I Went to the Woods: North slope caribou

I had stopped hopping from tussock to tussock attempting to keep my feet dry. Frequent missteps and sneaky depths had put water over my gaiters half a dozen times in the first two and a half miles and we were only halfway to where we’d make …
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On the Trails: The colorful world of birds

Colors are produced by cell structure, which can scatter light rays, making iridescence, and by pigments, which absorb or reflect particular wavelength of light. Pigments that absorb all the rays of the spectrum look black; those that reflect all …
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On the Trails: Bricolage — this and that, bits and pieces

There were good minus tides in May and June, and I went out with some friends to take a look at the intertidal zone in two places that we’ve checked in previous years. We found lots of small white cucumbers, numerous green sea urchins, and the …
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On the Trails: Buttercups and their relatives

“Buttercups”—the name conjures up an image of lots of bright yellow flowers, which we enjoyed recently in Cowee Meadows and which brighten the roadsides. But, for some, the name is a reminder of a plant that becomes a nuisance in a …
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On the Trails: Oystercatchers, pinesap and spittlebugs

At the mouth of Cowee Creek, sometime in mid-June, we’d found a vigilant pair of black oystercatchers, presumably with a nest nearby. A couple of weeks later, a small group of hikers stopped at the same spot and quickly noted that the adult …
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