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YELLOW BIRCH ISN´T YELLOW, MAY NOT LOOK LIKE BIRCH!

Source:  George Ellison/Natural Journal/Asheville Citizen-Times My favorite source for local nature writing is George Ellison, and we are blessed in our area with his weekly column in the Asheville Citizen-Times.   ¨Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) is my indicator species for the northern hardwood zone here in Western North Carolina.  On north slopes and in cool ravines…

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CILANTRO IS ANYTHING BUT SUBTLE

Source:  Tammy Algood/Special to Nashville Tennessean/USA Today Network/Asheville  Citizen-Times I love it!  You hate it!  Everyone who has ever tasted this strange little herb has an opinion.  And since it has a strong flavor, and adds its flavor as more than a hint to any dish it´s used in….well…it´s not going to hide, wherever it…

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SANDBURG´S FLAT ROCK HOME IS STILL A TREASURE

Source:  David Madden/Guest Columnist/Special to Asheville Citizen-Times ¨Famous worldwide, Carl Sandburg is unique among writers, having created distinguished works in all genres on a vast variety of subjects and themes.  And his house in Flat Rock (near Hendersonville) is unique.  The works of some of the writers whose houses one may visit are relatively forgotten,…

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BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY OPENS MANY FACILITIES FOR BUSY WEEKEND

Source:  Karen Chavez/Asheville Citizen-Times/US Today Network Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional opening of the tourist floodgates on the Blue Ridge Parkway, when the entire 469-mile roadway and all facilities are open for camping, picnicking, hiking and sightseeing.  But the recent downpours, and more rain forecast for the weekend, have delayed some openings and should…

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BROAD-WINGED HAWKS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD…

…THE SOARING BEAUTY OF WNC HAWKS… ¨These are the keen-eyed wind masters, able to tease lift from temperature-troubled air and soar for long periods on set wings.  They are the clipper ships of the skies.¨ — Pete Dunn, et al. – ¨Hawks in Flight¨ 1988) ¨The commonly observed soaring hawks of the Smokies (and Blue…

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RHUBARB APPEALS TO GROWN-UP TASTES…

SOURCE:  Thanks again to Tammy Algood, Special to Nashville Tennessean, for great articles about local food as it comes on the market. ¨Fresh rhubarb is an opportunity to stalk on the wild side.  My first memory is of it growing on the north side of old houses.  It was old-fashioned looking and certainly something that…

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MEET THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL´S FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT!

SOURCE:  Natalie Stickel for the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine ¨The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)´s new first-female president and CEO, Suzanne Dixon, is intimately familiar with advocating for open spaces.  Growing up in Ireland, she spent time as a youngster in its national parks.  After moving to the US, the first park she visited was Shenandoah. …

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LOCAL SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDE…

Source:  Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, May 2018 After reading pages and pages of this great magazine & guide to everything Appalachian, I winnowed out details on a few festivals and events of interests in the WNC area – through the end of this summer.  There will be more later. Asheville – Mountain Sports Festival —…

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STRAWBERRY PICKING – A RITE OF SPRING!

SOURCE:  Tammy Algood -Special to Nashville Tennessean/USA Today Network.  Thanks, Tammy! ” Some things are worth the wait.  I ate my first homegrown strawberry yesterday, and it was beyond delicious.  It was small, but packed a barrelful of flavor and juice.  A strawberry shouldn´t just look good, it should taste memorable. Sweet Charlies are usually…

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STOP & LISTEN TO THE BEAUTIFUL SOUNDS OF NATURE

SOURCE:  Nature Journal – George Ellison – Asheville Citizen-Times ¨Through the years, I have admonished readers to slow down and take a closer look. ¨ This time around, I would suggest that you ¨Close your eyes and listen!¨  That´s right – just  listen. The wind sighs as it passes through the leaf canopy overhead.  Rain…

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