That’s a wrap
Jun25

That’s a wrap

Another spring – another season of bird points in the can. Each spring brings its own unique set of adventures, dilemmas and logistical challenges. This season was tinged with poignancy, as it was the first season without long-time (long-time as in, since 2004 when this enterprise began) associate and dear friend Bob Olthoff. It took Bob and me a number of seasons to finally come up with a somewhat stable annual routine. In the...

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Flagged
Jun09

Flagged

I was in Morganton over the Memorial Day Holiday chasing birdies in the Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest per my annual Forest Service point count contract. I was headed to my motel room after coming out of the woods when I began to notice trees showing dead leaves at the ends of the branches. The first two I noticed were hickories and I began to wonder if there was maybe some kind of insect pest that targeted...

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Wildfire in the Smokies

The recent Sharp Fire that burned more than 7,500 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City was the largest wildfire in the park’s history. The fire, believed to have been deliberately set near Noland Divide Trail on Nov.11, burned for nearly two weeks. More than 200 firefighters from several states assisted in suppressing the Sharp Fire. Damage from the fire — ignited during tinderbox conditions — was minimal,...

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The bugs are back in to-own, the bugs are back in town
May24

The bugs are back in to-own, the bugs are back in town

The weather hasn’t been too cooperative this spring with regards to my Forest Service bird point count. First weekend in May was cold and rainy, it rained half of the next weekend and after getting some points in Saturday, last Sunday (5/21) was looking bleak again. I decided after studying various weather reports and maps that there might be a window of opportunity for a few hours over on the Grandfather District near Morganton. I...

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The bugs are back in to-own, the bugs are back in town
May24

The bugs are back in to-own, the bugs are back in town

The weather hasn’t been too cooperative this spring with regards to my Forest Service bird point count. First weekend in May was cold and rainy, it rained half of the next weekend and after getting some points in Saturday, last Sunday (5/21) was looking bleak again. I decided after studying various weather reports and maps that there might be a window of opportunity for a few hours over on the Grandfather District near Morganton. I...

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Even bad days can be good
May15

Even bad days can be good

This past weekend, May 6-7, was the 34th annual installment of the Great Smoky Mountains Birding Expedition (GSMBE.) The expedition began in 1984 as the brainchild of author, naturalist George Ellison of Bryson City, master birder Rick Pyeritz of Asheville and East Tennessee State University ornithologist and field guide author Fred Alsop. Regular readers of “The Naturalist’s Corner” likely know this is one of my favorite weekends....

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