Inventory of life: Twenty-year effort to count Smokies species adds 1,000 to science
By late November, the trees at 5,000 feet are mostly bare, once-green leaves covering the forest floor like a brown blanket, obscuring the ground that had hosted all manner of wildflowers and shrubs and berries during the warmer months.
Some people might describe the forest as dead or lifeless, but not those who know where to look. Paul Super, science coordinator for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of those people. Stationed up at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob, Super’s office is just a stone’s throw away from the Cataloochee Divide Trail and the upland forest surrounding it.