25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Outdoors

“The Wanderlust has got me ... by the bellyaching fire!”

In an extraordinary and inspiring talk at a small meeting of the Nantahala Hiking Club last Friday, hiker-poet Nimblewill Nomad proclaimed his own “wanderlust” by quoting the above lines from a poem of the same name by the late naturalist poet, Robert Service.

Having backpacked over 40,000 miles of the nation's scenic trails, Nomad, a.k.a Ed Eberhart (Nimblewill Nomad is his “trail name”), is somewhat the authority on wanderlust. Passing through Franklin while on yet another section hike of the Appalachian Trail, Nomad's talk at the Macon County Library was a wild journey in itself – from the downright practical (hiking shoes and camp stoves) to the philosophical and metaphysical (the meaning of life!).

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In conjunction with historic Franklin N.C.'s April Fools’ Trail Days, Macon County Library hosts a week of hiking programs.

Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room, Hiking 101 - day hiking planning, equipment, and local hiking.

Bill Van Horn from the Nantahala Hiking Club will present information on day hike planning, equipment and local options for hiking.

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Volunteers are still being sought to help relocate rivercane from the Western Carolina University area to a site near the new Cherokee School, on Big Cove Road, as part of the university’s Rivercane Restoration Project.

Rivercane was once plentiful on floodplains and along stream banks in Western North Carolina. It is a mainstay of Cherokee culture and traditionally has been used in making baskets, blowguns, mats, other crafts and for utilitarian purposes. The plant has been used by Cherokee artisans for millennia and is an important part of Cherokee culture.

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Field program held at the Highlands Biological Station

Environmental science major Erik Ahl, recipient of a new scholarship supporting the scholarly activities of Western Carolina University students at the Highlands Biological Station, says there is nothing he would rather do than catch snakes in and around the Highlands area.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to earn school credit than to be out in these beautiful areas catching and inventorying reptiles and amphibians for what will be the initial records for ongoing research,” said Ahl, a senior from Franklin.

Ahl worked during the fall semester as an intern with Jason Love, site manager at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Otto, assisting in the surveying of reptile and amphibian populations at several sites in Macon County. He is continuing that data collection this semester, as he completes work toward his bachelor’s degree.

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