Elk Rut, Cataloochee Valley
Autumn is the mating season for the 150 or so elk that live in the Cataloochee Valley of the Smoky Mountains National Park. During this time of rut, the elk are out in the valley, bugling, sparring with other males, and pursuing females -- a great time for viewing and photographing them.
While I usually make this trip in October, I wanted to make some images of elk in the nice morning fog that sometimes lingers in the valley. When I saw a fog friendly forecast of the same temperatures being predicted for the dew points and the morning lows, I decided to make an early trip. Both the fog and the elk made appearances, providing a couple of enjoyable mornings.