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 […]

Mid-October Fungi Ramble in The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Riparian Forests

October 22, 2021, the day after I measured 0.76″ of autumn rain, I couldn’t resist the siren’s song of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge riparian forest. Because mushrooms, some familiar and some not, greeted me in abundance, I focused my attention on admiring their diversity, beauty, and role in the forest’s dance of life and […]

Monte Sano

Continued Progress on Monte Sano State Park Wells Memorial Trail Video

November 7, 2021, retired videographer Bill Heslip and I recorded B-roll video for our summer 2022 17-20-minute video project to present the Land Legacy Tale of the Wells Memorial Trail at Monte Sano State Park near Huntsville, Alabama. I’ve published prior Posts on this remarkable story of 40 acres gifted and memorialized for William Arthur […]