Dark Eyed Junco birds, a genus of small grayish American sparrows. are very popular in the Clingmans Dome area. Adults generally have gray heads, necks, and breasts, gray or brown backs and wings, and a white belly, but show a confusing amount of variation in plumage details. The white outer tail feathers flash distinctively in flight and while hopping on the ground. The bill is usually pale pinkish.
Another breathtaking view of these fabulous mountains and on a clear day.
Cedar waxing bird is a species I have been trying to capture fro a long time. I was happy to spot it. Unfortunately, he was perched too far for a better look. It is a medium-sized, mostly brown, gray, and yellow bird named for its wax-like wing tips. Such a beauty.
In this photo appears part of the paved trail showing some brave hikers leading to the top of the dome as well as part of the parking lot in the background.
This shot was from the top of the Dome which requires a steep hiking of half a mile, but the view from there is grandiose.
A stunning panoramic view from the parking area at Clingmans Dome.which is the highest point in the Great Smoky National Park at 6,643 feet whose location is in Tennessee and the North Carolina border. Ridge and ridge of Mountains can be seen from this location.
What a day! Four bears and a cub in one day within half hour. This occurrence made my day. It was also getting a bit late and I had a three hours drive from Cades Cove, Tennessee to the place I was staying in North Carolina. Driving back was a breeze,… long but I was happy.
Wait, another siting as I was driving away. This big male was making eye contact but only for a few second which gave me enough time to capture that shot. Wow.
Another big surprise was about to surface. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to see another bear some thousand feet away from the first one. Please note that the bears were at a distance and didn’t make eye contact.
And that’s when it suddenly happened. While slowly driving, and with my eagle-eye vision (I can’t believe I’m saying that while I am waiting for cataract surgery) I notice a movement in the weeds and from a distance. I post that first shot without cropping so you can have an idea of the distance and focus on the middle of the picture for a black spot. I was using at that time my Canon 70-200mm Lens.
That black spot was this magnificent mother bear. My joy… can’t be described. You get the picture. I had time to switch to my 100-400mm Lens for a closer shot and that I got.
And this site is beyond the joy I felt when I saw Mom. But there was more surprises along the way.