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Don’t Miss the Wildflowers of Fall

  • September 30, 2018

When we think of fall, we tend to think colored leaves more than bright blooms. Now that October is upon us, we can certainly look forward to the show of blazing foliage here in the mountains. But don't forget the…

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Dogwood Winter and Other Seasons

  • April 20, 2018

What is Dogwood Winter? What is Blackberry Winter? Spring will come eventually, but this year it's hard to tell when. With temperatures yo-yoing throughout the late winter (a frigid January followed by a warm February), now in late April we're…

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Wildflowers and Wildfires

  • April 5, 2018

In the final months of 2016, parts of western North Carolina were in flames. It took weeks for firefighters to control the wildfires that raged through the dry woods. Many people evacuated thier homes, still more were on alert and…

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Wildflower Walks & Hikes in the NC Mountains

  • March 22, 2018

It took outdoor writer Jim Parham eight years to produce his latest guidebook, Wildflower Walks & Hikes: North Carolina Mountains. Perhaps that's because the region covers a lot of territory: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, DuPont State Forest,…

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Trailing Arbutus: First Flower of the Pilgrims

  • March 8, 2018

Yesterday we woke to snow. In the afternoon, we saw trailing arbutus in bloom. This fragile-looking early wildflower is much hardier than it appears. Growing up in Vermont in the 1960s, I learned early that trailing arbutus was an endangered species…

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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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