In Pisgah, Rain Comes In Many Forms

  • May 24, 2018

Over the course of the last decade I’ve spent part of each summer leading biking and hiking trips into the popular Pisgah District of the Pisgah National Forest. Most folks around here just refer to this area as Pisgah, but…

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Keeping the Chattooga River Wild & Scenic

  • May 1, 2018

In the outdoor recreation world, perhaps no river has had a greater impact on the Southern Appalachians than the Chattooga. If you appreciate the treasure of this historic river and what it brings to the region, now is your time…

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Dogwood Winter and Other Seasons

  • April 20, 2018

What is Dogwood Winter? What is Blackberry Winter? Spring will come eventually, but this year it's hard to tell when. With temperatures yo-yoing throughout the late winter (a frigid January followed by a warm February), now in late April we're…

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Wildflowers and Wildfires

  • April 5, 2018

In the final months of 2016, parts of western North Carolina were in flames. It took weeks for firefighters to control the wildfires that raged through the dry woods. Many people evacuated thier homes, still more were on alert and…

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Wildflower Walks & Hikes in the NC Mountains

  • March 22, 2018

It took outdoor writer Jim Parham eight years to produce his latest guidebook, Wildflower Walks & Hikes: North Carolina Mountains. Perhaps that's because the region covers a lot of territory: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, DuPont State Forest,…

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Trailing Arbutus: First Flower of the Pilgrims

  • March 8, 2018

Yesterday we woke to snow. In the afternoon, we saw trailing arbutus in bloom. This fragile-looking early wildflower is much hardier than it appears. Growing up in Vermont in the 1960s, I learned early that trailing arbutus was an endangered species…

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The Winter Wildflower of the Red Maple

  • February 28, 2018

When we think of maple trees, we typically think of autumn. That’s when maples shine, adding their brilliant reds and golds to the riot of fall color in the Southern Appalachians each October. Little do most of us know that…

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The Pioneering Smooth Alder

  • February 19, 2018

On a sunny Sunday afternoon this week, taking a favorite walk along the edge of Lake Fontana, we again saw unexpected wildflowers in bloom. It took a sharp eye to notice them; their yellow-green, tinged-with-brown, elongated shapes blended right into…

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Adam and Eve

  • January 31, 2018

During January in the Blue Ridge, the year is still too new for blooming wildflowers. I’ve seen a few naturalized cultivated flowers showing their faces early—for instance, on a walk around Lake Junaluska last week a friend and I spied…

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