Monday, February 1, 2016

Winter Hammocking - Hot Springs North Carolina

"Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we'd have frozen to death."     -- Mark Twain

With the winter storm approaching we headed to Mt. Rogers in SW Virginia to do some hammock camping.  After driving for about 10 hours I started setting up my hammock when a Ranger pulled up and told me to hold up.  Evidently the Gov of Virginia made a decision to close all State Parks in Virginia for the storm.   So after about an hour talking with friends and coming up with an alternative plan we jumped in our cars and drove another 3 hours to Hot Springs, North Carolina.  Arriving after dark we setup, and opted to walk into town for a meal.  The next couple of days we took a few short hikes, visited the outfitter, did lots of cooking and eating, and played around with our hammock settings, insulation, etc.  I was greatly looking forward to Mt. Rogers but I have to say it was nice camping on the banks of the French Broad River.  We spent 3 nights camping and received about 6-8 inches of snow.  I enjoyed the snow, but I am ready for the spring. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Oyster Mushroom

"Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn." - Marilyn Monroe

I have gotten better at finding and identifying spring mushrooms but I had a goal this year to practice identifying fall mushrooms.  I was out earlier this week and happened on these oyster mushrooms.  I am going to try and get a few tomorrow to saute.  I also found several other mushrooms that I will try to include in the next couple posts.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Eastern Box Turtle

Try to be like the turtle - at ease in your own shell. - Bill Copeland
This eastern box turtle seemed perfectly fine with me sitting there photographing it. Makes me wonder if this is one of the turtles I rescued last year.  Turtles may seem like they would make great pets but the truth is captivity is one of the reasons the these turtles are in decline.  It is estimated that there has been a 30% decline in population over the last three generations.  Every state has made it illegal to capture and sell these turtles for profit except for South Carolina.   It is widely believed that the average life of a turtle once it is captive is 3 years.  In the wild they typically live 25-30 years and have been known to reach ages of 50 years. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hurricane Danny

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. - Willa Cather

The formation of Hurricane Danny got me browsing my old photos from Hurricane Sandy.  This photo was taken not long after the storm and while the buildings were damaged on Liberty Island it was nice to see Lady Liberty weathered the storm quite well. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Back on the Appalachian Trail - At least for the weekend.

I was able to get back to North Georgia and hike a section of the Appalachian Trail from Unicoi Gap to Neel's Gap.  The fog had frozen to the trees, a condition called Hard Rime or Hoar Frost, and made for some really incredible views.  We hiked about 7 miles on Friday including a climb up Blue Mountain from Unicoi Gap.  We thought we had gone 8 miles and setup camp at what turned up to be a mile short of the Gap we thought we were at.