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When the Campus Conservation Nationals Competition wrapped up this spring, Western Carolina University came out near the top of a…
Take a walk in mid-May, and you probably won’t get far before finding somebody bent over a garden bed, weeding.…
The grassy field is empty and the playground vacant as the sun sheds evening beams across the grounds of Cowee…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:33

Déjà vu in the woods

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I was invited to help lead a bird walk focusing on wood warblers at this year’s 64th annual Spring Wildflower…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Mastercast: The perfect cast is an elusive catch

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When I finally roll up Pavilion Road for my casting lesson, I’m nearly half an hour late. A wrong turn…
The woods are quiet on a cool Saturday morning in late March. There’s no wind swaying the still-bare trees or…
As stand after stand of towering hemlocks falls to the appetite of an insect smaller than a grain of rice,…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 14:47

Blood moon grand slam

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Somewhere beyond the rain and clouds, in the wee hours yesterday morning (April 15), there was a striking blood moon…
Western North Carolina is covered with more than 1,500 square miles of national forest, and residents often measure their assets…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 15:01

Believe it or not, spring is around the corner

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Despite last week’s chill and blustery snow, we are in the throes of spring migration. Actually, migration never stops. There…
Warmer weather is on its way, but along with the sunny afternoons comes the return of ozone season. A bad…
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:29

The AT experience won’t be left behind

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It’s been nearly eight years since Amy “Willow” Allen passed through Western North Carolina as a tired-and-hungry AT through-hiker. But…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:46

Time to get your Green on

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No, I’m not late. I’m not talking about puking green beer or waking up with Leprechauns — I’m talking about…
It’s a chilly day on the Tuckasegee River. Air temperature is in the mid-40s, and the water isn’t much warmer. …
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:23

WCU cycling team brings regional race to Cullowhee

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By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent About a year ago, Patrick O’Neal bought an old, chrome-rimmed Schwinn bicycle. He was just…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:11

Somebody got some splainen to do

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People say the corporate world has no soul. Corporations don’t give a rat’s behind about their employees, especially after they’re…
Heidi Dunkelberg is determined to make hops synonymous with Western North Carolina. “I’ve got to figure it out,” she said.…
Not just anybody can keep up with Jim Pader. Last year alone, he hiked 534 miles and has logged 738.4…
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:34

Study finds success in amphibian pond project

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Take an evening walk through the woods this time of year, and odds are you’ll hear the grumpy quacking of…
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:42

Will we extinguish another beautiful light?

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A river of burnt umber flows every year from southern Canada through the U.S. to the oyamel fir forests in…
For every degree of cold or inconvenience, wintry weather adds two of beauty. Members of Waynesville’s Lens Luggers photography club…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:59

Dinosaurs, LEGOS and toads, oh dear

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No better way to celebrate a big thaw than an impromptu field trip. We rounded up kids, friends and friends’…
There’s nothing abnormal about the pair of armchairs in Jim and Baraba Mills’ living room, or about the television —…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:59

You yellow-bellied sapsucker

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In my youth, never did a B-western movie make it to the end without the bad guy being cornered and…
The silence seeped from the mountain ridges and hung heavily over the forest, silence like a deep well, so deep…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:34

Discovery Place

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Looking for something fun for the kids on a cold and/or rainy winter’s day. The Discovery Place in Charlotte has…
From the oil fields of North Dakota to the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania, the U.S. oil and gas industry is…
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 15:09

Rules rule and rulers rue it

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I mentioned the fact a couple of weeks ago that N.C. House Bill 74— the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013…
Evergreen Packaging’s Canton paper mill will be writing some big checks over the coming years as it moves to comply…
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:57

CBC gods smile on Lake Junaluska

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The annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count (CBC) took place Saturday, Jan. 4. In the weeks prior to the count many…
By Colby Dunn • SMN correspondent Perched atop the crest of a mountain, with two slim pieces of fiberglass strapped to…
Survey your supermarket and you’ll see pretty much the same stuff anywhere in the country: oranges from Florida, onions from…
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Time to rejoin the “battle outside”

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This appears especially true in the Old Home State where the (first in over 100 years) Republican triad used the…
Jacob Flannick • SMN Correspondent Jonathan and Abby Landry don’t limit the spirit of giving to the holiday season. For this…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

A white Christmas

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We touched on this winter’s irruption of snowy owls a couple of weeks ago, but these birds continue to pop…
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:42

Slow day at Lake J

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I believe Lake Junaluska has spoiled local birders like me. I spent about an hour and a half poking around…
By Lindsay Wertz • Correspondent After hours of work and preparation, six terrain elements sparkled imposingly under the lights on Cataloochee…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 15:46

Record snowfall

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This snowfall is measured in feathers or bodies, not inches. This year is turning out to be a major irruption…
By Colby Dunn • Correspondent  Though winter may have you couped up inside, you can dream of sunnier days in…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:33

Hunting season

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Orion the Hunter has taken to the late autumn skies. One of the loveliest and most easily recognized constellations will…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:31

WCU will digitize historic Smokies photos

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Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library will produce a new digital collection of 2,000 items focused on the history of Great…
By Paul Clark • Correspondent Mary McNeil carried her shopping bag around Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market like a kid on Halloween.…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:08

Town has begun thinning white pine

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I believe it was in 2010 when the Town of Waynesville signed off on a plan to thin the stands…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Cataloochee Ski Area opens with new shop, upgrades

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Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent Michael Wagenseil is settling into his element, arranging displays of ski equipment and clothing as he…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Fire in the landscape – still a burning question

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It will likely take awhile for the smoke to clear after the Table Rock Fire near Linville Gorge in the…
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:38

Hermit in the house

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I can be standing five feet from my girls and say something simple like, “wash your hands,” “brush your teeth”…
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:36

Plans unfold for fly fishing museum

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By Colby Dunn • Correspondent  Each year, an estimated 50,000 people visit Cherokee looking to hit it big, but instead of…
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:53

Laissez les bons temp rouler

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Traveling from east to west, the Mississippi River Bridge is a time portal for me.  I drive for hours squarely…
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 02:53

All in the family — Sunburst Trout Farm

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A crisp wind blows through Haywood County. Gazing upward, dark clouds slowly take over the sky while a few ominous…