Displaying items by tag: naturalist's corner

Owning the autumn sky

out natcornThe loud, piercing keee-eeeeerrrr jerks your head up involuntarily to see the essence of wild freedom — a red-tailed hawk, wings outstretched banking slowly in the blue. It stops you, if only for a second or two, it stops you.

A bird of two tales

out natcornRoger Tory Petersen called it, “one of the most breathtaking of the world’s weirdest birds,” and it was John James Audubon’s “rose-coloured curlew.” But the name that has stuck is roseate spoonbill. The roseate spoonbill is one of only six species of spoonbills in the world.

Wind birds up

out natcornLike the breathing in and out of newborns; like the ebb and flow of the tide, and like the cycle of day and night, the spring and fall migration is part of the pulse of the planet. 

out natcornNow don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Dallas. And I’m sure that if you like big, hot, crowded cities, the big “D” has lots to offer. But when I met my guest — from Dallas — on the Blue Ridge Parkway last Friday morning, with the temperature in the 60s, she wasn’t missing Dallas much.

out natcornNorth Carolina House Bill 94 (Amend Environmental Laws) has passed the House and Senate and awaits the governor’s signature. HB 94 is a large (43 pages), unwieldy piece of legislation, much of it aimed at dismantling tried, true and effective environmental policy that has pushed North Carolina to the forefront when it comes to highlighting the role good environmental protection plays in creating successful, sustainable economic growth while protecting the vibrant cultural and natural settings that create community and a sense of place.

out natcornPurple martin “scouts” are some of the earliest harbingers of spring. I recorded one in February at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana during last year’s Great Backyard Bird Count, and it’s not uncommon for them to show up in Florida in January.

out natcornCarolina birder Matt Daw from Raleigh was videoing a least bittern last week as it foraged at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. In an interview, Daw said he was looking through the viewfinder at the bittern when suddenly an interloper sauntered by behind the bittern.

Learn about GNSA

out natcornThe regional environmental group Wild South has a hike planned for July 13 into the heart of, what they hope will soon be, one of the wildest national scenic areas in the country.

And ye elf and sprite lovers and lovers of the Bard whose words have seeped so deeply into the fabric of our language that even those who’ve never seen them toss them out with a knowing nod – get thee soon to the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater at 100 Gay Street in Asheville where you can watch and hear as the Montford Players give voice to those wonderful words while the sun slides westward leaving the sky to “… these blessed candles of the night.”

out natcornI’ve written about these small nocturnal hang gliders before, but I posted a pic of a group from my home, on Facebook, the other day, and it produced more than 70 likes in one day (and I know it wasn’t the quality of the photo), so I thought I would share our little adventure with you.

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The Naturalist's Corner

  • Fingers still crossed
    Fingers still crossed Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery, but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago — tree trimming on adjacent property — and for a day or…

Back Then with George Ellison

  • The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic
    The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic While walking stream banks or low-lying wetlands, you have perhaps had the memorable experience of flushing a woodcock — that secretive, rotund, popeyed, little bird with an exceedingly long down-pointing bill that explodes from underfoot and zigzags away on whistling wings and just barely managing…
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