Identifying the frog calls of spring

June is almost upon us, and the rush of activity in the ponds, streams, and vernal pools of our state is already well underway. For many native frogs, it’s breeding season. Right now is a great time to experience the variety of nighttime songs that signal the return of summer in our waterways. The best […]

Beyond Crowders and Morrow Mountain: 8 great spots to get your nature fix near Charlotte

Most people who visit the Uwharrie region for recreation probably know about spots like the Uwharrie Trail and Morrow Mountain State Park. Or maybe you’re used to driving west, to Crowders Mountain State Park. However, there are a lot of lesser-known gems in the region that many tourists miss out on, and some that even […]

A walk in the woods

Have you ever wondered what you might see if you spent a whole weekend outside just looking? How about if you could also bring a few expert field biologists and naturalists with you? Well, that’s what we were able to at The LandTrust for Central North Carolina’s first Uwharrie Naturalist Weekend in May. More than […]

A chorus of frogs

This winter’s pattern of hot and cold weather has made it challenging for people and animals to adapt. The recent wet weather and warmer temperatures must have been a cue for the upland chorus frogs that their breeding season has arrived. I heard them calling loudly from the small stream at my apartment complex. Their […]

Niche habitats in the uplands

Hiking the ridgelines and hillsides of the Uwharries, you pass through forests dominated by hickory, oak and sourwood. There are large patches of knee-high blueberry bushes, and the herbaceous layer is sparse. On occasion, an attentive and adventurous outdoor enthusiast might also run across natural areas that change abruptly and appear remarkably different from this […]

You get a line, I’ll get a pole, we’ll go fishing in a crawdad hole

What better summertime activity for a kid in the country than playing in a creek? There is really nothing better than sticking your feet in a cool stream under the forest canopy where it feels 10 degrees cooler than in the sun. And whenever I walk in the woods and come up to a rocky […]

When wetlands aren’t so wet anymore

What happens when you save a wetland, but not the wet? On a winter’s walk last year through Flat Branch Nature Preserve, Chris Matthews, the county park department natural resources manager, saw the answer. The preserve, at Mecklenburg County’s southernmost tip, should have been dappled with pools, spongy with moisture. The water edges should have […]

A new game of ‘frogger’

Last week while surveying one of our properties, a natural heritage field biologist found an interesting species never before documented this far south – the eastern gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor). The gray tree frog found widely across the state is the Cope’s gray tree frog (Hyla chrysoscelis). The eastern gray tree frog was documented […]

Field work: a rewarding and challenging endeavor

I have the opportunity to see some pretty neat stuff outdoors with my job. And although I don’t have time every week, as it isn’t the primary focus of my work to look for neat species, it is one of the most enjoyable activities I get to participate in, and I jump at the chance […]

Marbled Salamanders

During our recent hike in the Birkheads, I noticed more than ever one of the most significant aspects of being in the woods this time of year – and that is just how quiet it is. Other than the occasional loud sounds of crunching leaves under our feet, most of the normal sounds of the […]