Blog Archives

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.


Leave it to Beavers


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.


Mistaken Identity: Recognizing the northern water snake

The northern water snake is a non-venomous snake found across Appalachia. Photo © John White / Virginia Herpetological Society

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.


The Butterfly Highway: Creating a Pollinator Pathway

The new “Butterfly Highway” in North Carolina will create a series of stopover points with milkweed and other native, flowering plants for migrating monarch butterflies.


Meet The Elusive American Woodcock

The American woodcock lives across eastern North America. It can be recognized by its long beak and distinctive call, but its camouflaged coloring makes it hard to find. Photo by Rodney Campbell

Characterized by a long bill, short and stout stature, extravagant mating display and a nickname like timberdoodle, the American Woodcock would seem to be a bird that stands out. But that is not the case.


The Coyote Conundrum

A coyote hunting in the Tennessee Valley. Photo by Matt Knoth

Coyote populations in the Appalachian region are growing, and increasingly they are adapting to urban settings. As a result, interactions with humans are becoming more common.


Salamanders Under Threat from Deadly Fungus

Salamanders in southern Appalachia could be vulnerable to a deadly fungal infection.


Bear Population Rises, Human Encounters Follow

With bear populations rising, wildlife agencies are working to avoid any negative interactions with humans.


Scientists Go to Bat for the Bats

A little brown bat suffers from white-nose syndrome. Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Scientists engaged in the years-long battle against the devastating white-nose syndrome have found bright spots in the fight to protect bats from the disease.


Caught red-handed! Or more accurately, red-beaked

A motion-activated camera catches this wood thrush snacking on a ginseng berry. Photo courtesy of James McGraw

Wood thrushes — and their appetite for bright-red ginseng berries — are helping the plant spread its range further north.