It looks somewhat like a dusting of confectioner's sugar, but the white coating that is showing up on more and more noses and wings of bats is the signature of a dire fungal disease that threatens to decimate bat colonies across the country.
The cost of camping at Cataloochee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is going up next year, but you'll also be able to reserve a spot, rather than risk being the odd one out under the previous first-come, first-served approach.
During my recent hike in Shenandoah National Park along the Appalachian Trail, I came upon a tight crook in the trail that carried Ivy Creek downhill amid a flurry of gold, red, orange and yellow leaves of fall. There can be no more spectacular setting that the hardwood forests of the East. Unless it's set ablaze by the pastel daubs of spring wildflowers in places such as Glacier, Saquaro or Canyonlands national parks.
While state and federal authorities are developing a plan of attack for dealing with white-nose syndrome in bat populations, a non-profit organization is criticizing the federal government for moving too slowly on this growing problem.
Sarah "Gee" Phillips is not Mrs. Sarah Davis; she just plays her on the Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Right now, Gee rocks on the porch of the Davis House while working on a quilt pattern. "Mrs. Davis wouldn't be quilting on a Monday. She would probably be scrubbing her laundry on a washboard," she explains to visitors.