News

  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. Video feature: How You Can Be #SmokiesSafe

    Video feature: How You Can Be #SmokiesSafe By Valerie Polk, GSMA Videographer and Publications Associate  When Great Smoky Mountains National Park asked GSMA for help with a video message about their gradual return to operations, our answer was "Yes, we can!" If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it has been that we can work around challenges, we just have to get creative. So, in Read more...
  5. Writer NOT in Residence: Where Rugged and Tender Meet in the Middle

    Writer NOT in Residence: Where Rugged and Tender Meet in the Middle Story and images by Sue Wasserman When my niece was a tiny tot, I could always count on her to say, “Be careful of the woots and wocks” whenever we set out on a trail. While her squeaky tones made me chuckle, her advice was sound. One of the things I appreciate most about hiking is the often-rugged terrain that challenges me in Read more...
  6. The Other Horace

    The Other Horace By Ben Anderson Horace Kephart is remembered for being an ardent and effective advocate of a Smokies national park—an important role most recently and thoroughly explored in Back of Beyond, a Kephart biography by Janet McCue and George Ellison. But there was another Horace who was more directly involved in the actual shaping of the park: Read more...
  7. Permanent Camp: Fringe Tree

    Permanent Camp: Fringe Tree By George Ellison, with illustration by Elizabeth Ellison  “If the fringe tree has no economic importance, it contributes to the higher things of life: a raving beauty when in mid-spring it is loaded up from top to bottom with the airiest, most ethereal yet showy flowers boasted by any member of our northern phyla.” ~Donald Read more...
  8. Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 2: This is an Amazing Birding Weekend—So Get Out There!

    Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 2: This is an Amazing Birding Weekend—So Get Out There! By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director In Part 1 of this two-part series, we learned about some of the birds people have been seeing near and around the park during this amazing spring migration. Learning the calls of the birds you like makes it easier to find them.  There is a peculiar metallic squeak (“kick” or “ Read more...
  9. Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 1: Get Ready for an Amazing Birding Weekend

    Give it Up FOR THE BIRDS Part 1: Get Ready for an Amazing Birding Weekend By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director This time of year, I give up my last few hours of good sleep to get up before sunrise and go outside to watch—and listen to—birds. It may sound like a big sacrifice, but the dividends are great.  This past week, I was rewarded with a sighting of one of my favorites, the impossibly Read more...
  10. Making a List and Checking it Twice

    Making a List and Checking it Twice By Emma DuFort, Publications Specialist  If you keep a bird feeder in your yard, or know someone who does, you probably know that keeping track of which birds appear is a fun and popular pastime. But it doesn’t have to stop at the bird feeder—it can be very rewarding to familiarize yourself with all the kinds of flora and fauna Read more...

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