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Up Moses Creek: Coyote Howl

I was hiking in the woods above our house at sunrise when coyotes began to howl behind me, and they howled and howled.

Panthertown guidebook publisher donates to stewardship nonprofit

Panthertown Map Association, nonprofit publishers of Burt Kornegay’s “A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown,” has made a $7,500 donation to Friends of Panthertown in support of their ongoing conservation, education and stewardship work in Panthertown Valley.

Up Moses Creek: Look up!

The day dawned clear, and I was standing on the ridge behind our house looking west and waiting for the mountains to turn rosy in the rising sun, when I heard the high-pitched clucks of a pileated woodpecker winging toward me.

Mole and Thrush and Pretty Polly

A mole tunneled out of the woods early this winter and started digging back and forth behind the house in a never-ending search for food. In two months it has turned our yard into a scale model of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Walk across the grass and your feet sink into newly pushed up earth. 

Up Moses Creek: Buck Fever

I had read in natural history books about white-tailed deer that during the fall rut, deer hunters have sometimes been seriously injured when their prey — bucks hyped up to mate, and brooking no rivals — turned the tables on them and attacked. “A buck in the rut is always spoiling for a fight,” is the way one naturalist puts it.

Up Moses Creek: Moses Creek goes global

To my eyes it was as magnificent a tree as could be found in Western North Carolina — an eastern hemlock near Dismal Falls, on the flank of Big Pisgah Mountain.

Up Moses Creek: Mr. Plume, Part Two

The first time we saw the skunk, Becky and I were in the yard after supper throwing a frisbee. It’s something we started doing at the start of the COVID pandemic as a relaxing way to end still another shut-in day. Becky pointed, I turned — and there was “Mr. Plume.” He was 30 feet away eating seeds that had fallen to the ground under the birdfeeder. We watched him for awhile, admiring his pure white stripes and fluffy tail. Then, seeing that all he wanted to do was eat, we went back to throwing the frisbee.

Up Moses Creek: Mr. Plume

I’d been sprayed once years earlier, so yesterday morning I knew what might happen when, standing on the ridge above our house, I turned and saw the skunk.

Up Moses Creek: Thrashers make a home on Berry Island

The sight of a fox standing in the yard would not have made my eyes open any wider that morning than the two brown thrashers did when I saw them out the window.

Up the creek: Where the heck is Moses Creek? Up Caney Fork!

On Friday, May 27, the day after a big storm dumped inches of rain on Western North Carolina, the air was so clear and the sky so blue it made me think back to the spring of 2020 when Covid shut down the world and for a few weeks the earth’s atmosphere returned 300 years to pre-industrial clarity. I called it Pandemic Blue. 

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