As a photographer I am blessed to live amongst the Great Smoky Mountains. How close am I? I can see the Blue Ridge Parkway from where I sit at my computer. The only free-roaming herd of elk in the eastern U.S. is in the Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just a few minutes from my house in the same county where I live. For a Southern photographer who loves landscapes and wildlife it does not get any better than this.
It is not that I haven’t seen what the rest of the country has to offer. I’ve been on the south rim of the Grand Canyon at sunrise. It was awesome. I’ve also photographed in Yellowstone, around Mount Rainier, in the Coast Redwoods National Park in California as well as in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the same state. I’ve been on Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia and Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina as well as in the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado.
But this place…this is home.