Spituality in Nature

A Sacred Natural Setting at Cullman, Alabama’s Ave Maria Grotto

December 27, 2019 Judy and I visited Ave Maria Grotto, St. Bernard Abbey, Cullman, Alabama, just 55 miles from where we live. The self-guided tour brochure describes this attraction: The Ave Maria Grotto is located on the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey, the only Benedictine monastery of men in the State of Alabama. The Abbey […]

Local Greenways

Local Greenways — The Blessing of Urban Floodplains!

I’ve enjoyed many hours biking and walking along our local Madison, Alabama greenways: Bradford Creek; Mill Creek; and Indian Creek. Note the commonality — each bears a creek moniker. One might assume city planners wanted us to experience the peaceful streamside environment, the gurgle of flowing water, and the shade of the riparian forests. Not […]

Legendwood Drive

Winter is a Relative Term

A Nomad’s Perspective Judy and I have lived in the US South for a total of nearly a quarter of a century (about half of my adult life), punctuated by shifts northward totaling 27 years: Syracuse, New York — 2 years Southeastern Virginia — 7 years Savannah, Georgia — 2 years Prattville, Alabama — 3 […]

Revisiting Alabama’s 4-H Center After 20 Years

An AL Youth Development and Environmental Education Treasure As ACES (Alabama Cooperative Extension System) Director (1996-2001) I held broad responsibility for Cooperative Extension statewide across all 67 Alabama counties and at both Alabama A&M and Auburn universities. We also conducted education and outreach operations at several regional Extension Centers and the C. Beatty Hannah Horticultural […]

Local Greenways

Longleaf Pine along Bradford Creek Greenway

Autumn Serenity along Bradford Creek Hard to believe that this is my last Great Blue Heron Blog Post of 2019, a very fulfilling year for my semi-retirement ventures to spread the gospel of Nature-Inspired Life and Living. This Post returns me to nearby Bradford Creek Greenway. Our first autumn weather at long last arrived overnight […]

C&O Canal

At the Nexus of Human and Natural History: Paw Paw Tunnel

C&O Canal National Historical Park I issued multiple Posts this past summer and fall from July visits to National Parks, Monuments, and Memorials in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. Add in two more Posts from visiting three National Parks in Kazakhstan. November 20, 2019 I published yet another, this one from a September visit […]

Harvest Square Preserve

Revisiting Harvest Square Nature Preserve

Natural Treasures Are Always Close at Hand I posted an essay in February 2017 on a trip I made to the North Alabama Land Trust’s 70-acre Harvest Square Nature Preserve: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2017/02/09/the-simple-things-become-our-ultimate-pleasure/ My then nine-year-old Alabama grandson Jack accompanied me. Nearly three years ago, at that time I did not always include photos as I do […]

National Park System

Healing from Landscape Devastation and Human Tragedy: Flight 93 National Memorial

Flight 93 National Memorial Few of us alive September 11, 2001 will forget that day of terrifying destruction — a country literally under attack by ruthless human monsters… a horrid sub species intent upon violence and terror. One of the four hijacked planes fell to Earth some forty air miles from my birth home. Traveling […]

Wells Trail

Memory and Legacy for a Sailor and Hero

The Making of a Legacy — A Hero Enters Adulthood September 2018 I posted my photos and reflections from hiking the William Arthur Wells Trail at Monte Sano State Park: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2018/09/17/monte-sano-state-park-exploring-an-addition/ I snapped a few of the photos below on that 2018 hike. I vowed then to meet the gentleman responsible for the memorial trail. […]

Chapman Mountain Forest Preserve

Happy Thanksgiving — Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve’s Terry Big Tree Trail

It’s Thanksgiving 2019. I am thankful… for Nature’s beauty, magic, wonder, and awe right here in my backyard; the neighborhood; the County; across the southeast US; nationally; and globally. Take a quick peek at my roughly 50 2019 Great Blue Heron Blog Posts (http://stevejonesgbh.com/blog/). Nature abounds and rewards, whether it’s the three National Parks I […]

C&O Canal

A Taste of Mid-September Nature at the C&O Canal National Historical Park

Cumberland, Maryland and My Central Appalachian Roots I attended my 50th high school reunion this September. Who could possibly have imagined how many old people would be there! So great to see some 100 fellow class-of-69 time travelers. Our Earth has revolved on its axis more than 18,000 times since we graduated. Every hour of […]

Lake Guntersville SP

Lake Guntersville State Park — The Glory of Sunrise and Sunset

I returned to Lake Guntersville State Park October 16-18 to attend our fall meeting of the Alabama State Parks Foundation Board. Always ready to take advantage of every opportunity to further explore our 21-pearl necklace of State Parks (covering 47,000 acres), I arranged to spend two half-days on park trails with Lake Guntersville State Park […]