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The header picture shows a beautiful SUNRISE from Mt. Nebo State Park, Arkansas on 2/15/17.

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,