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The Header Picture was taken on September 9, 2017 on our recent trip out west... This picture shows the SUNSET in MONUMENT VALLEY Navajo Tribal Park, northern Arizona.


Monday, October 27, 2014

ELK at Cataloochee Valley, North Carolina 10/23/14

This is the first Bull Elk we saw when getting to Cataloochee.
George and I took a vacation last week with our good friends,  NEAL and Patti.  This is the fourth year we have taken an Autumn Vacation together.  The four of us have so much fun together --and each trip seems to get better than the last one!!!!!  This year,  we spent several days in Maggie Valley,  North Carolina.

We were on the go-go-go each day from 7:15 in the morning until about 7:30 at night.  We did a lot of 'leaf peeking' ---searching for pretty Fall Colors.  We traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway stopping at most every overlook.  We traveled the back-roads ---especially on Scenic Highway 215 between Rosman and west of Waynesville.  We saw WATERFALLS and Cascades (Yeah)... We took a nice hike each day.  We ate some great meals... We stayed in a wonderful motel/inn. AND the fellowship with friends was AWESOME....

BUT---if you put all of that aside, 'my' very favorite part was seeing the ELK at Cataloochee Valley.  We got there at the right time (early in the morning) in order to hear one of them 'bugle' loudly.  This is rutting/mating season ---and the males really like to chase the females ---and each male keeps a group of several ladies by his side!!!!!

We've seen the elk before --but this time,  we saw them THREE different times and in three different places during our visit there.  SO---since I love the elk so much,  I decided to share some ELK pictures with you today... Be sure to click on the pictures for enlargements.  Hope you enjoy them!!!!


"Hmmm",  Says Mr. Elk..  "That's a good-looking lady over there!" 



The pretty lady got up ---and took off!!!!  I heard her say,  "I don't want anything to do with him!"



She was smiling as she got away from him!!!



So dejected (see that pitiful face????)!!!!  "Why does she not like me?"



This young male was near the road where we were traveling... He didn't pay much attention to the people around ---and just kept on eating the leaves around him...






Another Bull Elk in another location later in the morning;  Did you know that Bull Elks can weigh up to 700 pounds??.  Their antlers/rack as I call it  can weigh 40 pounds... (Imagine the headache I would have if I carried those things... Yipes!)

 We took a hike to the Woody Cabin that morning after seeing the first group of elks.  The hike was about 2 miles round-trip ---and when we got back,  we found this group of elves.


This is sweet... This little lady was not running from Mr. Elk.   I think he gave her a kiss!!!!! 



She did get up --but he didn't seem interested --although she acted as if she was!!!!!!  What did Mr. Elk do instead of giving that lady some attention????????????????????????



WELL----I guess Mr. Elk was just too hungry ---so he ATE instead of entertaining the lady! Mercy Me!!!!!!



Then I saw it!!!! Mr. and Mrs. Elk AND little one!!!!!  See him/her??????



Then,  Mr. Elk left them and headed OUR way... Of course,  we were safely in/around our cars.  Luckily,  he wasn't paying a bit of attention to us.  SO--that gave us time to get some awesome photos... Like it????




Since Mr. Elk went the other direction,  we enjoyed watching all of the females and their little ones.  A female elk can weigh as much as 500 pounds...



Later in the day,  we encountered some female and baby elks again (near the school house).  There were about 15-20 elks in this group.  We were able to get fairly close --and I was amazed at the sizes of some of those females. 



Here's a cute little baby elk (called a calf).  These babies are usually born in May/June and weigh about 35 pounds at birth.  They are fed by Mama's rich milk --and will gain about two pounds a day.  By winter,  these little guys weigh up to five times their birth weight.  This one is not extremely young since he has lost his spots.  YES--they do have spots just like fawns do!



We enjoyed watching this  group of about 15-20 elks crossing the creek.  I loved watching the little one in my previous photo---who was one of the last ones to cross...  When he finally decided to get in that COLD water,  he 'quickly' hurried to the other side!!!  
Well---I could show you about 50 more pictures of the elk --but this is enough for now!!!!  All four of us really enjoyed watching them --off and on the entire time we were there.  Before you ask,  I will say that we were all very careful --and did NOT get near them, especially the big Bull Elks.   We KNOW that they can be dangerous --especially during rutting season!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.  OH--what fantastic memories!!!!   If you ever get a chance to see the elk at Cataloochee,  DO IT....

Hope you had a great week.   We certainly did!!!!!

Hugs,

59 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

I enjoyed every word of this ,post and the Elk photos are awesome. Have a good week.

Margaret Adamson said...

I enjoyed every word of this ,post and the Elk photos are awesome. Have a good week.

Ms. A said...

Awesome photos, Betsy!!! What an opportunity!

Ann said...

These are awesome shots. How exciting getting to see all of those elk.
There's no way I would want to carry that 40 pound rack on my head all day long. Yikes!....lol

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

These were GREAT photos of one of God's beautiful creatures. What a treat and thank you for sharing this adventure here with us.

FlowerLady

DeniseinVA said...

Fantastic photos Betsy. What an amazing time you must have had. I loved all your wonderful photos of these amazing animals.

linda m said...

I really enjoyed your pictures of all the elk - along with your comments. I neat to be able to see that many elk in the wild. What an amazing adventure you all had. Thanks for sharing your photos.

I Am Woody said...

Love this! You were able to get some fantastic shots!! We were in Knoxville over the weekend and I tried to convince everyone that we really needed to take a day trip to Cataloochee!! No luck though :/

Marcia said...

I didn't know there were elk in NC. Were they reintroduced there? We've seen them in Western Canada and Western US states. You got some great shots.

MTWaggin said...

I wondered if you were off on your autumn vacation. Great pictures of the elk and can't wait to hear more about your trip!

Linda Kay said...

Betsy,fabulous pictures. We had a friend just return from an elk hunt in Colorado, and he didn't even see a good chance to shoot one. I wonder if these are in a protected area. He thought where he was hunting was too dry, and the elk had gone somewhere else. Maybe to where you were!

George said...

These are all wonderful pictures of the elk. It definitely was worthwhile getting up in time to get there, although we did see them later into the morning than we ever have.

Sharon said...

Cattalochee is one of my favorite areas of the park and I love seeing the elk. They are there most anytime even when the crowds are NOT! So glad you had a fun trip.

Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing story! You were able to get such great pictures! We got to see something similar in Colorado and hear the bugle call of the male in the herd. Something you'll never forget!

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Outstanding photographs of the Elk. My husband's ancestors lived in North Carolina. Glad you got to visit and travel with your friends. So nice! Have a great coming week!

Manzanita said...

That is some fantastic photo shooting. Very interesting pictures and I love your little elk conversations. LOL

Sylvia K said...

Oh, how fun, Betsy!! And what terrific captures!! It does look as though you had a great time!! Thanks as always for sharing the fun!!

Cheryl said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the great photos and your great comments on them!

Fun60 said...

Those elks look so big. Your holiday sounded exhausting but terrific.

Terri D said...

I have enjoyed your photos on Facebook, and having them all together here is like candy! Just lovely and the elk are so majestic. Thanks for sharing!! What a blessing to be able to experience such beauty!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Lovely post. The pictures are fantastic and I can feel your excitement in the writing.

Liene said...

Amazing! You were right, my boys loved looking at these photographs. Thanks for stopping by my blog this morning!

Bouncin Barb said...

You have taught me a lesson today! I did not know that there were elk on the east coast. I only thought out west. Fantastic pictures and I'm so glad you and your friends had a great time! XX

annieelf2012 said...

I was totally loving these photos and then saw the baby. I about swooned. So, so fabulous.

Arkansas Patti said...

Loved this post Betsy. I am a huge elk fan. In fact, right behind me now is a family heirloom that is a set of elk horns fashioned into a dinner gong. It was the only heirloom I wanted. We moved so much when I was young that home wasn't home till the elk horns were unpacked.
Sounds like you all had a wonderful time.

Neal said...

Very, very nice. We did get some great shots of the elk. I don't know why people say the road is bad because it isn't bad at all. I loved the walk back to Woody Place.....including your dance on the bridge. :)

Linda@arichtapestry said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time with your friends. The viewing of the elks and being able to watch them in action in their various groups must have been special. The male is a very handsome creature.

Terry and Linda said...

I enjoyed every word and photo of this post, Betsy!!!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/?s=The+Adventures+of+Fuzzy+and+Boomer&submit=Search
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Chatty Crone said...

How wonderful for you to go with friends on vacation. Sounds like you have a lot in common and the same energy level.

What wonderful Elks - you got to see the whole family and the babies....

Beth said...

This is a wonderful post! I enjoyed seeing all the elk pictures and esp. your commentaries. I'm glad you had a great time! :>)

Happyone said...

Wow, incredible photos of the Elk. I've never seen so many before.
Those antlers are huge and quite amazing

Betsy said...

I so enjoyed this group of photos and all of the elk. Your comments just capped off a wonderful post. What fun! Nature in all of it's glory. Even babies. So cute.
Blessings,
The "other" Betsy

Helen said...

you are excellent at taking pictures! on the go for 12 hours a day out! I don't know if I could do that.

Beatriz said...

The kind of animal we just see in the US, cause we don't have anything like this in Brazil!
I'm sure you did a great week there!!!
A big hug

Bia <ยบ)))<

carolina nana said...

What wonderful photos of the elk. This is a great time to see the elk and a pretty time too. Sounds like you all had a great time.
We are supposed to get our first really cold weather this weekend, guess I'll have to bring in the rest of my plants. How long do you all leave your potted roses out ?
Blessings
Marilyn

Small Kucing said...

those are awesome pic, Betsy.

It's very brave of you to have such close up to see the Elk. I think the Bull Elk's antlers had me scared

Ginny said...

Hi Betsy! I took the day off so that is why I'm late. Your narration is every bit as good as the pictures!! The Elk Soap Opera, ha ha ha!!!

eileeninmd said...

Betsy, what a great post on the elk.. I remember seeing them in the Smokey Mtn Nat'l park. Awesome photos.. Have a happy day!

Eva Marie O'Brien said...

These pictures ar gorgeous, love the ones of the elks very much, I do like the wildlife a lot and to be able to see this up close, I can only imagine is an amazing feeling.
Have a lovely week ahead!

Busy Bee Suz said...

The male elk are such majestic creatures; ginormous!!! Do I see that some of them are wearing collars? I suppose there is some tracking going on for research.
So glad you had a nice vacation with your friends!!!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

You got gorgeous photos. So is this like a wildlife preserve for the elk, or do they just roam this region naturally?

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

You got gorgeous photos. So is this like a wildlife preserve for the elk, or do they just roam this region naturally?

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely creatures, and they taste good. They raise them like cattle nearby.

Beth of ".E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

wow, looks like fun! luv Maggie Valley! glad u & ur buddies had a fun trip, love the fall color. have a great day!!! ( ;

Tabor said...

Great photos. I have been there as well and enjoyed those large and intimidating elk.

Big Dude said...

Looks like the Elk posed well for you.

Small City Scenes said...

The Elk are awesome. What fun to meet up with the same couple and just enjoy everything.
MB

Big Dude said...

So nice of the elk to pose for you. Looks like the bull is rounding up his girls and getting ready to fight for them.

LV said...

Enjoyed your "elk" love story. I had been wondering where you two were off to now. I think it is wonderful you both have good health and can enjoy doing so much together.

LV said...

Enjoyed your "elk" love story. I had been wondering where you two were off to now. I think it is wonderful you both have good health and can enjoy doing so much together.

Our photos said...

Very nice series ! I have enjoyed it !

Daisy said...

Betsy, you got so many nice pictures! It must have been exciting to see so many of them. I like the babies the best.

Shug said...

Sam was thrilled with these photos!! He would love to see something like this...I guess we need to hit the road so we can see all of these gorgeous things..

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The elk are beautiful creatures especially the males with those huge racks. It looks like one of the males has a strap around it's neck. Or maybe I'm seeing things!
Take care and have a nice week!

SweetMarie said...

So glad you and George enjoyed your vacation with friends, how nice! This is at the top of my favorites! The Elk are so beautiful! I love the kissing photo and the family photos. Is this Elk protected? I noticed something around some of their necks.
hugs,
Marie

Jeevan said...

Great capture on these majestic ELKs and glad you able to see enough and also shared the moment with friends! Marinating a distance from any wild animal is good for both of them and this bull elk with branch horns/thorns really scare to be near but nice seeing them closer in your photos.

A fun series on ELK! I like the creek crossing by them...

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

WOW, Betsy! I'm glad I saw this post! That was one BIG elk, and he had 7 pint antlers which are pretty rare. I saw a 7 pointed antler bull elk in Estes Park when we visited RMNP and he had a harem of over 60 females following him. The elk you saw seemed to to be the real ruler of his domain!

Cattails said...

What wonderful photos of the elk. I've never seen any myself. The baby is really cute. Happy to read that you enjoyed the visit.

amanda | wildly simple said...

These are fantastic pictures, Betsy!
Elk are magnificent.
We've seen coastal elk in Oregon, my husband LOVES elk.. he's hunted them in Montana, with no luck in that rugged terrain. They are elusive, interesting creatures. He has a cow call that the kids like to play with - they make the strangest sounds for such big animals!