Thu10302014

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Outdoors

coverAt 7:30 a.m., darkness is just barely beginning to lift from the pre-dawn fields and forest of Cataloochee Valley. Joe Yarkovich steers his National Park Service vehicle through the valley and past a herd of elk bedded down in a field just past the ranger station. A handful of cars already lines the road, their occupants standing bundled outside holding binoculars and long-lensed cameras. We pass a few more fields, empty of both elk and people, before reaching a pull-off near the Caldwell House. An impressive bull and his harem of cows are practically on the road, close enough to toss a rock at. Or, more importantly, to make a great photo. I tighten my grip on the camera.

“That’s the bull I was looking for,” says Yarkovich, a Great Smoky Mountains National Park wildlife biologist who specializes in elk. This particular elk had lost his radio collar when his neck swelled during mating season, called the rut — for that reason, Yarkovich typically replaces collars on male calves with larger ones as the animals mature.

out fr2Ken Czarnomski has always loved sketching and writing, but as a department chair for the sustainability and construction management programs at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, his projects consisted mainly of razor-straight lines and technical engineering language. There wasn’t a lot of room for freehand sketches or colorful commentary. 

After retiring, Czarnomski began looking around for ways to pick up some of those hobbies he’d left untouched as a working professional. At the same time, he wanted to find a way to give back to his community, Haywood County. So, he started sketching hiking maps.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:40

Arboretum plans geocaching adventure

out geocachingGeocaching will be the main topic on the agenda Saturday, Nov. 1, at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. This high-tech treasure hunt involves downloading GPS coordinates for hidden loot and then adventuring around to find it. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:39

Park offers reward for information on theft

out artifactsGreat Smoky Mountains National Park officials are offering a reward for information after artifacts were stolen from a locked display case in the Palmer House, located in the Cataloochee Valley area.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:37

Learn how to keep gardening as temps dip

out gardeningA workshop on winter gardening and spring garden prep to teach gardeners how to avoid putting growing season to bed in the winter months will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Cullowhee Community Garden.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:15

Rangers rescue family of six

out rescueWhen George and Heather Ferrell, of Louisiana, began to hike up Mount LeConte Oct. 18 with their four children, they didn’t expect to become the subject of a search and rescue. The family, whose children are aged 4, 5, 10, and 12, had planned to hike up on Rainbow Falls Trail and return on Bull Head Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:14

Kayak Lake Junaluska

out lakejA kayaking program from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Oct. 23 at Lake Junaluska will give paddlers of all skill levels a chance to practice their strokes.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:13

Plowing demos at Darnell Farms

out plowdayThe annual Fall Plow Day at Darnell Farms in Bryson City Saturday, Oct. 25, will feature a full day of plowing demonstrations with teams of horses and mules as well as music, contests and food and crafts for sale.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:12

Park plans prescribed burn in Cataloochee

out burnPrescribed burns will light up the Canadian Top Knob, Mathews Branch and Noland Mountain areas adjacent to Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park later this week or early next week. Exact dates are dependent on weather.