Friday, December 19, 2014

Last minute Christmas gift idea for the Alabama nature lover

Five Star Trails: Birmingham, my newly published hiking guide to Birmingham, should be available this weekend at Little Professor Book Center in Homewood, Church Street Coffee and Books in Crestline, Neighborhood Hops and Vine, Mountain High Outfitters, and now at Alabama Outdoors in Homewood. Books-A-Million and Vulcan Park have also carried it.

You'll find a kind mention of the book, plus a lot of other ideas at Joe's Outdoor Office Gift Guide on
All merchandise available from local merchants.
Couple of other ideas: I highly recommend River Dreams, a film chronicling Hunter Nichols voyage from Birmingham down the Cahaba and out to the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful, fascinating, sort of makes you want to do it. Except that it looked really tough at points.

 Another great documentary film is America's Amazon, an exploration of the Alabama's remarkably biodiverse river system. You may have read about it recently in print editions of The Birmingham News.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bald Eagles fishing and nesting at Lake Guntersville Dam |

Great gallery of photos by Joe Songer of juvenile bald eagles learning to fish and fly at Lake Guntersville.

Bald Eagles fishing and nesting at Lake Guntersville Dam |
"The action takes place most of the day with a slight lull around noon. The fishing starts just after sunrise and peaks between 8-10 a.m. and again between 3 p.m. and sunset.

If you want to visit and see the action for yourself, pack a lunch and bring a good set of binoculars. Also a comfortable folding chair comes in handy. Restrooms are available on the south side of the dam. Dress comfortably and wear warm clothes."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Audubon Society scientist highlights urban bird habitats in visit to Birmingham |

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East Lake Park heron 122811.jpg
A heron sits on a light pole at East Lake Park. Herons traditionally nest on the island in the park, but that could change if more trees are lost to beavers. (The Birmingham News/Linda Stelter)

Audubon Society scientist highlights urban bird habitats in visit to Birmingham |

National Audubon Society Chief Scientist Gary Langham was in Birmingham this week and pointed out that climate change and development are likely to decrease bird habitat and range, but city dwellers can help counter the trend by creating bird friendly habitats:

"Alabama species whose ranges are threatened include the wild turkey, the wood duck, bald eagle, mallard, osprey, and dozens of others.

The good news is that efforts that can help birds also have positive effects on a city, Langham said. "Urban landscapes and corridors that are good for the community in and of themselves, but also help support some of the species that are most at risk for climate change."

The Met Embraces Neglected Southern Artists - The New Yorker

News of the acquisition by the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art of of fifty-seven paintings, drawings, mixed-media pieces, and quilts by thirty African-American artists from the South. The pieces, including works by Mose-T of Montgomery and Thorton Dial of Bessessemer are from the collection of Atlanta collector Bill Arnett.


The Met Embraces Neglected Southern Artists - The New Yorker: Marla Prather, who will be the curator of the 2016 show, said that the Souls Grown Deep gift represents “significant shifts in the pattern of how the Met has collected art to date.” She said, “African-American art is not a completely overlooked area, but there’s work to be done. To my knowledge, we’ve never looked at a concentrated group of works by black artists” until now. “These artists have been neglected; there isn’t necessarily a substantial art-historical record for them,” she said. Souls Grown Deep’s research has documented a “whole important, legitimate world for scholarly research” that might otherwise have been lost, she added. “It’s been a kind of rescue operation that I’ve found incredibly moving.”

Tuxedo Junctions and other famous places -

Read this Wayne Flynt piece on the contributions of Alabamians to the jazz and the blues music Tuxedo Junctions and other famous places - ...