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Outdoors

  • Exploring Agriculture and Forestry

    Year of the tick

        I’ve always heard a mild winter would lead to a summer with more bugs, and I’ve found that to be the case, especially this year with ticks. We pulled them off our dogs all winter, and I’ve picked more off of me this summer than I can remember. I’ve also heard of several local folks that have gotten Rocky Mountain spotted fever. And with new tick-borne diseases on the horizon, it’s a summer to be extra vigilant for things crawling about on your body.

  • Exploring Agriculture and Forestry

    The 2017 Solar Eclipse Light Show

        By now you have seen numerous reports on the solar eclipse that will occur on Aug. 21. It’s a big one because our neck of the woods is close to the path where it will be a total eclipse, which hasn’t occurred here in a long time.

  • Exploring Agriculture and Forestry

    Globetrotting in a forest

       The mountains of our area contain one of the most diverse forests in the world. More than 170 tree species grow here, second only to tropical rain forests in variety. If you hunt around, you can find forest settings here that are the same as forests hundreds of miles away.  

  • Successful first “Kids Day Out” at Rugby

        Recently Historic Rugby was filled with the sounds of boisterous children and laughter when it hosted its first ever “Kids Day Out” and it was a big success.
        Almost 30 children between the ages of 3 and 12 attended. Some even traveled from as far away as North Carolina and Kentucky, as well as other surrounding and local counties.  

  • Exploring Agriculture and Forestry

    The house that saved the South

        Let me warn you that this story is not for the squeamish. Way back in 1908 the millionaire John D. Rockefeller wanted to make still more money. Most of his markets were saturated, so he began looking at the southern United States as an untapped marketplace. But, there was a problem — the South’s economy was lousy. The people were illiterate, dirt poor and were perceived as lazy. Farms weren’t fully operational, and the economic engine seemed to be turned off.  

  • Exploring Agriculture and Forestry

    Mountain Mint

        Both natives and pioneers used Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum spp.) to make a flavorful aromatic tea and for medicinal purposes. There are several varieties in our area, and I’ve seen plenty of it around. The mint can be found along roadsides and woodland edges.

  • Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area’s 37th Annual Heritage Day set for Aug. 11-12

        Heritage Day celebrates the music and crafts of traditional Appalachian and    Cumberland Mountain culture found in and around Frozen Head. Heritage Day features craftspeople, demonstrators, folk dancing instruction, as well as gospel and bluegrass musicians from around the region performing throughout the day.
        * Friday, Aug. 11, from 6-10 p.m. will be gospel music.
        * Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. will be crafts, demonstrations, folk dancing, bluegrass and Appalachian music.

  • Outdoor Tip

    Use Your Watch As a Compass - A watch set on standard time can be used as a compass on a sunny day. Lay the watch on a flat surface with the hour hand pointing toward the sun. Mark a spot halfway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock. A line drawn from the center of the watch face through that mark will point south.
     

  • Exploring Agriculture and Forestry

    Improving young forests

        In a young forest, there is always room for improvement. What you try to improve depends on your goals, which can include better timber, wildlife habitat, natural beauty or recreation opportunities.

  • Outdoor Tip

       In the sun - Do  your part to protect yourself and your family from illnesses that are transmitted when participating in recreational water activities. Do not swim if you have diarrhea, do not swallow pool water, wash your hands frequently. Avoid  being directly in the sun during the hottest time of the day. Use sunscreen at least SPF 15, cover skin with clothing and wear a wide brimmed hat. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes ( UVA and UVB rays). Always be aware of signs of heat stress.