Showing posts from March, 2023

Tennessee Wildflowers Through the Eyes of a Geographer

Every spring my photographic activity emerges from its winter slumber and I begin re-learning everything I once knew about wildflowers again. I love this time of year when I can start wearing shorts again, and see the familiar wildflowers return to our roadsides and hollers. While I thoroughly enjoy capturing the beauty of wildflowers, I also like to think about how they ended up in their current location. As a practitioner of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), I find this question particularly intriguing. I provide this not as an empirical study, but rather a casual conversation to introduce readers to GIS concepts as related to wildflowers. The locations where I find my favorite wildflowers share a few common traits: steep slopes facing different directions (known as "aspect" in GIS) and intermittent water sources resulting from nested water tables. By seeking out these characteristics, I am more likely to find ideal habitats for wildflowers. Usin