Jolly B

Pine Forest on a Rich Terrace above Lake Wheeler on the WNW Refuge

We’re now into the second week of September. Continuing to enjoy our early morning walks, Judy and I are aware that dawn now breaks as we complete our circuit. And we’ve noticed near silence from our avian friends who chattered and clamored in greeting spring and early summer dawns. I’m reminded of Aldo Leopold’s observation […]

Jolly B

An Aging Tennessee River Riparian Forest

August 8, 2020 I bushwhacked (Webster definition: to travel by foot through uncleared terrain) through a Tennessee River riparian forest on the eastern end of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge north of the river in Limestone County Alabama. I restricted my wanderings to off-trail, insisting that my ramblings keep me within the closed-canopy forest. I wanted […]

Joe Wheeler

Multi-Use Trail at Joe Wheeler State Park

Bear with me as I repeat some of the introductory paragraph from my August 12, 2020 Post about Nature reclaiming an 80-year-abandoned recreation area on the Joe Wheeler State Park bluffs above Wilson Lake on the Tennessee River: July 7, 2020, Alabama State Parks Naturalist Emeritus Mike Ezell and I hiked the Park’s 2.5-mile […]

Jolly B Road

August Riparian Forest Roaming at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

August 1, 2020 I invested more than three hours bushwhacking (hiking off-trail) through the upland riparian forests along the Tennessee River on the east end of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. I admit that my hunger for golden chanterelles served as incentive to challenge mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, ticks, chiggers, briers, poison ivy, draped spider […]

Joe Wheeler

Long-Abandoned Recreation Area at Joe Wheeler State Park

Straddling Twin TVA Lakes: Joe Wheeler and Wilson Alabama’s Joe Wheeler State Park has shoreline along both the lower reaches of Joe Wheeler Lake and the upper end of Wilson Lake. July 7, 2020, Alabama State Parks Naturalist Emeritus Mike Ezell and I hiked the Park’s Multi-Use Trail along the bluffs above Wilson Lake. I […]

Joe Wheeler

State Champion Trees at Joe Wheeler State Park

A personal confession. I am a nemophilist: One who is fond of forests or forest scenery; a haunter of the woods. I did not know the word until recently. Shortly after seeing the term and definition on a very attractive poster with a sylvan scene, I heard a newscaster with respect to some impending catastrophe say, “We’re not […]

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: 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: 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: 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, […]