Over the years, my husband and I have hiked many trails near the Blue Ridge Parkway –...Read more
Let's be honest: When you think "Charlotte," the next words to pop into your head aren't "creative powerhouse," are they?
People are more likely to think of Charlotte as a center of banking and finance, a busy airline hub, or a hothouse for the booming real estate market. But Charlotte is also a creative center in its own right, and there are people working to make sure the city learns...Read more
When it comes to the creative scene, Charlotte isn’t often mentioned in the same breath with peer cities like Austin or Nashville. After all, the city’s unofficial tagline is “Banktown,” not something like “Music City” or “Keep Austin Weird.”
But Charlotte has a thriving creative...Read more
Bee nirvana. That’s how Gabriela Garrison described one of the fields we’ve converted to native warm season grasses and wildflowers. Garrison, the Eastern Piedmont habitat conservation coordinator with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, was in the Uwharries to conduct point counts targeting a list of priority bird species, but she kept getting...Read more
As Mecklenburg County hammers out its budget priorities for the coming year, advocates for the park and recreation system are hoping to see a big funding increase.
At a presentation Tuesday, the Park & Recreation Commission, a citizen advisory board, suggested dramatically increasing funding for the county’s parks. That’s after Park & Recreation Director Lee Jones earlier this...Read more
You’ve no doubt heard this advice – keep a buckeye in your pocket so you can rub it for luck. I can see how this shiny, lumpy “nut” became a talisman. It has grooves that beckon your thumb. I’m thinking its power actually has less to do with luck than with a calming effect. Think of a buckeye as the old school version of a fidget spinner – an apparatus to manage stress or focus anxiety.... Read more
My husband and I recently hiked the Birkhead Trail, starting at Tot Hill Road for the first time since that section was hit by a wind storm in June 2019. Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of mature trees were snapped or uprooted along the trail. I hate to see a mature hardwood forest in the Uwharries suffer such extensive damage. It will take a century to replace those massive oaks. As I trudged...Read more
In January, a month when birders across the state and around the world launch headlong into a rigorous endeavor called a Big Year — in which they rush around a given geographic area trying to see as many species as possible — I hunkered down in the Uwharries and became obsessed with a single species.
The Northern harrier, also known as the marsh hawk, is an enthralling raptor. Harriers...Read more
“Not many events inspire our historical imagination and force us to critically think about our past the way a falling monument does.”
Associate Professor of Sculpture Marek Ranis, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in communist Poland, has seen monuments go up and come down in countries like his homeland. But the intense evaluation of monuments in the United States – what they tell...Read more
I wasn’t especially fond of brown-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia triloba). They strike me as having a superficial and relentless cheer – like a clerk who automatically chirps Have a great day! when you’re clearly miserable.
But they freely seed around our yard in the Uwharries, and my garden in Charlotte was bare, so I transplanted several clumps. They pop...Read more