Mountain Lake(less)

Mountain Lake (on Salt Pond Mountain) in Giles County, Virginia, was familiar territory once upon a time. I took five-week-long studies at the UVa Biological Station there in the summers of 1977 and 1978. I have been back a few times since, doing author tables maybe twice. The last time I was there, I think […]

Parts South

Two weeks ago this morning I was in high clover–among vegetation and birdlife unlike anything around here, that’s for sure. Sarasota is another world, and on a beautiful balmy morning surrounded by herons and ibises and spoonbills and ducks and… It was really the first time I’ve been able to use the long-lens function of […]

Flights of Fancy

We will, overriding our former determination to never again leave the ground, fly off in the not too distant future, to a somewhat far-off landscape that is not the mountains. I will have  window -seat neck pain, of course, and this time, Walter Mitty, famous world explorer, will have something like the tool of his dreams in […]

The Buck Stops Here

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 […]

Today’s Puzzler: Ah Nuts

These 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. And the squirrels and chipmunks (and maybe turkey, ground hog, and […]

Extravagance of Weeds: Velvet Leaf

This is how easily I am enthralled: Yesterday I had a little “assignment” to be at Riverstone Farm at 8 a.m. to shoot photos of the SustainFloyd refrigerated truck as it was loaded with local produce for delivery to Floyd County Schools. This regular routine is part of the Farm to School project supported by […]

Nature Hike on Goose Creek: Sign Up!

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, […]