Nature’s Triumph and Tragedy on Big Blue Lake: April 21, 2017

We had watched the Canada Goose pair along our near-east shore for more than a month. First, they began frequenting the stretch of shoreline, seeming to stake claim. One of the two aggressively chased away intruders. Next, they scratched and prepared a nest 2-3 feet from water’s edge. April 7, we saw the female at […]

Nature’s Pleasurable Terror at Big Blue Lake

I’m a lifelong weather enthusiast, catching the rain/wind/snow/sleet/hail/cloud bug in my earliest memories. The weather affliction deepened when I practiced forestry, which took me outside day after day. Outdoor-oriented avocation likewise immersed me in Nature. As a former, decades-long distance runner, I often braved (I considered it relished) what others consider adverse conditions. I pay […]

Pirtle Forestry Services

John Pirtle served as my Special Projects Forester 1981-84, when I was Land Manager for Union Camp Corporation’s (UCC) Alabama operations. The Company owned (and managed) 500 square miles of forestland across 32 Alabama counties in Central and South-Central Alabama. Thirty-three years after leaving UCC for my doctoral studies, and serving since then at eight […]

Experience Filters Perspective: Seeing Life and Enterprises through a Maturing Lens

I recall as a student climbing and crawling about the high school gymnasium sub-ceiling catwalks, setting spotlights for dances and like events. Among other tasks, I adjusted aim and orientation, and placed tinted filters over the lenses, all to achieve the desired floor effect. I haven’t adjusted a ceiling light filter in the nearly fifty […]

Fifth Year Anniversary — An Unpleasant Encounter; A Fortuitous Outcome

May 3, 2012, Judy and I experienced an unforgettable life-event. We had taken an after-dinner walk, still in full daylight. We circuited through our Urbana University campus, and were now within sight of our off-campus home. We crossed a secondary street intersection, “protected” by a stop sign. Any vehicle approaching the crossroads from our right […]

My Farewell to Dad

I delivered Mom’s Eulogy Sunday, April 30, 2017. Not easy — I find writing emotion-rich text far easier than an oral delivery. I choked and labored. After the service, my sister Leslie handed me an envelope Mom had saved. In it I found my February 13, 1995 farewell message to Dad, telling him things I […]

Final Tribute to Mom

PREFACE Great Blue Heron, LLC is both vocation and avocation for me, a soon-to-be-66-year-old forester, naturalist, and semi-retired university president. I write these blogs from the heart, especially this one. If you are averse to sentimentality, deep emotion, spirituality, and remarkable lessons from nature and family, stop now. If you have (or had) a mother […]

Nature’s Inspiration at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Nearby Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge inspires living, learning, serving, and leading. Accustomed to living places where local birds spend winter far to our south, we are pleased now that some choose to join us for the cold months. The Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Association (http://www.friendsofwheelerrefuge.org/) April quarterly newsletter reported that Wheeler provided winter habitat for 19,000 […]

Big Blue’s First Quarter 2017

Observing nature clears my head and allows me to glean lessons for harnessing Nature’s wisdom and inspiration. Nature informs and inspires my consulting, stimulates my writing, and furnishes endless vignettes and anecdotes for motivational speaking. We moved permanently into our new home in Madison, AL end of June 2016. Christmas 2016, our then 8-year-old grandson […]

Nature’s Powerful Lessons for Leaders of Sustainable Enterprises

Verbatim from my guest blog at: https://www.earthshiftglobal.com/blog/natures-powerful-lessons-leaders-sustainable-enterprises March 27, 2017 One of the most engaging and fascinating aspects of the business world is the way in which diverse types of learning and experience can contribute to creating successful enterprises. Sound business practices, rooted in practical, empirical analysis, are certainly necessary, yet not sufficient. Passion-fueled, purpose-driven, […]

See Rock City — Some Natural Reactions: A Forestland Legacy Story

Daughter Katy, her two boys (Jack, 9 and Sam, 3), Judy, and I headed over to Rock City near Chattanooga about dawn March 17. Sure, I had seen the promotional barns, bird houses, and bumper stickers most of my life: See Rock City! This was my first visit. Katy and Jack had been a few […]

Westervelt Explorations and Reflections: A Forestland Legacy Story

March 7, 2017 Along Alabama State Route 69, from Jasper south to near Northport, forests dominate the landscape. We navigated rolling hills, long-abandoned, worn out and eroded, former agricultural land. Frequent vistas afford great views of the mixed pine/hardwood forests across local relief of a couple hundred feet vertical. Some of the timberlands appear intensively […]