Anchor Baby

30 Aug

Whenever I hear the phrase “anchor baby” these days, I think of this:

I always get a kick out of Donald Trump staying awake at night, shivering under his sheets thinking of that.

It sure beats the alternative, which is thinking about how some people apparently think that denying citizenship to people born here is a good idea. I mean seriously, we would become like a middle-eastern nation with camps of second and third generation refugees. Thankfully, I don’t see banning citizenship based on birth catching on any time soon.

View from Oak Ridge.

30 Aug 0624152056

View from Oak Ridge. I collect sunsets these days from the office where I pick up my girlfriend. It may be a boring office park, but it’s got a great view of the Cumberlands as well as many ridges. There will probably be more pictures of the area to come. Sometimes the most ordinary places surprise me.


On the beauty of Rattlesnakes

29 Aug 2015-08-05 Rattlesnake head2


Rattlesnakes are beautiful. It’s not just me who thinks that, thankfully.

Originally posted on Ramble:

This is the year of the timber rattlesnake on the Southern Cumberland Plateau. I’ve seen and heard of more in the last five months than I have in the last twenty years combined. They’re sleeping in gardens, gliding across porches, crossing wooded trails, and swimming on asphalt. Most seem to be one or two years old, suggesting that we’re seeing the result of a baby-boom in 2013 or 2014. What might have caused such a successful hatch year is a mystery: perhaps a good mast year of acorns and hickory nuts swelled the rodent population, echoing a year later in the abdomens of fecund snake mothers? Another possibility is that the last two winters have been colder here than any within the last decade, pinching the rodent supply this year, making snakes take to the road where we then encounter them. Certainly 2014 was chipmunk-poor after the “Arctic Vortex” made…

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Hiking and Swimming at Fort Dickerson Quarry

21 Aug View of Fort Dickerson Quarry from the Trail

This is my recent GoKnoxville article about hiking and swimming at Fort Dickerson quarry. Enjoy!

While you’re at it, enjoy some pictures.

Clark Center Park in Oak Ridge

13 Aug 0716151832


Here’s my recent Clark Center Park article for the News Sentinel. It’s amazing how little is on the web about Clark Center Park considering how popular it is in the region and how many fun things to do it has nearby. The article also has some reassuring info about snakes.

Snorkeling at Citico Creek

8 Aug Clear waters of Citico Creek

Yes, there’s snorkeling in East Tennessee. Surprised? Intrigued? Read my recent News Sentinel piece to see more about my snorkeling experiences at Citico Creek in Cherokee National Forest. Go before the summer’s over!

Citico Creek

Silhouette: a short hawk quiz

31 Jul

Originally posted on Ramble:

A fuss of blue jays and robins. Look up:


Some clues:
unhappy songbirds
a tail that extends beyond the wing tips, but not too far
stout chest

Red-shouldered hawk. Not a Cooper’s Hawk? The tail is too short and the body too chunky. (Birders: let loose with corrections as needed!)

I used the computer to zip down the brightness of the photograph:

hawk3Coarse streaking: an immature bird. It took off after a young robin… and so the next generation relearn the old ways.

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