Category Archives: Nature

This weekend: Polar Plunge, History Hike, Nature Hike

A previous Plunge

Is this the weekend you take your first dip of 2017 in the Atlantic? Perhaps you’re more interested in a hike into history. Or maybe it’s when you take a class and learn not to bark up the wrong tree (so to speak).

Coast

Did you miss the chance to jump into an icy pool — the classic polar plunge — on New Year’s Day? Do you feel your year isn’t off until an official start until you’ve had the wake-up call that only baptism in 55-degree water can confer? read more

Spring: the first sign

Any day now, the trout lily will emerge

It’s about this time of year that I begin getting distracted on the trail. I stumble over tree roots and rocks more, my attention diverted from the trail itself to three, five, 10 feet into the neighboring terrain. Scanning, constantly. I grow quieter on group hikes; my responses to fellow hikers limited to a delayed “right” or “sure,” wondering later if I offered to bring a main course to a pot luck. read more

Winter woods: Sounds in Silence

A dull, distant whirring, an intrusion of industrial origin that should have been distracting at the least. Instead, it was curiously reassuring.

I was walking a stretch of the Eno River upstream from Durham, downstream from my home in Hillsborough. More rural than urban, but not entirely detached. I’d been faintly aware of the thrum of tires rolling down I-85 a half mile distant, fading in and out, of the occasional chirp of a truck backing up closer by. Then, the low, constant buzz of a plant of some kind powering along, the heartbeat of the world I was trying to shake. I should have been annoyed. And yet … . read more

90 Second Escape: Fade to Winter

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. read more

Your weekend: Present, Past, Fast

Fast times at Mount Jefferson
Fast times at Mount Jefferson

Detach your kids from their electronics and get them to live in the present (at least for 45 minutes) at Merchants Millpond; expose them to true culture shock with a look at how kids used to play in Saura times; or, head to the mountains and catch skateboarders on the fast track. read more