Each and every year, the Great Smoky Mountains are home to an intricately orchestrated show that has been going on since calendars were invented—wildflowers bloom in spring, leaves fall in autumn, and the Smokies’ many unique butterflies and moths come from near and far on their patterned wings to float amongst it all right on cue.
Also arriving right on cue this year, despite it all, is the release of Great Smoky Mountains Association’s official 2021 moth-and-butterfly-themed wall calendar. Now available in the GSMA web store, the 2021 calendar celebrates some of these most iconic winged hallmarks of life in the Smokies with a stunning collection of macro photography documenting a year’s worth of unique Smokies butterflies and moths.
The 11-by-11-inch calendar was inspired by Butterflies and Moths of the Smokies, a field guide published last year by GSMA. The field guide features more than 200 colorful images and details the behavior, life cycles, food plants, conservation status, and location information of 73 butterfly and 27 moth species that live in the park.
“There were some images that were so good that they ended up in both the book and the calendar, but there are some images that are in the calendar that didn't make the book,” said GSMA Senior Publications Specialist Karen Key. “I wanted these two to be companions. They'd make a great gift set for a butterfly lover.”
Designed by Key and edited by Just Get Outdoors adventure travel company founder Elizabeth A. Domingue, the calendar features images by Domingue, as well as photographers John Flannery, Warren Lynn, and Sharon Mammoser. In addition to a vibrant, full-scale photo, each month also includes facts about the pictured species and seasonal flora and fauna information like wildflower blooms by month, seasonal animal migrations to and from the park, and predicted peak leaf color dates.
Key has served full-time on GSMA’s creative team since 2006 providing graphic design for numerous publications and products that support the park. “Working on the 2021 butterflies and moths calendar during the COVID-19 pandemic has been very therapeutic for me,” she said. “Not only have I loved seeing these beauties on my screen, but they’ve also reminded me of change and better times ahead. The cycle of a butterfly is a relevant metaphor for the cycles of change in our lives, moving from one state or perspective to another.”
The 2021 wire-bound wall calendar is now available for $11.95 in the park’s visitor center bookstores and in the GSMA web store.