It’s the last weekend of summer (the season officially cedes to fall next Wednesday). Give it a fitting sendoff in Wilmington by tubing 900 (or maybe 1,000) feet through downtown; by celebrating the Catawba River at Lake James State Park; or by checking out the last in cool outdoor gear in Asheville.
Looking for an adventure with the kids? Look to Brunswick Nature Park near Wilmington. Looking for some mountain biking adventure? Look to the annual Triangle Fat Tire Festival. Looking for some spectacular hiking? Look up, about as high as you can, to the Roan Highlands.
To everything there is a season — and in this season of winter, the thing is making sense of the natural world. Learn your birds at the coast, your amphibians in the Piedmont, your naked trees in the mountains.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird —
Yes, but what kind?
It’s a question that perplexes many of us when we spy an avian friend flying overhead. And it’s a question you can find answers to Saturday at 9 a.m. at Hammocks Beach State Park. There, a ranger will lead the group in identifying and counting birds as part of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. It’s a massive exercise in citizen science, as people around the country report who’s flying in and out of their backyards. Binos and bird guides available, bring your own if you’ve got ‘em.
Cross “sprint triathlon” off your 2014 list in Wilmington, Take a Child Outside at a state park, celebrate hunting and fishing with the family in the mountains: it’s another diverse weekend outdoors in North Carolina.
A triathlon isn’t something you’d ordinarily do on a lark, certainly not an Olympic length (0.9-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6.2-mile run) or longer. A sprint tri, on the other hand … .
No matter where you are, head out Friday night and take in the Geminid meteor shower at its peak. And during the light of day you’ll find lessons to be learned about snow.
The Geminid meteor shower is expected to peak Friday evening — and you can have a prime seat at the Dismal Swamp State Park in South Mills. If the conditions are prime, you should be able to see 50 to 100 meteors per hour! This park program starts at 7 p.m.