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At 7:30 a.m., darkness is just barely beginning to lift from the pre-dawn fields and forest of Cataloochee Valley. Joe…
Ken Czarnomski has always loved sketching and writing, but as a department chair for the sustainability and construction management programs…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 15:20

Flame on!

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Color is starting to spill down the mountainsides once again. I recently received an email from a reader asking about…
A lot of people familiar with Great Smoky Mountains National Park got a surprise earlier this month when an article…
After landing back in the Eastern Time Zone, Jessica Metz had a hard time keeping her thoughts still. Eight days…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 16:41

Still time if you hurry

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I’ve been on the Blue Ridge Parkway the last couple of weekends and have made it a point to stop…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 16:21

Timbersports team chops its way toward season opener

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Orange chaps clipped around their legs, Rankin Fender and Zac O’Connor square off inside the sawdust-and-bark-filled woodshed at Haywood Community…
“I’m gonna mark the spot with an X, right here,” says Tim Petrea, program supervisor for the Waynesville Parks and…
Downtown Cullowhee doesn’t look much like the thriving little town Rick Bennett found when he first moved to Jackson County…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:24

Get out and say goodbye

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At last! I finally had a birding outing planned last Saturday – the first one since April when I helped…
Bryson City will soon have another feather in the cap proving its worth as an outdoors Mecca. If all goes…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:44

And then there were none

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“As I traveled on, the air was literally filled with pigeons. The light of noon-day was obscured as by an…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:25

Fish food: Aquaponics offers full-circle farming

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Tucked away along a squirrely offshoot of Jonathan Creek Road, Dennis “Bear” Forsythe’s 15-by-15-foot greenhouse is like his own private…
Despite warnings of thunderstorms earlier in the week, Aug. 22 came with a blue sky and a light breeze, temperatures…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 14:48

Girls got game

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The Lake Junaluska Girls Junior Golf Association enjoyed a special play day and celebration Saturday, Aug. 9. LJGJGA members and…
Under a clear sky and afternoon sun, the winding road through Cherokee and out past Birdtown is a beautiful one.…
When Franklin RiverFest’s Anything That Floats Raft Regatta kicks off Aug. 23, Warren Cabe hopes to see the Franklin Fire…
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:47

What is an Appalachian forest?

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As the USDA Forest Service’s revision plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests continues to be discussed — the…
Sunrise was still hours away when the day started at Lake Logan. With the first starting gun firing at 7…
Taking a walk with Ila Hatter is the outdoors equivalent of sitting beside a scrapbooker as she pages through the…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:50

On the Isle again

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Thanks to the generosity of dear friends, my family gets to vacation on Isle of Palms every summer. If you…
More than 100 people filled the room at Asheville’s Crowne Plaza Hotel earlier this month, but they weren’t there for…
The summer is shaping into a pretty good rafting season for Tee Davis. “It’s awesome, man,” said Davis, owner of…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 04:10

More dialogue – anyone listening?

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The next USDA Forest Service public meeting regarding the National Forest Plan Revision will be held from 9 a.m. to…
It’s no secret that an accurate weather forecast is hard to come by in the Smokies. But after two months…
Walk into Bowed Up Outdoors, and the first thing you’ll notice is the friendly banter moving back and forth between…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:14

A wet and wonderful weekend

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Thanks to the generosity of a friend, my family and I spent a long weekend on Fontana Lake. The small…
It wasn’t until Brad McMillan got his canoe on the water that the moment hit him. He’d been preparing for…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 14:03

Synchronous fireflies draw thousands to the Smokies

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It’s a little after 7 p.m. when the first trolley shows up to Elkmont Campground. Green, red and yellow, the…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:43

An unapologetic scientist

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The cosmos loom large and wondrous again, and much of the credit goes to one charming, affable but steadfastly rigorous…
A black bear — and possibly one of its cubs — is dead after a run of bird seed raids…
Rhododendrons are opening deep pink blooms along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and new spring foliage blends into a bright blue…
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 15:12

Doin’ Puc Puggy proud

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The Tennessee Valley Authority, in 1984, found itself with an extra $14,000 lying around. The money was available for outreach…
To the untrained eye, the tree looks like just another evergreen, just another species thrown into the mix of natural…
When the Campus Conservation Nationals Competition wrapped up this spring, Western Carolina University came out near the top of a…
Take a walk in mid-May, and you probably won’t get far before finding somebody bent over a garden bed, weeding.…
The grassy field is empty and the playground vacant as the sun sheds evening beams across the grounds of Cowee…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:33

Déjà vu in the woods

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I was invited to help lead a bird walk focusing on wood warblers at this year’s 64th annual Spring Wildflower…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Mastercast: The perfect cast is an elusive catch

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When I finally roll up Pavilion Road for my casting lesson, I’m nearly half an hour late. A wrong turn…
The woods are quiet on a cool Saturday morning in late March. There’s no wind swaying the still-bare trees or…
As stand after stand of towering hemlocks falls to the appetite of an insect smaller than a grain of rice,…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 14:47

Blood moon grand slam

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Somewhere beyond the rain and clouds, in the wee hours yesterday morning (April 15), there was a striking blood moon…
Western North Carolina is covered with more than 1,500 square miles of national forest, and residents often measure their assets…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 15:01

Believe it or not, spring is around the corner

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Despite last week’s chill and blustery snow, we are in the throes of spring migration. Actually, migration never stops. There…
Warmer weather is on its way, but along with the sunny afternoons comes the return of ozone season. A bad…
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:29

The AT experience won’t be left behind

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It’s been nearly eight years since Amy “Willow” Allen passed through Western North Carolina as a tired-and-hungry AT through-hiker. But…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:46

Time to get your Green on

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No, I’m not late. I’m not talking about puking green beer or waking up with Leprechauns — I’m talking about…
It’s a chilly day on the Tuckasegee River. Air temperature is in the mid-40s, and the water isn’t much warmer. …
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:23

WCU cycling team brings regional race to Cullowhee

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By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent About a year ago, Patrick O’Neal bought an old, chrome-rimmed Schwinn bicycle. He was just…