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Paul Sherman


Thumbnail images are licensed:

CC Attribution

Full-size images are licensed:

CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

Many plants and animals appearing here are also available (usually downscaled versions) at my wpclipart site, where I release them into the Public Domain.

Smokey  Mountain  Flora


Grancy Graybeard

Chionanthus virginicus
aka American Fringe Tree

Near the Nolichucky River the Appalachian Trail follows a ridge above the tumbling water for a mile or so... before it turns away from the river you can turn off the trail and take a narrow, country road back to the Chestoa bridge, once again following the flow of the Nolichucky back to where you started. This little circuit makes a nice hour-long hike if you take your time, as I do with my camera :)

I'd been past the area with this "bush" maybe 50 times and never took any real notice, until one day near the end of May the plain, little bit of greenery looked like a white firework had gone off in the clear, blue sky. Every stem on every branch ended in a burst of florid white. And drawing near there was a wonderful, smooth aroma...

Mimosa Tree

Albizia julibrissin aka: Persian Silk Tree

Ornamental tree native to Asia, it has small symetric leaves and flowers that bloom without petals but delicate, silky stamen. This specimen grows near North Indian Creek along the Erwin Linear Path.



Cercis canadensis

Small, short-lived ornamental tree common thoughout Eastern United States. Coolest feature is that the tree blossoms before it leafs-out, so the bright pink flowers are quite conspicuous in the spring.

Only long-tongued insects (like a carpenter bee) are able to reach their nectar.

Virginia Pine

Pinus virginiana

These have the tough, spiney pine cones. (Fun for throwing at a girl hiking ahead of you... just don't throw them too hard :)

Virginia Pine are often planted to reforest damaged areas, are a good food source for small animals and birds as well as browse for white-tailed deer.

I like to throw the cones at Debbie.


Catalpa speciosa

Showy flower, this tree was growing near the Erwin Linear Trail, just down a steep shoulder, which made reaching up to view/photograph some of the blossoms easy.

Later in the year it grows "beans" up to 16" long. aka the "Indian Cigar Tree", native americans allegedly smoked the bean pods as a hallucinogen.
photographed 05/29/2011

Tree Stacking

So Where's The Fish?

Tree growing on top of another tree? Somebody graft these together to goof with hikers? Got me. I snapped this picture on my way out of the trail in early evening... light was not too good.

I have revisited the trail several times -- I remember within about a half-mile where I took the pic -- but I have not been able to find the tree again... very eerie.

photographed 9/19/10

Green Ash Gone Yellow

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

The sun was getting low on a nice, fall afternoon. I was on the AT above the Nolichucky River, just north of Temple Hill (seen in background.)

The yellow leaves were razor sharp.

photographed 10/28/10

Looking Up near Flint Mountain, TN

The foilage on the higher elevations was past peak, so I took a hike from Devil's Gap to keep myself at about 3,000 feet or so, and it was an excellent choice. I got a mostly sunny Sunday in the 60s and although the grand vistas of color were gone, the hardwoods along the path (mostly maples and oaks) were gorgeous.

Maple in Fall

Continuation of the Devil's Gap/Flint Mountain hike. Very statuesque Maple.

I took the trail as far as the Shelton graves. A man and his nephew that left Tennesee and joined with the Union Army. They returned to see family for the holidays and were shot by their neighbors.

Glory of war, I suppose...

maple pictured - 10/23/2011

Temple Hill TN, Fall 2011

Fall Canvas

This is another shot from my little section of the Appalachian Trail that runs along the Nolichucky River. View toward Temple Hill to the south.

photographed 11/05/2011

Winter Descent

Mixed forest in December, heading back down from Unaka Mountain. Only 6-8 inches of snow up there, but the wind was quite chilly, especially on the balds. Mine were the only tracks that Sunday :)
photographed 12/12/2010

Plant Sections
Raspberry, blueberry, Indian Strawberry, Wintergreen Berry...

Whitemouth Dayflower, Virginia Spiderwort...

Smooth Phlox, Purple Phacelia, Late Purple Aster...

Amanita, Turkey Tail, Dryads Saddle...


Tree Groundpine...

Trumpet Vine, Turks Cap Lily...

Red Turtlehead, Showy Evening Primrose...

Cardinal Flower, Fire Pink, Southern Red Trillium...

Mimosa, Redbud...

Star Chickweed, Creeping Bush Clover...

Coltsfoot, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Rattlesnake weed...

Related Sites

Tennessee Wildflowers
Kris Light has a wonderful site full of pictures and information. Her site has helped me ID several flowers.
TN Wildflowers

Appalachian Treks
Mark Peacock has some great pictures and info on trails around my area of Eastern Tennessee.
App. Treks

Hiking Bill
Sort of an online tour guide to S. Appalachian hiking trails, by someone who obviously loves to hike.
Hiking Bill

TN Wildflower Gallery
These pages on by Cheryl Hiers, who obviously does a lot of hiking and photography.
Wildflower Guide

Wildflower field guide. Just tons of wildflower photos, some really exceptional.
Flicr Flowers


Plastic Waste
Every piece of plastic ever made still exists...
Very Cool YouTube Video...