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  1. Permanent Camp: Rugel's Ragwort

    Permanent Camp: Rugel's Ragwort Story by George Ellison with image by Elizabeth Ellison This is the story of Rugel's ragwort (Rugelia nudicaulis)—one of the most rare and interesting plants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—and its eccentric namesake, the German-born plant collector Ferdinand Ignatius Xavier Rugel. In 1840, Rugel (1806-1879) came to the Read more...
  2. Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 2

    Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 2 By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director On June 17, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (73-25) to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, and on July 23 it passed the House of Representatives (310-107). It now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. Part of the reason the Great American Outdoors Read more...
  3. Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 1

    Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 1 By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  On June 17, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (73-25) to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, and on July 23 it passed the House of Representatives (310-107). It now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.  “The Great American Outdoors Read more...
  4. Image for the Asking: Why Come It’s Not a Holler Hardwood Forest?

    Image for the Asking: Why Come It’s Not a Holler Hardwood Forest? Story and image by Don McGowan The dictionary of Appalachian English, courtesy of Wikipedia, assures us that a “cove” is a “valley between two ridges.” It goes on to explain that a “holler” is a “valley between two hills.” Now since ridges and hills can be, and on occasion have been, mistaken for Read more...
  5. "Learning Is Still Alive and Well at the Little Greenbrier School" in Smokies Life Fall 2020

    Besides supporting Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the many perks of a Great Smoky Mountains Association membership is a subscription to Smokies Life magazine. Below is a sneak preview of one of the features in the upcoming fall issue. Become a member by July 31 in order to receive a copy in the mail. In 1881, Read more...
  6. Puddling Butterflies: Recalling Cataloochee Swallowtails

    Puddling Butterflies: Recalling Cataloochee Swallowtails Story and photos by Bob Raynor  A black swallowtail butterfly recently presented itself on my garden’s chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus). Seeing the butterfly brought back a memory of a gathering of darkly colored butterflies in Cataloochee Valley from almost seven years ago. It was a memory of time spent with family—and a Read more...
  7. Image for the Asking: Standing Still behind a Cloud

    Image for the Asking: Standing Still behind a Cloud Story and Image by Don McGowan Benjamin Morton was a Knoxville businessman, and from 1924 to 1927, he was also the mayor of the city. Such an ardent conservationist and a great supporter of the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park was he that an overlook of considerable magnitude on the Tennessee side of the mountains was named in his Read more...
  8. Permanent Camp: Bracken

    Permanent Camp: Bracken By George Ellison, lllustration by Elizabeth Ellison  “Here and elsewhere, bracken is such an aggressive plant that one wonders why it has not taken over the world.”~ R. C. Moran, A Natural History of Ferns  I am a fern aficionado, not a fern authority. Nevertheless, ferns are my favorite plants. And bracken is one of my Read more...
  9. Saving Aquatic Wildlife Becomes Park Ranger’s Passion

    Saving Aquatic Wildlife Becomes Park Ranger’s Passion By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director Summer is here! And as temperatures and humidity rise, returning visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park are tempted to dip their toes—and more—in the cool waters of the park’s 2,900 miles of clear mountain streams. Many do not yet know that doing so can put wildlife at risk Read more...
  10. “Into the Land of Forgetting” by Allison McKittrick in Smokies Life Fall 2020

    “Into the Land of Forgetting” by Allison McKittrick in Smokies Life Fall 2020 Besides supporting Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the many perks of a Great Smoky Mountains Association membership is a subscription to Smokies Life magazine. Below is a sneak preview of one of the features in the upcoming fall issue. Become a member by July 15 in order to receive a copy in the mail. Some of the earliest Read more...

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