On a recent morning, I left the house before sunrise with the intention of capturing some photographs of the elk in nearby Cataloochee Valley. I arrived just before sunrise to find the fields covered in their normal fall ground fog. Unfortunately, as you can see in the photograph, the elk themselves were being quite uncooperative having not yet emerged from the forests.
While waiting on them (and, yes, they ventured out a little after the sunrise), I enjoyed the serenity of the valley. A few turkeys foraged among the distance grasses as the sunshine just began to glint off of the mountain tops surrounding us.
And so it happens. My favorite photograph of the morning excursion did not contain a single elk. Instead, it conveys the majestic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the nestled valleys.