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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Picnic with WATR

A summer picnic featuring fun in the sun and a chance to learn about what’s afoot with the Watershed Association of the Tuckeseigee River will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Darnell Farms in Bryson City.

WATR’s projects, to be discussed at the picnic, include creek cleanups, educational programs at Monteith Park in Dillsboro, muddy water watches and tracking fecal coliform levels in local streams. The meal will be potluck style.

www.watrnc.org.

 

Photograph nature like a pro

Become a better nature photographer during a workshop 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, in Balsam.

The program will teach basic tips and techniques to help students become adept at meshing subject, composition, angles and lighting to create powerful images. Technical aspects of photography and composing to convey emotion will also be covered.

Larry Thompson, who served as the National Audubon Society’s Southeast Regional Vice President for 20 years, will teach the course. He has taught nature courses and led birdwatching, wildflower and photography trips for more than 30 years and resides in Balsam.

$35; open to ages 10 and up. Register at 828.452.5414 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

State Forest Service offers tree seedlings

The N.C. Forest Service Nursery Program is currently accepting seedling orders for the 16 million quality seedlings representing 47 tree species that it produces annually.

Hardwoods can be purchased in quantities as small as 10 seedlings, with a minimum order of 50 for conifers. For larger orders, seedlings are sold by the hundreds and thousands. Seedlings are distributed in the fall, shipped to one of 13 locations statewide or mailed through the U.S. Postal Service for an additional charge.

The catalog is available online through the “Tree Seedlings & Nursery Program” link at ncforestservice.gov, or at any local NCFS office.

 

Explore the world of Appalachian plants

The Cullowhee Native Plants Conference will return for its 34th year with events scheduled July 19-22 based at the Western Carolina University campus.

The conference includes an array of field trips, workshops and lectures with those who know the Southern Appalachians’ diversity of plant life the best.

Wednesday morning, July 19, will include 12 field trips to everywhere from Black Balsam Knob to the Buck Creek Serpentine Barrens to the places along the Blue Ridge Parkway where moss is most likely to be found. Thursday morning will include lectures on topics such as insects and hawthorns, and Friday will include 10 workshops and four field trips. Examples of workshop topics include bee hotels, campus trees and plant propagation.

A full schedule and registration links are available at nativeplantconference.wcu.edu.

 

Have fun with fungi

A daylong exploration of the Smokies’ vast array of edible and poisonous fungi will commence at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 22, on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Smokies are home to more than 2,000 species of fungi — participants will learn how to identify various types by their size, shape and color while taking short hikes that will also yield lessons about mushroom habitat, toxicology and relationship with tree roots.

The class, taught by Dr. Coleman McCleneghan, is offered through the Smoky Mountain Field School, a cooperative effort between the park and the University of Tennessee. The field school draws from more than 30 experts teaching more than 80 diverse sessions, with classes held in locations throughout the park.

$79. Register at www.smfs.utk.edu or call 865.974.0150.

 

Brush up on wildflower identification

Learn how to identify summer and fall wildflowers during a workshop 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 22, in Balsam.

Participants will learn basic terms and methods for identifying wildflowers, including various wildflower guides, and take a short walk to try out their new knowledge. Bring rain gear, water, lunch and a favorite wildflower guide.

Larry Thompson, who served as the National Audubon Society’s Southeast Regional Vice President for 20 years, will teach the course. He has taught nature courses and led birdwatching, wildflower and photography trips for more than 30 years and resides in Balsam.

$35; open to ages 10 and up. Register at 828.452.5414 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Meet some live animals

Animal ambassadors will assist a Balsam Mountain Trust naturalist in presenting a program at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 20, at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva.

The program will go along with the library’s summer reading theme “Building a Better World.”

Free. www.balsammountaintrust.org.

 

Take in the view

A new ranger program will be offered at the Pisgah Inn along the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer, 4:30-6:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month.

“Take in the View with a Ranger” will be held on the inn’s new deck, giving participants the chance to ask questions, get Parkway information, and learn about the Parkway’s natural and cultural history with help from maps, animal pelts and other props.

Visitors can drop in at any time during the two-hour window.

828.298.5330, ext. 304.

 

Go underwater in the Little Tennessee

Wetsuits and snorkel gear will empower people of all ages to search for fish and other underwater organisms on the Little Tennessee River, 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 20, in Franklin.

Aquatic biologist Jason Meader will lead this Mainspring Conservation Trust outing, with a lifeguard on site to ensure safety.

$5 per person or $10 per family. Wear a bathing suit and closed-toed shoes, and bring drinking water. RSVP to Sharon Burdette, 828.524.2711, ext. 301.

 

Be prepared in an emergency

A one-day seminar teaching the basics of preparedness for emergency situations will be held 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at Shackford Hall at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.

Topics at Threats & Solutions will include water retrieval, basic solar, basic medical and personal preparedness. Speakers include Alan Kay, winner of Alone’s first season; William Forstchen, author of One Second After; Tim Glance of Old Grouch’s Military Surplus; Dietrich Easter of Skinny Medic; Scott Hunt of Engineer 775 and Mr. MadMick of M.C.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children, with boxed lunches available for $11.25. Organized by Carolina Readiness Supply in Waynesville. Register at www.carolinareadiness.com.

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