SMOKIES Live

  1. Asheville professor and Smokies researcher discovers four new snake species in six years

    Asheville professor and Smokies researcher discovers four new snake species in six years October 21 is National Reptile Awareness Day, and perhaps few people are more aware of these beautiful yet often misunderstood creatures than University of North Carolina Asheville professor R. Graham Reynolds. His earliest memories of becoming enamored with reptiles started in elementary school at the Western North Carolina Nature Center where Read more...
  2. Learning to be OF the moment

    Learning to be OF the moment Back in 2020, I was beyond ecstatic to have been chosen as GSMA’s Steve Kemp Writer-in-Residence. I was psyched to spend six weeks living in the park, not only shadowing Steve and learning more about this awesome national park, but also working on my own writing projects and creating some community-based programs. COVID-19 put a wrench in Read more...
  3. Volunteer Preserves Smokies’ Plant Diversity

    Volunteer Preserves Smokies’ Plant Diversity by Aaron Searcy, Publications Associate With the eye of an artist and the steady hand of a lab technician, Janie Bitner carefully preserves some of the rarest and most delicate plants found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Taken together, the many species she helps enter into the park’s collections build a convincing case Read more...
  4. Park scientists and nature writers reflect on the meaning of ‘habitat’

    Park scientists and nature writers reflect on the meaning of ‘habitat’ George Ellison, whose “Nature Journal” has long been a fixture of the Asheville Citizen-Times, was named one of the 100 most influential people in the history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He is shown here with columnist Frances Figart. When the United Nations designated the first Monday of October of Read more...
  5. Wildflowers 101: Passion Flower

    Wildflowers 101: Passion Flower Story and image by Tom Harrington Suppose you were visiting New York City, got a ticket to attend a live TV quiz show, were invited to be a participant, and the first question asked of you was to name the State of Tennessee’s official wildflower. Could you answer that question correctly? You may know that the official Read more...
  6. Mountain Time: What if Horace Kephart had Never Come to the Smokies?

    Mountain Time: What if Horace Kephart had Never Come to the Smokies? Editor's Note: Readers interested in learning more about the life and times of Horace Kephart are fortunate that GSMA published Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography in 2019. Co-authored by George Ellison and Janet McCue, the book won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award that same year. I recently hiked along Deep Creek in the Read more...
  7. Storybook Trail Returns in October with “A Search for Safe Passage”

    Storybook Trail Returns in October with “A Search for Safe Passage” Great Smoky Mountains Association’s most recent book release for younger readers will soon be featured on the Storybook Trail of the Smokies—an initiative dedicated to promoting literacy in nature. A partnership between the park, the University of Tennessee Extension Cocke County Office, and educational park partner Great Smoky Read more...
  8. Two dragonfly species recently spotted for the first time in the park

    Two dragonfly species recently spotted for the first time in the park In the past few months, two dragonfly species have been documented for the first time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Little Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax miniscula) and the Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa) were both known to exist outside the Smokies and only recently recorded inside the park boundary. “We were Read more...
  9. Trailside Talk: Autumn’s Best

    Trailside Talk: Autumn’s Best For those wondering what the most difficult thing about visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park might be, here it is: choosing the best place in the park to see autumn color. Picking the place and time for brilliant fall color in the park is sort of a cottage industry. Scientists do it. Hoteliers do it. Tourism agencies do it. Even the Read more...
  10. Put safety first as the park’s elk herd enters its 20th rut season

    Put safety first as the park’s elk herd enters its 20th rut season It’s that time of year again. The elk are rutting in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From September to early November, the fall breeding season, hormones kick in, and elk go into overdrive. Bulls’ antlers reach maturity, and their ethereal bugling calls can be heard resounding through fields and forests within the park and Read more...

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