Last week at the bookstore I picked up a copy of “The Language of Trees” and began thumbing through it. I randomly sampled a handful of the 50 or so essays and decided it was coming home.
The essay that tipped my decision was the Introduction, in which writer Ross Gay recounted some of his favorite trees, from “the chokecherry tree in Verndale, Minnesota, where my grandpa parked his hospital-green ’68 Chevy pickup,” to “the beech tree in Vermont I met on a night hike two summers back.” That night hike tree reminded me of the imposing white oak that once appeared out of nowhere on a favorite night hike of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. And that got me to thinking about some of my other favorite trees.read more
Despite the cold, the forest floor is coming alive with splashes of color: carpets of delicate white spring beauties, patches of starburst white chickweed, bursts of purple periwinkle, flashes of yellow green-and-gold.
The spring show has begun, but it won’t last forever. Here are five spots where you’re likely to find the season in full flower for at least the next couple of weeks (longer in the high country).read more
I was walking the Matrimony Creek Greenway in Eden yesterday, lost in thought. Not deep thought, just the kind that never bubbles to the surface unless you’re on the trail.
There was a break in the week-long rain, but it remained gray and cold. Certainly not weather to entertain thoughts of spring. But suddenly I was, thanks to one of the sweetest sounds nature conjures — the ascending croak of a spring peeper.read more
I was 10 minutes down the trail when I heard the distinctive sound of wings disturbing the air above. I looked up to see an uneven “V” of maybe 20 Canada geese directly overhead. The early morning sun illuminated their port sides, giving them an almost luminescent, coppery glow.read more
The following originally appeared Aug. 9, 2018, under the title, “Making Sense of a Weather Forecast.” It appears again, tweaked a bit, because knowing the forecast going into fall is especially important, as we’ll start encountering cooler temperatures that will affect how we prepare for a hike, and thus, our safety.read more