Joe Wheeler

Early Morning Perspective at Joe Wheeler State Park

January 28-30, 2022, I participated in the Focus on Nature (Nature Photography) Workshop at Joe Wheeler State Park. I offer photographs and reflections from my solitary hike beginning at dawn January 30. This Post highlights a 180-degree early morning perspective on the Awesome Trail and some tree form oddities from the entire weekend. I write […]

Joe Wheeler

A 25-month Retrospective on Tornado Damage at Joe Wheeler State Park

January 29, 2022, I co-led a Joe Wheeler State Park half-day tour as part of the Focus on Nature Weekend. We walked the Day Use and Campground areas, devastated by a December 2019 tornado. Both Park use-areas are scheduled to be reopened this spring. I offer photos, observations, and reflections on the Joe Wheeler SP […]

Late January Sunsets at Joe Wheeler State Park

Preface I drafted the text of this Post in February, at least a month before posting it March 30 (today), six days after I suffered a stroke March 24. I offer in these prefatory remarks two particulary poignant quotes from my original draft, which I present unaltered following the Preface. Life on Earth cycles through […]

Joe Wheeler

Black Locust Decline and Two Champion Trees at Joe Wheeler State Park

I participated January 28-29, 2022, in the Focus on Nature (Nature Photography) Workshop at Alabama’s Joe Wheeler State Park. Sunday morning (1/30) I hiked the Blue Loop Trail shortly after sunrise. This Post offers photos, observations, and reflections on the declining black locust component in the upland forest along the trail. I report also on […]

Some Borrowed Do’s and Don’ts of Wildlife Photography

Reflections on the Adequacy of my Photographs   As all of my regular readers know, I focus these Great Blue Heron photo-essay Posts on mostly my own wanderings into terrestrial ecosystems. Trees, wildflowers, fungi, and special places account for most of my attention, photographs, observations, and reflections. You know, too, that I rely unabashedly on […]

January 8, 2022 Mid-Day Wanderings in a Bottomland Forest

January 8, 2022, I enjoyed a perfect mid-day winter ramble in a hardwood bottomland forest on the eastern end of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge near Huntsville, Alabama. This Post illustrates how keen observations as well as directed and informed curiosity can make a routine woods stroll something truly special. Riparian Saturated Forests Nightime temperatures froze […]

Joe Wheeler

How Nature Can Inspire Us, Teach Us, and Keep Us Happy!

Exploring a New Partnership   I’m announcing a new collaborative between Great Blue Heron and We Get Outdoors (based in South Africa). As a first product of our partnership exploration, we are pleased to present my nearly 90-minute interview (recorded late 2021: ), conducted expertly by Rob Yates (We Get Outdoors Co-Founder and consummate […]

Joe Wheeler

January Mosses, Lichens, Mushrooms at Joe Wheeler State Park

January 29 and 30, 2022, I participated in the Focus on Nature Weekend at Alabama’s Joe Wheeler State Park as a volunteer staff member, co-leading one of the three Saturday field trips. I focus this Post on a sampling of mosses, lichens, and mushrooms I encountered during my wanderings. The world is a skyscraper! Don’t […]

Nature Revelations at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, TN

December 30, 2021, Judy and I visited the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We did not anticipate the Nature-based lessons, revelations, and inspiration associated with distilling this golden elixir. Because the internet is flush with the story of this world famous distillery, I offer only that Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel founded the Jack Daniel’s […]

An Afternoon Exploring a Riparian Forest with My Two Alabama Grandsons

December 22, 2021, I wandered the riparian forest on the east end of Alabama’s Wheeler National Wildlife (near Huntsville, Alabama) with my two Alabama grandsons (Jack and Sam). I take Sam and Jack into the wild for the enjoyment it gives me, the learning provided to the three of us, the seeds sown to enrich […]

48 Hours: from Tornado Warnings to Winter Storm Warnings (Trial 2)

The Madison, Alabama (my home) weather span of 29 hours and 46 minutes, from New Year’s Day at 4:32 PM to January 2, at 10:18 PM, shifted from tornado watch to severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings to winter weather advisory to winter storm warning! I’ve said often that I could not thrive living where weather […]

Mid-Winter Treks at Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary

I returned to Huntsville, Alabama’s Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary January 13 and 15, 2022, the first day to dry-run the interpretive hike I co-led on the 15th for 23 participants from the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). I focus this Post on the rich diversity of the Sanctuary, especially its multiple […]