The color isn’t quite at peak yet, there’s still a lot of green in the mountains, but it’s already gorgeous outdoors right now. I cannot help but take my camera every time I go out. :) These photos of the Great Smoky Mountains were all taken within a couple of miles of where I live. If you click to enlarge the photos, you can see why they are called the “Great Smokies” — the rising gray mists look like smoke. You can see these mists and haze most anytime, year round. The haze, which causes a blueish tint to the mountains and sky, is caused by hydrocarbons produced by trees and higher humidity.
About the Great Smokies:
“Biological diversity is the hallmark of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which encompasses over 800 square miles in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Some 100 species of native trees find homes in the Smokies, more than in any other North American national park. Almost 95% of the park is forested, and about 25% of that area is old-growth forest–one of the largest blocks of deciduous, temperate, old-growth forest remaining in North America. Over 1,500 additional flowering plant species have been identified in the park. The park is home to more than 200 species of birds, 66 types of mammals, 50 native fish species, 39 varieties of reptiles, and 43 species of amphibians. Mollusks, millipedes, and mushrooms reach record diversity here.”
“The Great Smoky Mountains park is the largest federally protected upland landmass east of the Mississippi River. Dominated by plant-covered, gently contoured mountains, the crest of the Great Smokies forms the boundary between Tennessee and North Carolina, bisecting the park from northeast to southwest in an unbroken chain that rises more than 5,000 feet for over 36 miles. Elevations in the park range from 875 to 6,643 feet.”
“In recognition of the park’s unique natural resources, the United Nations has designated Great Smoky Mountains National Park as an International Biosphere Reserve.”
From: National Park Service, Great Smoky Mountains
Click any photo for a larger version.