George has lived in this area all his life. He grew up in Donelson, TN where he attended Donelson Elementary, Donelson High School and Battle Ground Academy. He attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Martin. He was a C-130 flight engineer in the Air National Guard. He spent 30 years with South Central Bell/BellSouth and retired in 2001. He has worked several part-time jobs since, but now he is just retired!
George has been married to Judy Wallace for 47 years now. They live at Sycamore Ridge Ranch, a 40-acre farm in Tuckers Crossroads, TN. which is about 8 miles east of Lebanon, TN. This is where his interest in wildflowers started. He was walking around the farm one day and saw a very small, insignificant wildflower. It really piqued his interest. He went and got his camera to take a picture. From there he tried to identify this flower. Having successfully identified this flower, he went to look for more. And here we are today. He is not an expert by any means, it’s just a hobby. He does have a lot of fun doing it.
He lives in a botanical region called the Cedar Glades. Cedar Glades (also known as limestone glades) are open, grassy, rocky natural areas surrounded by eastern red cedar and other trees and shrubs. Such ecosystems occur primarily in middle Tennessee. Many glade plants are endemics-rare plants that are found only in cedar glades. Others are typical of glades but are also found in other places. He is often found wandering the roads, trails, and paths in various state parks through out Tennessee. The major blooming time is April and May.
Judy was born in Nashville. While in elementary school, she lived only a few miles from her future husband, George, but because he went to Donelson Elementary and she went to Stanford, they didn’t know each other. Her family moved to Shelbyville, TN and a few years later, Bowling Green, KY. She moved back to Nashville in 1971 where she was finally to meet George who lived in the same apartment complex. They were married on June 16, 1973.
She has two passions in life, companion animal welfare, and Vanderbilt University athletics. She started volunteering in the fall of 1999 with the Humane Association of Wilson County, now known as New Leash on Life. She and George have personally rescued several dogs & multiple cats over the years. They now have 1 dog and 1 cat.
Betsy grew up in Alabama, went to Rhodes College (Southwestern at Memphis when she attended) where she earned a degree in Physics, then to Georgia Tech where she earned a Masters Degree in Health Physics. She then worked for 32+ years in the nuclear generating industry with The Tennessee Valley Authority in East Tennessee. She is only a recent wildflower enthusiast, having fallen in love with wildflowers when she and her husband began hiking in their early 50’s. Since retiring in 2014, hiking and hunting for wildflowers have become her passion. She and her husband moved to Townsend in 2013 to be closer to the mountains where they love to hike on and off trail. She completed hiking all of the trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in late 2016 and has almost completed them a second time at the writing of this biography.
Betsy and her wildflower hunting friends do research on the internet, read voraciously, and follow social media to find new (to them), rare, and unusual wildflowers to hunt. She loves the challenge of learning of a flower, researching the typical habitat for that flower, and then heading on or off trail to find that flower. She has documented several rare wildflowers for the Park Service within the Great Smoky Mountains and never tires of bushwhacking through the woods or an overgrown field for a good wildflower!
Bart resides in Memphis where he is an Associate Scientist in the Infectious Diseases Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Originally from Parsons, TN, his love of the outdoors has led to a lifelong love of native plants (especially orchids) and butterflies. As a member and past-president of the Tennessee Native Plant Society, he has led numerous field trips across the state to see many of the rarest species in Tennessee, particularly those in West Tennessee. Photography is a relatively recent hobby and is continually evolving with new equipment purchases and acquired knowledge.