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 – 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”

Appalachian Thursday – Dog Days

You’ve almost certainly heard this time of year referred to as the “dog days” of summer. But do you know WHY it’s called that? I always thought it’s because this hot, muggy time of year isn’t hardly fit for a dog. And I had a professor in college who talked about the humidity of lateContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Dog Days”

Appalachian Thursday – Brown Mountain Lights

I love mysteries and unexplained phenomenon. Miracles even. Lately I’ve been reading about the Brown Mountain Lights–a mysterious occurrence people sometimes see on a mountain about an hour east of where I live in NC. Brown Mountain is in the Linville Gorge near Morganton, NC, and there are two popular overlooks for folks wanting toContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Brown Mountain Lights”

Appalachian Thursday – Spring Planting (by the signs)

It’s finally March and while we still have redbud, dogwood, and blackberry winters to go (at a minimum), country folks are thinking about plowing the garden. When I was a kid my father and one of the more mature ladies of the church would have pretty much the same “discussion” every spring. She believed stronglyContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Spring Planting (by the signs)”

Appalachian Thursday – Mountain Monsters

North America has Bigfoot. Nepal has the Abominable Snowman. Ireland their Banshees. Everywhere you go, there are monster stories. Well, West Virginia is not one to be left out. My home state has several mythical monsters of its own. Our uniquely Appalachian monsters include . . . The Mothman – This is the legend thatContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Mountain Monsters”

Groundhog Day (and an even lesser known holiday)

You probably know that last Saturday was Groundhog Day. Not exactly one of the big ten holidays, but still, there was a bit of hoorah around Punxsutawney Phil who did NOT see his shadow which means an early spring! Of course, French Creek Freddie, a resident of the West Virginia Wildlife Center located not farContinue reading “Groundhog Day (and an even lesser known holiday)”

Christmas in Appalachia

While I suppose we were relatively modern when it came to my childhood Christmases, the old-timey traditions are still hanging on in the mountains. And there are some I very much think we should revive for broader use. Here are a few of my favorite Appalachian Christmas traditions: VISITING – My 85-year-old cousin and IContinue reading “Christmas in Appalachia”

Appalachian Thursday – Funerals

I’ve attended several funerals lately and it got me thinking about how much a part of growing up in Appalachia funerals have always been. As a child I often went with my parents to funerals. Shoot, everyone went. It’s just what you did. The two things I remember most were open caskets and all thatContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Funerals”