Photo Friday: Smoky Mountain Elk

Split Rail Fence

[Smoky Mountain Split Rail Fence, Nikon D40. October, 2013. full-size]

I think this is a pretty good photo (with a bit of digital antiquing) of a split rail fence inside the Smoky Mountain National Park. I’ve visited this Mountain Farm exhibit at least 10 times over the years but I never tire of soaking my city mind in the calming, pastoral scene.

For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.—Psalm 50:10-11

This, however, was the first year I’ve seen a bull elk roaming the farm. These huge animals were extinct east of the Mississippi, but were re-introduced to the Smoky Mountains several years ago by conservationists. The photo below of this magnificent bull is, unfortunately, a fairly dull record of a thrilling moment. I’m glad he was on the other side of the fence.

Bull Elk

[Bull Elk by a Fence, Nikon D40. October, 2013. full-size]

Autumn Hickory Leaf

Autumn Hickory Leaf

I took this shot in October of 2008 atop Clingmans Dome (6,643 ft), highest point in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the Appalachian Trail. I think this is the leaf of a Hickory tree.

Can anyone help me identify it?