The Naturalist's Corner: Breath still bated

Maybe it’s March Madness, maybe it’s simply madness, but I’m looking at the Lake Junaluska eagles and thinking “they’re gonna pull it off.” I made a quick drive-by the other morning during that last cold snap, March 22 I think, and was happy to see a bird on the nest. I have had “eagle neighbors” report an eagle on the nest almost every time they look up. And there are “eagle neighbors” with binoculars, eagle neighbors with spotting scopes and “eagle neighbors” close enough to just look up and watch.

The Naturalist's Corner: Bated breath

I am sure I’m not the only one hoping the Lake Junaluska eagles are successful this nesting season. It seems, by all appearances, we should have an answer in just a few short weeks.

The Naturalist's Corner: Live and die by Lake J

Jan. 4, 2019 was a dreary day. It was more than that; it was a dreary Balsam Christmas Bird Count day. We have generally, since its inception 17 years ago, scheduled our Balsam CBC during the last count weekend. We did so because we have section leaders and others who also participate in other established area counts. Audubon’s count period ended on Jan. 4 this year so we didn’t really have a weather makeup date, besides most CBCs run rain or shine on the appointed date.

The Naturalist's Corner: Flocking together

Birding buddy and former subcontractor for my Forest Service point-count survey, Kirk Gardner, was in town for the holidays and managed to cobble together a group of birding buddies for a bit of birding. 

10 transformations at Lake Junaluska in 2018

In 2018, Lake Junaluska invested more than $5 million into transforming its facilities and grounds. These improvements will help thousands of Lake Junaluska visitors experience transformation and renewal.

The Naturalist's Corner: Eye on the lake

Lake Junaluska is an amazing resource. It is home to the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, the World Methodist Council and Intentional Growth Center and attracts visitors and guests from all around the world. Area residents flock to the wonderful walking trail for a little exercise and/or to simply enjoy the beauty. It is becoming a regular haunt for photographers. And the new boat landing has provided more access for fishermen.

Bridge over Lake Junaluska now open

The bridge over the Lake Junaluska dam is now open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. All are invited to attend a grand opening at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

Adventure for all: Outdoor camp for youth with special needs builds friendships and confidence

Intermittent breeze ripples the water atop Lake Junaluska as the sky vacillates between sun and cloud, but the wind can’t quite carry away the excited shouts and chatter of the 60 kids and teens strung out along the dock, casting lines in the water or paddling its surface in red canoes. 

“There goes Maggie!” somebody shouts, pointing to a little girl whose head just barely rises above the top of the canoe as she reclines between two teenage volunteers and another young girl, who supports Maggie carefully from behind. 

The Naturalist's Corner: Lake J eagles

Most readers know the pair of bald eagles that nested at Lake Junaluska this spring were unsuccessful. There is no way to know the reason for nest failure. It could simply be this was a young inexperienced pair — once eagles attain adult plumage there is no visual clue to determine age. It could have been some kind of predator, but this seems unlikely because that would have created quite a ruckus and the eagles’ next-door, human neighbors would have probably noticed.

Renovated Lambuth Inn looks to the next 100 years

Western North Carolina is a region filled with special places, one of the best known being a century-old religious retreat nestled away snugly in the center of Haywood County.

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