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Tennessee Conservationist Magazine

September-October 2014

Feature Article: 
Fall Colors Are a Magnet For Fall Creek Falls in October

By Ranger Cara Alexander

Barred Owls are frequently seen and heard in the campgrounds at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The parks' Fall Colors Weekend is set for October 18-19. Photo by Cara Alexander.

Brisk temperatures and beautiful many-hued orange and red leaves entice many people to seek outdoor adventures in the autumn. Fall Creek Falls State Park's Fall Colors Weekend on October 18-19 might compel you to visit there. Ranger Cara Alexander details the hiking, waterfall gazing and scenic driving tour opportunities during this fall extravaganza in the featured article "Fall Colors Are a Magnet for Fall Creek Falls in October."

These youngsters are engaged by box turtles at a school wildlife program. Photo by Margaret Matens.


If Opossums Had Publicists: Moving From Fear of Wildlife to Fascination.

By Margaret H. Matens

Margaret H. Matens gives programs at school to introduce kids to Tennessee wildlife and to help them move past their fears and beyond "nature deficit disorder" by letting them see and get close to snakes, box turtles, opossums and more. Matens, recently retired as director of public relations for St. Andrew's-Sewanee is a TWRA wildlife rehabilitator and environmental educator and is the writer of the article "If Opossums Had Publicists: Moving From Fear of Wildlife to Fascination."

The Goldenrod Gallfly's Short, But Fascinating Life

The goldenrod gall is easy to see in the field during winter months when the goldenrods have lost their leaves. Photo by Rosanna O. Salmon.

By Rosanna O. Salmon

You might have noticed lumpy growths on plants here and there. No doubt they are plant tissues gone wild and better known as "galls." There are roughly 139,930 species of gall insects in the world and their relationship with their host plant is parasitic. One of these insects called the "goldenrod gallfly" probably exists near you! The goldenrod gallfly and its accessibility have made it well suited for study in the field as well as the lab and classroom since experiments with it are easy to illustrate the three trophic levels (food chain): the plant, the herbivore and the herbivore's natural enemies. Science aficionados get excited about this relationship that travels through three eating levels and links several species in the "goldenrod community." Read more in the article "The Goldenrod Gallfly's Short, But Fascinating Life" by Rosanna O. Salmon of Chapel Hill who has worked as a park naturalist in Louisiana and has returned to her native Tennessee.

Don't Miss These Articles

Also In This Issue

  • Norris Elementary School
  • Wetland Aerial Autumn in Tennessee
  • Explore Mead's and Ross Marble Quarries

In The Next Issue

  • Saving Sabine Hill
  • Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards
  • Loggerhead Shrike

About The Tennessee Conservationist

For more than seven decades, the award-winning Tennessee Conservationist has been dedicated to telling the stories of Tennessee’s natural, cultural and historical distinctiveness. In a cluttered media marketplace, this magazine continues to stand out by offering authentic Tennessee places, people and experiences through beautiful photography and engaging, informative articles. The magazine fulfills its purpose without receiving a state appropriation as it is totally funded through subscription revenue, non-commercial advertising for Tennessee State Parks and environmental programs plus gifts and donations from supporters. With continued strong support from our subscribers, we look forward to sharing more authentic Tennessee stories with you in the years to come.

Bob Martineau, Commissioner

Published Six Times A Year

TheTennessee Conservationist is dedicated to promoting the mission of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to preserve, protect and wisely use the state's natural and cultural resources.

Subscriptions are $15 for one year; $22 for two years; $30 for three years.

Mailing Address:
The Tennessee Conservationist
Department of Environment & Conservation
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 532-0060

Bill Haslam

Bob Martineau
TDEC Commissioner

Brock Hill
Parks and Conservation Deputy Commissioner

Shari Meghreblian
Environment and ConservationDeputy Commissioner

Louise Zepp

Jeff Law
Art Director/Designer