Sights, Smells, and Sounds in Our Spring Forests

Bruce Ingram photo

In the Southern Appalachians, spring sends our senses into an ethereal otherworld as so many sights, sounds, and smells unique to the season greet us. Here are some of the sensory delights that folks in our region treasure the most. Read more


When it comes to a traditional mountain rite of spring from yesteryear, it’s tempting to claim, decades after the fact, that I was the victim of child abuse. If so, however, child abuse was once near-universal in my highland homeland. Read more


Share with us your favorite smells, sounds or sights of Spring. Read more


It is probably safe to say Dad had a green thumb although frost, sub-freezing temperatures, insects, rabbits and other vermin would—from time to time—result in his thumb being somewhat off color. Read more



Creative Commons

For centuries, gathering sochan—also known as the green-headed coneflower—has been a rite of springtime for the Cherokee people. Read more


Phenology training

NPS photo

Spring came to the Southeast three weeks early this year, and a burgeoning citizen science effort in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park aims to put a bead on whether seasonal patterns are shifting for good. Read more


Bear cub in the Smokies


Spring means bear cubs in the Smokies. Read more



U.S. Fish & Wildlife photo

As the bare canopy of Eastern deciduous forests allows the sun to shine through and warm the fecund earth each spring, ephemerals push through the leaf litter toward the sun, and the grays and browns of the forest floor erupt in color. Read more


Early summer, a couple of years ago, I arrived in these mountains. Typically the season of fresh starts, spring was to close out my first year here. I ended up traveling much of March, and, upon my return to Asheville, the fullness of April washed ov Read more



Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

I haven’t received a decent love letter in years. Before readers assume I have just thrown my husband under the bus, let me clarify. Read more


Cataloochee Valley

Cheryl Allagood

The petulant weather of late Winter brings with it the promise of gentler days ahead. Here, our readers share some of their fondest memories from warmer days. Read more


Cherokee NC photo

By late April, we trust you’ve tiptoed into the woods, maybe under cover of darkness, pinched your nose with one hand and, fast as a rabbit, harvested your secret ramp stash using the other. Read more


Mount Rogers

Holly Kays photo

Equipped with a school backpack, which was jerry-rigged with bungee cords to attach half of a tent and a 1980s-era sleeping bag of questionable warmth, I wore sporting jeans, sneakers, a long-sleeve tee and a cotton hoodie. Read more


Each year before spring gives up to summer, I make a new list of promises to myself. Those pledges, unfortunately, usually fall by the wayside, like petals from spring trilliums on a forest floor. Read more