According to Steve Ford, in a piece for NC Policy Watch called “Policies, power, pride divide the NC House and Senate” (7/13/2015), the state’s current Republican senators were a bit disappointed that some of their regulatory “reforms” were causing controversy and being stalled due to environmental concerns.
The deluge we slogged through a couple of weeks ago certainly didn’t help this fall’s color palette. But not to worry, there’s still plenty to see. I made a short trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway from U.S. 23/74 to Richland Balsam to see what was happening — and it’s happening. Looks to me like this weekend will likely be peak for elevations between 3,500 feet and 4,500 feet. There is already a lot of steel grey above that, but it’s the middle of October.
OK, OK, you can bring the kids back into the room, we’re not talking that kinda horny here. The hickory horned devil is the largest caterpillar in North America. It is the larval stage of the regal moth, Citheronia regalis, and in its last instar or molt before pupating it can grow to between five and six inches long. That is five to six inches long and 3/8-inch in diameter of mean, green dangerous caterpillar-looking machine.
All the lunar-phobes out there, as well as many of the astronomically challenged – like me, will be praying for clear skies for the night and pre dawn hours on Sept. 27-28. The total eclipse of September’s Harvest Moon (so called in the Northern Hemisphere because it is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox) will bring an end to this latest — gasp — lunar tetrad.
I am not nearly so frustrated with my black oil sunflower seed-addicted bruin neighbor as I was after his little escapade last Friday morning around 2 a.m. I was trying to finish some writing before I left for my pre-dawn “day job” when I heard some noise on the deck. I had chased a raccoon away the night before and figured it was back. But the noise had a little more substance to it. Bear, I thought.
perseids burning white hot
perseids flame out
I made sure to keep an eye out for falling stars last week on my pre-dawn delivery route since it was during the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower. One morning was pretty socked in with clouds and/or fog but most of the rest of the week was pretty good.
Due to the generosity of great friends Bill and Elaine Cave of Asheville, my family has enjoyed a summer respite on Isle of Palms in South Carolina for a decade or so. We made it down around 5 p.m. on Sunday (8/2) — still enough time for the girls to hit the beach for a while.
My family and I made a quick run up to Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway around dusk last Sunday (July 19) to get a peek at some celestial luminaries. Venus and Jupiter joined the waxing crescent moon on the western horizon. They danced and played hide and seek amidst layered clouds whose purple backs touched the night while their bellies bathed in the last yellow and orange rays of the sun falling over the western horizon. It was a beautiful, tranquil setting.
Well, it wasn’t really a voice — it was an email. I received an email from Bruce Lampright back in November 2014.
I occasionally see The Smoky Mountain News’ Garret K. Woodward’s Facebook posts about hitting the trails around WNC for a mind-clearing run and my knees twinge with the memories of similar sorties and the sad recognition that without surgery those days are lost.