Three dimensional digital artwork depicting a giant metallic centipede with glowing green eye from outer space, streaming through the atmosphere to crawl upon the frozen tundra of planet Earth. What happens next is anyone’s guess?!
As you ponder the seemingly endless possibilities, consider dropping by my shops to discover some out of this world, really cool stuff!
I was taking photographs yesterday on Little River in the Smoky Mountains, when I looked up and saw this goose standing on a log (or, is it a wooden Otter?) atop a rock in fast-moving water. It’s now available on fine prints & more in these shops.
I recently hiked seven miles at the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area, near Jamestown, Tennessee – more about that in the days ahead. This post recaps two instances along the trail in which I encountered bears.
Highlights: this park offers scenic overlooks of the canyon, substantial sandstone cliffs, interesting geological structures, and a canopied forest trail. Oh, and wildlife.
🐻 Bear No. 1
Have you ever had the feeling that you’re being watched? Well, that’s exactly how I felt as I approached a small stream at the base of the canyon. Nearly two miles into the wilderness, I had the sense that something was out there, that I wasn’t alone, and so I stopped to surveil my surroundings, keeping still to remain as quiet as possible. However, I didn’t see or hear anything.
The trail followed the stream, slowing gaining elevation with distance. I was soon at a point approx. 15-feet above the stream, when it happened: an adult male black bear probably twice my size (235 lbs.) had snuck up on me and was within 30-feet! This was likely the source of my concern, earlier, now in potentially dangerous proximity.
I stopped moving and wondered what was next – should I turn back in the direction from whence I came, attempt to climb a tree (which was problematic, as these trees were tall and without low branches), remove and unzip my backpack to acquire a knife, or make lots of noise (I can whistle really loud!)?
I opted to remain still, concluding that the bear was aware of my presence and deemed that I wasn’t a threat – an easy posture to assume, given its girth. As I watched, it became clear that the bear was undertaking his daily scavenging for a meal routine, shifting rocks in the stream to dislodge potential sources of food. This was in fact what first alerted me to the bear…the sound of rocks being moved.
Regaining my composure, I shot this video as I followed the bear from along the trail, keeping back a safe distance while attempting to remain less conspicuous behind trees…
Note: the large rock being easily moved by the bear in this video was probably in excess of 100 lbs..
I saw another bear not long after this encounter, along the trail at a higher elevation on a ridge. This bear was either a female or adolescent, which I estimated at 300 lbs. or less. As I was paying close attention to the root-covered ground while hiking, I happened to glance ahead and see a bear on the trail looking directly at me.
The bear was probably 60-feet in front of me, and, when we made eye contact, took off like a bat out of hell racing downhill through the forest on an estimated 30-degree slope. I was truly amazed (and, quite pleased) at how fast this bear bounded down the hill.
Lurking in the water at dusk, this giant mechanical octopus waits patiently off shore for its next meal. However, if encountered at your front door, an ample provision of goldfish crackers should assuage its hunger. You can also benefit by visiting these shops for great gifts and apparel items, no matter the season:
With a low ceiling of textured & collaged geometric-clouds on the horizon, this seagull prepares to take flight. Though his final destination is unclear, it’s quite likely that he’ll stop by the following shops to check out some cool merchandise (so should you):
It’s morning in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. For this small black bear cub, that means it’s time to climb a tall pine tree! Gotta practice, right? This was one of three cubs sharing this tree and having fun, as mother bear guards the area below. Photographed along the Foothills Parkway near Wears Valley. Prints available.
I photographed these climbing bear cubs yesterday morning along the Foothills Parkway in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, near Wears Valley.
The first sound I heard was probably the mother bear, moving through the underbrush near the base of the tree, down the hill approx. 50-feet away. Next, I heard (and soon observed) the three bear cubs climbing the pine tree, shredding bark under paw during their hurried ascent – it was like a sawmill with wood chips flying through the air! I also heard the mother bear snorting a few times, likely communicating with her cubs, or maybe reminding me to keep away from their space.
If you look closely near the top-right of the tree shown in the second picture, you can see a sibling cub perched among the branches.
You can visit my gallery to find prints of Bear 1 or Bear 2.
Enjoy this science fiction based, three dimensional digital artwork of a mysterious creature emerging from its mountainous domicile. Will this gargantuous anomaly prove to be friend of man, or wreak havoc on a cataclysmic scale? Stay tuned to discover the fate of humanity! In the meantime, please visit my shops at Redbubble, Society 6 and Pixels, where you’ll find some really cool products available for sale.
The only person in the park and 2 miles deep into a forest hiking at the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area – located in north central Tennessee – I was very surprised to discover that an adult male black bear had managed to quietly approach within 30 feet of me – a startling sight when I turned around! I estimated his weight to be twice mine …read more
To what creature these jagged orange scales belong remains a mystery to this day, baffling a contingent of experts in the scientific community. Some variety of extinct dinosaur, perhaps, or possibly an old timer having lived for decades in an arid climate. No one really knows…
To learn more, visit my shops at Society 6 and Pixels for cool merchandise options.
Growing up on Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan, in the small city of Marquette, our family always had pets. And, at one point, we owned a black-and-gray striped cat named Bootsy.
He was an indoor-outdoor cat, and, when inside, enjoyed sitting by the large picture window in the living room, at the front of the house.
There were lots of kids in the neighborhood at that time, so it was common for friends to come over and visit. We also had a doorbell with a glowing light.
Once, the doorbell rang and I went to see who it was, opening only the main door but not the screen door. I looked but nobody was there.
At that time, a common prank which children enjoyed was called ditching doorbells – ringing someone’s doorbell & running away.
Assuming this was the case, I closed the door and began to walk back into the house. Just then, it rang again. I turned around quickly and opened both doors, stepping out on to the front porch to see who it was – but, there was no person in sight.
However, an explanation quickly became apparent. It was our cat!
As the front porch was visible from the living room window, he could see people come to our house, press the glowing doorbell, hear the sound of the doorbell, and then watch us react by opening the door.
On his own, Bootsy learned he could get on the milk box, and then jump up on top of the mailbox, from which he could lean against the doorbell, letting us know when he wanted to come inside. That education was a game-changer for a cat.
The question: did we own the cat, or did he own us? I think the latter.