Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Animals we saw on vacation: Smokey Mountains, Blue Ridge, Shenandoah

Cindy and I just came back from a great vacation through three national parks and some of the surrounding areas. We saw some wildlife, but it isn't always easy to get your camera up and ready at just the right moment! Here are the best of the pics I have.
We saw these Canadian geese next to the road in Smokey Mountain National Park, right away. They were pretty cooperative at letting us get a picture.

We ended up seeing a lot of turkeys, which I thought was just a lot of fun. This was our first group and not a very good pic. Cindy said they just looked like garbage bags in her pictures. Cindy was keeping tabs on our total numbers, so I will let her reveal those to you, but I can tell you turkey's were our most frequent sighting. It made me want a turkey dinner, which I never got.

Again, in Smokey Mountain National Park, we saw bears! We were in a slow traffic jam and we didn't know why. Finally an employee who was pushing people along told us it was a bear jam! And this was the reason. This bear was happily climbing this tree. We were a fair distance away, but thanks to a zoom lens, you can tell it's definitely a bear. He climbed surprisingly high in this tree.

 A short while later, our second bear jam, because this guy was taking a  nap really close to the road.
 Finally, into the early evening, there was a momma bear with two little cubs. There weren't any employees to keep people away. We stopped a distance away, but my photos aren't good because my camera kept focusing on foliage instead of bears.
 The bears were moving closer and closer to the road where the people were. We thought it was kind of crazy how close people were and we left.
 Another turkey picture!
 We saw these butterflies feasting on something next to a river.
 This is my favorite turkey picture! This was along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Two of the males were displaying. We had the windows down and you could hear them gobbling. Cindy says it sounds just like a cartoon.

 And our first group of deer. There were quite a few.

 We stopped in Galax, VA and this Standard Poodle greeted me in a store. Cute dog.
 A robin.
 A millipede near a waterfall.
 A deer in the fog, Shenandoah National Park.

 We stopped at the Botanical Gardens in Charlotte, NC the day we left. We saw a few cardinals there.
 And I turned a corner and saw this giant rat snake! It was over 6 feet long! I got this completely unsatisfactory pic of it going into a bed, but I got a video clip on my phone of it going into the next bed. I posted it on facebook.

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