Thursday, August 28, 2014

Elk Calves in July

I usually reserve my visits to Elk Country until  early fall when the  bulls are bugling, but wanted to make a trip mid summer to see if I could see any new calves. 
 The scenery is always very nice to photograph here at Benezett 
The first capture was not an elk but Turkeys that are always somewhere around the visitors center or out in the fields
This encounter was not an elk either, but I loved this picture of another photographer I would guess who was looking for the same thing I was....elk
 Also not an elk but a bird of interest on the high tension wire on the way to the visitors center.  Cooper Hawk
Finally I did get to see a cow with a calf..but at a distance
Then a few more came out of the woods

 While taking an icecream break we were sitting and looking on the power line 
looked like a few cows and atleast one calf 
While watching the elk we saw a White tail fawn run across behind the elk.

A cow munching on greens close to the road
We also did see a couple of Bull elk but they were back in the woods with many sticks and trees to contend clear shots here.
A little better shot
 Towards evening we saw a bull feeding with some cows near the edge of the woods
My favorite picture which I almost missed on the way out of Benezette was this one.

To God be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He Hath Done

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wrapping up my trip

A Few last highlights of the trip.
Food is very important when we travel.  Shirley's restaurant in TN had  the BEST breakfast ever.
This place didn't look like much but.......
It had the best home made hot biscuits you ever tasted! The eggs and sausage gravy came in a close second.
 Another place right up there on the list was Mels Diner (Gatlinburg TN)
 Who wouldn't want to dine in an old fashioned place like this?
 Remember Flo and "kiss my Grits"
 Traveling down a windy country road in TN we saw this man making brooms.  I stopped and bought one. He is a 4th generation broom maker!  Best broom ever!
Just a roadside picture of queen anne's lace and blue chicory.  Did you know both of these flowers are edible? Queen anne's lace also known as 'wild carrot' has a carrot like root which can be eaten.  The leaves however are toxic. Chicory can be made into coffee or the leaves used in salad in early spring before they get bitter.
 While in Ky we stayed at our friends' (Ralph and Pat) property.  This is their beautiful log cabin where we spent many hours on the porch. Their property was just gorgeous.  As you will see by the next few pictures.

I loved the early morning mist
 We took a few day trips.  One was to Cumberland Falls.  They call it the little Niagara Falls of Ky
 My brother David taking a picture
One trip was to Old Sublimity Bridge in Laurel County Ky.
The bridge was built in 1942 by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) It connects Laurel and Pulaski County.
The pedestrian only bridge gives great views of the Rockcastle River
As you walk across the bridge look up and view the legendary Bee Rock overlooking Bee Rock Recreation Area.
A little history lesson:
Brigadier General Felix K Zollicoffer (1812-1862)  was killed in action while leading his brigade during the Battle of Mill Springs,(Jan. 1862)
The Confederates left some 125 dead on the field and the Union soldiers interred them in a mass grave a few yards from the place where their general had fallen. In the mud and fog and rain the near- sighted General Zollicoffer mistook the enemy for his own troops and was shot dead. Federal soldiers dragged Zollicoffer's body out of the road and propped it up against a white oak at roadside where it remained for the rest of the battle.
Souvenir-seekers clipped  buttons from his coat and locks of his hair.  Legend has it the scavenging continued until the body was clad only in underwear. His body was returned to his family in Nashville where he is buried
 Later stones were erected with names of the fallen.
Turning again towards food:   We saw this sign and had to stop by
 Now you have to realize it is June and no fresh tomatoes or corn is being sold in PA so I was in heaven.  We bought green beans, tomatoes, corn, and cantaloupe.  Ralph cooked up those beans with some fatback and we had steak that night with beans, sweet potatoes and 'maters'  Oh my gosh it was divine.  What a perfect way to bring this vacation to end!   

To God Be The Glory  ~~  Great Things He hath Done

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cades Cove ~ Part two

For most of its history Cades Cove has been a place to visit, but for more than  100 yrs. it also was a great place to live. In the 1860s John P. Cable bought land in the Cove and built a water-powered grist mill and sawmill in 1870.  It was a technological advancement of its day.
The water wheel driven mill could grind wheat into flour in addition to processing cornmeal.  The families now could make biscuits instead of a diet of pure cornbread.  Tub mills which were the alternative could only process a bushel of corn a day and it was time consuming, where John Cables mill could do it for them and a portion of the flour or meal or even money was the payment.
The same wheel also provided power for a sash sawmill with a heavy reciprocating blade.  It was a relatively slow way of turning a log into lumber but that is how the Cove was able to build houses of frame construction.  Most owners of the log homes in Cades Cove bought lumber for siding to cover that fact that they were living in old fashioned cabins.
A son James V. Cable inherited the mill and operated it well into the twentieth century. 
 Gregg-Cable House
Leason Gregg bought an acre of land from John Cable in 1879 and built a small house with lumber sawed at the mill. He later enlarged the house and ran a store on the first floor.  It is believed to be the first all-frame house in the cove.  In 1887 Rebecca Cable and her brother Dan bought the house and acre their father had sold to Gregg.
 "Aunt Becky" as she was known never married or had children but she reared her brothers children when his wife became ill with tuberculosis and mental illness.She also  ran the boarding house, took care of the farm, tended the mill, and lived a long and successful life until she was 96 in 1940.
 Near the house was the smokehouse where large sections of hogs were cured by smoking or salting and stored.  Deer and bear were
eaten fresh because it was not easily cured.  Sunday dinner could be a chicken killed, cleaned and cooked and eaten the same day.
This type of barn was located behind the house with the drive-through in the center and stalls on each side. Two men could unload hay with pitchforks, one from the wagon and the other from the loft. The hay was feed to draft animals and milk cows in the stalls below. The drive through also served as a storage place for farm equipment.
Aunt Becky attended the missionary Baptist church and was a loyal member right up until her death.(born Dec.7th 1844-died Dec. 19th 1940)

When we entered the church a nest of barn swallows greeted us from above.

Inside the church I found a bulletin from that morning so it must still be used.

Becky could be seen barefoot in the fields, plowing or mowing with this piece of machinery hooked to the mules or herding cattle.
 Behind the barn a stream runs (part of the water supply for the wheel in the mill) but on this day some young girls were cooling off on some rocks. A very different picture from the 1860s.
Around 2million visitors come each year to drive the eleven mile loop road.  They like to feel the Cove's pastoral serenity and protection of the surrounding mountains. Some as do I, delight in imaging themselves in the places of those who cut the trees, built the houses and worked a living from the land.  It's one of great Smoky Mountains most popular places to visit.

To God be The Glory  ~~  Great Things He Hath Done

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