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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Campy Fun

All my boys and I went camping over the Labor Day weekend. August has been brutally hot here, and heading to the mountains seemed like it might bring a little relief to our parched souls. It's so frustrating to spend the day trapped in the house by 95+ degree heat and high humidity. It is made worse by memories of childhood spent playing outside regardless of the heat and humidity, but we also didn't have air-conditioning and so the heat outside wasn't so different from the heat inside, and a little shade and lemonade was all one needed to keep going through the hottest part of the day. My children are wimps.
BUT, that's another story. THIS is the story of camping over the Labor Day weekend.
We are always on the lookout for interesting wildlife, and this trip gave us lots of friends - katydids,
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caterpillars,
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butterflies,
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and dinosaurs.
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The coolest animals we saw, however, were the elk. About 5 years ago, elk were reintroduced into the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains. The herd is up to about 87 animals, and when we visited we saw 9, including 2 bull elk - one old and one young. Unfortunately my zoom is not long enough to capture them like I would have wanted, but this gives you an idea of what it was like:
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We even got hear their bugle. September is when the rut starts, so big daddy elk in my pics didn't take to kindly to little up and coming wanna-be daddy elk invading his territory. Someone bugled (I'm guessing Junior), and big daddy chased him off into the woods to have a little talk about respecting elders.
For more campy fun, visit my Flickr page and take a virtual tour!