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Wednesday, 21 November 2012 13:42

Snow guns get ski season off with a bang

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As superstorm Sandy hurled itself toward the Northeast, soon to leave a wreckage of flooded streets, sunken boardwalks and dangling…
They stood in a line, trigger fingers poised, eyes fixated on the target.  It was early morning, and the predawn…
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 00:00

Venus and moon dance in front of the sun

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Early mornings kind of go with the territory around here. With work, kids and the never-ending list of chores, every…
In Cherokee, a dead coyote is worth more than a live one — about $25 more. In the coming weeks,…
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 00:00

Some things never get old

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Last Saturday (Nov. 3) was this year’s annual fall hike in the Waynesville watershed. The hikes started back in 2007,…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 01:23

This winter?

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Finch irruptions are not that uncommon. They generally occur in some numbers, in some locations almost every year. But in…
This year, Bill Holbrook will start drawing on the “old man pension” — as this local tobacco farmer likes to…
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:40

The sounds of silence

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This morning when I had coffee on my deck, I did not hear the hooded warbler that nests in the…
A series of close bear encounters in the Pisgah National Forest have prompted a temporary ban on overnight camping in…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 14:10

For you the bells toll

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Waiting in the ubiquitous checkout line, I spied a National Geographic special publication, “50 of the World’s last great places…
It was the golden age of camping. It was absent of Gore-Tex, Smart Wool, Nalgene water bottles or light-weight Titanium…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:29

A braver, newer world

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Or at least a younger one anyway — one of the ranking members of the House’s Committee on Science, Space…
As Don Casada veered off-trail and began bushwhacking his way over fallen logs and through overgrown shrubs along the shore…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 20:08

What to bee-lieve

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Apparently what was apparent to many scientists and researchers back in 2008 is becoming more apparent — or not. Honeybee…
Gorges State Park born just more than 10 years ago is now finally on its way to becoming one of…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:12

Birds and butterflies and flowers, oh my

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I had the pleasure of leading nine women from the Great Smoky Mountains Audubon Chapter on an outing along the…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:08

Galax takes a beating from blackmarket trade

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They operate in groups, or sometimes alone, packing duffle bags of the illicit product by foot through the Western North…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:03

A clear path

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Last Saturday, Sept. 15, was surely a gorgeous day to be ridge running high in the Plott Balsams — clear…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:00

Forest service ignites firestorm over proposed burn

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The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a controlled burn in Panthertown Valley, a popular recreation area in Jackson County dissected…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:58

Last splash

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Everyone who woke up to 48 degrees Fahrenheit this morning knows that the days of “butts in the creek” are…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:55

When disaster hits, horses will still hold their own

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Will it be a bomb, an oil shortage, energy grid damage or an electromagnetic pulse that renders America’s modern modes…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:52

It’s bird-tember!

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Those quiet mornings are starting to set in. Yesterday, the only morning chorister in full song, in my yard was…
The fight for survival is nothing new for high-elevation species in Southern Appalachia. After the glaciers receded at the end…
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 12:57

A grand gorge

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Somewhere in the deep reaches of Sugar and/or Grandfather Mountains, seeps, rivulets and trickles begin to mingle and grow and…
The steep-walled gorge of Nantahala River may be one of the best spots to host a world class, extreme kayak…
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 13:31

It’s in the wind

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I was outside with Maddie (6) the other afternoon and there was a gentle breeze. “Daddy, doesn’t it smell like…
As the small, all-terrain vehicle drew near, the buffalo snorted and then lowered its massive head. It shuffled its feet,…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:37

Stoked for storks

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As we started over the bridge on the Isle of Palms Connector, I noticed a line of large black and…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:35

AT celebrates 75 years

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As the legend goes, Earl Shaffer, the first man to hike the Appalachian Trail from end-to-end in 1948, used leather…
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:49

Onward and upward

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Last week I wrote about the dark subterranean part of our little family adventure, which was a visit to Linville…
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:44

Blue Ridge Breakaway breaks path for bike culture

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By Paul Clark • Contributing writer Hundreds of bicyclists will soon be zipping along the scenic byways of Haywood County…
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 14:06

From the darkness to the light – literally

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Legend has it that curious fishermen watching trout seemingly disappear into Humpback Mountain back in 1822 discovered an entrance into…
By Jack Moore • Contributor J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost,” and he may as well…
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:54

Coping with gray treefrogs

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The call of, “Come see! A frog!” is one oft repeated in the Hendershot household from spring through fall as…
By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell • Correspondent A rolling stone gathers no moss, so says the proverb, but it would if…
By George Ivey • Contributing writer What in the world would bring together the Great Smoky Mountains and the country…
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:54

Homeward bound

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After Jersey and the Big Apple (see last week’s Naturalist’s Corner — www.smokymountainnews.com/outdoors/item/7554-famous-nyc-offspring), it was time for a leisurely trip…
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 14:17

Famous NYC offspring

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New York City is big, bustling and in July – hot, but there are always entertaining and even educational ways…
In 25 years of teaching kindergarten, Cathryn Sills of Franklin read a lot of books to her young students. In…
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00

Kudos, Gov. Perdue

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News outlets began reporting Sunday night (July 1) that North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed Senate Bill 820, which would…
If you fall from a ledge rock-climbing, break a leg backpacking in the wilderness or twist your shoulder paddling a…
  Gov. Perdue has to be weary. This weariness was apparent months ago when she declared she would not seek…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 12:32

The changing face of WNC’s national forests

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 A million acres of national forests sounds like a lot, and indeed it is. But consider the 8.6 million people…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:25

Check your vital signs

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The Mountain Resources Commission, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Environmental Modeling and…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:17

National forest balds in jeopardy due to funding cuts

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By Danny Bernstein • Contributor            Many hikers are amazed by the balds that dot the Southern Appalachian landscape along the…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 19:27

Explore unique, beautiful gardens

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By Shannan Mashburn • SMN Intern Gardeners, wannabe-gardeners and those who simply appreciate a fine garden can catch a behind-the-scenes…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 19:26

Bog is good

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Mountain bogs are some of the rarest and most imperiled natural habitat in the country. They are generally small and…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:22

Paint Rock

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As one whom is often standing on the shoulder of the road peering through binoculars, I’m accustomed to people slowing…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:19

‘Permanent Camp’ reveals raw moments, crazy wisdom

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By Brent Martin • Contributor Mention the name George Ellison to most people living in western North Carolina and what…