Sunshine Magic

August 29, Judy and I walked pre-dawn in our neighborhood. Why so early? We prefer 71 degrees over the upper 80s and lower 90s that the sun will deliver by mid-morning. We always head to the patio after our morning wanderings. Nothing beats watching and hearing dawn swell and seeing sunrise. We witnessed a special […]

Monte Sano State Park — Exploring an Addition

August 28, 2018, I toured Monte Sano State Park with Park Manager Brian Moore and Parks Northwest District Superintendent Chad Davis. As a new and permanent Alabama resident, I am beginning my quest to officially visit and eventually hike all 22 Alabama Parks. Our end-of-August date oriented me broadly to a Park that I have […]

Pennsylvania’s McConnell’s Mill State Park

I am a two-year permanent transplant to Alabama. A semi-retired forester, applied ecologist, and former four-time university president, I am ever-more impressed with our Alabama State Parks. Count me among the many champions of our Alabama State Park System. Although this post draws from visiting a State Park, this one is in Pennsylvania. We visited […]

Rainbow Mountain Hike

So Much to See in Our Almost Backyard: Rainbow Mountain Trail Take Home Lesson: Nature and Wildness are where you choose to find them! Mountain is a relative term. From my online dictionary: a large natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill. Rainbow Mountain is a […]

Biking Local Greenways — An Eclectic Nature View at 14 MPH

Mid-Summer Floral Offerings I limit most of my wildflower botanizing to our local spring ephemerals, setting the forest floor ablaze (early March through the beginning of May) with life and color before canopy leaf-out casts deep shade below. Cooler spring temperatures make woods-walks much more pleasant than during summer. I’ve brought my bicycle out of […]

A Cycle of Death and Renewal at DeSoto State Park

See my August 1, 2018 post for a look at “What Lies Hidden Within” from a July 19 hike at DeSoto. I focused on non-flowering plants, and the beauty, magic, wonder, and awe that to many visitors lie hidden within plain sight. View this post as Part-II of that July 19 visit, with a focus […]

Lake Guntersville State Park

July 26, 2018 I drove the 62 miles to the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge, where I met Park Naturalist Mike Ezell. Such a blessing to live so close to a 7,000-acre Alabama treasure. And such a pleasure to have a Park naturalist to dispense wisdom and boost my confidence in plant identification and natural […]

My Nature-related Comments Responding to a PositivelyPositive.com Tribute to Mr. Rogers

Many of us grew up with Mr. Rogers… well, my kids did. Perhaps because I was already in middle school when the “Neighborhood” first aired, I’m more of a Captain Kangaroo product! PositivelyPositive.com posted a nice piece paying tribute to Mr. Rogers recently. I offered a brief response on the PositivelyPositive website. Here’s the tribute […]

Guest Post in Positively Positive: Positive Living by Harnessing Nature’s Wisdom and Power

PositivelyPositive.com posted one of my guest essays a few weeks ago. I believe that my message of harnessing Nature’s Wisdom and Power has application far beyond my own rather narrow circle of fellow Nature enthusiasts. Feel free to spread the word! Positive Living by Harnessing Nature’s Wisdom and Power From Our Community | Inspiring, Living […]

DeSoto State Park — Seeing What Lies Hidden Within

DeSoto State Park (one of Alabama’s 22 State Parks), near Fort Payne, AL, totals 3,502 acres, 7.3 percent of the State Park System’s 48,000. From the DeSoto website: Continuing in the rustic tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), mountainous DeSoto State Park is nestled atop beautiful Lookout Mountain in scenic Northeast Alabama and accented […]

A Reverse Rainbow

So, what’s a reverse rainbow? Let me explain. I grew up in the Central Appalachians, where summer showers generally pressed more or less easterly, and most commonly (as do convection-spirited showers everywhere) occurred in the afternoon and evening. The same holds true here in northern Alabama. Here’s the scenario. These heat-and-moisture-enabled pop-up showers often drop […]

Drought and Nature’s Cycles at Little River Canyon

I previously posted reflections from my April 21, 2018, first visit to Alabama’s Little River Canyon National Preserve: http://stevejonesgbh.com/2018/05/15/little-river-canyon/ Time has somehow sped a quarter-year beyond that delightful orientation. Widespread Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) mortality captured my eye as I toured and hiked the Preserve. I snapped lots of photos to remind me of the extent […]