Announcing the Birth!

I devote most of these Great Blue Heron blog posts this time of year to experiences in the woods and reflections regarding spring wildflowers. This one is avian-oriented. Its been a banner week for our feathered friends right here on Big Blue Lake… and nearby. Killdeer Success Last year our killdeer tenets did not nest […]

Steve Jones at Monte Sano State Park

Monte Sano State Park North Plat Loop Trail

Thursday March 22 we made our first ever visit to Monte Sano State Park, on the plateau just east of Huntsville, Alabama. It won’t be our last. We circuited the North Plateau Trail, a roughly 1.5 mile counter-clockwise loop (yes, we could just as easily have gone clockwise). We began at the overlook on the […]

Newsom Sink Spring Wildflower Jubilee

I hiked with a small group of Nature enthusiasts April 2, 2018 (Barbara Roberts, Lisa Hopkins, John and Barbara Kammerud, and Jim Kirkwood). We parked along a winding road in Morgan County, Union Grove, Alabama perhaps six miles south of the Tennessee River, and onto the plateau. We had ascended to 1,200 feet, then began […]

Northern Alabama Landtrust Hike

On Monday March 26, 2018, I joined a LearningQUEST hikers group (seven of us) at the Landtrust Hikers Lot on Bankhead. We hiked the Bluffline and Wagon Trails to the Waterline Trail and then returned on the Tollgate Trail. A wonderful 4-5-mile circuit with six new friends: Bruce Martin; Sue Campbell; Bob Schorr; Ronda Tenney; […]

Visiting a Prospective Forestland Legacy Story Property

March 12 dawned with snow flurries here in northern Alabama. Thunderstorms accompanied a passing cold front the evening before, triggering wind warnings and a small hail alert as it passed. I measured two-thirds of an inch of rain. I departed 7:00 AM to visit with a landowner and his consulting forester (a former Union Camp […]

Spring’s Richness

Judy and I visited Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve March 15 — see my March 20, 2018 post for a more general narrative about the Preserve and my impressions. See also my March 26 post for the wonderful examples of life Finding a Place on some seemingly precarious and marginal positions across the 1.25 square […]

Finding a Place

My February 22, 2018 Great Blue Heron post reports on our February 11, hike at Konza Prairie near Manhattan, KS ( Among other sights of the day, I reflected on a prairie crab apple anchored happily (my view) on a limestone ledge: I ruminated at depth on the conditions, advantages, and pitfalls associated with its […]

Cane Creek Canyon Preserve

Beware the Ides of March — good advice perhaps for Caesar, but the warning did not apply to Judy and me. We drove 75 miles west to Cane Creek Canyon Preserve, arriving at Jim and Faye Lacefield’s Preserve entry home at 10:00 AM, right on schedule. Our day had dawned at 25 degrees, and already […]

Active and Retired Federal Employees Association — Huntsville Chapter

The Huntsville area is blessed with many active and retired federal employees owing to NASA, Redstone Arsenal, and a large associated defense industry. We have a vibrant Huntsville Chapter of Active and Retired Federal Employees. I had the privilege of speaking to 31 members Saturday March 10. My topic — Nature-Inspired Learning and Leading. The […]

Wheeler NWR

A Northern Alabama Update — Nature-Inspired

Spring is now at full throttle, yet keep in mind that the progress is not laminar. Spring leaps and pauses; surges and retreats. We touched upper 70s to near 80 in late February. This morning (Thursday, March 8), we walked the neighborhood at dawn with a breezy 28 degrees. Birds a little more subdued than […]

Fourth Week LearningQUEST and THRIVE Update

March 7, I completed the fourth of my six-week lecture series at LearningQUEST and THRIVE Assisted Living. In case you missed it, here is my second week post on the series: Today’s Featured Image (a least or dwarf trillium; Trillium pusillum) signals only the season. I snapped the photo just a few days prior to […]

Concurrent Session at KNRC

My early February trip to Manhattan, Kansas and the 11th Annual Kansas Natural Resources Professionals Conference provided a lot of fuel for my Great Blue Heron and Facebook posts. I presented the Thursday keynote address to the >300 attendees and on Friday conducted a concurrent session for 50 or so: “Harnessing Nature’s Wisdom and Inspiration […]