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Have you ever been told by the evening news to expect three inches of snow overnight, but after stocking up…
Its bolts are rusting, floor planks are rotting, and its windowpanes shattered. The roof is pocked with holes that let…
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00

Up in flames?

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I sit this morning being bathed in luxurious rain. The kind of life-affirming, life-giving rain the Smokies are noted for.…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Carrying the torch through history

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It’s all started with a phone call. A lifelong thirst for adventure led Ronald R. Cooper to a love of…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

A closer look

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Only you can apply the brakes to slow down the Courthouse Timber Sale and get everyone to take a closer…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 04:01

Friends, feathers and fellowship

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Friday, Dec. 28, was the date of the eleventh annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count (CBC) — 11 dates but 10…
Nestled deep in the mountains between Sylva and Cashiers, the scenic U.S. Forest Service Balsam Lodge is celebrating its 30th…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:46

When it’s good to be threatened

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I wrote about wood storks, Mycteria americana, back in August of this year after a trip to Isle of Palms…
You’ve been training for months. You’ve skipped the kids’ piano recitals and parent teacher conferences; you’ve bailed on dinner with…
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00

WNC lakes join list with mercury warning for fish

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Two more lakes in the region are now under a fish consumption advisory due to mercury contamination. Unsafe levels of…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great wilderness of about a half-million square acres. It has been the…
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:59

The day the sun stood still

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Ladies and gentlemen, return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts. Spaceship Earth will be screeching to a stop at…
For outdoors enthusiasts, Christmas brings but fleeting respite from the cold, dark days of winter — with the promise of…
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 14:51

Over the fiscal cliff – and into the abyss

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First Mate McConnell: “Cap’n the ship is headed straight for that iceberg and there’s no way we kin stop her…
The mountains rising above the valleys have long been the main attraction for tourists planning a trip to Western North…
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 14:01

Power birding at Tessentee (again)

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Don’t know why, but the last two birding trips to Tessentee Bottomland Preserve in Macon County — one last Sunday…
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 13:56

Sweet single-track coming to WCU

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Outdoors enthusiasts and diehard mountain bikers are waiting in anticipation the winter opening of a seven-mile mountain biking and hiking…
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 13:45

Build it and they will come

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Back in spring of 2011 I wrote about a wetlands restoration project at Lake Junaluska - www.smokymountain news.com/archives/item/3686-a-perfect-fit. Candace Stimson,…
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 13:42

Snow guns get ski season off with a bang

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As superstorm Sandy hurled itself toward the Northeast, soon to leave a wreckage of flooded streets, sunken boardwalks and dangling…
They stood in a line, trigger fingers poised, eyes fixated on the target.  It was early morning, and the predawn…
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 00:00

Venus and moon dance in front of the sun

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Early mornings kind of go with the territory around here. With work, kids and the never-ending list of chores, every…
In Cherokee, a dead coyote is worth more than a live one — about $25 more. In the coming weeks,…
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 00:00

Some things never get old

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Last Saturday (Nov. 3) was this year’s annual fall hike in the Waynesville watershed. The hikes started back in 2007,…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 01:23

This winter?

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Finch irruptions are not that uncommon. They generally occur in some numbers, in some locations almost every year. But in…
This year, Bill Holbrook will start drawing on the “old man pension” — as this local tobacco farmer likes to…
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:40

The sounds of silence

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This morning when I had coffee on my deck, I did not hear the hooded warbler that nests in the…
A series of close bear encounters in the Pisgah National Forest have prompted a temporary ban on overnight camping in…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 14:10

For you the bells toll

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Waiting in the ubiquitous checkout line, I spied a National Geographic special publication, “50 of the World’s last great places…
It was the golden age of camping. It was absent of Gore-Tex, Smart Wool, Nalgene water bottles or light-weight Titanium…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:29

A braver, newer world

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Or at least a younger one anyway — one of the ranking members of the House’s Committee on Science, Space…
As Don Casada veered off-trail and began bushwhacking his way over fallen logs and through overgrown shrubs along the shore…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 20:08

What to bee-lieve

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Apparently what was apparent to many scientists and researchers back in 2008 is becoming more apparent — or not. Honeybee…
Gorges State Park born just more than 10 years ago is now finally on its way to becoming one of…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:12

Birds and butterflies and flowers, oh my

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I had the pleasure of leading nine women from the Great Smoky Mountains Audubon Chapter on an outing along the…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 14:08

Galax takes a beating from blackmarket trade

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They operate in groups, or sometimes alone, packing duffle bags of the illicit product by foot through the Western North…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:03

A clear path

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Last Saturday, Sept. 15, was surely a gorgeous day to be ridge running high in the Plott Balsams — clear…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:00

Forest service ignites firestorm over proposed burn

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The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a controlled burn in Panthertown Valley, a popular recreation area in Jackson County dissected…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:58

Last splash

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Everyone who woke up to 48 degrees Fahrenheit this morning knows that the days of “butts in the creek” are…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:55

When disaster hits, horses will still hold their own

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Will it be a bomb, an oil shortage, energy grid damage or an electromagnetic pulse that renders America’s modern modes…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:52

It’s bird-tember!

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Those quiet mornings are starting to set in. Yesterday, the only morning chorister in full song, in my yard was…
The fight for survival is nothing new for high-elevation species in Southern Appalachia. After the glaciers receded at the end…
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 12:57

A grand gorge

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Somewhere in the deep reaches of Sugar and/or Grandfather Mountains, seeps, rivulets and trickles begin to mingle and grow and…
The steep-walled gorge of Nantahala River may be one of the best spots to host a world class, extreme kayak…
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 13:31

It’s in the wind

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I was outside with Maddie (6) the other afternoon and there was a gentle breeze. “Daddy, doesn’t it smell like…
As the small, all-terrain vehicle drew near, the buffalo snorted and then lowered its massive head. It shuffled its feet,…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:37

Stoked for storks

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As we started over the bridge on the Isle of Palms Connector, I noticed a line of large black and…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:35

AT celebrates 75 years

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As the legend goes, Earl Shaffer, the first man to hike the Appalachian Trail from end-to-end in 1948, used leather…
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:49

Onward and upward

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Last week I wrote about the dark subterranean part of our little family adventure, which was a visit to Linville…
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:44

Blue Ridge Breakaway breaks path for bike culture

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By Paul Clark • Contributing writer Hundreds of bicyclists will soon be zipping along the scenic byways of Haywood County…