The prospect of bear and deer feasting on summer’s bounty lured me to Cades Cove in the Smokies for a brief visit. Brief is the operative word, here. I only have two photos to show for it. Intent on searching for bears, I passed other beauties, like the clumps of black-eyed Susans dotting the forest edges and the delicate white-tailed does that seemed to be everywhere. This one bear photo brings back all the detail—the yellow-green light shining through the canopy, the soft carpet of ferns, pine needles and moss among the boulders, the disarray of fallen tree trunks, the thick, black fur of this young female as she wove her way through it all.
I’m already sketching this image in my head, so rich was the moment of crossing the creek and watching her at a safe distance. I passed a rock she had moved, the clean dirt pattern of its shape shadowing beneath its new position. She moved along nonchalantly, until tiring of observation, she gracefully leaped over a cluster of boulders and loped out of sight.
That brings a laugh to my heart, always. I love seeing bears, but I love their freedom and privacy, too. I enjoy that moment of disappearance and imagine a life in a pristine world, undisturbed.
Above, an eight-point white-tailed buck who studied me for an instant before returning to foraging on over-head leaves.
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.