September 12, 2018 Environment


I am currently fascinated by the concept of non-native and invasive species. When are non-natives bad? Always or sometimes? Invasive species are always bad. But sometimes non-natives can be good for you. Take the plant, Mullein, for example. It doesn’t belong in East Tennessee. It is originally from Europe and Asia. It makes excellent tea, […]

purple orchid

August 14, 2018 Environment


Somme Prairie Grove Photo Credit: Peter Gorman Creative Commons I recently decided to spend a few summer days in Chicago. The Windy City is a great place to take a summer vacation. The weather is usually excellent on Lake Michigan, and Chicago has an amazing array of cultural institutions and fine dining. When I mentioned […]

July 27, 2018 Environment

Wild American Ginseng and the Chinese Doctor

Dr. Iris Gao has moved from mainland China to Middle State Tennessee University in order to study Wild American ginseng. It just so happens that we have a lot of the root at Coal Creek farm in Eastern Tennessee. Dr. Gao visited recently with her colleague Dr. Elliot Altman (aka the hemp doctor) and Andrea Bishop, who […]

July 19, 2018 Environment

Grateful for Little Things

Last week I had the privilege of seeing AND filming a Northern Bobwhite (aka quail) at Coal Creek Farm in Eastern Tennessee. Sightings of these once ubiquitous little birds are rare. Having one slow down enough to film it is even rarer. The Northern Bobwhite (quail) has declined 85% in population over the last fifty […]

July 16, 2018 Art

Miami Mountain Rocks

Left: Ugo Rondinone, Miami Mountain, 2016. Stone, paint, steel. Collection of The Bass, purchased with the John and Johanna Bass Acquisition Fund. Photo © Zachary Balber. Courtesy of The Bass, Miami Beach. Right: Bouquet of Tulips by Jeff Koons is to stand in front of the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris and […]

July 3, 2018 Environment

Catching a Wild Elephant: Tennessee’s Piney River

There are several "Piney" River/Creeks on the Cumberland Plateau. The Piney River near Spring City, Tenn., is on the Walden's Ridge portion of the Plateau. Its headwaters join with Moccasin Creek, Bumbee and Duskin creeks, before finding the confluence with Soak Creek and flowing through Spring City into the Tennessee River. In 1970 the Bowater Southern Paper Corporation donated the land to the State of Tennessee.

June 26, 2018 Environment

With 50th anniversary of Scenic Rivers Act, let's double number of protected waterways

Fifty years ago this year, our political leaders codified the idea that our wild and scenic rivers should be conserved for themselves and for the future. Their efforts were modest; Congress asked each state to nominate two rivers. To accomplish this, these leaders had to be forward-thinking.

June 4, 2018 Environment

The Environment and Technology

New software, specifically crowdsourcing software, will undoubtedly lead to major breakthroughs in scientific research and the way we look at and conserve our planet.

May 23, 2018 Environment

Do more to protect the Kissimmee River - and our quality of life

I am a developer and an environmentalist, and I own property in and around Orlando. It is one of the most dynamic and interesting cities in the United States, and natural resources are part of the mix. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute study published in 2013 determined that wildlife viewing (excluding hunting) had […]