Today was a triple crown day for wildlife – four if you count the guys shown above.
There was elk behind the Woody House. The two females were so quiet that I didn’t notice them until the Deep Creek Trail Crew pointed them out. These five young men maintain trails from Clingmans Dome to Deep Creek. I’m not sure why they visited Cataloochee. They rode in a pick-up truck and asked me about the Woody House and elk, so I obliged. I also made sure to let them know that I was a Smokies 900 member and that people do really hike the trails.
When I drove back to the Caldwell House, I tried to get some kids interested in the antlers I had in the back of my car but they had live wildlife to look at – a broadband water snake. It was a long thing which wrapped itself around the post under the bridge to the house. I didn’t even attempt to take a picture. Instead we all just watched it in amazement.
The picture above is of mushrooms in a ring patterns which people call fairy rings.
I felt pretty good about my shift. I talked to 62 people including a guy who asked some hiking questions. I even met a young active couple from Poland. They were amazed by the park. They did say that in the NE section of Poland where they lived, there was some real wilderness and white wolves. I tried to find some information about white wolves but whitewolf is a game and its website completely took over my computer and I had a hard time killing it.
As I drove back to World Headquarters, I felt pretty good about my sightings. And then I saw a bear cub on the side of the road. It was hugging a tree when I first saw it. I quietly turned off the engine and it ambled away.
What a day!