Monthly Archives: September 2015


Sunbeams

I travel back and forth between the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina quite a bit. My navigation system assures me the drive should be only a bit over an hour, but I have never achieved that pace. I blame it on the scenic overlooks beckoning me to pull over if I notice anything of […]

30Sept2015

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Monarch Migration

In terms of migratory drama, monarchs are the diminutive wildebeests of the sky. They are the only butterflies that make a two-way migration like birds. But no single butterfly makes the entire journey. Instead it is like a relay race, with four generations passing the butterfly baton in order to fly to their northern summer […]


Monarch Migration

In terms of migratory drama, monarchs are the diminutive wildebeests of the sky. They are the only butterflies that make a two-way migration like birds. But no single butterfly makes the entire journey. Instead it is like a relay race, with four generations passing the butterfly baton in order to fly to their northern summer […]

29Sept2015

28Sept2015

Syzygy

When three celestial objects are aligned, it is known as syzygy, which also is a good scrabble word if you have no vowels. Late last night into early this morning the earth threw a shadow as it came between the sun and moon. “But wait! There’s more!” Like a high-pressure hyperbolic infomercial sales pitch for […]


Bumbling Bee

Over a hundred years ago, there was a common fallacy that bees shouldn’t be able to fly, so it was a mystery why they could. Research has since proved the aerodynamics of how and why bees can fly, but I have found that bumblebees live up to the bumbling part of their name since looking […]

27Sept2015

26Sept2015

Delicate Dahlia

Dahlias come from the highlands of Mexico and Central America where they were cultivated for their medicinal properties and edible tubers. The dahlias were prized by the Aztecs for their large hollow stems used to carry water from the mountains down to villages, and their name Acocotli means water-pipe. They were originally brought to Europe […]


Peg Leg Mine Trail

Living less than an hour from Roan Mountain, it is a great place to explore given the amazing diversity of habitats and scenery. One fun hike starts behind the Visitor Center to the Peg-Leg Mine. This was opened in 1898 by John Wilder, a retired Union Civil War general who thought the area was promising […]

25Sept2015

24Sept2015

Balloon Dog

  In the spirit of throwback Thursday, I am sharing this photo taken 7 years ago when Jeff Koons had an exhibit of several pieces including this on the roof of The Metropolitan Museum in NYC. This is Balloon Dog (Yellow), part of a series of balloon dogs he did which all are variations on […]


Craggy Pinnacle

Around 20 miles north of Asheville the Blue Ridge Parkway travels through what is locally known as Craggy Gardens, a Natural Heritage Area in the Pisgah National Forest. The summits of these forested mountains are covered in a heath bald. A bald, you say? Does the mountain need a toupee? Actually, these are unique shrub […]

23Sept2015

Ant Talk

Ant Talk

I have enjoyed watching ants since I can remember. When very young I was convinced I had trained ants to respond to my commands, a veritable ant whisperer. In my travels to the tropics studying primates I was captivated by the amazing habits of rainforest ants. Leafcutter ants gather vegetation to grow fungus they cultivate […]