Appalachia Bare is proud to introduce a new monthly nature series written by Grant Mincy, an assistant professor of biology and (sometimes) geology at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also sits on the Earth and Planetary Sciences Advisory Council for the University of Tennessee. He often hikes
Today, I am hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’m sharing this adventure with my friend, Steve McQueen (yes, his real name). Pleasant winter morning out here among decaying brown leaves and sleepy rhododendron – pleasant because the day feels more like a warm spring afternoon, as opposed
October is peak leaf season in Asheville and the burst of colors brings a flood of tourists to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Long after the trees are denuded and the tourists have ebbed, beautiful leaves are still here. Many are scattered in forest nooks and crannies, like fallen soldiers after a battle.
In the primeval forests of Appalachia, among the wildness, among the coal mines and their homegrown communities, waters flow. From mountain ridges these waters course and trickle into one another. Momentum from this continuum carves, molds, and sculpts ancient rock. Ever so slowly, water erodes away the lithology. Soluble minerals