Non-flowering Plants

A Morning Visit to a Nearby Section of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge with my Six-Year-Old Grandson

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge here in northern Alabama covers 35,000 acres, 54.7 square miles. February 1, 2020, my daughter’s younger son (Sam, soon-to-be-six-years-old) and I visited an arm of the Refuge about a dozen miles due south of where I live and just six miles from where Sam resides. We hiked out a mile or […]

Camp McDowell

Examining a 70-Year Journey at Alabama’s Camp McDowell

I went back to McDowell January 20-24, 2020 to begin serious field work for developing McDowell’s Land Legacy Story — the Natural History corollary to existing books and essays on the facility’s Human History. Founders bought the first Camp parcels in 1946 and initiated Camp programming in 1948. I offer this brief Blog Post as […]

Sipsey Wilderness

My First Visit to Sipsey Wilderness

Bankhead National Forest The USDA Forest Service’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Its motto is Caring for the land and serving people. The Bankhead National Forest is the nearest National Forest to my home in northern […]


Back to Camp McDowell

I returned to Camp McDowell and Conference Center December 19-20, 2019 following a year’s absence and two prior Posts: On the recent December trip I focused on completing plans for conducting a comprehensive Land Legacy Story for McDowell. Published books and internal documents already chronicle the Human History of the Camp since its […]

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: 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 […]