Sunday, January 25, 2015

Schedule for Day 2 of Wilderness Wildlife Week 2015 in the Pigeon Forge Tennessee Smokies

Sunday, January 25th 2015

As day 2 of the 2015 Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge starts, guests can look South and up from where it takes place at the LeConte Center on Teaster Lane toward the Great Smoky Mountains to see the more than 1 inch of snow along the peaks and higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains that just feel this weekend with more along the way today.

Though there will be lots of exciting programs to take place today for Wilderness Wildlife Weeks second day in Pigeon Forge both inside and outside. Even with the snow, it looks as though none of the guided hikes for Wilderness Wildlife Week will have to be canceled today due to snow even though Newfound Gap Road US441 is closed due to snow and ice.

So if you are in the Smokies today, beat the cold and come on down to the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge Tennessee for an entire day of learning experience and fun - for free!

  • 8 to Noon: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Turn Your Photography Into Art Workshop. Presented by Karen Jones. Limit 15, ages 16+. Participants must bring own laptop with PhotoShop for step-by-step demonstration of various techniques to reinterpret photos into artistic creations. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 9 to 10am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Blooms, Birds and Butterflies. Presented by Tom and Pat Cory. This educational and entertaining photography workshop focuses on flowers, butterflies and birds, some of Tom and Pat’s favorite subjects. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 9 to 10:30am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Section Hiking the Appalachian Trail. Presented by Bill and Sharon Van Horn.Join Bill and Sharon as they share their experiences on section hiking the Appalachian Trail. Since 2005,they have hiked the A.T. completing it in 2013. Topics covered will include transportation, resupply, trip planning, equipment and off-trail experiences. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 9:30 to 10:30am: LIMITED SPACE! Making a Gemstone Bracelet. Presented by LaDonna Twyman – Limit 8, ages 18+. Participants join LaDonna as she instructs them on how to make a gemstone toggle bracelet to take home with them using semi-precious stones, silver toggles and spacer beads. Taking place in the Bob Kolb Memorial Room.
     
  • 9:30 to 10:30am: Sunday Morning Sing Along. Presented by Tony Thomas. Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 9:30 to 11:30am: World-Class Stream Smallmouth Bass. Presented by Greg Ward. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 9:30 to Noon: Great Photography with Any Camera, Cell Phone or Tablet. Presented by Rich Iceland. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 9:30 to 12:30pm: LIMITED SPACE! Basket Making. Presented by Theresa Tyler Limit 8. Participants will join Theresa as she teaches them the Appalachian art of basket making. Taking place in the Bob Hatcher Memorial Room.
     
  • 10 to 11am: The Building of Fontana Dam in the Wilderness Slide Presentation. Presented by Bob Keim a "Dam Kid" Whose Parents Worked There. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 10 to 11am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Humor in Rural and Small Town Churches. Presented by Lee Morris. Join Lee as he shares "The Preachments" and describes and demonstrates humorous experiences encountered in rural and small town churches of America. Attendees are welcomed to share, too! Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 10:30 to 11:30am: Working with Wildflowers: A Photographer’s Delight. Presented by Jerry Whaley. Learn how Jerry uses techniques and equipment used to capture the wildflowers of the Smokies along with instruction as to how most images were captured. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 10:30 to 11:30am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Intermediate Bird Identification: Exploring Features of "Problem" Birds Such as Sparrows, Shore birds and Raptors. Presented by Dana Ripper. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 11:30 to 12:30pm: Nature Writing for Love and Money, Part 2: The Practical Tips and More. Presented by Rob Simbeck. Join Rob as he teaches participants more practical tips related to observing and writing about nature. More depth and examples regarding the topics in part one will be discussed in this session. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • Noon to 1pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Knoxville Origins of Japanese Stilt Grass. Presented by Nancy Dorman. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • Noon to 1pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Hawks of the Smokies. Presented by Stephen Lyn Bales. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • Noon to 1:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Photography Hardware Calibration: Get the Most Out of Your Investment. Presented by Colby McLemore. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 12:30 to 1:30pm: HERITAGE! The White Caps and Blue Bills at the Battle of Henderson’s Spring. Presented by Don Williams. Join Don as he recounts one of Sevier County’s most brutal eras of the White Caps and Blue Bills and their epic showdown at the Battle of Henderson Springs in October of 1894. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 12:30 to 1:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Dos, Don’ts and Hows of Photographing Birds. Presented by Clay Thurston. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 12:30 to 1:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Meanderings of a Silly Man Continue! Presented by Doug Mills. Despite an intrusion of age, and courtesy of The Heartland Series, a silly man continues his meanderings with a camera in hand. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 12:30 to 1:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Appalachian Folk Hymn Tunes. Presented by Timothy Seaman. Join Timothy as he reviews the history and musical types of folk hymns from the shape-note tradition, as interpreted with instruments. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own instruments to play and sing a few, too! Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 1 to 2pm: KIDS’ TRACK! LIMITED SPACE! Bodacious Cartooning for Kids Workshop. Presented by John Rose. Limit 30, ages 8+. Participants should bring own pencils and note pad to draw along! Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 1 to 2:30pm: LIMITED SPACE! Clawhammer Banjo Workshop 2. Presented by Boogertown Gap. Limited to 10 people who must bring their own clawhammer banjo tuned in open G. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 1 to 3pm: Stream-Stocked Trout Fishing. Presented by Greg Ward. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 1:30 to 2:30pm: HERITAGE! Civil War in the Mountains: Bushwhackers, Marauders, Raiders, Conscription and Divided Loyalties at the Homefront. Presented by Chris Tipton. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 1:30 to 2:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Bears on the Move: Tennessee’s Expanding Bear Population. Presented by Daryl Ratajczak. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 2 to 3pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Mindset and Techniques Behind Creating Inspiring Outdoor Photographs. Presented by Daniel Dempster. Join Daniel as he covers what is required to create outdoor images that exceed the ordinary. Topics include techniques, equipment and the mindset that goes hand-in-hand in creating beautiful landscape and nature photographs. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 2 to 3pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Writing Smoky Mountain Books. Presented by Dr. Lin Stepp. Join Dr. Stepp as she shares information on her life and writing novels based in the Great Smoky Mountains. Her program at Wilderness Wildlife Week is also the official launch site of her newest Smoky Mountain novel, Makin’ Miracles, the seventh book in the Smoky Mountain series. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 2 to 3pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Heartland Stories of Wild Critters of the Smokies! Presented by Kim Delozier and Bill Landry. Join Kim and Bill as they share and discuss different Heartland Series episodes they worked on together including wild boar, black bears, red wolf, river otters and more. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 2 to 3:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Recycle Scraps Into Rag Rugs and Trivets. Presented by Maria Holloway. Limit 15, ages 15+. Taking place in the Bob Kolb Memorial Room.
     
  • 2 to 3:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! KIDS’ TRACK! LIMITED SPACE! A Cat Named Stinker. Presented by Mary Phillips. Limit 30, ages 5 to 10. Participants join Mary as she continues the Tall Tales about a firefly, a boy named Booger and his faithful cat, Stinker. Follow the whippoorwill and find out how Stinker got her name and how they all became synchronous friends. Learn the black boogie waltz - draw something and learn to recognize new native plants! Program meets curriculum standards for science, literature and art. Taking place in the Bob Hatcher Memorial Room.
     
  • 2 to 3:30pm: HERITAGE! Old Harp Singing. Presented by David Sarten, leader. Listen to hymns brought from the old country and tunes by early American composers as a group of regional Old Harp singers sing shaped notes (do-re-ami…) in four part harmony seated in the traditional square. Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 2 to 4pm: Digital Photo Editing Made Easy. Presented by Rich Iceland. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 2:30 to 4:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Perspective in Landscapes. Presented by William Hurst and Maurice Edwards. Limit 12, ages 18+. Participants join Maurice and Williams as they teach understanding of perspective in creating landscape drawings. Learn to apply a number of perspective techniques while creating a landscape drawing in pencil. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 3 to 4pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! KIDS’ TRACK! The Truth about Pirates. Presented by Captain John Farmer and East Tennessee Pirates Group. Attendees can have their pictures made with two pirates and learn all about pirates as they can see a replica pirate cannon and other pirate weapons. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 3 to 4pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Flying Housewife. Presented by Rosemary Deitzer. Some fifty years ago Jerrie Mock accomplished what Amelia Earhart could not – to be the first woman to fly solo around the world. Join Rosemary as she presents this remarkable story. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 3 to 4:30pm: LIMITED SPACE! Playing Mountain Dulcimer by Ear. Presented by Tim Simek. Limit to 20 Participants who must bring their own mountain dulcimer. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 3:30 to 4pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! 900 Miles and Then Some: Hiking the Trails of GSMNP. Presented by Judy Bryant. Join Judy as she discusses keeping a hiking journal and answers questions about hiking all the maintained trails of GSMNP. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 3:30 to 4:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Understanding the Essentials of Light: A Photographer’s Guide to "Seeing" the Light and Using It To Achieve Your Photographic Intent. Presented by Douglas Hubbard. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 3:30 to 4:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Why is a Fed Bear a Dead Bear?: The Perils of Feeding a Bear. Presented by Joel Zachry. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 4 to 5pm: KIDS’ TRACK! LIMITED SPACE! The Blue and the Grey: Be a Civil War Soldier. Presented by Mike Meldrum. Limit 30 people. Taking place in the Bob Hatcher Memorial Room.
     
  • 4 to 5:30pm: Old Time String Band Concert. Presented by Boogertown Gap. Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Insect Pollination of Flowers. Presented by Leon Bates. Join Leon as he discusses how insect pollinators ensure biodiversity and stability of our native plant communities. This critical process will be illustrated and discussed. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: Wild Camp Cookery with Horace Kephart. Presented by Ila Hatter. Horace Kephart, author of Camping and Woodcraft, became adept at successful campfire cooking methods. Join Ila as she explains how he did it and what "wild things" he foraged for his "meat and vegetables." Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! HERITAGE! A One Man Portrayal of Elkmont’s Uncle Lem Ownby: The Last Living Resident of GSMNP. Presented by Carroll McMahan. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Photography: Art, Documentation, Fun or Profit? Presented by Clay Thurston. Join Clay as he illustrates how photography can be used for art, documentation, fun and for making money. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 5 to 6:30pm: Civil War in the West, 1862. Presented by Jack Carman. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 5:30 to 6:30pm: HERITAGE! The Walker Sisters of Little Greenbrier. Presented by Robin Goddard. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 6pm: Tuesday Hikes and Field Trips Sign-ups. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 6 to 7pm: Lewis and Clark, Part 2: After the Expedition. Presented by Peter and Gudrun Seifert. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 6 to 7pm: HERITAGE! Native American Flute Concert. Presented by Randy McGinnis. Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 7:30pm: Slow Jam. Presented by Tony Thomas and Friends. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 7:30pm: SUNDAY KEYNOTE PROGRAM! NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Roughrider and the Tramp: The Last Night Camping at Bridalveil Meadow. Presented by Lee Stetson and Alan Sutterfield. Join John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt as they share rousing stories of bear encounters, wild horses, boat rustlers and passenger pigeons, and reveal how the American wilderness shaped these very different men. Learn how their charismatic and passionate discussions sparked a battle that resulted in the creation of Yosemite as a National Park. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wilderness Wildlife Week Guided Hikes and Tours for 2015 in the Pigeon Forge TN Smoky Mountains

All the guided hikes and tour for the 25th annual Wilderness Wildlife Week are free and required being signed up the day ahead of time at the LeConte Center as space is limited and in some cases assigned by lottery.

All hikes and programs at Wilderness Wildlife Week are subject to cancellation without notice most of the time due to bad weather.

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

  • 8am-1pm Avent Cabin via Jakes Creek: 3 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 8am-2:30pm Rock House: 6.5 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 8:30am-4pm Albright Grove: 7.5 miles Moderate
  • 8:30am-4pm Little River Trail: 8.5 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 10:30am-4pm Hat Rock via Injun Creek: 4 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 10:30am-4:30pm Off-Trail: Walker Sisters: 5 miles Moderate
  • 6pm-9pm Owl Prowl: 1.5 miles Easy

Monday, January 26th, 2015

  • 7:30am-4:30pm Rhododendron/Injun Creek: 7 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8am-Noon Heritage Tour of GSM Heritage Center by Bus: Easy
  • 8am-2pm Cades Cove Heritage Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 8am-3pm Ramsey Cascade: 8 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8am-3:30pm Laurel Falls/Walker Sisters 7.5 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8am-3:30pm Little River 6 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 8:30am-4:30pm Meigs Mountain/Lumber Ridge: 10.6 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 9am-11am LeConte Center Bird Walk: 2 miles Easy
  • 10am-3pm Finley Cane to West Prong: 6 miles Moderate
  • 10am-3pm Seven Islands Trail: 3 miles Easy
  • 10:30am-2:30pm US411: Dolly, Bush’s and More Bus Tour Easy

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

  • 7:15am-12:15pm Photo Safari of the Smokies by Bus Easy
  • 7:30am-2pm Lumber Ridge/Spruce Flats Falls: 8 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 7:30am-4pm Homesites of Cades Cove: 6.5 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8am-2pm Elkmont Historic District: 3.5 miles Easy
  • 8am-2pm Sugarland Branch: 4.5 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 8am-3pm Porters Creek: 7.5 miles Moderate
  • 9am-10:30am Birding the Pigeon Forge Greenway: 2 miles Easy
  • 9:30am-4:30pm Dolly’s Sevier County History Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-Noon American Eagle Foundation Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-4:30pm Mystery Hike 5 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 12:30pm-4:30pm Bush’s Beans and More by Bus: Easy
  • 12:30pm-4:30pm Heritage Tour of GSM Heritage Center by Bus: Easy
  • 12:30pm-4:30pm Townsend Railroad Museum by Bus: Easy
  • 6pm-9PM Owl Prowl: 1.5 miles Easy

Wednesday, January 28th 2015

  • 7:30am-5pm Mt. Collins, Sugarlands Mtn, Chimney Tops: 13.5 miles Strenuous
  • 8am-1:30pm Baskins Creek Falls: 6 miles Moderate
  • 8am-2pm Cades Cove Heritage Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 8:45am-3:30pm Lumbering on Cucumber: 7 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8:45am-3:30pm Metcalf Bottoms/Little Greenbrier/Laurel Falls: 9 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 9am-10:30am Birding the Pigeon Forge Greenway: 2 miles Easy
  • 9am-2pm Cades Cove Photo Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-2pm Dolly, Bush Beans and Backroads Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 1:30pm-5pm Trillium Gap to Grotto Falls: 3 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 2pm-4pm Tour of Sevier Solid Waste: 2 miles Easy

Thursday, January 29th 2015

  • 8am-3pm Moore Cemetery: 4.5 miles Moderate
  • 8am-3pm Middle Prong/Indian Flats Falls: 7 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8am-3:30pm AT/Road Prong: 7.2 miles Moderate
  • 8am-4pm Chestnut Top/Schoolhouse Gap: 6.5 miles Moderate
  • 10am-Noon American Eagle Foundation Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-2pm Dolly, Bush Beans and Backroads Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-2pm Heritage Tour of GSM Heritage Center by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-2pm Townsend Railroad Museum by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-5pm Cucumber Trail: 6 miles Moderate
  • 6pm-9pm Owl Prowl: 1.5 miles Easy

Friday, January 30th 2015

  • 8am-3pm Barnes Sisters: 5 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8am-3pm Old Sugarlands to Twin Creek: 7.5 miles Moderate
  • 9am-10:30am Birding the Pigeon Forge Greenway: 2 miles Easy
  • 9am-4:30pm Little River through Huskey Gap to US441: 6.8 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 10am-3pm Bush’s Baked Beans and Historic Dandridge Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 11am-12:15pm Learn Map and Compass Patriot Park Field Test by Bus: Easy
  • 6pm-9pm Owl Prowl: 1.5 miles Easy

Saturday, January 31st 2015

  • 8am-1pm Elkmont Historic District: 4 miles Easy/Moderate
  • 8am-4:30pm Birding Trip to Cades Cove by Bus: Easy
  • 8am-4:30pm Curry Mountain: Off-Trail: 8.8 miles Moderate/Strenuous
  • 8:30am-12:30pm Jr. Docent Family Fun Day: GSM Heritage Center by Bus: Easy
  • 9:30am-2:30pm Bus Tour of Cosby: Easy
  • 10am-2pm Dolly, Bush Beans and Backroads Tour by Bus: Easy
  • 10am-2:30pm Baskins Creek Falls: 3 miles Easy/Moderate

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Wilderness Wildlife Week 2015 Day 1 in Pigeon Forge Tennessee

The 25th Wilderness Wildlife Week may be starting today on a rainy and dreary day here at the LeConte enter in the Pigeon Forge Smoky Mountains, but that is not stopping those who are already here from being excited about all the great activities, guided hikes and musical entertainment that will be taking place here for the next week.

The Wilderness Wildlife Week information desk is open here at the LeConte Center located at 2986 Teaster Lane in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from 7am to 9pm and the preregistration desk for activities with limited space from 7am to 6pm.

The Wilderness Wildlife Week Vendor and Exhibits Hall locate3d in the LeConte Exhibit Hall is open daily from 9am to 6pm except on Saturday, January 31st when it closes at 3pm.

The wilderness Wildlife week schedules that we will be posting every day are subject to change without notice.

Schedule for Day 1 of Wilderness Wildlife Week 2015:

Saturday, January 24 2015

  • 8 to 9am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Beginning Bird ID. Presented by Dana Ripper. Limited to 20 people ages 16+ who will learn how to identify birds as well as participate in a bird hike. Limited binoculars are available to borrow and each participant will receive a free field guide to take home with them! Taking place in South Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 9 to 10am: The Appalachian Trail: An Entertaining Adventure. Presented by Jeff Alt. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 9 - 1pm: Nature Photography Workshop. Presented by Kendall Chiles, Daniel Dempster and Tom and Pat Cory. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 9:30 to 10:30am Camera Basics 101: Understanding Terminology and Your Camera Adjustments as Used in the Manual. Presented by Douglas Hubbard. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 9:30 to 10:30am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Ancient Ways: An Appalachian at Home in Israel and Ireland. Presented by J. Greg Johnson. Join Greg both in Galilee where Jesus walked and also in Ireland where many of our native Scots-Irish ancestors made their path before arriving in America. Taking place in the the LeConte Hall North.
     
  • 9:30 to 10:30am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Carve a Wildlife Stamp. Presented by Pat Thomas. Limited to 12 people ages 12+. Taking place in the Bob Hatcher Memorial Room.
     
  • 9:30 to 11:30am: KIDS’ TRACK! LIMITED SPACE! Design Your Own Wilderness Wildlife Week Bandana. Presented by Louise Bales. Limited to 20 ages 8+ who will join Louise as she teaches them how to design their own Wilderness Wildlife Week 25th Anniversary commemorative bandana. Taking place in the Bob Kolb Memorial Room.
     
  • 9:30 to 11:30am: Fly Fishing the Smokies. Presented by Greg Ward. Taking place in the the Bob Kolb Memorial Room.
     
  • 9:30 to 1:30pm: Photography Contest On site Take in. Presented by Sherry Lutes and Event Volunteers at the Photography Exhibit. Taking place in the LeConte Hall North.
     
  • 10 to 11am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! A Day in the Life of a Riverboat Captain Power Point Presentation. Presented by Captain John Farmer. See what it is like to be a Captain on a modern sternwheel riverboat. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 10 to 11am: You, Me and the Bears. Presented by Joey Holt. Find out what to do if you live or recreate in bear country, including learning what happens if bears come near your home or campsite. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 10 to Noon: LIMITED SPACE! Introduction to the Mountain Dulcimer. Presented by TNT Dulcimers. Limited to 25 participants. Please bring own dulcimer as only a limited number of loaner dulcimers are available. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 11 to 11:30am: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! HERITAGE! The Ruddy Pilgrim. Presented by Tyler King doing a character portrayal of a fictional Smoky Mountain settler from Scotland. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 11 to Noon: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Saving Money Using Free and Open Source Software to Edit Your Nature Photos. Presented by Burt Bicksler. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 11 to Noon: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Make A Dreamcatcher Christmas Ornament. Presented by Sue Todd. Limited to 10 people ages 15+. Taking place in the Bob Hatcher Memorial Room.
     
  • 11 to Noon: Old Time Hymn Singing. Presented by Tony Thomas. Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 11:30am: Sunday Hikes and Field Trips Sign-ups. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 11:30 to 12:30am: Rock Formations of the Smokies. Presented by Harry Moore. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 12:30 to 1:30pm: Sanctuary: Meditations from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Presented by J. Greg Johnson. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 12:30 to 1:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Whittle a Mountain Flower. Presented by Jacki Proffitt. Limited to 10 people ages 16+. Participants must bring own sharpened pocket knife. Taking place in the Bob Kolb Memorial Room.
     
  • 12:30 to 1:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Hiking in the Highland Firs: Hammered Dulcimer Adventures. Presented by Timothy Seaman. Join Timothy for a music concert celebrating the trees of the Smokies and outdoor recreation in our Parks, with dynamic original compositions and classic folk tunes. Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 1 to 2pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! John Muir and Gifford Pinchot: Shaping Our Value of Conservation and Their Influence on the Civilian Conservation Corps. Presented by Michael and Monique Hodge. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 1 to 2pm: KIDS’ TRACK! Get Your Kids Hiking: Learn How a Few Simple Techniques and Gear Can Make a Hike with Kids of Any Age Safe and Fun. Presented by Jeff Alt and Family. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 1 to 2pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Black Bear Encounters in the Smokies! What to Do? Presented by retired park ranger Kim Delozier. Join Kim as he explains a black bear behaviors and how to respond to a black bear encounter. Kim will also share some of his bear encounter incidents in the Smokies. Kim is a YourSmokies favorite and always entertains and informs like no one else! Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 1 to 2pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! The Uses of Essential Oils in Household Products. Presented by Alison Houston. Limited to 10 people ages 16+ who will learn to make a household cleaner to take home with them. Taking place in the Bob Hatcher Memorial Room.
     
  • 1 to 2pm: Nature Writing for Love and Money, Part 1: Observing and Writing about Nature. Presented by Rob Simbeck. Join Rob as he teaches you how to think like a writer, as well as journaling, planning, interviewing, writing, editing and even how to deal with editors. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 1 to 2:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! What’s Wrong with This Picture? It’s the Little Things That Matter. Presented by Roger Trentham. Join Roger as he discusses what common mistakes photographers make that often ruin what could be great images of nature. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 1 to 2:30pm: LIMITED SPACE! Clawhammer Banjo Workshop 1. Presented by Boogertown Gap. Limit to 10 people who must bring their own clawhammer banjo tuned in open G. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 1:30 to 3pm: Lightroom Photo Editing Software: Come Take a Test Drive! Presented by Colby McLemore. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 1 to 3:30pm: Casting a Fly Rod. Presented by Greg Ward. Participants should bring own fly rods for casting demos. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 2 to 3pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Anatomy of a Steam Riverboat Power Point Presentation. Presented by Capt. John Farmer. Join Capt. Farmer as he shows the evolution from deep draft sailing schooners to shallow draft steamboats. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 2 to 3pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Songs of Stephen Foster. Presented by Tony Thomas and Judy Carson. Join Tony and Judy as they perform many of Stephen Foster 150 plus year old compositions that have remained popular. Foster was known as the father of American music and wrote more than 200 songs. Taking place in the LeConte Hall South.
     
  • 2 to 3:30pm: KIDS’ TRACK! LIMITED SPACE! Booger: A Tall Tale of the Mountains. Presented by Mary Phillips. Limited to 30 kids from ages 5-10 who will join Mary as she tells the story of about a firefly, a boy named Booger and his faithful cat, Stinker. Kids learn to use the Great Smoky Mountain Wildflower guide book. Program meets curriculum standards for science, literature, life skills and art. Taking place in the Bob Kolb Memorial Room.
     
  • 2:30 to 3:30pm: Update on Cougars in the Smokies. Presented by Dr. Don Linzey. Learn about cougar distribution, current range and biology, as well as an update on recent reports and sighting in GSMNP. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 2:30 to 3:30pm: Discovery of the Gray Fossil Site. Presented by Harry Moore. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 2:30 to 3:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Making a Hand Broom for Decoration. Presented by David Ogle. Limited to 10 people ages 16+. Taking place in the Bob Hatcher Memorial Room.
     
  • 2:30 to 4pm: LIMITED SPACE! Drawing to Identify Trees. Presented by Maurice Edwards and William Hurst. Limited to 12 Participants, ages 18+. Join a professional botanist and an artist to draw tree parts toward the goal of species identification. Bring own art supplies and plant material or use instructors pencils, paper and subject matter. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 3 to 4pm: Seasons and Weather: Watching the Smokies Change Video Presentation. Presented by Jerry Whaley. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 3 to 4pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! An Adventure Along the John Muir Trail. Presented by Jeff Alt. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 3 to 4pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! LIMITED SPACE! Introduction to the Hammer Dulcimer. Presented by Timothy Seaman. Limited to 10 people. There will be some loaner dulcimers; however, participants are encouraged to bring their own. Onlookers are welcome to watch. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 3:30 to 4:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Forced Removal of the Cherokee in 1838. Presented by Chris Tipton. Join Chris as she discusses the finding of a journal that started a personal rediscovery of one of our nation’s saddest events: The Trail of Tears. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 3:30 to 5pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Making Your Nature Images "POP!". Presented by Larry Perry. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 4 to 5pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Mother Nature’s Secret Garden: The Harvest You Didn’t Plant. Presented by Ila Hatter. Join Ila as she shows participants how to safely recognize what "weeds" are edibles. Some "weeds" are more nutritious than domestic vegetables so now you can have a harvest before you plant your garden! Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 4 to 5:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Everest...and the People Who Climbed It. Presented by Bill Deitzer. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Entering Photographic Competitions: The Benefits of Entering, Pitfalls to Avoid and the Image Selection Process. Presented by Douglas Hubbard. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: Our Summer in Alaska. Presented by Carroll and Michelle McMahan. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: A Bodacious Snuffy Smith Chalk Talk. Presented by John Rose. Join John as he discusses his cartooning career and draws some of his comic strip’s most popular characters. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 4:30 to 5:30pm: Learn to Play the Spoons and Washtub Bass. Presented by Boogertown Gap. Taking place in the South Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 5 to 6pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Hut Hiking in the Alps. Presented by Shannon Harris. Join Shannon as he explains how best to navigate hiking around in the Alps. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 2.
     
  • 5:30 to 6:30pm: Civil War in the West, 1861. Presented by Presented by Jack Carman. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall B.
     
  • 5:30 to 6:30pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Colorful Characters of the Smokies. Presented by Hills-N-Hollows (Join Mike and Kathy Gwinn). Enjoy both story and song some of the snuff-dippin’, fire-spittin’, men and women of the Smokies. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 6pm: Monday Hikes and Field Trips Sign-ups. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall A.
     
  • 6 to 7pm: NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! Outdoor Photography: Thinking and Shooting Out of the Box. Presented by Harry Dunn. Learn how to view subjects differently, as well as how to use camera functions beyond "Auto" and several "Plan for success" ideas from Harry. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 1.
     
  • 6 to 7pm: Lewis and Clark, Part 1: Before the Expedition: Presented by Peter and Gudrun Seifert. Taking place in the North Multi-Purpose Room 3.
     
  • 6:45pm: The Scottish Connection to the Smokies and Bagpipe Performance by Bagpiper Charles A. Smith, Commander, TVA Police, retired. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 7pm: Opening Ceremony. Presented by Butch Helton, Ken Jenkins and friends. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     
  • 7:45pm KEYNOTE PROGRAM! NEW Wilderness Wildlife Week Program! The Tramp and the Roughrider: An Evening at Glacier Point: Presented by Lee Stetson and Alan Sutterfield. What did John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt discuss around the campfire in 1903? Witness a live reenactment of this history-altering camping trip in Yosemite as the "Tramp" and the "Rough Rider" engage in lively discussion over the fate of our most wild places and swap stories about their own adventures. Taking place in the Greenbrier Hall C.
     

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Snow and Ice Close Newfound Gap Road US441

The Smoky Mountains are now in the middle of the first of 2 Winter Weather Advisories for the start of when the majority of Thanksgiving takes place in the Smokies prompting first the closure of Clingmans Dome Road, and the closing of Newfound Gap Road US441 between Gatlinburg Tennessee and Cherokee North Carolina.

Though Newfound Gap Road reopened Wednesday morning, it is expected to close again tonight as the second wave of the snowstorm rolls in which can dump another 3 or more inches of snow in the higher elevations.

The snow expected to fall tonight will be affecting areas below 2,000 feet in elevation which is in the elevation zone most cabin rentals in the Smokies are located so drivers may have issues accessing or leaving these spots Thursday before everything melts by Saturday.

Update 11/27/14 7:01 am

Newfound Gap Road closed again last night as the 2nd wave of winter weather blanketed the higher elevations with more snow. As much as 5 inches are on the ground at Newfound Gap with some higher drifts.

Road Crews are presently plowing and sanding Newfound Gap Road which may be able some time later today. As soon as it opens, the road condition report (link below) will be updated.

Update 11/27/14 11:52 am

Due to excessive ice and worsening conditions, Newfound Gap Road US441 will not open today. Old 284 may close making it best to avoid that area as well.

Update 11/28/14 6:34 am

Crews already working on Newfound Gap Road with plows and sanders. Will have to deal with icicles hanging over the road as well.

Smoky Mountains Weather

Roads Conditions in the Smokies


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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Color Report for the 4th Weekend in the Smoky Mountains October 2014

If you look outside in mid and lower elevations right now, you would swear it was the first weekend of peak leaf season in the Great Smoky Mountains, not the second. Regardless there areas still see some nice fall colors and for sure there will be more next weekend as well.

The fall leaf colors in the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Newfound Gap Road are gone, however the long range views are still nice. The traffic is extremely heavy though and I would suggest Foothill Parkway West as a better drive.

The Foothills Parkway Spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is not showing its best, however there are some decent spots of color along parts of Little River Road and now Laurel Creek Road all the way into Cades Cove.

Cades Cove Loop Road is very crowded and still not at peak in the valley. Rich Mountain Road and Parson Branch Road coming out of Cades Cove both have nice color in spots, and will continue to have color into next week. Both the Gregory Bald Hiking Trails and Hannah Mountain Hiking Trails have decent color and long range views are still very good.

Deep Creek, Tremont and Elkmont are 3 of my top picks right now for a great place to have a moderate hike and see decent fall color in the Great Smoky Mountains national park. All three of these sections of the park have significant water features which add to fall photography even though the amazing fluorescent fall colors along the rivers have yet to show themselves.

Deep Creek North Carolina has some great color along the Loop Trail, Sunkota Ridge and especially the Noland Divide Trail up to and beyond Lonesome Pine to Sassafras, as well as along Thomas Ridge. Other than Little Creek Falls, none of the Waterfalls in the Deep Creek area have color left.

In Elkmont if you hike the Little River, Cucumber Gap, Jake's Creek Loop, there is only limited bright fall colors out as of yesterday. Hiking further up Jake Creek Trail especially up the Panther Creek Trail there are spots of colors which are wonderful. A hike along Meigs Mountain trail or the Curry Mountain Trail will not be disappointing.

I normally love to walk the roadway in Tremont this week in October and stop all along the way at the many pools and small waterfalls and take photos of the fall colors in the leaves in the trees above reflecting in the water. This is not one of the best years for that, at least not yet.

Hiking along the West Prong Trails is very nice right now, but I suggest in the next few days to still take advantage of the Middle Prong Trail and the Greenbier Ridge Trail, however there is no color left by the time you get up to the AT. Indian Flats Falls is nice as the water flow rate is fairly low, but it is not a waterfall for "fall pictures".

Reports have come in the color is getting much nice along the Lakeshore area, but I have not been there since Monday and sadly many areas that should provide brilliant color have not done so this year even though based upon high hope we had at the start of the season.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014 Fall Peak Leaf Season: Where To Go To See the Best Fall Color This Weekend

This weekend is the first major weekend of autumn leaf color for the 2014 peak season in the Great Smoky Mountains and luck be with us, it is going to be a weekend with great weather as well!

The Smokies have been unseasonably warm and wet so far this fall. We also had to contend with considerable rain and wind in the past week which has pushed some of the early leaves that changed into bright fall colors to the ground, especially leaves in the very high elevations as well as sycamores, sourwoods and tulip poplars in mid and lower elevations.

Since it was not really cold enough yet at night which the maples and oaks need to turn the sugars in their leaves into bright brilliant reds and oranges, and our grasses are still mostly mid to deep green, you will be able to see lots of greens still along with nice contrasting colors which all should last longer than normal this season.

The best place to be to see the most colors in a long landscape view right now is being up high. This means by car you should take advantage of places such as the Blue Ridge Parkway, Newfound Gap Road, Clingmans Dome Road, the Foothills Parkway East between Cosby and I-40 and the Foothills Parkway West between Townsend/Walland and US129, The Smoky Mountain Parkway, and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail behind Gatlinburg.

A little off the beaten path would be taking old State Road 284 from Big Creek to Cataloochee North Carolina. Not only are many of the overlook areas simply stunning as well as many parts of this drive, it will take you right to Cataloochee where the Elk Rut is still taking place and the colors in the mountains surrounding the Valley are beautiful.

Another exception ride today is US129 from the Foothill Parkway West all the way to the Fontana Dam. You must take a trip to the damn itself as the leaves have come in full force along the mountainside and against the blue green water, with what green is left in the mountains and the fall colors, the contrast are stunning.

If you plan on hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains to see the fall colors, there are many great choices this weekend. For a moderate hike and the ability to see stunning long range views, hike Andrews Bald starting at the Clingmans Dome parking area or the Brushy Mountain hike starting at Grotto Falls off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Both should be nice next weekend as well.

For a more strenuous hike with equally stunning color but a better long range view looking down into Cades Cove, consider going up to Gregory Bald. This is about an 11 mile round trip hike and should be fairly popular during peak fall color season so expect the trail to be a little more crowded.

Also moderately strenuous with a very outstanding view will be the Pinnacle Man-way Trail in Greenbrier off the Ramsey Cascades trail which should be very quiet and with a 9 mile round trip, or Charlies Bunion which will be much more crowded, but well worth the 8 plus mile hike along the Appalachian Trail starting from the Newfound Gap Parking area.

Some lesser know but great fall hikes would be taking the start of the Appalachian Trail in Fontana to the fire tower, the hike to the Mount Sterling fire tower from Old State Road 284 or from Big Creek, and the Mount Cammerer Fire tower from either Cosby or the Appalachian Trail.

Less strenuous great fall hikes would be would be Abrams Falls in Cades Cove, The Little River Trail Cucumber Gap Loop in Elkmont, Husky Gap Trail from Newfound Gap Road, Rainbow Falls off Cherokee Orchard Road behind Gatlinburg, Boogerman Loop in Cataloochee, and the waterfall loop in Deep Creek.

If you are a serious hiker, no matter what way you make it up to Mount LeConte this weekend you won't be disappointed, of course it will be crowded.

The Appalachian Hiking Trail still has beautiful long range views in spots, same as the Thomas Divide Trial, but the colorful fall leaves along the trail are virtually all gone.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

2014 Fall Color Observations for Tennessee areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Clearly peak leaf season in the Great Smoky Mountains is right around the corner, but is sure did not feel that way in the lower elevations in Greenbrier, Tremont, Cades Cove, The Foothills Parkway West and the Abrams Falls area.

Traffic is seasonally heavy for mid week on Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road and the Cades Cove Loop Road. The Spur section of the Foothills Parkway that runs between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge has not only seen heavy traffic and numerous accidents, 2 separate accidents this month each resulted in a single fatality, so drivers are asked to exercise extreme caution on park roads.

To get away from all the traffic, take the Foothills Parkway West and go south on 129 to the Abrams Creek part of the Great Smoky Mountains national park which is not only just starting to show some posts of color in the higher elevations, it is virtually deserted right now with about a dozen campsites in use and during a hearty 8 mile loop hike of Rabbit Creek, Hatcher Mountain and Little Bottoms Trail, I did not see a single other hiker.

Long range views along the trail were crystal clear with just random areas showing light green and tinges of yellow other than sourwood trees which have started to change toward the bright and deep reds we all love so much. At least a dozen different species of wildflowers are still blooming and wildlife including birds was plentiful.

The views from the Foothills Parkway West are still mostly summer-like with some lower bushes and some random trees turning and well as from Look Rock. By next weekend The Foothills Parkway West and the higher portions of Abrams Creek and Cades Cove will be a sight to behold as the riot of color will swing peak leave season into those areas.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

2014 Fall Leaf Color Peak and Dates for the Great Smoky Mountains.

As signs of fall start to show in the Smokies, signs point to beautiful color and bountiful food for the local wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains.

While fall color on the leaves is a huge attraction for people coming to the Great Smoky Mountains, a good mast crop of acorns and other nuts is crucial to wildlife in the Smokies. This year it looks as though the Great Smoky Mountains may have one of the highest yield mast crops in a very long time. On years where the mast crop is so good, the fall color tends to be brighter and last longer as long as there are no violent last minute storms to blow down the leaves.

While the first part of our fall season ushered in by the breaking of summer heat and the ripening of apples, walnuts, pawpaw, acorns and persimmons was generally dry and with seasonably comfortable temperatures, just as the acorns peak ripening ended we got a quick cold snap along with a few days of gentle soaking rain.

These cooling temperatures as well as the light soaking rain with moderate winds were enough to blow some of the early turned leaves such as in the sycamore trees which never have great color to the ground, but will hydrate the other leaves so they have a potential to stay longer in the trees and more slowly lose their green revealing much more brilliant colors that will last far longer than usual.

Based open visits have taken in the past few days to various parts of the Smokies including Newfound Gap, Elkmont, Cosby, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Balsam Mountain, Greenbrier, Smokemont, Bryson City, Maggie Valley, Cherokee and along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Mile Marker 380 to 469, it is clear that the start of the 2014 leaf season will by October 12th along the higher elevations with southern exposure.

The first peak fall color leaf season in the Smokies for 2014 along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Balsam mountains higher elevations given present weather and plant conditions will run from October 12th through the 17th with some decent color in North Carolina and deciduous trees along higher points along Tennessee into the 25th.

Lower elevations in Tennessee such as around Cades Cove near Townsend, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail near Gatlinburg, Cosby, Elkmont, Greenbrier, Tremont and Big Creek will be most brilliant from the 17th all the way to the 28th of October as long as the weather cooperates. After the main peak there is usually still nice color mostly deep reds and maroons in the hardwoods until the first week in November Lower down in the valleys such as Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Wears Valley.

They key is as long as the weather keeps its current pace of wet and dry and the temperature gradually keep falling as they are doing right now, you can easily extend these dates another 4-5 days. In 2005 we had very decent fall color in the hardwoods of Tennessee as late as the second week in November with leaves in some trees the week of Thanksgiving.

As weather becomes more unpredictable and has more dramatic swings between hot and cold, and wet or dry, predicting fall color quality and peak dates as weeks as wildflower peaks have become harder and harder, however unless something dramatic happens, this looks to be an exceptionally great year for fall color and longevity of the autumn leaves in peak.

Note: These 2014 fall peak color predictions are based upon 23 years of historical data correlating temperature, moisture and fruiting density of local plants to leaf color brightness, timing and duration.

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