Spring & Easter Events

Easter Celebrations

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. 

Grow your groceries: Use quarantine time to start gardening

Spring is in the air these days, but so is uncertainty as the COVID-19 crisis continues and millions of Americans are unemployed, working reduced hours or simply adjusting to life under a quarantine with no clear end in sight. 

It’s a cocktail that even has folks who have always considered themselves to be brown thumbs thinking about starting a vegetable garden. A lot of people have a lot of extra time on their hands these days, and given that every trip to the grocery store now feels like a journey to the last frontier, the idea of being able to walk outside and pick as many tomatoes as you want is certainly attractive. 

Start planning the gardens now

Editor’s note: This column first appeared in a January 2006 edition of The Smoky Mountain News. | Have you started making your gardening plans yet? It’s time. The garden catalogs started arriving in the mail several weeks ago: Johnny’s, Burpee’s, Pine Tree, Park’s, Shumway’s, Seeds of Change, etc. Folks have been studying these sorts of publications with pleasure for decades.

A.T. hikers share their stories

From flip-flops to overnights to the quintessential northbound thru-hike, there are many different ways to experience the Appalachian Trail on its route from Georgia to Maine. An overnight along the trail at Roaring Fork Shelter near Max Patch was enough to meet a variety of hikers, all hiking the trail their own way. 

Life at two miles an hour: A.T. hikers share their stories

From flip-flops to overnights to the quintessential northbound thru-hike, there are many different ways to experience the Appalachian Trail on its route from Georgia to Maine. An overnight along the trail at Roaring Fork Shelter near Max Patch was enough to meet a variety of hikers, all hiking the trail their own way. 

Smokies ranger earns national award

A National Park Service ranger who has focused on the scientific and educational significance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for more than 20 years earned national praise in this year’s Public Lands Alliance awards ceremony, held Feb. 27 in Denver, Colorado.

Susan Sachs, education branch chief for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, received the 2019 PLA Agency Leadership Award for cultivating and leading partnerships, the result of a nomination from the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

The Naturalist's Corner: Testing the early spring winds

I had the great pleasure of leading an early spring birding trip for Alarka Expeditions this past weekend, April 21-22. Alarka Expeditions is a brand new eco tour/environmental education enterprise based in Cowee in Macon County adjacent to the Nantahala National Forest and the Cowee National Historic District. 

Sage advice from a clutter of books

Spring cleaning.

When we hear those words, we think of washing windows and dusting neglected baseboards, de-cluttering closets, going through those boxes in the attic, deep cleaning the kitchen, tidying the basement, and polishing up furniture in the living room and study. 

Birch stills were once plentiful in the mountains

Throughout spring the pendent catkins of sweet birch (Betula lenta) will be dangling gracefully in the wind in rich woodland settings below 4000 feet.

Catkins are the male pollen-carrying portion of the sweet birch (Betula lenta), also known as black, cherry, or mahogany birch.

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