Smoky Mountains

Ever wonder why they call these the Smokies? These pictures will help explain it. We see this almost every day.

Our favorite questions about the Smokies:

What is the difference between the Smokies and the Appalachian Mountains?

The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province.

Why do they call them the Smokies?

“The mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina are blanketed with a smoky haze that gives the region an almost magical quality. Indeed, the Cherokee considered the mountains to be a sacred place and referred to the area as “Shaconage” (Sha-Kon-O-Hey): land of the blue smoke. When European settlers arrived in the early 1800s, they took inspiration from the Cherokee language when they named the Great Smoky Mountains and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Blue Smoke?

“The ‘smoke’ from the Smoky Mountains is actually fog that comes from the area’s vegetation. We all know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. What we hear less about is how plants also exhale something called “volatile organic compounds”, or VOCs….The Great Smoky Mountains are particularly blue and smoky because they have the perfect natural conditions for it. The trees that are most common in the region have high concentrations of VOCs that scatter blue light. Also, the Smokies get a lot of rainfall and sunlight, experience high levels of humidity, and have a lot of stagnant air. When you take all of these factors into account, you’ve got a recipe for some of the most beautiful mountains in the world!”

Source: What Makes the Smoky Mountains Smoky, Jason Fishman, April, 2016

And the “smoke” can come and go in minutes!

Author: ljefsen6214

A work in progress. Partner and community member. Fan of peace, joy and gratitude.

2 thoughts on “Smoky Mountains”

    1. Sure is! Even tho it hasn’t been really warm most of the time, the rain is making the rivers flow fast and when the sun is out that Carolina blue sky is the best!


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