Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wild Cataloochee

What once was has been reclaimed for wilderness.

Such may be the fate of all we do.

A far as the eye can see is a forest covered land much like the first European eyes would have seen it hundreds of years ago.

Flat land was a rare commodity in these hills. Here it is still maintained as pasture otherwise the forest would reclaim it.

A river runs through it.

A reason for maintaining pasture land.

Let the rut begin. And yes I even heard the elk bugle several times.

Wild orchids grow on the forest floor. This is the Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera pubescens.

I went into the wilderness and ran smack dab into history.

Another visit during the peak of fall color might be in order.


Siria said...

It is just beautiful out there! Those pioneers were certainly surrounded by beauty. I can only imagine how difficult life must have been in those times.

Mountain Mama (Wesley Jeanne) said...

One of my favorite places and in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Lola said...

Fantastic Christopher. I enjoyed the tour with you. There is so much to see.

chuck b. said...

So lovely. Very enticing. Who maintains the land as pasture?

Christopher C. NC said...

Siria this is a place worth repeat visits. I went on a Monday early and it was very quiet. On the way out around 4:30, a lot of people were heading in. To see the elk I am sure which I saw at noon.

Hi Wesley Jean. Cataloochee does rank up near the top for sure. It is nice that it is a bit off the beaten path and harder to get to.

Lola glad you enjoyed the tour. I want to go again and check out some of the trails.

Chuck this is part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, so the park service maintains the land as pasture.

Anonymous said...

I did not know there were elk in the Smokies. Their bugles are unearthly.
Thanks for the visit to the American frontier; it stimulates the imagination.


Pam said...

I didn't know there were elk in the smokies either - that's a very cool thing. Do you know how large their numbers are?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a lovely place. I painted a little sketch of an elk yesterday then here I get to see one. I don't remember ever seeing such a rack on an animal. They are majestic creatures and in this case in a suitable setting.

Christopher C. NC said...

The parks elk page has a lot of info on the herd that was introduced in 2001. They have gone from 52 to 95 animals in that time. At the bottom of the elk page is a list of semi-annual reports on the status of the herd.

Pam/Digging said...

That's a beautiful image of the elk, Christopher.