What Is All This?














What Is This?




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a fish with legs on a yield sign

This site is NOT under construction... it is evolving.

I'm first concentrating on the Plants Index part of it and the Nature Notes, but other parts will grow, with time and water.



Man, I can't tell what a beautiful shot of fog on the mountains you're missing.  So i won't.


The way i look at it, i'm a pretty lucky puppy. I live in Western North Carolina (WNC for short), and love to hike these beautiful woods and just 'potter about' in the outdoors. Tucked into these Blue Ridge Mountains are the National Forests of Pisgah and Nantahala, the Great Smoky National Park, and more waterfalls than it is useful to name. I could spend a lifetime hiking the trails and meadows of this area and never stumble across my own boot-prints. I smile to myself when i actually visualize that.

This website is, for me, not just a written and pictorial testament to the beauty of the area, but a learning process. My learning process. Pictures of pretty scenes and flowers are fine, for all that, but i truly want this natural playground to be my classroom. I'm a loose 'type-B' personality, and tend to look, listen, smell, feel, and then move on, consciousness-wise; but here, my purpose is to have me scrambling for the books to write about the flora and fauna, to observe a bit more keenly, and to jot down my thoughts and observations, even though i'm certain none of it is fascinatingly original. I'm also pretty sure that many plant guides and real naturalists notebooks of the mountains aren't done somewhere else more beautifully and dramatically. The fact that you're here reading this, is... well, something you'll have to work out on your own.


"Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revere, amidst the pines and hickories and sumacs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around or flitted noiseless through the house.... I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been."

- Henry David Thoreau


Since this site is a process, and not meant to be anything completed or polished, it is by nature evolving. You won't find any annoying 'under construction' animated gifs around anywhere (nor any animated gifs at all, which i can produce beautifully, but choose not to). Not only do i find a personal distaste for animation while i read (Hint-hint, Yahoo et al, moving banners may lead to less hits), but i try to keep my love for personal graphics to a minimum here - for simplicity's sake. Also, you'll probably notice some wannabe-links that lead to wannabe pages, but that's because i haven't implemented that section yet. If for some unhinged reason you become a regular visitor, try checking the What's New? section first to see freshly updated areas.


This is a cross between a personal homepage and a free-information site. It's outlay is simple because i want it that way... it's not intended to be one of those sites that props up its lack of content with beautiful chrome organic nav-bars that serve you latte while you wait for it to load. I'm a graphics geek and have to sit on my hands not to add pull-down rotating orbs of javascript fantasy.


A kid i knew in high school, Mark, who besides having the coolest telescope in any 14 year-old's universe, used to prepare for tests by writing all the pertinent information (or the information he couldn't remember) on cheat sheets. Mark i believe was extremely intelligent and near-sighted. He would prepare these cheat sheets on carefully cut 1 inch x 1 inch pieces of paper that could be hidden easily. He'd then sharpen his favorite #2 pencil to needlepoint and then meticulously write the information almost microscopically on these sheets. Mark could fill one of these squares with an astounding amount of answers and the his legibility was breathtaking. I asked Mark about whether he'd ever been caught using them. "No," he mused, "I only once used them during an actual test, and was so nervous about getting caught that I never actually take them to class anymore." You see, the very act of preparing to write, and then carefully transcribing the information so that only a jeweler could read it was enough for him to remember the answers in the first place. And that's analogous to what i'm doing here. I hope to retain this information about plants and nature better by having to 'handle' it and squeeze it down in HTML and make it clean and presentable.

Nowadays Mark is probably the guy who repairs the timing mechanisms for atomic bombs. Or else he's doing federal time for counterfeiting.