Current Location:
Grand Valley Apartments -> Tuscola (GVA)
Location Notes:
GVA; Tuscola; 3rd Floor; Left of Room #11

Beard Cane Mountain

Emma DuFort
GVSU Collection
Artworks - Height: 16 in Width: 12 in
A woodpecker flies overhead. His left wing morphs into a tree stump with hole in it which rest a blue and red bird. The woodpecker's right wing has a depiction of a forest fire on it.
Historical Context:
This work is one of five in a series on the wildlife of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The red-cockaded woodpecker (named for the small red streak present on males' heads) is recognized as a federally threatened species, and few, if any, remain in the park. The reason is their incredibly specific habitat: living longleaf pines infected with red heart fungus, which makes them soft enough to drill cavities into. They've been adversely affected by the logging industry and fire suppression; as it turns out, these woodpeckers benefit from the occasional forest fire. Fire clears out new growth that clogs the understory of the forest and allows predators to more easily reach the woodpecker's cavity, such as arboreal snakes. Typically, red-cockaded woodpeckers create resin barriers that prevent snakes from entering cavities, but tall undergrowth can allow them to access the nests anyways. At least 27 species of vertebrates have been documented using red-cockaded woodpecker cavities, including other birds, insects, snakes, lizards, squirrels and frogs. They can even become sufficiently augmented to accommodate screech owls, ducks, and raccoons, making them a resource many species are willing to compete for.

Wikipedia Summary:

The red-cockaded woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis) is a woodpecker found in southeastern North America.


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. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains and the name is commonly shortened to the Smokies. The Great Smokies are best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which protects most of the range. The park was established in 1934, and, with over 9 million visits per year, it is the most-visited national park in the United States.

The Great Smokies are part of an International Biosphere Reserve. The range is home to an estimated 187,000 acres (76,000 ha) of old growth forest, constituting the largest such stand east of the Mississippi River. The cove hardwood forests in the range's lower elevations are among the most diverse ecosystems in North America, and the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest that coats the range's upper elevations is the largest of its kind. The Great Smokies are also home to the densest black bear population in the Eastern United States and the most diverse salamander population outside of the tropics.

Along with the Biosphere reserve, the Great Smokies have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The U.S. National Park Service preserves and maintains 78 structures within the national park that were once part of the numerous small Appalachian communities scattered throughout the range's river valleys and coves. The park contains five historic districts and nine individual listings on the National Register of Historic Places.

The name "Smoky" comes from the natural fog that often hangs over the range and presents as large smoke plumes from a distance. This fog is caused by the vegetation exhaling volatile organic compounds, chemicals that have a high vapor pressure and easily form vapors at normal temperature and pressure.;
Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus Terms:
digital images
digital imaging
Library of Congress Subjects:
Red-cockaded woodpecker