Back in the saddle

I have had, since 2004, one of the best gigs any bird nerd could ask for. That was when I was awarded my first Forest Service (FS) bird survey contract for three districts in the Pisgah National Forest. To say I didn’t know what I was getting into would be a great...

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 and 22. Alarka Expeditions is a brand new eco tour/environmental education enterprise based in Cowee, North Carolina adjacent to the Nantahala National...

Puc Puggy’s digs

One of Western North Carolina’s most celebrated visitors acquired his love of - and curiosity about - nature at his father’s side along the Schuylkill River just outside of Philadelphia in the late 1700s. William Bartram was born in 1739 (along with twin sister...

Spring has sprung

It doesn’t take a calendar to know spring is here. Spring is surely in the air but it’s also in the trees; it’s clawing through the dirt; it’s singing from vernal pools, streams and lakes; it’s even in the heavens. Orion is chasing Taurus out of sight as we turn away...
Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung

It doesn’t take a calendar to know spring is here. Spring is surely in the air but it’s also in the trees; it’s clawing through the dirt; it’s singing from vernal pools, streams and lakes; it’s even in the heavens. Orion is chasing Taurus out of sight as we turn away...

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Fingers still crossed

Fingers still crossed

Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago – tree trimming on adjacent property – and for a day or two it seemed the eagles were...

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The eagles have landed

The eagles have landed

The eagles’ neighbors have known for months – observant birders and other Lake Junaluska regulars have either known or suspected – I have sat on the news for a while as I consulted with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and...

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Christmas vacation – part deux

Christmas vacation – part deux

The day after our water dance with manatees in Crystal River we headed across Florida to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. There we checked into our hotel, had a bite and napped getting ready for a night time kayak excursion in Indian River Lagoon looking for...

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Will eagles dare?

Will eagles dare?

A pair of mature bald eagles has been hanging out at Lake Junaluska for a few months now. I have heard two separate reports of these birds carrying nesting material. In the dark musty cobweb covered labyrinth that serves as my memory, I seem to remember reading about...

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Swimming with mermaids

Swimming with mermaids

Christopher Columbus had a lot of misconceptions about where he wound up in 1492 and what he saw. Mermaids were listed in one of his journal accounts. But to Chris’ credit mermaids had been around in literature basically since the beginning of literature. The name...

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