Ecology

Dave Porfiri, his wife Linda Duvoisin and their two daughters Jane and Harlan spend most of June 2013 on the road.  They’re filmmakers, and they drove an RV to about 40 counties across the state and gathered footage for the Pickin’ Up Tennessee project, which is raising awareness about litter.  Now they’re posting the films online and encouraging others to contribute footage, with a total goal of 95 films.  

Kenneth Dwain Harrelson / (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

    The monarch butterfly population is dwindling, and gardeners in Chattanooga are helping restore the butterflies' lost habitats.  The Tennessee Valley Wild Ones ordered 1,500 milkweed plants from Monarch Watch, a national organization based in Kansas, and they're donating some of the plants to people building monarch waystations.

Eastern hemlock trees atop Signal Mountain and across the Cumberland Plateau are common right now, but many could die off in the next few years.  The woolly adelgid, a tiny, invasive insect species originally from Asia, is spreading through the forest and slowly killing hemlocks.  Dr. Jennifer Boyd from the Signal Mountain Tree Board says, “This is really all we've talked about for the past couple of months.”  In this segment, we hear about potential solutions.

David George Haskell's new book The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch In Nature chronicles his experiences getting up close and personal with creatures in a patch of old-growth forest in Sewanee.