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When life gets hectic, most people have a vacation spot where they go to unwind — perhaps a family cabin…
The sun is lowering toward a perfect spring evening as the crew from Fox Sports’ “Anglers & Appetites” pulls onto…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:40

Evolution

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I spend six weeks every spring doing bird surveys for the Forest Service across Western North Carolina. My travels take…
Joel Harrington has always been a fan of turtles. Of all animals, really — he is a veterinarian — but Harrington has…
Jackson County is on its way to becoming the trout capital of North Carolina after county leaders unveiled a plan…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:10

Smoky birds

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I just finished four wonderful days of birding in the Smokies, helping out with the 66th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.…
It’s 4 p.m. on the Appalachian Trail, and while the sun will be awake for hours yet, “hiker midnight,” which…
All he heard was the sound of an engine. “I came over the rise, a place I’d ridden hundreds of…
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:41

Mystery solved

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I was having my morning coffee on the small floating dock in the narrow, clear Weeki Wachee River about three…
The outdoors have been a powerful force in the lives of Jim Parham and MaryEllen Hammond.  The Nantahala River was…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:38

Early to the woods

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Due to contractual obligations with the Forest Service I have been in the woods a little earlier than usual this…
When Earth Day rolls around this year, students at Western Carolina University will be able to celebrate with a bit…
The parking lot at Tsali Recreation Area was full of bikes Friday evening — more than 100 of them, strapped…
When the bell rang for the end of school Friday afternoon, Jeff Vamvakias’ room at Cullowhee Valley Elementary emptied a…
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 15:39

Lake J – even when it’s bad, it’s good

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Waterfowl have been scarce across Western North Carolina this fall and winter. Traditional haunts like Lake Julian in Asheville, Lake…
The little storefront that serves as home base for Todd McDougall’s chiropractic office looks just about how you’d expect such…
Wednesday, 02 March 2016 16:36

Residents promote Franklin as outdoor destination

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Franklin residents have taken it upon themselves to get the word out about the town’s recognition as the “Top Small…
Wednesday, 02 March 2016 16:18

Hooray for the orange and black

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The monarch butterfly is known for its amazing annual spring and fall migration — from wintering grounds in Mexico in…
“This is the ugliest fly I have,” says Mike Kesselring, pulling a battered-looking brown-bodied, black-feathered fly from a box marked…
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 15:39

P.T. would be jealous

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One of the greatest shows on Earth is about to take center stage. Spring ephemerals will begin clawing through the…
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 14:55

Here to stay: Coyotes make themselves at home in WNC

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It’s been 30 years since Raymond Bunn saw his first coyote, and that moment — Clay County, 1986 — is…
When the snow starts falling and Western North Carolina’s main streets, schools and businesses go to sleep in wait for…
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:41

Don’t fall for that 5-planet crap

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It’s been awhile since The Naturalist’s Corner’s chief investigative journalist, Kuteeng Satire, has been called upon to help us clarify…
As national champion Karen Tripp likes to say, cyclo-cross is a sport that you win by seconds. And that’s just…
As the sun goes down on the snow-covered mountain at Cataloochee Ski Area, anticipation spikes among the enlightened few who…
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 17:28

Can I move?

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Remember the scene in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” where the Kid was asked by an old miner (I…
Should North Carolina start thinking about a hunting season for elk?  If the crowd that turned out to the N.C.…
For Danny Bernstein and her husband Lenny, trips south to visit Lenny’s family in Miami Beach are a regular feature…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:49

CBC double-dipping

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They say great minds think alike, and who am I to argue with “They?” The Franklin Bird Club and Carolina…
Fifteen years ago, a herd of 52 elk set foot in their new home — the Great Smoky Mountains National…
When the holidays wind down and schools go back in session, kids in some Western North Carolina classrooms will have…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:26

Things that go peent! in the dark

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I think Lewis Carroll could have just as easily warned of the Timberdoodle as the Jubjub bird in the “Jabberwocky,”…
Lynda Doucett and her staff at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were pretty excited to move into the new…
Just like Haywood County’s watershed, fed by springs that all have their start inside county borders, Cherokee mythology surrounding places…
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 16:57

Wilderness — we don’t need no stinkin wilderness

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Flying around Facebook pages (after all this is the age of information) is, apparently, a poll or online survey declaring…
National forest trails around Fontana Village are in for an overhaul, thanks to a federal grant that’s putting the final…
It’s a feeling that Chris Bates can’t shake. “Being outside, in the winter, on the mountain — there’s nothing like it,”…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:07

Half a hunert

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There’s nothing I like better than mixing pleasure with pleasure.  Last weekend, I got to spend three wonderful nights in…
“I just don’t want to take any chances,” the hard-hatted contractor tells the officers as they get out of their…
Olga Pader will always remember the Naked Ground Trail in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness as “the hike from hell.”  It…
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 17:01

Fight the good fight

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"It’s like déjà vu all over again." —Yogi Berra (RIP) Maybe some of you who, like me, are getting longer in…
For Tim Petrea, it was a truck and a red box that launched a lifetime affinity for the outdoors. Growing…
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 15:28

More than one way to skin environmental regulations

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According to Steve Ford, in a piece for NC Policy Watch called “Policies, power, pride divide the NC House and…
Thanks to some fortunate happenstance and a lot of hard work from the staff at the Land Trust for the…
From habitat destruction to competition with non-native trout, Southern Appalachian brook trout have met their share of challenges over the…
Wednesday, 14 October 2015 16:39

Peak peeking

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The deluge we slogged through a couple of weeks ago certainly didn’t help this fall’s color palette. But not to…
Out of Ed Norris’ 68 years of life, Vietnam accounts for just one. Those months he spent deployed with the…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park marked a milestone last week with the unveiling of 10 new pieces of equipment…
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 16:09

Horny hickory devil

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OK, OK, you can bring the kids back into the room, we’re not talking that kinda horny here. The hickory…
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