Friday, June 11, 2010

Appalachian Bear Rescue Hosts 2010 Black Bear Expo at the Townsend Tennessee Visitor Center

With all the interest this year about black bears in the Smokies, the 2010 Black Bear Expo taking place Saturday June 26th from 9 am - 5 pm at the Townsend Visitor Center will be a big hit with locals and tourists alike.

You cannot think about the Great Smoky Mountains without thinking about our beloved local black bears. What you may not think about, is the almost 15 years of hard work that the nonprofit group Appalachian Bear Rescue does to help injured and orphaned black bear cubs by giving them a safe place to live and grow until they can be returned to the wild.

Appalachian Bear Rescue Hosts 2010 Black Bear Expo at the Townsend Visitor Center

The great folks at Appalachian Bear Rescue are hosting a black bear expo this weekend that everyone young or old can enjoy and at the same time learn how to life safely in and around black bear habitats. Black bear management is actually people management, and this expo will give you and the family the knowledge it takes to keep our bear and your family safe, all the way enjoying music, storytelling and so much more.

The musical entertainment you can enjoy at the black bear expo will be multi-talented Appalachian musician Tony Thomas and Pistol Creek Catch of the Day. Be sure to also join in on the fun activities and take in the informative displays of black bear.

You will also learn how to set up a safe campsite and photograph black bears along with other animals in the wild. 20 people who sign in ahead of time will have to opportunity to take a guided hike to an inactive black bear den. To sign up for the hike, call (828) 524-9904.

One of the other highlights of the bear expo will be the exciting and incredibly entertaining stories given by Retired park rangers Dwight McCarter and Joe Kelley. There will also be hands on demonstrations by wildlife officers.

Besides food and soft drinks that will be available, a chainsaw carver will be on hand, and you can even purchase black bear items.

So come on out to Townsend Tennessee this Saturday June 26th and support the Appalachian Bear Rescue who in 2009 took in 23 black bear cubs - that's more than twice what they handled in 2008!

Want to find out how you can help? Contact Kathy or Anne by phone at (828) 524-9904 or email at Appalachian Bear Rescue is also on Facebook and they have an Appalachian Bear Rescue Blog.

Appalachian Bear Rescue
PO Box 364
Townsend, Tennessee 37882

Monday, June 07, 2010

Save The Planet Series at the Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg TN with Discover Life in America

Come join us at the Hard Rock Café in Gatlinburg Tennessee on June 8th, 2010 from 6 pm to 8 pm for a community discussion where art, culture, and science meet with the folks from Discover Life in America.

Save The Planet Series at the Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg with Discover Live in America

Full menu available and people of all ages are welcome to join in this informal discussion with Discover Life in America experts on this season's favorite nightlife - the synchronized fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains.

The Discover Life in America is conducting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory project which identified to date more than 17,000 species in the GSMNP of which 923 are new to science and more than 6,000 were no known to exist in the park!

Synchronized Fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Synchronous fireflies and their admirers are about to invade the Great Smoky Mountains national park

In a few days just as they have done for years, millions of the Smokies beloved lightning bugs will start to shine with their amazing bioluminescence that will synchronize with one another. While this is happening about a 1,000 people a night will crowd the Little River Trail in the Elkmont section of the GSMNP which was a former rail road bed for the Little River logging company to watch and be amazed by natures light show.

Actually there are 14 species of fireflies that have been identified in the Great Smoky Mountains national park, but only one the Photinus Carolinus, performs its magical light show in a synchronized manner that is always a crowd pleaser.

This little former glowworm emerges at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and likes to keep by slow moving water while it uses its greenish glow to attract mates. This phenomenon actually takes place all throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains, but the best place to observe it is in the Great Smoky Mountains national park, and Elkmont is one of the most convenient and safest places to observe these fireflies flash at what could be their mates.

While you can observe synchronized fireflies in virtually every section of the GSM national park, in order to accommodate so many visitors who come for the light show, the national park service has decided to close Elkmont entrance road at firefly peak season to anyone other than registered campers at 5 pm. No parking is permitted along Little River Road at this time so that cars will not hit pedestrians in the dark.

What the Great Smoky Mountains national park does do for visitors with the help of the City of Gatlinburg, which provides trolleys, is run a shuttle for $1 round trip from the Sugarlands visitor center starting 7 pm to the Elkmont trailhead.

As soon as the parking lot at the Sugarlands Visitor Center fills up or it is 9:00 pm, no more people transportation to Elkmont ends. Most every run may sell out, so come after 6:00 pm to be sure you will get a seat on a trolley to see firefly show!

If you are bringing a flashlight, you need to bring red cellophane or a red lens cover so as not to disturb the fireflies flashing or other visitor's night vision. You can only bring what fits on your lap and no coolers alcoholic beverages, or pets can go on the trolley.

The park advises the last trolley will return to the Sugarlands at 11 pm, however historically the last trolley is much later but be there before then so you will not be left in the dark at Elkmont!

Peak firefly season when the trolleys will be running and Elkmont road is closed this year will be from June 5th to the 13th.

Related Smokies Fireflies News Stories

Synchronized Fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains