Joe Wheeler

Blue Trail Loop at Joe Wheeler State Park

July 7, 2020 I hiked Joe Wheeler State Park’s Blue Trail with State Parks Naturalist Emeritus Mike Ezell. Together we explored at a leisurely pace, not willing to race through the forest at the price of missing any of Nature’s magic. The Parks do a good job with signage at Joe Wheeler. I hope that […]

Buck's Pocket SP

Re-Opening Buck’s Pocket State Park

June 15, 2020 I re-visited Buck’s Pocket State Park, approximately 75 miles from my residence, this time for the ribbon cutting re-opening the campground after a three-year major rehabilitation project. I had first visited the Park in mid-October 2019, viewing the Park only from the overlook, some 800 vertical feet above the campground: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2019/11/04/bucks-pocket-state-park/ Here […]

Joe Wheeler

Fungi Reign along Joe Wheeler State Park’s New “Awesome Trail”

See the Great Blue Heron Post chronicling my June 8, 2020 introduction to the new Awesome Trail at Joe Wheeler State Park: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2020/07/06/joe-wheeler-state-parks-new-awesome-trail/ That single Post was not sufficient to chronicle all the Nature-magic we encountered. We also saw some spectacular mushrooms as we hiked our four-mile segment, justifying this second Post highlighting the fungi. […]

Joe Wheeler State Park’s New “Awesome Trail”

Allow me to set the stage for this Post with a simple quote from Wendell Berry: Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. The Alabama State Parks Dirt Pass Trail Crew completed the eight-mile Awesome Trail […]

Southern Sanctuary

Visiting a Southern Sanctuary: Nature’s Insistence Upon Renewal

I visited the Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary June 6 and presented my reactions, reflections, and photographs in a June 23, 2020 Blog Post: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2020/06/23/visiting-a-southern-sanctuary-my-orientation-visit/ Please see that earlier Post for general information about the Sanctuary. I’m following up now with a second Post, this one focusing on what I’ll term Nature’s insistence upon renewal. Suffice […]

Southern Sanctuary

Visiting a Southern Sanctuary: My Orientation Visit

Virtual Orientation: Southern Sanctuary I’ve often mentioned how fortunate we are in north Alabama to have so much wildness within an hour-and-a-half drive: several State Parks; Bankhead National Forest; Sipsey Wilderness; Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge; County Parks; Greenways; Nature Preserves; and the Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary, which I visited for the first time June 6, […]

Bradford Creek

Relative Motion

A statement of fundamental Nature-essence: Everything in Nature is relative in space and time, including our own lives. Nature-Inspired Poetry I’ve toyed with Blog-Post-by-verse a few times since I enrolled in a beginning poetry course this past winter at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Funny that I spent much of my professional higher education […]

Monte Sano

Earth Day Visit: Wildflowers along the Wells Memorial Trail at Monte Sano State Park

May 19, 2020 I issued a Post reflecting my Earth Day hike on the Monte Sano State Park Wells Memorial Trail: https://stevejonesgbh.com/2020/05/19/earth-day-visit-to-the-cathedral-forest-along-the-wells-memorial-trail-at-monte-sano-state-park/ Here is the opening paragraph from that Post: Earth Day (April 22, 2020) Judy and I (along with 12-year-old grandson Jack) hiked Sinks, Keith, and Wells Memorial Trails at Monte Sano State Park. […]

Seasons Flowing with the Waters of Bradford Creek

I’ll begin with the broad lesson I draw from these photos and reflections: Just as the waters of Bradford Creek flow ceaselessly seaward, Nature’s seasons advance reliably day after day, annually completing a full cycle. So too do the seasons of our lives pass year after year. Seasonal Progress Across Geography I published a Blog […]

Spring 2020

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Spring Green-up

We’re now nearly 11 weeks beyond the call to distance safely from our circle of friends, family, and associates. Judy and I speak of being under Covid-19 house-arrest. We continue our daily neighborhood walks. In addition, I escape as often as I can to local trail-hiking and greenway-biking. I prepared this Post after a Spring […]

Monte Sano

Earth Day Visit to the Cathedral Forest along the Wells Memorial Trail at Monte Sano State Park

Earth Day (April 22, 2020) Judy and I (along with 12-year-old grandson Jack) hiked Sinks, Keith, and Wells Memorial Trails at Monte Sano State Park. Because we were continuing to deal with Covid-19 restrictions, Jack sat in the third-row SUV seat and all of us wore face masks while in the vehicle. On the trails […]

Wheeler NWR

Acorn Rondeau

Acorn Rondeau I am NOT a poet, yet I enjoy the magic of words. Winter quarter I completed a beginner’s poetry-writing course at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Here’s the poem I wrote for a class assignment:   Acorn Rondeau (Rondeau is a kind of poem that […]