Girls got game

out natcornThe Lake Junaluska Girls Junior Golf Association enjoyed a special play day and celebration Saturday, Aug. 9. LJGJGA members and their parents enjoyed a fun family nine-hole play day followed by a cookout at the Lake Junaluska Pro Shop/Clubhouse to honor recipients of the Laura Constance Golf Scholarship.

out natcornAs the USDA Forest Service’s revision plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests continues to be discussed — the new plan will guide the management of the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests for the next 15 years — I wonder how many people give thought to what “forest” means to them.

On the Isle again

out natcornThanks to the generosity of dear friends, my family gets to vacation on Isle of Palms every summer. If you follow the “Naturalist’s Corner” regularly, you’ve seen accounts of these expeditions — maybe about “pluff mud,” “gourd heads,” “sister island,” etc. Every year it’s a wonderful trip, and this year was no different. Four-and-a-half days flew by in the blink of an eye. There were tried-and-true adventures, new adventures and one mild curiosity. 

out natcornThe next USDA Forest Service public meeting regarding the National Forest Plan Revision will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 10 at the Crowne Plaza Resort in downtown Asheville. The new plan will guide the management of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests for the next 15 years. 

out natcornThanks to the generosity of a friend, my family and I spent a long weekend on Fontana Lake. The small “fishing” cabin near Prince’s Boat Dock is not the Ritz but it has all the comforts of home and a lot more character than the Ritz. 

out naturalistThe cosmos loom large and wondrous again, and much of the credit goes to one charming, affable but steadfastly rigorous — when it comes to scientific principles — host Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

out natcornThe Tennessee Valley Authority, in 1984, found itself with an extra $14,000 lying around. The money was available for outreach projects across the Southeast. Well, we all know how frivolous the federal government and/or quasi-federal organizations (TVA is a corporation owned by the federal government) are with their money, right? And here was another opportunity for the Feds to squander your hard-earned taxes. What did they do with the money?

out natcornMay 3 and 4 were the dates for this year’s 30th annual edition of the Great Smoky Mountains Birding Expedition. This trip began in 1984 as the brainchild of George Ellison, Bryson City resident, author and naturalist; Rick Pyeritz, M.D., who had a practice in Bryson City before he became medical director at University of North Carolina Asheville; and Fred Alsop, Ph.D., field guide author and ornithologist at East Tennessee State University.

I was invited to help lead a bird walk focusing on wood warblers at this year’s 64th annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I was invited to help by Dr. Patricia Blackwell-Cox. 

out natcornSomewhere beyond the rain and clouds, in the wee hours yesterday morning (April 15), there was a striking blood moon accompanied by fiery mars during a total lunar eclipse. The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles streamed the event live so I imagine you can Google it and get a look.

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