Signs the Chinese are very good hoaxers

I’m sure many can remember what our president Donald J. Trump, a legend in his own mind, has had to say about climate change, i.e. anthropocentric global warming. In case your recollection is failing you – a couple of quotes – “NBC News just called it the great freeze...

Best possible science discarded

Studying the red wolf fiasco taking place in eastern North Carolina takes me far away in time and distance – back to northeastern Louisiana in December 1969. I was 18 years old, sitting in a deer stand on the last day of season. It was a cold morning with a light...

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...
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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A long time coming

A long time coming

Some time around mid-September I added tic number 207 to my 2017 bird list. It was a merlin I saw one afternoon along the Blue Ridge Parkway while I was watching migrating broad-winged hawks. Then – nothing; nothing for a long time. Not that there weren’t some great...

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Stay calm and creep on

Stay calm and creep on

Two years in a row – for this Hendershot family that’s like a tradition. We pedaled the Virginia Creeper Trail again this year for my bride’s birthday. We did it last year and you can read about it here: http://www.smokymountainnews.com/archives/item/18877-creep-on....

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All’s well that ends with an elk

I had the pleasure of leading a birding trip for Alarka Expeditions on Friday September 29. I had been in the field the previous two weeks and migration seemed to be going strong, so I was expecting a pretty birdy outing. And things started well. We ran into a number...

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A total eclipse of science

Two independent natural phenomena have occurred over the past few days that will be etched in the memories, minds and hearts of people across the country and around the world. A total solar eclipse sailed out of the Pacific Ocean and started its trek above terra firma...

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