The Winter Wildflower of the Red Maple

  • February 28, 2018

When we think of maple trees, we typically think of autumn. That’s when maples shine, adding their brilliant reds and golds to the riot of fall color in the Southern Appalachians each October. Little do most of us know that…

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The Pioneering Smooth Alder

  • February 19, 2018

On a sunny Sunday afternoon this week, taking a favorite walk along the edge of Lake Fontana, we again saw unexpected wildflowers in bloom. It took a sharp eye to notice them; their yellow-green, tinged-with-brown, elongated shapes blended right into…

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Adam and Eve

  • January 31, 2018

During January in the Blue Ridge, the year is still too new for blooming wildflowers. I’ve seen a few naturalized cultivated flowers showing their faces early—for instance, on a walk around Lake Junaluska last week a friend and I spied…

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Wildflowers Blooming in December in the Smokies

  • December 31, 2017

Yesterday, walking along Deep Creek outside Bryson City in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, after multiple days and nights of freezingweather, we saw wildflowers in full bloom. We almost missed them--and probably would have if we hadn't been looking for…

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As Snow Flies, We Look Toward Spring Blooms

  • December 8, 2017

It's snowing all over the Southeast today, from the Smokies to Springer Mountain. But in our office, we're going over the final drafts of a new guidebook for spring. After 8 years of research, field work, and documentation,  Jim Parham's…

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Hiking Boot Heaven: Rest In Peace, Boot Hill

  • November 1, 2017

  All hikers know this scenario. You go through two or three pairs of hiking shoes or boots and then finally you find that pair that really, really works for you. You love them. They are AWESOME. You hike in…

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The Everlasting Aster

  • October 31, 2017

As October passes and we move into the late fall of November, we don't expect to see many wildflowers. We tend to think it's time for the tree foliage to shine and provide color on the ground—and perhaps a few…

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The Devil’s Knitting Needles

  • October 20, 2017

I never fail to learn something new when I edit a guidebook. Typically it's about geography or local history, or the development of some public land—or rules and regulations on trail use. But this year I've spent a lot of…

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