News

  1. Author Reading: The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball

    Author Reading: The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball We are privileged to have author/illustrator Lisa Horstman read her famous award-winning book, The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball. Winner of the National Park Service First Place award for Excellence in 1997, this book has been a Smokies classic for almost 25 years. The idea for The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball began Read more...
  2. Image for the Asking: One Highway Over the “Too Many Line”

    Image for the Asking: One Highway Over the “Too Many Line” Story and image by Don McGowan In the late summer of 1934, the National Park Service was actively involved in plans to construct a “ridgeline highway” that would bisect the newly minted Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Already at that time the section of the road from Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome was under construction; and it Read more...
  3. Permanent Camp: Land Snails

    Permanent Camp: Land Snails By George Ellison with illustration by Elizabeth Ellison “Land snails can be considered one of the many building blocks for the ecosystems in which they reside, providing not only a food source but accessibility to calcium, often a rare commodity in the Southern Appalachians.” ~Dan and Judy Dourson, Land Snails of the Great Read more...
  4. New Index of Smokies Life Articles Prompts Reflections from Steve Kemp

    New Index of Smokies Life Articles Prompts Reflections from Steve Kemp The founder of Smokies Life magazine and its editor for ten years, Steve Kemp was happy to see that we have updated the index of all the magazine’s issues to date and said, “Thanks so much for the index. I use Smokies Life all the time for researching articles, guided hikes, and other projects.” We asked him to tell us how it all Read more...
  5. Radim Schreiber Captures the Magic

    Radim Schreiber Captures the Magic By Frances Figart, Creative Director Radim Schreiber didn’t get to see fireflies as a child growing up in the Czech Republic. So, when he discovered them in the United States, he was blown away. “I was in awe,” he says. “That magical night experience was (and still is) just fascinating to me. It made me feel connected Read more...
  6. Blue Ghosts: Spirits of the Forest Part 2

    Blue Ghosts: Spirits of the Forest Part 2 By Gus Elmore, former intern at Discover Life in America, and Will Kuhn, DLiA’s Director of Science and Research In Part 1 of this two-part series, we learned about the blue ghost firefly (Phausis reticulata), so named for the ghostly light produced by males in their slow, silent search for females in the forests of Appalachia. We also Read more...
  7. Blue Ghosts: Spirits of the Forest Part 1

    Blue Ghosts: Spirits of the Forest Part 1 By Gus Elmore, former intern at Discover Life in America, and Will Kuhn, DLiA’s Director of Science and Research The synchronous firefly may hog the limelight, but another kind of firefly is perhaps underappreciated given its suite of fascinating characteristics: the blue ghost firefly (Phausis reticulata). This species is so named for the Read more...
  8. The Fireflies’ Last Hoorah

    The Fireflies’ Last Hoorah Just because there is no lottery event this year doesn’t mean the lights have to go out on firefly viewing By Frances Figart with image by Radim Schreiber What happens if a firefly flashes in the Smokies and there’s no one there to see it? You might guess, as I did, that a break from the crowds would help strengthen the firefly Read more...
  9. Image for the Asking: Lichen Tectonics

    Image for the Asking: Lichen Tectonics Rock Breaks Scissors, Lichen Eats Rock Story and image by Don McGowan One of the great wonders of our world is the capacity of a simple organism, lichen, to perform amazing feats. To set the stage for understanding lichen, we need to back up, way up, to a time some 500 million (that’s half of a billion) years ago, when the oldest rocks Read more...
  10. After Thought: Evan O. Hall, an Original Genius

    After Thought: Evan O. Hall, an Original Genius By George Ellison  Back in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, America specialized as a nation in producing a special breed of citizen popularly categorized as an “original genius”; that is, they were folks self-reliant, indefatigable, and exceeding clever when it came to improvising and making do with little Read more...

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