Tag Archives: elk

#AprilA2Z Art Sketching through the Alphabet “E”

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Hello, Kitten & Dawgs!  I’m excited you joined me for the next A2Z alphabet prompt. I got energized for today’s alpha character, the letter “E” and my first inspirational sketch is an enormous elephant.

I always wanted to ride an elephant but today I’m content to keep my feet on the ground, plus it really looks uncomfortable.

How about an encouraging symbol for many Americans, the eagle?

A purrfect subject to sketch is something we see occasionally on our trips to the Smoky’s grazing in the fields near the Visitor’s Center in Cherokee, North Carolina – the enchanted elk!

I made an earnest attempt to duplicate these critters. Much work is still needed but I’m okay with that. I know I can enhance the quality on my next go-around. 😉

What equipment do you use in your creative pursuits in the arts, kitchen, behind the lens, beyond the camera, or with your computer?

Hopefully, what I share with you every day will encourage you to do something that interests you that you’ve long put off because like me you just don’t think you can. My advice is, just do it! Maybe, you’ll be surprised. I know I was! 🙂

Leave a comment, I love the encouragement! 😉 Are you eager to make the effort to embark your own enthusiasm? Would you care to share “E” word subject prompts for me to etch?

I’m heading off to link up with other fellow AtoZers and you’re invited to come along.  I’ll see you on tomorrow for the next installment of Art Sketching through the Alphabet!






A2Z Art Sketching Through the  Alphabet post recap:

  1. “A” for Angels
  2. “B” for Boys, little
  3. “C” is for Cows, Chicken & Chicks, and Big Cats
  4. “D” for Dog

Fingers of God and elk sighting #WW

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Good morning, kittens and dawgs. I’m happy you decided to join this week’s not-so Wordless Wednesday! dsc_6986

I took this photo from the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had just left Water Rock Knob heading south toward Cherokee, North Carolina when we noticed the beautiful fingers of God shining through the clouds. I love how the Jerusalem Artichoke flowers (I think that’s what they are) frame the bottom.

It’s mid-September and before long we will see autumn changes but I can’t wait so I photo edited the next image because it really needs a fall touch.



Using Affinity Photo, I applied the basic techniques found at this site.

Elk sightings scream autumn and September is a good time to spot them. We were fortunate to see these beautiful creatures in the big field near the North Carolina Smoky Mountains Visitors Center in Cherokee the weekend we went to watch for shooting stars.

get the InLinkz code

I’m making headway on repairing broken links and videos, but it’s not getting done fast enough to suit me. Next week, I’m thinking about stepping away for just a bit to try to get this job done.  Today’s photo contribution for (not-so) Wordless Wednesday I plan to share with photo enthusiasts from around the globe participating in Skywatch Friday.




Elk sighting at Cataloochee #WW

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Hello, kittens & dawgs! Earlier this spring while exploring on one of our many Saturday day trips, we came upon this pleasant view.

DSC_4535 copy

Cataloochee, North Carolina

In 2001, the National Park Service (NPS) reintroduced 27 elk into the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains. North American elk population was close to extinction by 1900 because of over-hunting and loss of habitat according to the NPS. One can’t perceive how big these animals are until seen with the eye. They are bigger than black bears and are aggressive beasts if they feel threatened or challenged.

I really wanted to stand outside the car to snap the above picture but DH said to stay in the car. I thought the distance was fine but I really know to not get outside the car to view animals in the wild, even if it seems safe. The temptation is strong, but things can happen quicker than you think before you have time to react, so getting the shot from inside the car with the window down is good enough for me. That being said, did you know this tidbit:

Willfully approaching within 50 yards (150 feet), or any distance that disturbs or displaces elk, is illegal in the park. Violation of this federal regulation can result in fines and arrest. Do not enter fields to view elk—remain by the roadside and use binoculars, telephoto lens, or a spotting scope to view the animals.

Who knew, right? Not me.  It’s been quite common in recent years to see a herd of elk crossing the road in front of us several car lengths away, but never this close.




image captured with iPhone4


We just happened upon a half-dozen elk grazing beside the road going toward Heintooga campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Cherokee. It was so amazing. I took this a month after my surgery for an acute case of diverticulitis. Twisting to get the right shot was uncomfortable, but I got it anyway. The adrenalin rush blocked the pain. I guess there’s a bit of a “real” photographer in me after all. 😀 It’s safe to say the release program is a success given our first-hand encounters.  In the below video is it mentions Oconaluftee. This is where we have sighted elk every time we’ve been to the mountains lately.




Summer is a low peak for many bloggers, so I decided to dispense with my featured photographer highlight until September. Also, I plan on being less active with posts throughout summer. The break in schedule will do me good. What I hope to do is have fun reading blogs and making new friends without the pressure of composing posts every day. I have some scheduled posts in cue and if I feel the urge to create then I will. Meanwhile, thanks for making me apart of your day!

Have a fototastic day! ~borrowed~

Have a fototastic day! ~borrowed~








Wordless Wednesday: Cherohala Skyway

A couple of Saturdays ago with our cameras and picnic bag in hand, we headed out the door for a fun-filled day to drive the Cherohala Skyway.

From Knoxville, Tennessee, we took I-75 southwest to the Sweetwater exit heading toward Tellico Plain on TN-68. Once there, we got on TN-165 where the byway begins. One of my favorite spots off the skyway is Bald River Falls.

Bald River Falls

Bald River Falls

The water was moving rapidly and the river littered with canoeist. Do you see the canoe resting near the bank? Car and people congestion was a real problem that day. The best place to take a picture is to the right of this photo, which you can’t see, on the other side of the bridge. However, there aren’t any parking spaces on that side and the water was splattering too much to risk getting nasty water on my camera and me. If you wanna see another shot, I snapped years ago, then click here.

Another beautiful spot off the skyway is Indian Boundary lake. Over the years, we have visited this tranquil picturesque area.  On the opposite side the lake, where I stood is where we started. There is a nice trail that circles the entire lake (approx. 3 miles). It was wonderful being outdoors to soak in the peaceful, ambiance. A visit here never disappoints us, melting away all cares of the world and look how the sun’s rays make the lake sparkle like a thousand tiny diamonds. Isn’t it simply gorgeous?

Indian Boundary Lake

Indian Boundary Lake

It goes without fail, every time we have spring-like weather, then motorcycle enthusiasts abound Tennessee scenic parkways creating more traffic than we care to enjoy, but who am I to deny them of the same pleasure? This is God’s country!

View from Cherohala Skyway

View from Cherohala Skyway

While I may not be a big fan of motorcycles, I do appreciate seeing an old classic car out for a joyride.

A classic ride

A classic ride

We had a couple of options for heading home after we drove the skyway. We extended the scenic wonder with our decision to go home by way of the Smoky’s. On US-441north in Cherokee, North Carolina just south of the visitors center near the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance we met a pleasant sight ~ elk!

Elk at dusk

Elk at dusk

Several years ago, the government re-introduced elk into the Smoky Mountain population. Ever since then the herds have grown and on rare occasions, we are fortunate enough to spot them. There must have been a dozen or two grazing along the roadside. Some of them would just walk out into traffic and stop. A smart-cracker driver began honking his horn scaring one of the elks. I thought sure as the world it would run head-long into a vehicle, but it didn’t. Another time an elk licked the headlight of a car, while it blocked on-coming traffic. We suspected it liked the road salt on the vehicle. It was a delightful experience to see such big animals in the wild.

Nearing the top of the Smoky’s on the North Carolina side, we pulled off to photograph the sun’s glow dipping over the edge of the mountains while we had light. Visibility was crystal clear, and you can see from this picture that we were able to see for miles.

Evening approaches in the mountains

Evening approaches in the mountains

A day trip for a quick getaway is always a welcome treat. Here’s hoping you enjoyed the views through a camera lens.

Sending a round of applauds and cheers to this week’s featured WW shutterbug, my good friend, Marie from…

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Please, be kind enough to hop over to leave her place and show some love. Oh, yes…don’t forget to link up below to be considered for the photographer hotspot next week! 😉

To join other bloggers/photographers in today’s fun, scroll to the top of my Home page for Daily Blog Hops for more Wordless Wednesday communities! It’s so nice of you to come by and I hope you decide to make it a repeat visit to share in my photo ops. Wanna make me or someone else happy? Then, leave a comment! I’ll be hopping over to see you soon!


My video/Farmhouse Chat/Friday Fill-in Fun

Last Friday, DH and I spent the day in the mountains. I secretly hope to see wildlife every time we go. I’m talking about big animals. Sightings are rare on most of our visits, but this time we stumbled upon something pretty cool.  I will warn you up front, I am not cinema photographer by any stretch of the imagination. At least I can say, I did capture a neat moment with my iPhone camera. Watch!

This is my first week to post every day, since recovering from long illness & surgery. I missed Patrice’s chat on a farmhouse porch Tuesday, so I am going to jump in on the Q&A session now. Do you think anyone will notice, I am just joining?

  1. Do you use any type of water filter (pitcher or sink mount)? We use an under the sink water filter by Daulton for our drinking water only. I’m not sure how long we’ve had this one (it’s been many years), but we switched to filtered tap water 20+ years ago. 
  2. Do you have any tips for staying hydrated in the warmer weather? The only suggestions I can offer on this subject is to drink plenty of water. If you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, then make sure to replace those liquids with water equally. Don’t let your mouth become dry. That’s your body’s way of saying, “Hey, I’m really dehydrated now. It’s way past time for you to replenish me with fluids.” Of course, I drop the ball big time on this score. However, I’m trying to keep from getting to this point since it causes so many problems with the digestion. 
  3. Is your hair naturally curly or straight? I’m ‘tweener these days. When my hair is short then it’s quite straight and as it grows out some curl is visible. Years ago, my hair had more curl, not curly, but not straight as an arrow. My hormones changed my hair properties.  Does anyone else have this problem?
  4. Are you on top of all the chores/work you do, or are you always running behind?  I’m. Always. Behind. And, I’m more behind than ever with my recovery process. But, I’m taking tasks one step at a time to regain some sanity and resemblance of organization. Will I ever be completely organized? I don’t think so, but it’s my goal to keep trying till I reach it.
  5. If you could sing a song to Wendell, what would it be? The key words here are “If you could sing”. Wendell may stampede me, if I uttered a single sing-song tune his direction. I’ll give you one word to describe my singing style, “caterwaul”.  Hopefully, that ends that. Just for laughs, I thought you may want to check out Bad singing gets woman kicked off plane. To put your mind at ease, this news article wasn’t about me. 🙂

Getting back into the groove of blog hopping takes time. I have missed playing along with Hilary from Feeling Beachie. Each week, she throws up four blank statements each week for us to borrow, fill in, & link up. Hilary doesn’t ask much of us, other than to share – Tweet, Facebook, & add her linky code to our post. Simple. Doable. Done!

Here are this week’s statements. Grab ’em for yourself!

This week’s statements:

1. I don’t have a lot of ______
2. When it is a ______ I hate when it ______
3. When I was little, my dream job was __________.
4. 4. I could write a book about ___________________.

My fill-in response:

1. I don’t have a lot of money. Do you? Would you like to share?

2. When it is a scorcher of a day while out running errands, I hate when it is time to go home to a very hot house and wait for the AC to cool it down. Ugh, not fun!

3. When I was little, my dream job was to be a movie star. Even today, my subconscience desires come through at night while I sleep. I sometimes dream so vividly that I am in a movie that it actually feels real to me in my sleep.  Please tell me, I am not the only person to have dreams like that?

4. I could write a book about a story my DH’s grandma told us about her encounter with a panther. In fact, I was so inspired that I did write a children’s book using grandma’s story set around my two daughters.  But, what I would really like to write about is my paternal grandmother. Her life was quite colorful. I really alt to get more details from my dad of her past and begin said novel. There’s nothing worse than procrastination, eh? I also could write a book surrounding the death of my brother. If nothing else, the unanswered questions I have would make for an thrilling fiction. In fact, a fabrication (or in parts) of this story would make a best seller than the untold truth.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to come back to link up below!


Do you need a few laughs? If so, take a peak at What could possibly go wrong?

Tomorrow, I am launching a new post series called Saturday Song-suasion (SoNg swzHn), if you’re a music enthusiast like myself, then I hope you’ll come by and leave your opinion in my comments.

Have a fun Friday!