Entries by Steve Jones

Flint Creek Trail at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

October 8, 2022, I co-led an OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; University of Alabama at Huntsville) hike along the Flint Creek Trail, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge near Decatur, Alabama. The day proved picture perfect with brilliant blue sky and unseasonably chilly. I enjoy leading these hikes; our OLLI members are mostly retirees, eager to learn […]

Georgia’s Providence Canyon State Park

In concert with my October exploration of Alabama’s Lakepoint State Park and the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge, I slipped over to Georgia’s Providence Canyon State Park October 14, 2022. I found a paradoxically attractive consequence of man’s irresponsible and poorly informed treatment of fragile soils for crop production. Scarred by agriculture in the mid-19th century, […]

Alabama’s Lake Point State Park; Managed Loblolly Pine

October 2022 I enjoyed my first visit to Alabama’s Lakepoint State Park near Eufaula. I found the Park’s forests and Lake Eufaula shoreline delightful, rich with Nature’s beauty, magic, wonder, and awe. See my focus on the Park’s managed loblolly pine forest, intersected with pleasant trails. A Park and a Refuge An equinox stroke eliminated […]

A Bounty of Observations from an Empty-Basket Foraging Hike

Wednesday afternoon August 24, 2022, fellow mushroom forager Dr. Bernie Kerecki (MD) and I bushwhacked through a riparian hardwood forest just north of the Tennessee River in Madison, Alabama. We stayed alert for chanterelles, oysters, chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, black-staining polypores, cauliflower mushrooms, wood ear jelly, and lions mane, all of […]

Cold Spring Loop Trail

John Muir aptly observed, In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. So, too, every time I explore a new (for me) north Alabama natural area I receive far more than I seek. Chris Stuhlinger, a fellow retired forester, and I co-lead a series of monthly hikes for the Osher Lifelong […]

A State Champion Yields to Decay and Gravity

July 9, 2022, the State Champion shingle oak at Joe Wheeler State Park succumbed to the forces of age, decay, and gravity…gently in its sleep. This Post serves as a reflective obituary and memorial. Nothing in Nature is static. Permanent is a human construct. Across my career I’ve held several interim or acting positions, wherein […]

Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary: A Tale of Two Extraordinary Women

This Post launches the 14-minute land legacy video tale for the Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Huntsville, Alabama. The Post chronicles and presents the year-long video production. Bill Heslip, retired videographer, and I conceived and co-led the effort…Bill Directed; I Produced. Bill dubbed our two-person team Two Guys & A Camera. We enjoyed the project immensely. […]

Mid-August Hike Circuiting a Summit-Glade Racetrack

August 16, 2022, Jim Chamberlain, friend and fellow Nature enthusiast, and I hiked to and circuited the Racetrack Trail at Wade Mountain Nature Preserve, located just north of Huntsville, Alabama. This summit-top limestone glade is a climax plant community dominated by low growing herbaceous species and associated shrubs and trees. I had done little homework […]

Spiritual Wildness in an Urban Setting

August 12, 2022, I visited the 20-acre Indian Creek stream-side property owned and stewarded by Huntsville, Alabama’s Grace United Methodist Church, toured by my friend and Grace UMC parishioner Jim Chamberlain, a fellow Nature-enthusiast. It’s fitting that a church owns this sacred place, where I feel the nearness of a higher Power, immersed in a […]