they were pretty cute. They, as well as the chicken below, we found on an old homestead in Great Smoky Mountain National Park (I'll have more photos of the old buildings in a later post). The chicken did not like its picture taken, so we left it alone right after Daniel snapped this photo lest it attack us...
There were butterflies everywhere, which is something I always love!

A little snail made its way up a tree,
and wild turkeys were strutting their stuff!
One evening we spied a huge elk. If you click on the photo to see it larger, you can see that he's wearing a collar - I assume to track his movements. I read that Elk were native to the Smoky Mountains but their numbers had been decimated over years of hunting. This elk belongs the ones that have been reintroduced into the park.
Now, the most exciting wildlife we saw - a black bear - was running so fast across our path that we didn't have time to get the camera out. Daniel first thought it was a big black dog and then realized it was a bear and yelled to me. We both got a look at it before it disappeared into the forest. It was the first bear I've seen (Daniel had already seen on in New Mexico) and it was so exciting! And thanks to the great information at the North American Bear Center, I was not even afraid.

In Shenandoah National Park we saw many, many deer, some of them right around our tent at night. This one was hiding,
this one right out in the open,
and this little fawn we surprised out of its hiding place, and we felt bad about it! It ran a few feet and found another safe spot.
Monkeys?!? Well....we went to the National Aquarium where we saw the next three exotic creatures in a rain forest exhibit. Of course, we saw lots of fish as well, but didn't think to take photos!

In Williamsburg, VA, we took the car ferry across the James River (so beautiful!!) and Daniel snapped this photo of seagulls flying alongside us.
And when we arrived at the pier, we saw this huge osprey nest. We saw the baby briefly before it snuggled back down, but the adult bird was magnificent to observe!

And then, the wildlife back at home so happy that we were back!
It's good to be gone and it's good to be home again!!

I hope you aren't tired of our photos yet, as tomorrow I have for you Part 4: Old Homesteads.

P.S. Daniel's knee is continuing to improve. After last Saturday, his knee gave him lots more trouble (I think the surgery pain killers wore off) and he had to lie down much more and ice it. But starting today, he's able to move a little more again. Thank you for all your well wishes!!


  1. love these photos.
    i love elk and deer just out in the open and that butterfly you caught was awesome..the one that looked like a monarch...
    so happy you were having such a wonderful time.
    you tricked me with the monkeys....ha!
    loves to you.

  2. What great photos! Love the one of the deer hiding amongst the birches!
    Continued best wishes for speedy recovery for Daniel.

  3. Love wildlife photos, i've never seen an Elk before (in real life) they look fabulous though!!
    Butterflies are wonderful, so lucky to get good photos of them!!

    Micki x

  4. Wow! so exciting, I love all the wildlife. And a bear, oooh, what a treat to see. it's so much fun to tag along on your camping trip Silke, i could never get bored!
    Speedy recovery to Daniel!
    xo lori

  5. Great photos Silke and your sharing is like me being on vacation. Glad to hear Daniel is doing better and sending more hopes for a speedy, painless recovery.

  6. Oh my people live close to the James river in Virginia! It is a beautiful area---or was a long while back when I visited.
    Love the photos....it is like a trek through the outdoors without the aches and pains!
    Glad Daniel is improving; just try and get him to take it slow. (ha ha.....)
    Thanks for posting all of these!


  7. I loved the pictures and can't wait to see part 4. How neat that you saw a bear.:)

  8. some great photos there...especially love that last one of the fawn.

  9. hello silke, no hesitation needed for sharing your trip treasures. brings me back long ago to my drive throught the smokey mountains and the shananoah valley--just so pristine.

    i have black bears in my neighborhood! we don't put out bird feeders this time of year because it is unwise to invite a black bear into the back yard! they aren't aggressive, but still. one night my neighbor was out with her dog, around midnight, and saw a tall man in a fur coat. until she realized it was NOT a tall man! i learned from her that you walk backwards, slowly and only make noise as a second line of defense. i wonder if i would be calm enough to do that.

    welcome back. you had a long trip, i had a short trip. you hit wildlife here, i hit wild-life in new york city!!!

  10. Du könntest noch 100 Fotos anhängen, liebe Silke, es würde nicht langweilig werden. Wunderschöne Aufnahmen von einer wirklich bezaubernden Tierwelt.
    Liebe Grüße, Verena

  11. Welcome home...what a lovely trip. Thanks so much for visiting my home and my craft room. Isn't Deborah just a darling?

    We have another friend in common too...our dear friend Renee. How she is missed! I just adored getting to know her and her encouragement was such a blessing.,

    Hope you will be back to visit again!


  12. I am so greatly enjoying my cyber vacay with you and Daniel! That's one of the things I love about blogging...getting to see the rest of the world.
    **kisses** Deb

  13. Love the photos!! I used to adore seeing the osprey when I would go down to the Gasperilla Islands in Florida! Looks like you had a terrific time!!

  14. Nie im Leben sind das zu viele Fotos - bitte weitermachen! Und weiterhin gute Besserung an Daniel. LG Stefanie

  15. Hi Silke..wonderful photos...I love the butterfly! wow!

  16. I could never be tired of the photos...these were probably my favorites. I love the butterfly and the deer! :) Theresa

  17. How can we get bored with those lovely photos? Thank you, Silke, for sharing them with us. Animal photos are always fun. You have such a handsome dog. I just love his blue eyes. I bet he was glad to see you! (and your cat too~!)

  18. Nope, not tired of the photos, keep 'em coming. Love your story-telling that goes along with them. Kisses to you both, er, all! Love, Patti

  19. Nice wildlife shots! Didn't we see elk when we went to the Grand Canyon?

    Hope D is feeling much better with each passing day!

  20. The picture of the hiding deer is wonderful and so is the picture of Daniel and Winslow.
    Winslow looks thrilled to have you two home again. Looks like he is smiling. I am glad to hear that Daniels knee is doing well too!!