Tuesday, February 21, 2006

We have crocuses. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 16, 2006


The Forest Service's website for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act program, which is charged with providing funds from the National Forest lands to schools and roads in rural communities, explains why they want to sell off land: revenues from logging are down and they need the money.

Note there is information here about how citizens can comment on this proposed land sale: we have 30 days. Also note although the list of properties is identified only by parcel numbers, there will be maps available sometime soon so at least we might be able to tell whether it's land next door to us that might be on the block.

How can we save the land?

Found browsing around the Stop I-3 Coalition website, links to some stories and opinion pieces that really make me fear for the future of this beautiful area we've chosen to live in.

Back in November, Newsweek ran a feature by an East Tennessee native, Abe Whaley, about what's happening to the land he loves: Once Unique, Soon a Place Like Any Other: It's heartbreaking to watch the Appalachia I love disappear under endless condos and cabins.
It only takes one look at the photograph with this story to understand how a beautiful mountain can be defaced by the desire of developers to sell homes with a view.
"no ridge is too steep, no mountaintop too high, no creek too pristine to bulldoze and build on."

Here's an editorial from the St. Petersburg Times, which compares the government's interest in the I-3 road to the slow response to Hurricane Katrina: From Disaster to Disgrace.
"But as recently as this spring, the New Orleans district sustained a $71.2-million cut. At the same time, Congress happily conjured up a pork barrel bill that contemplates, among other things, the justification for an unnecessary and unwise $50-billion interstate highway through the North Carolina and Georgia mountains. The same president who signed that bill rationalized last week that nobody foresaw the New Orleans levees giving way. Only someone who prefers to dwell in ignorance could have said that."

And, in the news this week, and even more scary, the new reports that the government is considering selling off hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest land. Here's a list of the potential areas. Listed here, dozens of tracts in the Nantahala and Pisgah and Cherokee national forests, including a couple in Cherokee county. These national forest lands are our last protection against the overdevelopment which seems to be happening everywhere around. There isn't enough public land already. We can't lose any more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More snow

It snowed much more over the weekend, and into Monday. Unfortunately we came down with flu so couldn't go out and play in it.
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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Winter storm

More snow again last night.

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Warm enough to melt, the sound of dripping water is everywhere. But more snow is falling.....

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Winter's finally here

This morning: a winter wonderland.

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This was not expected; at least not so much. 

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It came down hard last night: trees are covered.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This snow was leftover from Monday nights's slight fall.


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Despite the cold, it's been warm enough this winter until now that things are trying to bloom.
Apologies for the smaller photos but Hello is not working for me again; I couldn't get them all to post last night thru Picasa either. 

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Snow and sun


Today's weather.
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Monday, February 06, 2006

Joyful images of mountain music,  Posted by Picasa
Civic Center entrance. Posted by Picasa
Dark and dreary in downtown Asheville... Posted by Picasa
On a cold Saturday. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Forest in winter. Posted by Picasa
Never bleak in these mountains, the rhododendrons and laurels keep everything green. Posted by Picasa

Appalachian caviar?

Fascinating article in the National Geographic about how with the shortage of surgeon in the Caspian area, American caviar is becoming more and more acceptable. Much of the 'caviar' comes from paddlefish from the Mississippi/Missouri/Tennesee river areas, but, interestingly, trout caviar from Appalachia is also seeing an increase in popularity. One of the trout caviar producers mentioned in the article: Sunburst Trout Company, of Canton NC.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

We have had some lovely sunny days recently...this was Saturday.... Posted by Picasa
Window view, downtown Copperhill, TN, today.Couldn't resist the matching dog and owner.
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News from Floyd

Seems I run into folks everywhere who think of Floyd County, Va. as a lovely rural place that we all have dreamed of living in. One who has done that is Doug Thompson, who retired to his hometown last year and just announced the launching of his latest project, FloydCounty.com: 'News, Views and Entertainment from the Heart of the Blue Ridge'. Included now, bluegrass video, a photo gallery from the Friday night hoedown, news, and an investigative story about a local developer. Seems like more small towns could use something like this.

Speaking of Doug Thompson, don't miss the early morning starry night photo on his Blue Ridge Muse blog.