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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Get smart about nature

A pair of upcoming workshops will provide opportunity to learn more about the fall landscape of the Smokies from expert instructors at Alarka Institute in Cowee Valley.

A fall art and phenology workshop offered Saturday, Oct. 21, will give participants a chance to explore nature journalizing through a variety of art genres while also understanding basic phenology — daily record-keeping of environmental phenomena. The day will include a 2-mile hike and lunch. Space limited. $65 or $75 after Oct. 16.

Learn your mosses, hornworts and liverworts with botanical wizard Ed Schwartzman during the Autumn Bryophyte Workshop, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Microscopes, materials, a vegetarian lunch and an afternoon happy hour are provided. Space limited. $65 or $75 after Oct. 23.

Alarka Institute and Expeditions is an educational and guide service based in Cowee, North Carolina and owned by Brent and Angela Faye Martin, who have spent more than 20 years leading courses and outings in the Southern Appalachians.

Sign up by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.524.7400.



Greet trees by name

A crash course in tree identification will be offered during a 1.5-day workshop Oct. 13-14 at Highlands Biological Station.

John Palmer, past president of the International Dendrological Society, will teach the class, presenting basic identification of the most common and iconic Appalachian trees, as well as their historical uses and lore. The course will also identify some new arrivals to the Highlands area and investigate their distribution and potential ecological impacts.

$150. Sign up at www.highlandsbiological.org or by calling 828.526.2602.


Experience oldtime camping

A return to the kind of camping you’d find in the early 1900s will be on display during Camping in the Old Style, Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Cradle of Forestry in America.

The Acorn Patrol, a small group of classic campers, will demonstrate early camping methods such as starting a fire with flint, steel and friction, and old-style campfire cookery. Attendees will get to explore the gear of a bygone era, four different styles of period canvas shelters and traditional camp tools. Each Acorn Patrol member has experience in various aspects of woodcraft, history and nature study, welcoming questions from visitors.

The Cradle is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with admission $5 for ages 16 and up and free for youth, with America the Beautiful and Golden Age passports honored. It is located in the Pisgah National Forest along U.S. 276, about 35 miles south of Waynesville.


Art meets science in Highlands

The Carolina Gallery of Fine Art will feature a new exhibit titled, “Where Art & Science Meet” featuring works from local artists who spent the summer painting and sculpting in the Highlands Botanical Garden.

These nature-inspired pieces will be on display from Sept. 30 to Oct. 28 with a closing auction on Oct. 28 benefitting the Highlands Biological Station. Throughout the duration of the exhibit, the Gallery will host events at 4 p.m. each Wednesday, including a. Oct. 18 lecture by HBS Executive Director Dr. Jim Costa.

More than 20 artists participated in HBS’s “Artist in Nature” program this summer.  Their time spent in the lush Highlands Botanical Garden inspired many creations including paintings and sculptures. These works will be on display at the new Carolina Gallery of Fine Arts located at 411 N. 4th Street in Highlands.

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