Category Archives: Outdoors

The Buck Stops Here

IMG_4934deerHunter480 You'll note that I have protected the anonymity of the hunter as well as taking the precautionary measure of doing the same to the deer, so as to avoid any legal actions by relatives of the deceased. I can count on the fingers of one hand then number of times we've been surprised by another human voice on our trails. Then, generally, it's a predictable neighbor who has a long tradition of using the "New Road" down from his end of Goose Creek Gorge to access Goose Creek Run for the next … Continue Reading ››

Today’s Puzzler: Ah Nuts

IMG_0693BeechNuts480These spiny things are all over our forest trail. Together with a mother-lode of hickory nuts, they carpet the forest floor. It is, as they say, a heavy mast year--which the old timers says look out for a doozy of a winter to come. questionMark180And the squirrels and chipmunks (and maybe turkey, ground hog, and others) will be harvesting the three-sided nuts for the winter soon to come. (You can see two nuts at 1:00 and 3:00 but out of focus.) So what tree do … Continue Reading ››

Nature Hike on Goose Creek: Sign Up!

The Flow of Things
Goose Creek--the headwaters of the South Fork of the Roanoke River
Take a slow, intentional-attentive walk in the woods with naturalist-photographer-author Fred First. Focus will be on the bigger-picture understanding of ecology and geology of this southern Appalachian landscape but especially will focus on the finer early-autumn details of fern, flower and forest. Turn rocks in the creeks, scratch and sniff, be fully aware in nature, nurture an appreciation for your own personal WHERE. Light refreshments of local food and drink provided to conclude … Continue Reading ››

What Black Bears Do in the Woods

IMG_4432bearpoop480The dogs--yes, plural, we still have our grand-pup with us: the one you can enjoy and then send home to the parents (neighbors)--were disturbed most of the day yesterday by something over on the barn side of the road. They never went far to challenge it, and returned to sit up high on the driveway to keep watch, cautious and uneasy. On our final loop of the day along the pasture path, we came across (almost stepped in) a sign of the source of their disturbance. This bear scat probably weighed three pounds. It's … Continue Reading ››

The Cry of a Baby, The Big Eyes, The Innocence

A fleeting glimpse of a mother and her baby
A fleeting glimpse of a mother and her baby from my image archives, 2005
Since the severe snow-covered winter of 2009, the "rats on stilts" as I used to call them have not been the constant army against us that they once were. So now instead of fifteen deer of an evening browsing cavalierly at the end of the pasture, we'll see a couple now and then, or none at all. They have even left us our hostas and rhododendron alone, items that … Continue Reading ››