Society News

Rain Forests and Waterfalls Tour Re-scheduled, May 6-11, 2018

October 05, 2017

Three days before we were set to depart, it became inevitable that Hurricane Irma was determined to make landfall in Florida……. Somewhere!   Safety was our primary concern.  The tour was cancelled and everyone received a full refund. 

We are beginning anew and now taking applications for our rescheduled tour date of May 6-11, 2018 which will be an incredible time to tour the Appalachians; springtime when the ephemeral blooms rush to beat the flush of trees in natures grand design to flower and set seed before the arboreal forest shades them out. 

For more information, visit or contact Devon Higginbotham at 813-478-1183 or email at

Blue Ridge TrailLast May, we found phacelias, purple wakerobin (Trillium erectum), violets (Viola spp), red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), fire pink (Silene virginica), sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus), dog hobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana, related to the fetterbush), stonecrop (Sedum ternatum), Anenome (Anenome quinquefolia), catesby’s trillium (Trillium catesbaei), bluets (Houstonia spp, those harbingers of spring), flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum), small’s ragwort (Packera anonyma) and Cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis) all on show.

Even the lowly chickweed (Stellaria pubera) were spectacular, with their 10 petals that are really only 5 deeply clefted ones.

The unique advantage of the mountains is the change of altitude.  A plant that has already gone to seed at 1500 feet is probably just emerging at 5,000 feet.  You can spend the morning in summer only to move to early spring in the afternoon.  Craggy Gardens, at 6,000 ft on the Blue Ridge, was still in the throes of winter last May with misty clouds scuttling past, obscuring views and making one long for the wood fire in the visitor center.  Yet Clingmans Dome at about the same altitude was in glorious sunshine, parades of bluets nodding in the winds.

This is the time of year when all of nature wakes from its winter slumber, something we miss in Florida.  Pausing to take a closer look at stonecrop growing on Brasstown Bald, I inadvertently spooked a nesting bird, revealing her eggs nestled in the stones for me to see. 

Discover for yourself what a temperate rain forest looks and feels like, and learn what native plants the American Indians used for food and medicine.  We have a specialist on the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians as one of our guides.

We also have Lichenologists, Naturalists and Botanists, all local, incredible guides anxious to share their knowledge of plant and animal life in the Appalachians.

Come with us when we tour Brasstown Bald, the Blue Ridge, Mt Mitchell and the Smoky Mountains and discover along with us “The Wildflower National Park”. 

Forecast is for clear skies, cool weather, an incredible time… And NO hurricanes!