Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Smoky Mountains April 2-4

My wife and I decided to take a trip to the Smoky Mountains for our first anniversary. This was our first time visiting the park and it definitely won't be our last. We stayed in a cabin in Sevierville which was approximately 12 minutes away from the park entrance. We couldn't have asked for better weather with blue skies and highs in the mid 80's; not bad for the beginning of April. Our trip was short (3 days) but we managed to see some of the park's most beautiful sights, hike some of the most breathtaking scenic trails we've ever seen, and best of all, (for me of course), I found and photographed new salamander species. Here are a few of my favourite pictures from our stay.

"Cabin Fever"

The view from the balcony

Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea wilderae)

Imitator Salamander (Desmognathus imitator)
This Salamander is an endemic to the Smoky Mountains.

Ocoee Salamander (Desmognathus ocoee)

Southern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon serratus)

Black-bellied Salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus)

Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola)

Desmognathus sp.

Desmognathus (larval stage)

While walking the Cove Mountain Trail we came across a Black Bear foraging just off the trail. The bear could care less that we were there and continued feeding as if we didn't exist. I was able to get some decent shots of the bear before it disappeared. This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

I discovered this scorpion under a rock at the cabin.

One of the thousands of waterfalls in the park.

Newfound Gap at 5048'

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