SMOKIES Live

  1. Discover Life in America Brings Aspiring Naturalists Together for Eco-Adventure

    Discover Life in America Brings Aspiring Naturalists Together for Eco-Adventure By Elly Wells An oncology nurse from Houston. A Charleston-based executive director for a national nonprofit. A retired biology teacher with her daughter and two teenage granddaughters. In total, 15 hikers from diverse backgrounds were gathered together on a mid-April morning, carefully poking up a trail in the Greenbrier area of Great Smoky Read more...
  2. Image for the Asking: How Old Is Old?

    Image for the Asking: How Old Is Old? Story and image by Don McGowan “How high is up?” This is a question that children have harangued adults about unceasingly over the years. It’s one that can seem sublimely foolish—at least as most of those adults would see it. There is, too, a second inquiry which often accompanies the first: “How old is old?& Read more...
  3. Writer in Residence Finally Arrives in America’s Most-Visited Park

    Writer in Residence Finally Arrives in America’s Most-Visited Park Sue Wasserman of Bakersville, North Carolina, is the 2022 Steve Kemp Writer-in-Residence, which means she will be living near and working in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for six weeks. She’ll be writing, creating photography, and offering public programs both on the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of the park. Wasserman was Read more...
  4. Wildflowers 101: Rosebud Orchid and the Pink Lady’s Slipper

    Wildflowers 101: Rosebud Orchid and the Pink Lady’s Slipper Story and images by Tom Harrington Rosebud orchid One characteristic many people possess is being competitive and enjoying challenges. For some, this might be during a game of golf or playing chess or checkers. Or it may be that the challenge you enjoy most is working on crossword puzzles. But did you know there is a most Read more...
  5. “Fishes” field guide dedicated to aquatic biodiversity of the Smokies

    “Fishes” field guide dedicated to aquatic biodiversity of the Smokies Great Smoky Mountains Association has published a new field guide dedicated to some of the aquatic residents of the Smokies. Intuitively organized and small enough to fit in a pocket, Fishes of the Smokies includes detailed photography and key details for each species featured.  Written by debut author Grant Fisher, Fishes of the Read more...
  6. Plant life makes a comeback after 2016 wildfires

    Plant life makes a comeback after 2016 wildfires By Alix Pfennigwerth A few days after the arson-caused 2016 Chimney Tops 2 wildfire spread across 11,000 acres of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Rob Klein, a National Park Service fire ecologist, hiked up the park’s Bull Head Trail. National Park Service fire ecologist Rob Klein discusses the impacts of the 2016 Read more...
  7. Photographer and parks shine a light on the magic of fireflies

    Photographer and parks shine a light on the magic of fireflies Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to large populations of synchronous fireflies, which create a magical spectacle that draws thousands of visitors each year. The park will host the annual synchronous firefly viewing opportunity at its popular Elkmont Campground June 3–10 this year, but there are many other places where this Read more...
  8. GIS makes it simpler to map a complex park

    GIS makes it simpler to map a complex park Twenty years ago, the map room in Great Smoky Mountains National Park might have been dedicated to heavy, flat-file drawer cabinets—each one filled with stacks of intricately detailed maps of the mountains. These days, the room is much more spartan. Gone are many of the paper maps and heavy cabinets. In their place is a relatively modest Read more...
  9. Meandering Into Knowingness

    Meandering Into Knowingness Photos by Sue Wasserman White-fringed phacelia The road to knowingness is paved with a whole lot of meandering. As much as I love exploring new trails in the Smokies, I long to find trails with which I can become intimately acquainted, too. Porters Creek is becoming one such trail for me. I happened upon it several years Read more...
  10. Echoes in the Mountains: The Next Generation

    Echoes in the Mountains: The Next Generation Images by Phoebe Carnes The early morning mist had just dissipated as the sun began to rise over the mountains. The Oconaluftee River was clear and cold, rejuvenated from a light shower the previous night. A cow watched me warily from the forest, ears up and nostrils twitching as she deciphered my scent. A fuzzy copper head peaked out from Read more...

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