Outdoor gift guide: Local outfitters recommend their faves for this holiday season
 

Outdoor gift guide: Local outfitters recommend their faves for this holiday season

By Colby Dunn • Correspondent  Though winter may have you couped up inside, you can dream of sunnier days in…
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Hunting season
 

Hunting season

Orion the Hunter has taken to the late autumn skies. One of the loveliest and most easily recognized constellations will…
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WCU will digitize historic Smokies photos
 

WCU will digitize historic Smokies photos

Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library will produce a new digital collection of 2,000 items focused on the history of Great…
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Fresh from the farm: Meat gets a sizzling reception at farmers market
 

Fresh from the farm: Meat gets a sizzling reception at farmers market

By Paul Clark • Correspondent Mary McNeil carried her shopping bag around Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market like a kid on Halloween.…
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Town has begun thinning white pine
 

Town has begun thinning white pine

I believe it was in 2010 when the Town of Waynesville signed off on a plan to thin the stands…
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Cataloochee Ski Area opens with new shop, upgrades
 

Cataloochee Ski Area opens with new shop, upgrades

Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent Michael Wagenseil is settling into his element, arranging displays of ski equipment and clothing as he…
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Fire in the landscape – still a burning question
 

Fire in the landscape – still a burning question

It will likely take awhile for the smoke to clear after the Table Rock Fire near Linville Gorge in the…
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Hermit in the house
 

Hermit in the house

I can be standing five feet from my girls and say something simple like, “wash your hands,” “brush your teeth”…
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Plans unfold for fly fishing museum
 

Plans unfold for fly fishing museum

By Colby Dunn • Correspondent  Each year, an estimated 50,000 people visit Cherokee looking to hit it big, but instead of…
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Laissez les bons temp rouler
 

Laissez les bons temp rouler

Traveling from east to west, the Mississippi River Bridge is a time portal for me.  I drive for hours squarely…
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All in the family — Sunburst Trout Farm
 

All in the family — Sunburst Trout Farm

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

Changing of the guard

I believe the annual treks into the Town of Waynesville’s watershed began back in 2007. They have provided a unique…
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Zeb’s big jump: Middle-schooler gets invite to elite snowboarding school
 

Zeb’s big jump: Middle-schooler gets invite to elite snowboarding school

Flips, spins, big jumps and high speeds — these things challenge the average human being, but, for big-air snowboarder Zeb…
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A climate for change
 

A climate for change

Last week we talked a little about how mountains can influence climate. Lenticular clouds are often created when warm air…
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Pumpkin probing: Researchers at test farm gather valuable data on the orange orbs
 

Pumpkin probing: Researchers at test farm gather valuable data on the orange orbs

By Colby Dunn • SMN Correspondent What makes the stem of one pumpkin better than another for chunkin’? Why is one…
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Wrinkles in space and time
 

Wrinkles in space and time

Millions of years ago America and Africa rubbed shoulders and the Appalachian Mountains were created. The ancient Appalachians, at one…
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Relaxed hunting rules would keep bear population in check
 

Relaxed hunting rules would keep bear population in check

A longer season, a higher quota, shooting over bait piles — these are just a few aspects of the state…
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Lighting up the mountains
 

Lighting up the mountains

I was at the Allens Creek soccer fields Saturday morning watching Maddie play when my eyes were drawn to the…
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Businesses with ties to national parks suffering during shutdown
 

Businesses with ties to national parks suffering during shutdown

From wedding planners to elk tour guides to non-profit organizations, the closing of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hasn’t…
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Repercussions of a government shutdown
 

Repercussions of a government shutdown

Freedom may not ring Tuesday. At least not from the Liberty Bell. I know, I know, the bell doesn’t ring…
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Quest for a lost landscape: Mapping database reconstructs Cherokee world on grand scale
 

Quest for a lost landscape: Mapping database reconstructs Cherokee world on grand scale

Most people who call up Google Earth are hunting a hard-to-find address or scoping out satellite images of their next…
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Serendipitous hawk watch
 

Serendipitous hawk watch

The rains came Saturday. It was a good day for a soaker, from my perspective. I had writing I needed…
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New forest coalition brings once-rival groups together
 

New forest coalition brings once-rival groups together

As Brent Martin stared down the barrel of an impending tug-of-war over WNC’s national forests, he dreaded yet another round…
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Fall out for the fallout
 

Fall out for the fallout

Thanks to an invitation from a friend — Blair Ogburn, senior naturalist at Balsam Mountain Trust — I was able…
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Cultivating dreams in Appalachia
 

Cultivating dreams in Appalachia

Sunshine spills into Jackson County. The warm late summer rays cascade down into the mountains, ultimately flowing into the fields…
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Get thee to an eatery
 

Get thee to an eatery

Sorry, I couldn’t help it – I saw Hamlet at Montford Park this past weekend.  But to be more specific,…
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Growing pains: Farmers pay the price as elk herd damage crops, fences
 

Growing pains: Farmers pay the price as elk herd damage crops, fences

It is a common story — a species once eliminated returns to find not everyone welcomes it back with open…
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Owning the autumn sky
 

Owning the autumn sky

The loud, piercing keee-eeeeerrrr jerks your head up involuntarily to see the essence of wild freedom — a red-tailed hawk,…
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Citizen scientists help PARI catalog celestial photographs
 

Citizen scientists help PARI catalog celestial photographs

The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is making use of citizen scientists from around the world to help sort and catalog…
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A bird of two tales
 

A bird of two tales

Roger Tory Petersen called it, “one of the most breathtaking of the world’s weirdest birds,” and it was John James…
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Balancing grades, world-class training no problem for SCC Early College student
 

Balancing grades, world-class training no problem for SCC Early College student

By Tyler Norris Goode • Contributor Rowan Stuart’s favorite kayak maneuver is called the “Phonics Monkey” and involves spinning the vessel…
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Unlocking the mystery of Graveyard Fields: Why there are so few trees and so many people
 

Unlocking the mystery of Graveyard Fields: Why there are so few trees and so many people

While lines of cars zip down the Blue Ridge Parkway and hikers scurry along its zigzagging trails, Graveyard Fields moves…
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Wind birds up
 

Wind birds up

Like the breathing in and out of newborns; like the ebb and flow of the tide, and like the cycle…
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A pistol of a shrimp
 

A pistol of a shrimp

Once again, through the gracious hospitality of a dear friend the Hendershot family found itself on the Isle of Palms…
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Olympian to lead riders in fourth Blue Ridge Breakaway
 

Olympian to lead riders in fourth Blue Ridge Breakaway

This year’s Aug. 17 Blue Ridge Breakaway is hoping to attract nearly 600 cyclists to Haywood County, and leading those…
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No this ain’t Dallas
 

No this ain’t Dallas

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Dallas. And I’m sure that if you like big, hot, crowded…
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NOC nears finish line in preparing for kayaking worlds
 

NOC nears finish line in preparing for kayaking worlds

Sitting at a picnic table alongside the Nantahala River, Charles Conner watches the fast moving water. It’s may be a…
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Taking the smart out of growth
 

Taking the smart out of growth

North Carolina House Bill 94 (Amend Environmental Laws) has passed the House and Senate and awaits the governor’s signature. HB…
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Breaking the mold: Triathlons now starring the aquabike
 

Breaking the mold: Triathlons now starring the aquabike

No, it’s not Aquaman’s preferred mode of commuting; nor the latest urban workout trend or new-fangled underwater gym equipment. The…
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Where martins hang
 

Where martins hang

Purple martin “scouts” are some of the earliest harbingers of spring. I recorded one in February at Black Bayou Lake…
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Global warming imperils Golden-winged warbler
 

Global warming imperils Golden-winged warbler

The steady decline of the Golden-winged Warbler on the Southern Appalachian landscape is a trend that not only threatens the…
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Carolina birder video bombed
 

Carolina birder video bombed

Carolina birder Matt Daw from Raleigh was videoing a least bittern last week as it foraged at Bosque Del Apache…
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From farm to table
 

From farm to table

Get to know your local farmers and learn some tricks from green thumb masters during the annual Jackson County Farm…
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Learn about GNSA
 

Learn about GNSA

The regional environmental group Wild South has a hike planned for July 13 into the heart of, what they hope…
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Appalachian Trail conference serves up full buffet of hiking fare
 

Appalachian Trail conference serves up full buffet of hiking fare

Coming to Cullowhee soon: four days of total immersion in everything trail. Camaraderie with fellow trail enthusiasts and taking in…
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“Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves…”
 

“Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves…”

And ye elf and sprite lovers and lovers of the Bard whose words have seeped so deeply into the fabric…
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One-night trips into the Smokies
 

One-night trips into the Smokies

For day hikers who want to take the next step or for a seasoned backpackers who can’t find the time…
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Enthusiasts produce map with sampling of rides in Haywood
 

Enthusiasts produce map with sampling of rides in Haywood

You’ve got your chain well-oiled, air in your tires and water in your bottles. You are all set for a…
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That’s Suuthern flyin’ squerl, y’all
 

That’s Suuthern flyin’ squerl, y’all

I’ve written about these small nocturnal hang gliders before, but I posted a pic of a group from my home,…
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Like a good neighbor
 

Like a good neighbor

The folks in the mountains of Western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee share more than a common boundary, they share…
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