Blog Archives

Can We Save the Mighty Hemlock?

dead and thriving hemlocks

As the threat posed by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid grows, so do efforts to save “the redwood of the East.”

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Crossbills, Conifers and Calls

A Red Crossbill

These nomadic birds will travel great distances to extract the seeds of conifer cones with their unique crossing bills.

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Snail Tales

snail shell

Did you know Appalachia has the most snail species out of any region in North America? Discover the important role our slimy little friends play in the ecosystem in this issue’s Naturalist’s Notebook.

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Wildflower Wonders

appalachian grass of parnassus

Wildflowers are one of Appalachia’s most vibrant symbols of summer. As the season’s end nears, we explore a few beautiful, unique flowers that blossom in late summer along mountain trails, forests and riverbeds.

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Leave it to Beavers

beaver

Beavers are sometimes called “nature’s engineers,” and for good reason. By building lodges and dams as their homes, they physically alter the landscape to suit their own needs, similar to humans.

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A Sweet Maple Harvest

mapling

A resurgence in mapling has opened a booming market for Appalachian syrup.

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Ponies of the Grayson Highlands

The wild ponies of Grayson Highlands State Park and Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in Southwest Virginia attract hikers of all ages — but take heed, don’t feed the ponies!

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American Kestrel

The American kestrel is North America’s smallest falcon. This bird, whose population is declining, adapts well to nest boxes installed by conservationists.

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Mistaken Identity: Recognizing the northern water snake

The non-venomous northern water snake is frequently spotted at swimming holes and rivers in Appalachia — and sometimes mistaken for its venomous cousin, the copperhead.

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A Magical Mycology Tapestry

The mushrooms of Appalachia offer diverse tastes and medicinal benefits for the wild forager. But be careful, since many edible mushrooms have poisonous look-alikes.

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