Let’s clear the air: a Vulture is not a Buzzard

  Today’s blog focuses on the Turkey Vulture, another one of the most commonly seen birds here in the Southeast. Before we talk about identifying characteristics though, I thought we could dive into the semantics of the terms vulture and buzzard, because it can be pretty confusing. Before researching this topic, whenever I heard the … Continue reading Let’s clear the air: a Vulture is not a Buzzard

Astronomy is out of this world!

By Amy This past December, I let my 3 year-old daughter stay up past her bedtime and took her outside to see the Geminids meteor shower for her first experience of star-gazing. I told her we were going to see the shooting stars. We bundled up and set up camp on our back porch. "Wow! … Continue reading Astronomy is out of this world!

Oh the Places You’ll Go

By Loretta Dr. Seuss said it!  Oh, the places you’ll go.  Books can take you anywhere, especially children’s books.  The book that I remember best from my childhood is Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  How I loved that book!  Part of its magic is that it was based on a true story.  … Continue reading Oh the Places You’ll Go

Horace Kephart – Writer, Outdoorsman, National Park Activist…Librarian?

By Jeff This past weekend in Bryson City, the town celebrated the life of  Horace Kephart (1862-1931), who made Swain County his home away from home.  Kephart, for those who don't know, was the writer of Our Southern Highlanders (1913) and Camping and Woodcraft (1918), two works that are, after nearly a century, still in print.  … Continue reading Horace Kephart – Writer, Outdoorsman, National Park Activist…Librarian?


By Loretta I'm slowly reading a very good book, one that I should have read during the summer.  As long and hot as the summer was, it would have been a good time for the shivers.  For most of my adult life, I’ve been an armchair adventurer, reading about the remote and dangerous places of the world from … Continue reading Cold

Sallie Middleton

By Loretta Last year, North Carolina lost one of its greatest artists, Sallie Middleton.  Middleton was an Asheville resident and spent her childhood in Chunn's Cove.  Her father had been a dyed-in-the-wool naturalist, forever outside looking and watching, and he instilled in Sallie the love he felt for nature.  She was taught to notice everything. As … Continue reading Sallie Middleton

Memorial Day

By Faye When I hear the name “Joyce Kilmer” I think of the beautiful memorial park just a few miles from Bryson City. Fond memories I have of  numerous times enjoying picnics, fishing and hiking the trails with family and friends. Kilmer was born in New Jersey and died in World War I. The Veterans … Continue reading Memorial Day

The National Parks

By Loretta Ken Burns.  That name conjures up a lot of different images in my head, anything from jazz musicians to Mark Twain.  His latest offering is one very close to my heart: America’s National Parks.  I just watched all 6 episodes of  The National Parks: America's Best Idea and I was spellbound throughout the entire thing.  … Continue reading The National Parks