Appalachian Thursday – State Flowers

Ever have one of those weeks when you can’t keep track of what day it is? Yeah, me too. On January 23, 1903–117 years ago–the Legislature of West Virginia passed a joint resolution naming the Rhododendron as the state flower. I’ve known our state flower for as long as I can remember knowing there wasContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – State Flowers”

Appalachian Thursday – Wooly Adelgid

A while back I wrote about the blight that eradicated the American chestnut in Appalachia. There’s a new blight happening now–the wooly adeligid. These non-native, invasive insects are doing their best to wipe out all the hemlock trees. While measures are being taken to fight back including insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, and predatory beetles, aContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Wooly Adelgid”

Appalachian Thursday – Cracking Nuts

The apples have fallen, the pumpkins are getting carved, and the leaves are turning orange and yellow and red. Must be time for the nut harvest! Of course, if we don’t hurry, the critters will beat us to it. Growing up on the farm, we had walnuts, chestnuts, and filberts (hazelnuts). With walnuts, it wasContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Cracking Nuts”

It’s Autumn Somewhere

This happened last year, too. Summer lingered so long that the fall color didn’t really show up until November. I’m hoping that’s what happens this year because right now we’re still seeing lots of green with just a few hints of color. And I LOVE autumn! So, after a hectic weekend with little to noContinue reading “It’s Autumn Somewhere”

Appalachian Thursday – Fairy Diddles

Fairy Diddles are alternately real woodland creatures or mythical rodents depending on who you ask. In West Virginia, they probably refer to small red squirrels but in North Carolina they’re more likely a Carolina northern flying squirrel. Regardless, they’re fast, smaller than average, and make a lot of noise. One myth suggests that they raidContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Fairy Diddles”

Appalachian Thursday – A Hard Winter

It definitely feels like summer today in the mountains of Western NC. But even as I sweat, I’m noticing signs pointing toward a rough winter. Last week I saw my first wooly worm. All black. This morning I saw another just the same. Acorns are already falling and the walnuts are abundant this year asContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – A Hard Winter”

Appalachian Thursday – Chestnut Blight

When my brothers and I were little we had a “play-house” inside a HUGE rotted out stump. The tree had fallen long ago, but the shell of the stump remained and it was big enough for all three of us to get inside. It was cool and mossy and taller than I was. The stumpContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Chestnut Blight”

How’s Your Microbiome These Days?

I recently read an article suggesting that it’s harder to lose weight today than it was in the 1980s. Yeah. Made me do a double take, too. Here’s the sub-headline: “A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.” What?? I readContinue reading “How’s Your Microbiome These Days?”

Appalachian Thursday – Bee Hunting

Honeybees aren’t native to WV, but they came to the state with European settlers and, escaping their hives, decided to settle in themselves. Locals soon discovered the sweet treat inside the wild hives and began developing techniques for discovering bee trees. Of course, bees aren’t what you’d call sneaky and when traveling home to theirContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Bee Hunting”