Category: Outdoors

Re-Wedding Myself to the Sun

I’ve noticed something strange since returning to the country: a noticeable feeling of dis-ease any time I stay in the house on a sunny day. If I haven’t gone out and sweated and done something under the rays of the sun, I feel incomplete and unworthy of the comforts of the AC. As I began […]

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If You Ever Get Tired of the World, Wake Up Earlier

This morning I walked to work instead of driving. Despite working a new job with a new commute, I’ve already tired of driving in each morning. As luck would have it, this morning I remembered I’d left my work truck at the shop where work starts every morning. So I walked. It’s not far at […]

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If You’re Going To Have a Lawn, Use It

Lawns are beautiful. They are also a pain to maintain. Grass takes continual cutting, weed elimination, fertilization, edging, etc. Often it’s imposed onto a relatively foreign environment, keeping owners working to maintain it. And yet most people don’t seem to really *use* their lawns. Sure, the grass adds an ornamental effect for beautifying a house’s […]

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If You Aren’t a Little Spooked, You Might Not Really Be In Nature

I picked my way carefully back to the beach from my quickly-disappearing sandbar fishing perch. I was barefoot, broken shells littered the sandy bottom, and I’d seen more than a handful of jellyfish washing in with the waves. What’s more, I’d seen one of those ancient and spooky-looking creatures called the horseshoe crab. Who knew […]

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The Essential Experience of Living in Charleston

I can see how you might find Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry to be a slow place to live. There’s no metropolis here, and while the city has its share of restaurants and clubs and a college, it’s not the most lively place to be a young person. Take a stroll through historical streets, […]

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Walk Under the Full Moon

There’s regular night. There’s regular day. But then there’s the few special nights every month when the full moon shines. These nights are special, but you might not know it if you live in a city – too much light pollution, too many street lights, and who thinks about the moon in a city anyway? […]

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Let Your Animals Do Their Jobs

There are few things in this world more beautiful than a bird dog tracking down a dove in a field of sunflowers, or a Labrador swimming back to you with a duck in its jaws. I’ll take that over throwing a tennis ball any day. Most of our dog breeds – and most of our […]

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The Badassity of Migrant Workers

If the pioneer and frontiersman spirit has disappeared in most Americans, it’s alive and well in migrant workers. Imagine traveling all the way from Guatemala to Maine to pick blueberries, or from Nicaragua to Alberta to tend cattle, or from Mexico to Washington to harvest hops. There are people who do this, and they are […]

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Get Dirty

Between yesterday and today I plowed a couple of fields, operated a dirt excavator, mucked around in fields and marsh, played fetch with a smart little cattle dog, and rode, groomed, and fed horses. I’ve come home dirty each night. And it feels amazing. On city days I would come home tired, but not really […]

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Why Hunters Should Take Up Nature Photography, Too

For someone who wants to hunt animals, there are few things more frustrating than the end of the hunting season. The winter and spring months are largely off-limits for the hunting of most kinds of animals here in the southeastern US. So what’s a hunter (or aspiring hunter) to do to get the thrill of […]

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Don’t Break the Spell

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5 Yesterday I hit the Appalachian Trail between Woody Gap and Jarrard Gap with a good friend. Over 11.2 miles, we hiked through beautiful mountain trail and had some great conversations on everything […]

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Working with the Sun

Photography for me has been a lesson in working with nature’s constraints. Want to take a photo of someone standing on that hillside? It doesn’t matter if you have a great subject, a great angle, and a great camera – if the hill is in shadow, it will be a bad picture. Before I really […]

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It’s a Different World When You Go for a Walk

There’s a concrete jungle of parking spots and new or half-finished shops right across the street from me. I’ve been driving past them near every day for three months. But I didn’t really see them – at least, not well, until I went for a walk today. That’s right: it’s taken me three months to […]

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The Magic of Long Trails

I got to the start of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain as the day started to grow dark. I’ll tell you it was an awe-inspiring experience to be there. I had just run and hiked the miles from Amicalola Falls on the AT Approach Trail, and neither the destination nor the journey disappointed. I’m […]

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If You’re Bored with Home, You Haven’t Looked At Nature Enough

It can be easy to be bored with where you come from. This is especially true if you live in a city or a suburb. After all, the cities on the other side of the country have Subway and OrangeTheory Fitness and Best Buy, too. You’re looking in the wrong place. Look to nature. Wherever […]

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Get Outside for the Holidays

If you have the good fortune to live in a place without snow, take some time to get outside this Christmas. Perhaps because so many of our images of Christmas come from up north, it’s tempting to just sit inside and gorge on food and entertainment this time of year. It’s not so tempting if […]

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