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Behold the Bugler

Fall is quickly approaching in the Great Smoky Mt National Park and that means lots of wonderful things!  One of the first things that comes to mind is the changing of the leaves which brings out brilliant colors and paints the land in rich hues of yellows, golds, oranges and reds.  Another thing that comes with fall is the mating season of the elk, also known as the rut (September into early Oct).

The elk were reintroduced in 2001-2002 after a 200 year absence in the Smokies.  They are spectacular creatures to behold.  The best places to do so in the park are in the Cataloochee Valley or near the Oconoluftee Visitor Center.  The best times for viewing are early morning or early evening just before sunset.  Fields may be closed during the rut to minimize conflicts between elk and humans.

elk

During the rut the adult male elk (bulls) use a combination of bugling and aggressive behavior in an attempt to dominant over other males.  They use their huge antlers to spar with other males in a show of strength.  The bugling is a very distinct sound beginning as a deep resonant then increases to a high pitched squeal and ends in a succession of grunts.  These bugles can be heard a mile or more away!

To view a video of the elk click here

Seasons of the elk:  Spring (March) the male shed their antlers which are calcium rich and quickly eaten by other rodents and other animals.  It is illegal to remove the antlers from the park so look don’t touch!

Summer is birthing time with most calves being born in June.  The majestic creatures like to roll and wallow in the mud to cover themselves as a deterant to pesty insects.  By August the antlers are full grown and have lost their “velvet”.

Fall is the rut as discussed above and the display of aggresive, dominant behaviour and bugling begins.

Winter, the elk wear a two layer coat in colder months with the longer hairs repelling water and the fuzzy undercoat keeps them warm.

It really is quite a treat to view the elk in their natural habitat.  Be sure to follow all park rules regarding wildlife viewing for your saftey and that of the animals.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Great Smoky Mt National Park

 

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The Wedding Capital of the South

weddingmarineAnother way the Smokies are endeared to many, they come here where the scenery shouts life, peace, and joy to promise a lifetime of love to one another.  The area has everything a couple planning a wedding could want or need, including beautiful wedding chapels, local florists, bakers, salons, spas, catering services, photography, entertainment and more.

Looking for something a little more intimate?  Local ministers will come to your cabin, condo or chalet and perform your perfect Smoky Mountain wedding.  Another great perk, you are already at your honeymoon destination! 

Need a one stop shop, help in planning or just general information, then check out (by clicking their name) the Smoky Mountain Wedding Association page for wedding planning made easy!  You’ll want to get their free planning guide and read their blog articles for great ideas, hints, tips and more.

Here are a couple other helpful links.

Package Deals:  New Beginnings Wedding Photography

For a list of wedding providers/wedding services in Sevier County click here.

With the helpful resources of the links above the planning of your wedding just got easier, and your life more stress free!  After all isn’t that what coming to the Smokies is all about?  Why yes it is!  Is all about love, fun, relaxation and memories.  No better place than the Smokies to fall in love, pledge your love and enjoy your love.  Now get busy planning those honeymoon activities!

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge

 

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Let’s Go Shopping!

Whether you are shopping for yourself, for that special someone, to complete your holiday list or maybe just find that unique conversation piece, you can find it all right here in the Smoky Mt Area.  Here are some links to help plan your outing.

http://www.tangeroutlet.com/sevierville/

http://www.mypigeonforge.com/things-to-do/shopping/

http://shopsofpigeonforge.com/

http://www.pigeonforgefactoryoutlet.com/

http://www.waldenslanding.com/stores.html

http://www.gatlinburg.com/things-to-do/shopping/default.aspx

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge

 

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