All assets associated with the tag: Tom Earnhardt
Sunday, April 17, 2022 -- "I do not know where you live, work, or worship, but the Rev. Roy Bradford was right: 'No human-made structure can compare with the grandeur of the natural world.' How did I gain entry to that world? A fish invited me!"
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 -- At the age of eight, I had not yet fully formed my thoughts about the nature of pecan trees and the properties of sunlight shining upon and through them. That would come much later, when I started rambling around eastern Carolina in my twenties and noticing how many farmsteads, large and small, had pecan groves off to the side - two acres, maybe, or twenty - of the main house, or had the main house standing within them. Sometimes only the old groves still stood, the homestead itself long gone.
Sunday, ,July 4, 2021 -- Just as each of us needs an oasis in troubled times, the special places that define North Carolina and restore our spirits need advocates and stewards for their long-term survival. If you have such a favorite place among the parks and public lands we own together -- a salt marsh, a longleaf savanna, a Piedmont river, a mountain cove, or a high rocky outcrop -- it's fair to ask you the same question I heard more than a decade ago from a young house guest from a faraway place: "Is this your oasis?"
Sunday, March 21, 2021 -- Looking back, we will all recall the separation from others and the use of masks around close friends and even family. ... Reflect on the notes written and received, the courage of our children, the support of a spouse or partner, the warmth of friends, and the kindness of strangers. ... I will remember important people and moments, but I will also savor the unexpected gifts from nature. ... A dazzling sunrise in a winter forest covered with frost and rare Tar Heel orchids on the hottest day of summer. ... Diminutive endangered woodpeckers that showed up just as I packed my camera equipment and swans that finally flew over the moon.
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021 -- Each year tundra swans do a round trip from the Arctic shores of Alaska and Canada all the way back to North Carolina. They perform this miracle of navigation and survival without the benefit of GPS. In the spring and fall similar navigation miracles are performed by millions of other birds and sea creatures. During the COVID pandemic we are reminded of our connections to people and nations around the world. We share air, water, and resources with others. Working together to protect these shared natural treasures is a necessity, not an option.
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021 -- I left the building where I received my COVID vaccine with renewed understanding that democracy and the natural world have much in common. Each is complex and fragile at the same time. To function efficiently, all parts must work together. In salt marshes, mountain bogs, piedmont streams and longleaf pine savannas, all living things -- plants, animals, and even fungi -- must be available to perform essential services for the whole system to survive and thrive. The way we view the world has everything to do with the way we care for the planet and the living things around us.
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 -- If we are looking for common ground on which to gather and heal, I submit it can be found in the nature. It is in the natural world that the rural and urban divide disappears. In nature each of us is an essential worker.
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 -- Although the pandemic still rages and more vigilance is required, let us all focus on the institutions and people who have supported us and gotten us through a year of crisis. I intend to honor the medical and science communities. I will celebrate the courts and the rule of law in which they are grounded. I will give thanks for the farmers, service providers, and truck drivers. More than ever, I will value the thousands volunteers in elections, civil rights, conservation, education, and the arts who make my life richer. Finally, I will redouble my love and commitment to family and friends with whom I have laughed, cried, and Zoomed through the year.
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020 -- It is in the darkest places where the stars shine brightest. Even though the pandemic is still taking an awful toll ... we have come full circle to a time when hope is justified. ... It's now December and the birds of winter have come back. They, too, have come full circle in the form of a round-trip. ... Lest we forget the same journey and same natural cycle has occurred for millennia.
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020 -- Show me a yard full of squishy persimmons, sweet gum balls, 'dangerous' walnuts, gooey pawpaws, sycamore projectiles and the cone-shaped seed pods of magnolia and I'll show you a yard filled with wildlife and curious people.
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020 -- Each year, and especially around Thanksgiving, I am buoyed by the abundance around us in nature. As trees shed most of their leaves, and clear winter air arrives, there is much to see and celebrate in Tar Heel skies, forests, and waters. It's a time to rejoice in the deliciousness of descriptive "group terms" found in the English language. Many of the collective nouns referring to birds, mammals, fish and insects have evolved over hundreds of years.
Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020 -- During difficult times, trees -- nature's pillars -- keep the sky from falling. Not only do they hold up the sky, but more than any other living things, trees define our sense of place and provide much needed equilibrium. Their shapes, bark, leaves, smells, and colors tell us where we are in North Carolina.
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 -- This week take a walk in a wild place and celebrate your access to the wonders of a Tar Heel autumn. Next week, vote for the candidates who support equal access to the ballot box for every voter and who will open the doors of opportunity for every child of North Carolina. Vote for the candidates who will unify this state and nation.
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 -- I motored along the shoreline of the Chowan River admiring giant cypress trees growing well out into the water. We beached the skiff on several occasions to look at steep sand cliffs -- distinct layers of shells, sand, and clay -- showing hundreds of thousands of years of coastal history. Standing on a narrow beach at sea level, we were acutely aware that sea level had been higher and lower many times over the last two million years (the Ice Ages).
Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020 -- The same shrill voices that have challenged and diminished our response to global warming and the protection of biodiversity are now challenging long established public health practices. In this election year, COVID-19 has tested healthcare systems, the economy, schools and brought sadness to countless families. At the same time the only planet we know continues to show alarming signs of a steadily warming climate, diminished biodiversity and reduced air and water quality.
Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 -- The natural world constantly reminds me that in change there is opportunity. I want to believe that instead of just exposing problems, the last six months have highlighted opportunities for improvement in education, employment, healthcare, social justice, and the way we embrace our differences. In this difficult time I'd also like to think that more North Carolinians now include access to nature as part of their American Dream. It is the peace in wild places, and access to other living creatures that give meaning to our own existence.
Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020 -- One day each week, instead of rolling and tossing, I drag my carcass out of bed and grab a face mask, camera, note pad, sandwich, and a thermos of coffee. I turn on NPR and depart Raleigh before sunrise. It makes no difference whether I head east or west; the most important thing in launching a predawn adventure is not to think too hard about it, or plan too much. ... The goal of these A.M. trips is immersion in the sights, sounds and smells of a wild place.
Sunday, Aug, 16, 2020 -- Hugh Morton solved problems in the same way he took photographs in the natural world. His best images started with a vision and a plan to achieve it. Knowing what he wanted, Morton pursued his objectives with determination, technical expertise, and of course, patience.
Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 -- There are ways to measure and assess curiosity, but to the best of my knowledge it can't be taught. I am convinced, however, curiosity can be nurtured and supported. For many years, I watched my own children and other young people stimulated and challenged by the natural world. Nothing elicits questions and fosters curiosity more than time in wild places.
Sunday, July 26, 2020 -- The cranefly orchid has become a metaphor, a symbol if you will, that just because we don't recognize, understand, or appreciate many of the living things around us, does not mean they are not important. The story of the cranefly orchid -- its relationships, its struggles, and its ability to adapt--is repeated over and over again in the natural world. As humans, we have a lot to learn from it.
Sunday, July 19, 2020 -- We have the history, tools, and the right people to lead us. How do I know? I learned it in a rowboat: The farther backward you look, the farther forward you can see.
Sunday, July 12, 2020 -- Removing the buffer, a simple barrier of trees, shrubs, and perennial plants, can cause a stream or river to be silted for miles below the breach. If the wound in the shoreline remains over a period of time, life in and along the stream--fish, mollusks, amphibians, mammals, insects, and birds--will be impacted. Be courteous, exercise responsibility and show good judgement. Buffers -- whether in the mountains, Piedmont, or in eastern lowlands along coastal rivers -- offer many benefits.
Sunday, July 5, 2020 -- We humans are particularly fond of celebratory sound in the form of great music, roaring engines and even fireworks. We also like to celebrate with "over-the-top" decorations like garlands, colorful banners and lights at Christmas. We are attracted to parades with marching bands, military armor, and brightly colored headgear. When we really want to pull out all the stops, we put on shows with aircraft performing aerobatics and flying in formation. With all due respect to the ways you may be used to observing the Fourth, you can't hold a candle to nature!
Sunday, June 28, 2020 -- When dealing with important issues of family, community, or state, there has to be a place of peace and calm. We are more effective problem solvers when we are able to step out of the storm, at least briefly. For me, that place of respite has always been the natural world. I love traveling to the wild corners of North Carolina, but with travel restrictions this spring my normal travel routine has been greatly diminished. Fortunately, the closest wild place and things exist in my own yard.
Sunday, June 14, 2020 -- There has always been another type of home in my life, multiple places that have one thing in common -- water. Throughout my life I have been attracted to water in its many forms. Whether I'm near a small creek or in a boat beyond the sight of land, water calms and restores. At first it was the farm ponds near Thomasville and Asheville where I grew up. At these magical places I knew every frog, salamander, bluegill, dragonfly, and turtle. ... No matter where you live in North Carolina, there is a piece of water to call home. In these troubled times, almost any stretch of water can offer a place for "social distancing," but more importantly, a place of calm and rejuvenation. At your home water, you can walk beside it, stand in it, or move across it.