Week two – Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's hawks like all raptors exhibit sexual dimorphism -- the male is on the left, female on right. USF&W photo I find it comforting that the Cooper's is patrolling the skies over Waynesville — that there is something wild among us. I had to stop at the...

A Year From the Naturalist’s Corner: Vol. I

The Naturalist’s Corner has been in print since 1994 when I began the weekly outdoors column for Scott McLeod, then editor at Waynesville North Carolina’s Enterprise Mountaineer. When Scott left the Enterprise Mountaineer in 1999 to start his own regional weekly...

Lake J eagles – do over?

It appears the eagles that nested unsuccessfully last year at Lake Junaluska are back for another go at it. There have been reports of a pair doing a bit of remodeling at the nest and a pair (presumably the same one) has been seen interacting at the nest and in flight...

Eye on the lake

Lake Junaluska is an amazing resource. It is home to the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, the World Methodist Council and Intentional Growth Center and attracts visitors and guests from all around the world. Area residents flock to the wonderful walking...
Puc Puggy’s digs

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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more
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...

read more