Looking Here and There, Too Many Cute Deer!

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The past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of photographing some really cute deer. (Honestly, have you ever seen an ugly deer?). I wasn’t looking for them while I was out walking or hiking, but am so glad I saw them. I usually see a deer dashing though a yard in a neighborhood as I am driving down the street, or unfortunately dead on the side of the road. So I am glad to see these cuties in their element, and not minding me taking their picture. I did stay a respectable distance (glad for my zoom lens) and enjoyed getting these photos. Hope you enjoy them as well.

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By the way, I thought I would add in some ‘fun deer facts’ courtesy of science.kids.co.nz.

  • Deer are part of the Cervidae family that include moose, reindeer, elk and other   species.

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  • Male deer grow new antlers each year.

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  • Animals such as antelope resemble deer in a number of ways but have horns instead of antlers, the difference being that horns are not grown and replaced like antlers are.

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  • During the mating season male deer will often use their antlers to fight for the attention of female deer.

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  • Many species of deer have been hunted over the years for their antlers.
  • A male deer is usually called a ‘buck’.
  • A female deer is usually called a ‘doe’.

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  • A young deer is usually called a ‘fawn’.

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  • A group of deer is known as a ‘herd’.

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  • Deer have long legs typically suited to the environments they live in.

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  • They can jump high and swim well.

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  • Most deer are born with white spots but lose them within a year.

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  • Deer take their first steps within half an hour of their birth.

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  • Young deer will usually stay with their mother for around a year.

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  • Does have one or two babies in the spring or early summer. The babies are brown with white spots.

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  • Deer blend in well with their surroundings to avoid danger.

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  • I hope you like my pictures. Personally, I had rather see their faces in this format than hanging on a wall.

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  • Until next time-
    I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
    while focused on Nashville!
    My best to you,
    Terri

My Photos, My Father’s Words

Because tomorrow is Father’s Day, I thought I would dedicate this blog to my father who I lost 9 years ago at the young age of 64. He was a hard working, funny, athletic, handsome, goodhearted man who happened to write poetry.

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As a youngster I would sit in my room for hours reading and writing poems and short stories. I had no idea that I inherited my love of writing from my Daddy until I was in my 20’s and my grandmother sent me a book of poems my Daddy had written while he was in California attending college. He was born and raised in Tennessee and was desperately homesick for the 4 months he was away.He wrote my grandmother almost every day and many of his letters included poems. One of the poems was about Tennessee and how much he missed it. I want to honor him for Father’s Day by sharing his poem with you, along with some pictures I have taken of the great state of Tennessee. (By the way, he inherited his love of writing from my grandmother who responded to him with a poem she wrote for him. I will share it as well.)                                                                                        I hope you enjoy the poems and photos.

Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee                                                                                                         by Bill Lampley

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Oh Tennessee, my Tennessee
With all your hills uplifted
How often have I bemoaned the fact
That from you I have drifted.

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You are the fairest of the fair
To me you always will be
A symbol for all to see
But a love existing only for me.

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You’ll never know how I miss you
I never realized myself before
How I long to feel your breezes and see your rolling hills
And hear your mighty waterfalls roar.

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Other states are lovely, with views of the valleys below and the mountains high above
But you will always be my first and only love.
Fear not my beautiful one, my sweetheart who holds such mystery
For I will soon return to you, praying you have missed me.

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So I say to you, weep not for me
No matter where or how far I roam
For you know one day I will return, oh Tennessee,
And when I am there, I know I will be home.

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My grandmother’s poem answering my dad…

Tennessee’s Answer                                                                                                             by Dorothy Lampley        

I hear your plea and smile, my son
For always have I known
That though you roamed the wide world ore’
Someday you would come home.

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When first your faltering baby steps                                                                                     Left tracks in my native clay
Twas then I marked you as my own
And loved you from that day.

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When you were but a carefree lad
I etched upon your heart
My images so deep and clear
From them you cannot part.

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My green clad hills, my roaring streams                                                                                   My cloudless skies of blue                                                                                                       My rolling plains and towering bluffs                                                                                         Became a part of you.

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I sent you forth in an alien land                                                                                                 To test your worth and mettle                                                                                                   To earn your badge of honor, son                                                                                           To prove yourself in life’s battle.

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But I have no fear, my chosen one                                                                                           Your spirit shall unconquered be                                                                                              Wanting to see my green hills again                                                                                        You will come home, to Tennessee!

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If you are blessed to still have your Daddy in your life, take the time to create a memory with him tomorrow and every day you can that will last long after he is gone.
Or make sure to give him a call and tell him you love him. I have a feeling he never gets tired of hearing those 3 words that mean so much. Happy Father’s Day to all Dads!

Until next time-

I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville and the great state of Tennessee!
My best to you,
Terri

Focused on Fun in the Tennessee Mountains!

School was finally out for summer a couple of weeks ago. We were elated! Singing the Alice Cooper song we couldn’t wait to make our vacation plans. We had only one week before Band Camp started for my 14 year old son. My husband and I knew what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, but we wanted his opinion too. We got the answer we thought we would get…Fun in the Tennessee Mountains. Now, when you think of heading to the mountains you are thinking of hiking through the woods, a picnic by a beautiful stream, exploring small towns and back roads, discovering wildlife, and viewing gorgeous scenery. But his idea of fun is a little different from ours, because after all – he is only 14. So we compromised and merged all our ideas into one vacation. Here is a taste of the sights, discoveries and fun we had in the great state of Tennessee!

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One of our first activities was a drive through the Great Smokies. We toured the Roaring Fork Motor Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains which is a 5.5 miles long and narrow road winding through lush forests and showcasing the Roaring Fork stream and the historic buildings. We had our windows rolled down the whole time so we could hear the rushing of the water over the rocks. It was wonderful!

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We were able to park and tour the mountain farms.

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The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is open May-November. Check out this link for more details…http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm

We also headed to Cades Cove which is close to Townsend, Tennessee and about 1 1/2 hours from Gatlinburg. First of all, the drive is spectacular! We drove through the valley looking at all the majestic mountains and were speechless. It was a sunny day and the sky could not have been more blue.

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We had read that it can be really crowded on the Cades Cove loop so we got there around 10:00 A.M. and it wasn’t bad. My suggestion to you is the earlier the better, especially in the summer and on weekends. It is an 11 mile, one way tour in your car, but there are many places where you can park and get out to walk trails and explore historic buildings.

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As we started our tour we saw some deer and turkey and were so excited!

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We rounded a corner and saw a group of people in a field, all looking up in the trees. Of course we grabbed our camera and joined them. I have never seen a wild bear, let alone a bear cub out in their living environment. Let me tell you it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had! I was mesmerized!

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The Mom was in one tree and was calling for her cub who was in a nearby tree. The cub was not wanting to come down, so after awhile we all left so they could reunite. (I might add here that there were park rangers with our group the entire time telling us when we should move back or away from the bears. We kept a safe distance at all times.)

We continued on the scenic route and I happened to look over to my left and guess what I saw? Another Mother Bear and her two cubs. I was in heaven!

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I will never forget this beautiful drive or this magnificent day! I cannot wait to go back again! Cades Cove is a must if you are in the area.

For more information on Cades Cove, please visit this link at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm

So after our couple days of outdoor bliss, it was time for our son (Bennett) to have his fun. (Although he did get the biggest thrill seeing the bears! Who wouldn’t?)

We headed out for a day of fun in the mountains, Bennett style. First stop was the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. If you are not familiar with this ride, it is like riding your own private roller coaster. You are in a car that seats one or two and you are in control of your speed. You are taken by a conveyor belt up the side of a mountain and then can reach speeds of 27 mph going down if you do not apply the brakes. I had to sit this one out, but my husband and son rode it 5 times each. (By the way, they do give discounts after the first ride.)

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There are two other coaster ride attractions in the area and they had to be visited as well. All three experiences will not disappoint you but my husband and Bennett decided this one was their favorite. It claims to be the longest downhill coaster ride in the country with over 1 mile of track.

For more information, please visit this link…http://www.smokymountainalpinecoaster.com/ride.htm

Thank goodness we were close to our cabin because we could see a storm coming in so we headed home.

We made it safely to our cabin before the rain hit it and it was a gully washer as we say in Tennessee! But after the rain, we looked out the window and felt we had to burst into the song “Smokey Mountain Rain” by Ronnie Milsap! What a sight we saw! These pictures will help you understand why they are called The Great Smoky Mountains!

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As the rain slowly moved out and the clouds and fog moved in, the view was absolutely gorgeous! It took my breath away!

The other adventure Bennett chose was visiting Goats On the Roof. What is Goats On The Roof? I took this quote from their page; “It’s the goat-feeding-est, gem-mining-est, fudge-eating-est, ice-cream-licking-est, cool-gift-shopping-est attraction in Pigeon Forge!”

It is a pretty cool place and they have recently added a coaster and yes, the guys rode this one too. I loved the baby goats!

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You can spend an hour easily in this place and it will hard to leave empty handed! For more information, please check out this link at http://www.goatsontheroofofthesmokies.com/

Another one of Bennett’s requests was to hit the main road in Pigeon Forge where there are more amusement parks, arcades and activities for the kids or the kid in all of us than probably anyone else in Tennessee. He wanted to ride as many go carts as possible. He got his wish.

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He has his game face on and is ready for action.

 

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Two hours and 5 rides later, he was done. But he had a ball! For more information on the main strip in Pigeon Forge and the numerous activities, please check out this link at  http://thegreatsmokeymountainsparkway.com/_map/pigeon_forge/pfparkway.htm

Finally, what does every kid want to do on vacation? Go swimming of course!

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Regarding lodging you will not have a problem finding overnight accommodations in this area. There are numerous places to choose from, depending on what you like. The Smoky Mountains/Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge vacation is one of the best vacations you can ever take and I am not saying this because I am a native Tennessean. I am saying this because there is something for everyone, and everyone can do something together!

So ya’ll come on over to Tennessee!

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Until next time-

I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville and the great state of Tennessee!
My best to you,
Terri