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Students from Calvin College recently traveled to Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Grand Rapids, Michigan for a spring break service trip only to find the 26 degree temps at Clingmans Dome not too different from those at home! Superintendent Cassius Cash and Facility Management Chief Alan Sumeriski stopped by to say thank you and to encourage the group to continue on their path in becoming lifelong stewards of our national parks.
NPS photos; Image descriptions: Photo #1: Students and NPS staff stand in a circle on the sidewalk to talk. Blue sky and clouds can be seen above them, and mountains can be seen behind them. Photo #2: Students and NPS staff pose for a group photo in the parking lot at Clingmans Dome. Large rocks and evergreen trees can be seen behind them.
Happy First Day of Spring! Some of our early Spring wildflowers have begun to bloom. All plants and animals are protected in the park, so please enjoy them without harming them. Picking any plant and taking it out of the park is prohibited.
Photo: C. Keith
Photo description: Bloodroot flowers in bloom.
Eastern Bluebirds prepare for the breeding season by looking for mates & building nest cavities. Once their first brood hatches, males may finish rearing young while females build a second nest elsewhere or females may wait & build a second nest directly on top of the empty nest!
Photo Description: An Eastern Bluebird perched on a branch, photo by Warren Bielenberg.
Some of the first flowers of spring are the violets. These little beauties cover the ground throughout the Smokies. They come in all different colors, so be on the lookout to see what you find. Picture by Erin Waddell
Image Description: Lone common blue violet in the green grass on a sunny day
It's a bit chilly in the park this weekend, but we are enjoying the sunshine after all that rain!
Can anyone guess which waterfall this is?
Video by Allison Bate
Video Description: A sunny slow motion view of one of the park's popular waterfalls at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
"Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn." -Lewis Grizzard
Photo: Bob Carr. (Image description: View from "the jumpoff." Evergreen shrubs can be seen in the foreground. In the background, low-hanging clouds drift through the mountains, and a sunny blue sky shines above.)
Brown Thrashers are year-round residents of the Smokies. At this time of year, males perch high in trees and sing to females. An early start to the breeding season means that females may raise two separate broods (families) in a year. Take a hike to look and listen for these beauties!
Photo Description: A brown thrasher perched on a tree branch, photo taken by Warren Bielenberg
Warning! Do Not Eat!
This golden net-winged beetle tells all who looks down at it that it has a very acidic, burning taste. However, as long as you don’t plan to dine on this little beetle, it would be an excellent find while hiking a trail. Have you found any cool, unique insects while on a hike? Pictures by Erin Waddell
Image Description: First Picture: Golden net-winged beetle (Dictyoptera aurora) with red wing casings crawling on burnt, black wood. Second Picture: Beetle standing on hind legs with wings spread about to fly off.
Need to refill your water bottle?
Stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center, and use our new water bottle refilling station!
Image description: Reusable water bottle being filled at the Sugarlands Visitor Center water bottle refilling station located at the bathrooms. at Sugarlands Visitor Center
Happy #InternationalWomensDay! For #IWD2019, we are shining a spotlight on our new Chief Ranger, Lisa Hendy. She is a recipient of the prestigious Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award as well as an Intermountain Region Exemplary Service Award for life-saving efforts within Grand Canyon National Park. We are excited to welcome her aboard next month. She is sure to inspire many young women considering a career in the National Park Service or in law enforcement. How are you celebrating International Women's Day? The theme this year is "Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change."
Last week, we showed you a kitten for #ThrowbackThursday. This week, you get puppies! 🐶
Image description: Edna Abbott and Mildred Tipton play with two puppies. A barn and a binder, a harvesting machine that cuts grain and then binds it, can be seen in the background.
Snow is still sparkling on top of the mountains this morning! ❄️ Enjoy this view from the Purchase Knob webcam. Remember, you can find road closure information at SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter, with or without a Twitter account.
Image description: Blue sky with clouds shines over snow-covered trees; low-hanging clouds can be seen looking like fog across the middle of the photo.
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