Photographer's Journal (August 27, 2022):
I had been struggling with the daily operations of running a small business and hadn't been able to escape into the forest as I would have liked over the summer. So on the last Saturday of August, I woke up early and headed out to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest to photograph some of the elk as they headed into the rut.
After navigating miles of winding mountain road, I reached the valley and discovered a bull and his haram peacefully grazing in a field. It wasn't hard to find them as a group of photographers standing along the road were already there shooting photos. In that group, I discovered Ezekiel Coppersmith and Jay Michaud two Western North Carolina photographers whose works I had admired on facebook and instagram for a long time. So I quickly introduced myself and they kindly allowed me to join them as we set off to take some photos together.
As we passed a few cows standing in some iron rods, Jay jokingly whistled to get their attention, which hardly ever works but this time was different. Every elk in the herd popped their heads up out of the grass and watch Jay very carefully. This was the perfect moment and all you could hear was the rapid-fire clicking of camera shutters. Apparently, as Ezekiel had said, Jay is now forever known as Elk Whisperer.
I hope you enjoy the photo of this cow, I believed she looked so beautiful standing there against the morning mist.