The 2014 Gang at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It’s become a tradition of ours to always take a group shot at this park entrance sign in Townsend. 

Posted in: Family, GSMNP (Smokies), People by Mark 1 Comment

Dogwood Over Middle Prong

5D MkII, 24-70L f/2.8, 1.3sec. @ f/9, ISO100

Middle Prong – Tremont Area

This stream is difficult to shoot … it’s large, with many boulders and obstructions.  But, one never tires of wandering the stream, looking for new vantage points and listening to the soothing sounds of the rushing waters. Enjoy. 5D MII, 16-35L II, 21mm, 1.6 secs. @ f/10, ISO100

White Oak Sinks Phlox Extravaganza

This is what we came for.  FLOWERS!  This is White Oak Sinks, a hollow requiring a modest 2-mile hike from the main road.  It is a small basic surrounded by steep hills.  One side of this area has an incredible waterfall that literally disappears into the ground (see this LINK from a previous visit), and […]

Foam Flower

This Foam Flower is only one of the many, many species found throughout the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  It was a bear to shoot, because these sway with the slightest wisp of wind.  I love it’s form and the lovely greenery that surrounded it.  I’m not a very good macro shooter.  It typically frustrates […]

Spruce Flats Falls

On our recent Smokies trip, we set out to shoot Spruce Flats Falls in the Tremont area.  The hike is a mile or so in, and it’s a moderately difficult hike due to steep climbs on both the approach and return.  About halfway in, we reach a mostly dry ravine coming down the face of […]

John Oliver Cabin at Cades Cove

Cades Cove is a favorite.  It exemplifies the Smokies and earlier pioneer life there, in my opinion.  The old home place of John Oliver should be familiar (see this post from the fall of 2011).  Photographing it this spring provided a different twist because of the incredible blooming dogwoods and lush spring greenery. The two […]

Why Are They Called The Smokies?

Hmmm, go figure.     Emily, Evan (Katie’s beau), Carl (my best bud), and I took a trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park in late April to shoot wildflowers, among other landscapes.  The last spring trip to the Smokies did not yield much in the way of flower images.  Mother Nature’s timing does not always […]

Posted in: GSMNP (Smokies), Landscapes by Mark 2 Comments

The Last Quiet Places

I heard an interview titled “The Last Quiet Places” with Gordon Hempton this past Sunday, May 13th on NPR.  He is an acoustic ecologist and the author of “One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Quest to Preserve Quiet.”  The interview was a fascinating listen about the power of quiet and natural sounds.  Hempton says […]

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A Window Back in Time

“Art is the window to man’s soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within.”  ~ Lady Bird Johnson A consistent theme of “times gone by” pervades my thinking when visiting the Smokies.  This is partially because the area reminds me so […]

Posted in: GSMNP (Smokies), Landscapes by Mark 1 Comment

Men at Work

The Smokies trip did not yield many flower opportunities as mentioned previously.  The mild winter and early spring resulted in flowers blooming 3 weeks ahead of schedule, so our best laid plans did not pan out. However, our hike to the White Oak Sink waterfall landed us in a hollow with a floor full of […]

Posted in: GSMNP (Smokies), People by Mark 1 Comment

White Oak Sink Falls

I posted a fall version of this back in October, but spring has such a different feel with the greenery.  I wish timing had worked out for us to experience the flowers at peak, but the textures of the green ferns and ground cover did not disappoint.  Carl’s presence is important to comprehend the scale […]

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