Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Drama in Cades Cove

Wednesday July 11, 2018                                                                               Most Recent Posts:
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I hitch another ride with Nancy and Bill to Cades Cove early this morning to take advantage of their Wednesday and Saturday mornings of  ‘roads closed to cars’ summer policy.  I really do prefer to walk the roads even over biking them.  I see so much more.

It’s such a beautiful location.  I can only imagine how heart broken the people of this community must have been to have to leave it. 

The herd of horses is gathered near the barn in the distance awaiting grain for breakfast I suppose.  You can take trail rides here from the stables if you wish.

My camera was not performing well in this morning’s light and haze so Nancy graciously shared her much better pictures.  Hers are watermarked.

As I’ve found it every morning I’ve come, it’s a bit misty although not as totally fogged today in as some mornings but still the colors in my pictures reflect the situation until later on when the fog burns off.

The genesis of “horsing around”.

This lovely thing is called the Wild Potato Vine, obviously a memeber of the Morning Glory family.  It likes to entwine itself on the fences along the road.


Some sort of Mountain Mint is also growing along the fence row.  I always want to wipe the dust off of its grayish leaves so they will be green even though I know that’s just their color.



Across the field, near the horse barn, the turkeys are more interested in this dried out pile of hay than the horses.  Not that I blame them.




Something is going on in the field and we stop to watch this deer with her head, ears and tail in alert.  

Whatever it is, she’s spooked.

And then we see it.

Even the buck on the other side of the road seems to know something is going on.

Here comes the coyote.

This is really about the best picture I got of him.  He crossed back and forth across the road pickinig up the scent.


Once he’s spotted her, he’s off.

On the other side of the road, it’s head for the hills.

Nancy was able to capture the chase with her much faster camera so thanks to her, I’ll  let her pictures tell the story of what we saw. 

2018-07-11 10 - Cades Cove Walk -  Coyote scent tracking in Field on left

2018-07-11 13 - Cades Cove Walk -  Coyote scent tracking in Field on left

2018-07-11 16 - Cades Cove Walk -  Coyote tracking in Field on right

2018-07-11 20- Cades Cove Walk -  Coyote crosses back to Field on left

Now they spot each other.

D2018-07-11 28- Cades Cove Walk -  Coyote & Deer withing camera range

Things are getting tense.

D2018-07-11 29- Cades Cove Walk -  Coyote moves closer

D2018-07-11 32 - Cades Cove Walk -  Deer bolts, coyote chases out of sight

He’s running her ragged.  We later speculate that she may have been trying to keep him away from some young ones as it almost seemed that she would go back toward him.   She kept going to and then away from this mid field fence.

D2018-07-11 33 - Cades Cove Walk -  Exhausted deer comes under fence

D2018-07-11 34 - Cades Cove Walk -  Exhausted deer still fleeing

D2018-07-11 38 - Cades Cove Walk -  Deer jumps fence

At this point, they are face to face.

D2018-07-11 40 - Cades Cove Walk -  Deer & Coyote are face to face

She must be exhausted before this chase even began

D2018-07-11 41 - Cades Cove Walk -  The Chase is ON

D2018-07-11 43 - Cades Cove Walk -  The Chase is ON

D2018-07-11 44 - Cades Cove Walk -  The Chase is ON

Eventually they ran out of our sight with him literally nipping at her heels.  We didn’t feel very good about her chances or those of her young ones if there were any.  It was amazing to watch.

The truth of the wild up close and personal.    Thanks again Nancy for your generosity.

D2018-07-11 45 - Cades Cove Walk -  The Chase continues & moves out of sight

With nothing left to see and no way to know what happened, we walk on down the road taking pictures, enjoying the surroundings.

I’m assuming we’re enjoying Mountain Flox and Yellow Ragwort



About this time I realize that in the excitement I’ve lost my sunglasses.  So as they head into the woods, I start a slow search going back with my head down scanning the ground.


My peripheral vision picks up this chipping sparrow just inside the fence.  He may be common but he sure is cute.

I do look up when I hear this group come thundering up the road.  High school cross country running up hill in July.  Ah to be young again!


I retrace our entire route on both sides of the road since we were going back and forth watching the drama.   When I get back to their truck and look inside through the windows to see if it is at all possible that I just left them in the truck, I find – Nope.

On the way back to join Nancy and Bill I do see these two handsome fellows.



I also find the answer to why the turkey crosses the road.


Becasue everybody else did.


Cades Cove is definitely a beautiful place where you really never know what you  might see.

cades cove


  1. Too bad about the sunglasses. Jim can relate :-)
    I feel bad for that deer. It's chances did not look good.
    We have biked around Cade's Cove on the no-car days but you are right, walking gives you a much better chance to see all there is to see.

  2. Very nice "Wild Kingdom" shots!!!

  3. The coyote looked pretty skinny. He has to work hard for whatever he gets to eat. The deer might have been an older one, also a bit thin, so who knows who wins in this situation. I am not a vegetarian, so I can't fault the coyote.

  4. Excellent action shots!

    Turkeys look so ungainly.

  5. Oh my gosh! Those pictures of the deer and the coyote are amazing! I have never seen a coyote- I'd love to see one. I thought that they generally hunted in packs. I feel badly for the deer- he was very close to her. I hope that she was able to outrun him. I enjoyed the other deer photos. Turkeys are not attractive (I guess except to other turkeys) but still fun to see them. The wild potato vine blossom is lovely. xxxooo

  6. Oh that poor deer. I hope she got away!

  7. Glad you could use the photos. I am not sure if I will ever get them posted. It was an amazing encounter...too be right in the middle...sure brought nature to life!!! I wasn't expecting to spend so much time in Cades Cove, but it turned out to be one of our favorite places in The Smokies:o))

  8. An interesting "nature at it best" adventure but not one I would have wanted to witness. Those two bucks you saw are beautiful! I love the velvet antlers. Sorry about your sunglasses.

  9. Wow, what a cool thing to witness, although it be bad for the deer. Hope you finally found your sunglasses!

  10. Wow, what a wildlife spectacle right before your eyes! I know it's all part the natural cycle of life, but it's not always easy to witness. How amazing that you and Nancy were able to capture the chase with your cameras! I'm curious—what camera does Nancy use (you mentioned that it's faster than yours).

  11. Great list—had my heart beat up! I often think about how there is a whole world of drama, life and death, and birth taking place right in my own back yard. I have to be very careful with Bogey as he has a prey instinct. (Jack would munch grass right next to a rabbit. LOL)

    There was a doe hanging around for a couple of weeks, and I worried about her. She was not afraid of me, but she was aware that Bogey was around. A week ago I looked out and she had two babies. We are in an urban area—high population. We have part of the back yard fenced off and have left it to grow wild (sure my neighbors love me) but creatures have to have a place to live. They come out mostly at night and closer to the house. Raccoons, possums, deer...I have a lighted collar for Bogey and I make a lot of noise to warn them that he’s coming. He is disappointed after he darts out to find whatever scent he thought was there is gone.

  12. Stunning pictures of the coyote and deer. What a (sad) thrill to see that side of nature in action. :cO

  13. Drama indeed! The circle of life is happening everyday around us, and rarely are we somewhere to see it unfold. Thanks to you and Nancy for sharing those great shots. The bucks are so pretty. Bummer about your sunglasses! I'm finally caught up with your recent adventures in nature. You're in such a pretty place.

  14. Such high drama, and an exciting activity to witness. Everything has to eat.

  15. Good pics. We saw a coyote kill a fawn right in front of us down by our lake last week. Not happy the coyotes are so close with our aging cat and dog, but we need something to keep the deer pop in check.

  16. Nice wildlife photography, and what drama. Looks like the coyote had markings, but maybe that was from being wet in the morning dew. It did not look good for the deer, but that is nature. Nice big bucks - I thought they were more careful - never see them out in the open here, just the does and babies.

  17. Wow, its like watching Nat Geo, I just have to imagine listening also to accompanying dramatic music. But that was interesting and awesome that you guys got to witness some real natural killings in the wild. Great photos!
    Lots of wildlife sighting on this day. I like that caption of horsing around.

  18. Wow! What a sight! That deer likely didn't make it. Sorry about your glasses :( Bummer! That was an action packed day!

  19. Amazing photos! Were you really as close to the action as the photos look? Or was it zoomed up by the camera? I was really surprised that a lone coyote would chase a full-grown deer; would have thought it would only chase a deer as far as necessary to get a mother away from its fawn, but wouldn’t go after an adult. Not sure why she didn’t just run and keep running?- I guess there must have been a fawn. Or maybe she couldn’t get over/through the fence until she was quite desperate. Very curious about what happened, but in truth, relieved not to know after all.

    But, much more important — Arg!- so sorry about your sunglasses! First, one Ofoo, now sunglasses. Frustrating!

  20. Always the drama of life and death going on whether we see it or not, the law of Nature. Great photos!! Sorry about the sunglasses.


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