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Wild turkeys smoky mountains

Wild things in the Smokies: from black bears to blackberries.

We often get asked the following question:

“Will we see bears when staying at the cabin?”

We cannot guarantee that you will see the bears, but we can guarantee that they are around. Our security cameras caught a couple of glimpses, and we have lost couple of bear-resistant trash cans – one was dragged away and chewed up by a bear (guest had found it a few hundred feet down the street), and another trash can was simply dragged off to the woods, never to be seen again (that is why we have the trash cans either in metal cages, or chained to the deck post). Black bears appear to be more active during dusk and dawn, at least that is when our cameras caught glimpses of them. We have not had any reported sightings by guests yet. 

Bear at smoky mountains cabin
At Appalachian Escape

Secure food and garbage

Food, even in sealed packages, should not be left outside of the cabin. Bears have no trouble opening packages of food or containers holding food, and they will do so if given the opportunity. Any trash generated should be bagged and disposed of in bear-proof containers. 

Know what to do if you see a bear

If you see a bear, remain watchful. If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior, you’re too close. Being too close to a bear may encourage aggressive behavior like running toward you, making loud noises, or paw-swatting. Slowly increase the distance between you and the bear; the bear will likely do the same. 

That is why we cannot emphasize often enough: Do not approach or feed wild animals and NEVER leave any food items outside or garbage containers unlocked. 

 

Other Smoky Mountains critters.

Raccoons, deer, wild turkeys, rabbits and variety of birds are frequent visitors of the grounds around our cabin. It is not uncommon to see rabbits play in the yard while sipping your morning coffee, like these two in the front yard of Blue Mountain Lodge. Rabbits in the Smoky mountains, Blue Mountain Lodge

We’ve had curios raccoon peeking through the glass front door. Guests also left notes in the guest book about deer visits.  

White tailed deer in the Smoky Mountains

Wild Berries in the Smokies.

Nothing says “summer is here” more than flavorful and ripe wild blackberries. 

Blackberries in the smokies

Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains national park are allowed to pick fruits and berries for their own personal consumption. Blackberries should be picked when all dark and slightly soft for the best flavor. Blackberries has varying degrees of thorns so be careful picking berries and please only take what you will immediately consume and don’t damage or cut the plant. By the way, during the summertime, black bears mostly eat fruit, with berries making up a large portion of their diet. When berries are ripening, be careful that bears who also love them are not close by and that if you are walking into tall grass or weeds you don’t steep on either a copperhead or rattlesnake which can be hiding in the brush and grass. If you did go into brush make sure that you check yourself for ticks.

Making wild blackberry preserves

 

Here’s the best part  – you do not even need to go far! You can find blackberries around Blue Mountain Lodge!

We have made wonderful fresh spreads with them by simply sorting, washing, drying on a paper towel, and then grinding in a blender with equal amount of sugar, and presto! Makes flavorful tart spread to serve with your pancakes and waffles. Can we say yummy Smoky Mountains breakfast?

Posted by: Victoria
Posted on: 17th September,2017

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