Local Greenways

Early December Forest Treasures within a Two-Acre Area of Riparian Forest

December 6, 2020, I biked 18 miles, ten of them making two loops on the Bradford Creek Greenway in Madison, Alabama. Dismounting back at my vehicle in the Heritage Elementary School parking lot, I changed into hiking boots and a field jacket to explore a small section of the riparian forest just one-quarter mile down […]

Monte Sano

Tree Form Curiosities Mid-December 2020 at Monte Sano State Park

December 15, 2020, I hiked several trails at Monte Sano State Park with two naturalist friends, Mike Ezell and Jesse Akozbek. We sought whatever Nature might reveal to us as we trekked in the forest examining everything natural that caught our eye. That’s me below with a 34-inch diameter yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) in the […]

HGH Road

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge: Winter Ferns, Fungi, Mosses, and Lichens

I make it often to the eastern end of nearby Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, occasionally issuing Blog Posts from my ventures, for example: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2020/08/19/august-riparian-forest-roaming-at-the-wheeler-national-wildlife-refuge/ I returned November 30 mid-morning on what for north Alabama was an unusually cold day following a wet (0.91″) overnight cold frontal passage. During my hike, a strong northwesterly breeze brought […]

November 2020

Late Fall at Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary

November 18, 2020 I revisited the 375-acre Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Madison County Alabama with Marian Moore-Lewis, author of Southern Sanctuary, A Naturalist’s Walk through the Seasons. The book chronicles (with observations and photographs) the Sanctuary’s annual cycle of life… month by month. Gifted to, owned, and managed by the city of Huntsville, the Sanctuary […]

Elk River

TVA’s Marbut Bend Nature Preserve

October 26, 2020, I visited TVA’s Marbut Bend Trail, managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) with fellow Nature enthusiast, Alabama State Parks Naturalist Emeritus Mike Ezell. From the Marbut Bend Trail website (https://www.tva.com/environment/recreation/tva-trails/tva-trails-detail-page/marbut-bend-trail): Looking for a lovely, hand-holding stroll for two? You’ll find it at TVA’s newly opened Marbut Bend Trail. This easy, flat […]

Oak Mountain

Destination: King’s Chair, Oak Mountain State Park

Oak Mountain is Alabama’s largest State Park at approximately 10,000 acres. I took this entrance sign photo on a prior visit, returning November 11, 2020 to hike the North Trail to Kings Chair, an overlook worthy of the four-mile round trip.   North Trailhead to King’s Chair   I often hike wildness alone, seldom finding […]

Lake Lurleen

A First Visit to Alabama’s Lake Lurleen State Park: Upland Forest

This is the second of two Posts from my October 14, 2020 hike of the Ridge Loop Trail at Lake Lurleen State Park. The first of the two focused on the mesic lower slope forest: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2020/11/19/a-first-visit-to-alabamas-lake-lurleen-state-park-moist-lower-slope-forest/ I direct this Post to the more xeric upland forest half of the loop.   The upland forest (below) […]

Land Legacy

Late September Wanderings and Ramblings on my Ohio Land Legacy Project Site

I spent two days in late September 2020 completing field work for my Land Legacy Story on 1,100-acre Dutton Farms in Belmont County, Ohio near Flushing. I issued two previous Posts chronicling this compelling tale of Earth stewardship: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2018/05/29/idyllic-pastoral-earth-stewardship-surprise-exemplar/ http://stevejonesgbh.com/2019/04/19/mid-march-revelations-on-worn-out-land-2/ Here is the very essence of the Dutton Land Legacy Story: abusive agricultural practices from […]

Lake Lurleen

A First Visit to Alabama’s Lake Lurleen State Park: Moist Lower Slope Forest

I admit to an addiction to Alabama’s 21 State Parks. I added Lake Lurleen State Park to my checked-off list October 15, 2020, hiking the four-mile Ridge Loop Trail with Park Manager Dee White. Encompassing 1,625 acres, the Park is about nine miles northwest of Tuscaloosa, home to the Crimson Tide.   The 250-acre man-made […]

Big Cove Creek

A Few Fungal Highlights from an Early Fall Trek through a River Terrace Forest

As a forestry undergraduate I took courses with titles like Plant Pathology and Eastern US Forest Diseases, studying economically important tree diseases like chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease, beech-scale-nectria, white pine blister rust, fusiform rust, and oak wilt. I learned fungi as disease agents and causes of decay and wood deterioration reducing the commercial value […]

A Suburban Trail within Sight of an Interstate Highway North of Pittsburgh, PA

Wildness is wherever you seek it, whether deep in the Appalachian forests… or hidden in plain sight within a suburban park. Steve Jones   September 24, 2020, I hiked Brush Creek Trail in southern Butler County Pennsylvania, 20-miles north of Pittsburgh and within two miles of our son’s home in Cranberry Township. The linear Graham […]

Rocky Gap

The Intersection of Human and Natural History: A 1766 Survey Marker above Rocky Gap State Park

I’ve already published two Posts from my September 2020 hike at Maryland’s Rocky Gap State Park, one offering photos and reflections on the trees and woody plants I encountered en route to the summit of Evitts Mountain, and the second on early fall flowers, fungi, and ferns: A Tough Hike and Deep Reward at Rocky […]