Summer’s coming, and it’s time for some fun!

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy….” So begins one of the George Gershwin’s greatest songs, an aria in “Porgy and Bess” reproduced by scores of musicians ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Willie Nelson to Norah Jones.

Summer Recipe Ideas

The dog days of summer are here (officially July 3 - Aug. 11 according to the Farmer’s Almanac) and although we should be excited about the plethora of fresh produce to cook with, sometimes it can seem like a chore. We’ve compiled a list of summer recipes to get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy!

Best Summer Movies

Rumble Team | Summer is for adventure, for getting outside, exploring and having fun. But, the rainy afternoons come. So to do the days when its time to take a break, time to relax on the couch after a long day full of summer energy. These are some of the best summer movies for those very instances. 

Summer nights: baseball, dogs and workout prep

There are three dogs in this bed: a very old miniature dachshund curled up on one corner, a very young miniature dachshund attached to my hip like a pistol, his head under the blanket but his feet sticking out and pointing skyward like the Wicked Witch of the East, and, finally, an asthmatic chihuahua perched on the pillow behind my head, rasping in my ear like a chain smoker asking for a light. 

Chickpea Salad

Today, Wednesday, Feb. 10, is one of those unseasonably warm winter days. The days that invoke a yearning for spring, a yearning for the feeling of walking outside without tension gripping your entire body. These unseasonably warm days will increase in frequency as we move toward the end of March, into the new season. 

The Great Escape? Read a book

July had come and gone, a month filled with obligations, all of them good, but exhaustion walked hand in hand with those commitments. Often I was tired just kicking off the sheets in the morning.  Various projects gobbled up the hours of those long days, and by the time I crashed into my mattress at night, I was one with the walking dead. 

The Naturalist's Corner: Birding daze

The six weeks from May 1 to June 15 are always a busy time for me. That is the window for my annual Forest Service bird survey. I have more than 200 points spread across the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests from the Hiwassee Dam to Yellow Mountain, to Brevard, to Mt. Mitchell and Roan Mountain and points in between. This year because of all the rain in early May and then the passing of my brother in late May, that window was even more constricted.

Virgin’s bower is a favorite mountain wildflower

It’s late July and before long summer will be slip-sliding toward autumn. The gap between now and then is often overlooked in regard to wildflowers. The first flaming cardinal flowers appear along the creeks and purple Joe Pye weeds and ironweeds throw up their scraggly heads. The entire countryside will be blanketed in a seemingly endless array of thistle, flowering spurge, evening primrose, mullein, heal-all, mints, goldenrods, asters, and so on. 

The best reason of all to play

It’s one of those late March days that can’t make up its mind whether winter is really over or might hang on for another of weeks. When the sun elbows through a patch of low, gray clouds, it’s warm enough to take off your jacket, but then the wind picks up and you put it back on.

Adjusting to WAHM summer life

As I write this column, my two little boys are rummaging through LEGO bricks bickering about who needs which piece, KIDZ BOP Kids is playing on Pandora and eggs are boiling on the stove for egg salad sandwich lunches. 

This is my summertime work setting.

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