Appalachian Thursday – Wild Critters

There are people who have never seen an animal in the wild. Oh, maybe a city squirrel or some pigeons, but I’d argue they’re not really wild. My mountains are a veritable zoo of wildlife. Just yesterday Thistle and I encountered a teenage bear on our evening hike. She was easily persuaded to abandon theContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Wild Critters”

Time to Complain About the Heat

Ah, June. Those days of complaining about how cold it is are well behind us. Mild spring days have wound down. Some afternoon it’s even getting . . . hot. While the first true day of summer may not be until June 21, school is out this week, I’m going bare-legged in skirts and dresses,Continue reading “Time to Complain About the Heat”

How Real Should Writers Get?

We’ve all read those novels. You know the ones. The heroine has been riding in a covered wagon for two months when she meets the dashing cowboy who saves the wagon train. He finds her lovely in spite of the fact that she hasn’t washed her hair since late winter and it’s now well intoContinue reading “How Real Should Writers Get?”

Appalachian Thursday – A Spring Walk

We’re fortunate to live just a mile from Pisgah National Forest. Almost every day after work I head to the woods for a hike with Thistle. On the weekends, my husband comes along and we go even further afield. Hiking not only provides Thistle and I with exercise, it also gives me a break fromContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – A Spring Walk”

Helping to Rescue Smokey Bear

In The Sound of Rain my hero, Judd, is shown a 1950s poster of Smokey Bear. His boss–who is also my heroine’s father–wants Judd to serve as a sort of liaison with the forest service in their efforts to preserve forests. Although I only mention the poster and Smokey in passing, it was fun toContinue reading “Helping to Rescue Smokey Bear”

Appalachian Thursday – Moonshiners!

I love it when I describe something in one of my novels that I can clearly picture and THEN find that what I described actually exists. In Miracle in a Dry Season Casewell cleans out an old spring with a catch basin. Guess what my husband found in the woods on the mountain behind our house?Continue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Moonshiners!”

Appalachian Thursday–Rubber Boots

Mud boots, gum boots, rain boots, rubbers, wellies, or, you know, plain ole rubber boots. I don’t suppose they’re uniquely Appalachian, but they certainly are ubiquitous to every mountain farm I’ve ever set foot upon. Some evenings, when I’m short for time, instead of taking Thistle for a tromp in the national forest, we simplyContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday–Rubber Boots”

Appalachian Thursday–Fall’s Last Flower

It’s officially autumn. October arrives this weekend. The days are cooler, the nights make an extra quilt welcome. I love this time of year. Maybe it’s the bittersweet way nature fades from lush green, to russet and gold, and then to brown and grey. And, of course, knowing that it will all start again inContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday–Fall’s Last Flower”

Appalachian Thursday–Stinging Insects

If you read Monday’s post, you know why stinging insects are on my mind this week. Late summer and early fall in Appalachia is prime time for running into yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and bees. First, their hives (hence their populations) have been growing all summer. Second, the bears, skunks, and other critters consider theirContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday–Stinging Insects”