April Flowers

This time of year when the landscape is waking up from its winter slumber and bursting forth with a vast array of blooms and warmer temperatures, we all want to soak up as much of it as we can, especially the ephemeral wildflowers whose splendor is all too brief! Piedmont Land Conservancy wants you to have the opportunity to fill your senses with the abundant collection of some very special wildflowers found at the Emily H. Allen Wildflower Preserve in Winston-Salem. On Saturday, April 8th, PLC is hosting Open Garden Day at the Preserve from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., ...

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Meet PLC’s New Land Protection Associate, Josh Horton-Campbell

As a child, I was more impressed by feats of human ingenuity than by the wonders of nature. I grew up on a 12 acre historic farm property located in the former margin between the suburbia of Philadelphia and the open fields of Amish country. The property was bordered on one side by the lovely and strong-flowing Shamona Creek, which, at the corner of our land, ran under an ancient stone bridge into a deep pool and then a wetland. However, I was a bookworm, a tinkerer, and a bit of a homebody given my strong reactions to insect bites and stings. Thus, it was not the life ...

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Practical Work for Lawyers

By PLC Legal Intern Mike Casterlow: A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity that many law students very rarely get to experience during an internship: I left the office to explore the outside world. Specifically, I went to visit a piece of property on which PLC has proposed to place an easement. I went along with the executive director, the stewardship director, and a board member to view the property and decide the boundaries of the easement. In law school, it can be easy to forget that there is a world beyond the casebooks and memos. Many of my fellow law students ...

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My Urban Walk for PLC’s Hike-A-Thon

by PLC Hiker Otis Durham: Months ago, with Greg Keener’s encouragement, I agreed to become a Piedmont Land Conservancy Hike-A-Thon fundraising hiker. I told Greg I’d likely be in Portland, OR visiting my daughter. “No problem. Hike wherever you are!” I assumed this would give me good motivation to get out in the grandeur and beauty of nature that surrounds Portland. However, when January 1st arrived, I had no transportation, it was cold, overcast with drizzling rain and I was embedded deep in urban Portland where sidewalks and streets, not soft forest ...

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Nature Preserve Field Trip Fun

by PLC Legal Intern Paula (Marie) Booth: Over the course of the last two weeks I had the opportunity to participate in field trips with 3rd and 8th graders at PLC’s Knight Brown Nature Preserve. The preserve is a beautiful 190-acre piece of property that has three wonderful hiking trails. Each trail had stations set up and the kids hiked from one station to the next. They had the opportunity to learn about water quality, ecosystems, and the different species they encountered on their hike. I had the chance to refresh my memory and also learn a few new things. The best ...

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Biology and Art: Complimenting Each Other

by PLC Stewardship Director Ken Bridle: Vision and the ability to see the world around us is very important to us.  A large portion of our brain is dedicated to making sense of what we see around us.  We also know that the brain has many short cuts and streamlining tricks to limit the amount of detail that we need to directly observe to make decisions about what we need to do next.  If we catch sight of a long thin shape at the edge of the path our brain might jump to the conclusion that it’s a snake and our body is put on alert before we get a better look and ...

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Getting Outside with Kids

by PLC Legal Intern Paula (Marie) Booth:             Over the course of the last several weeks I had become increasingly frustrated with the constant use of electronics in my house. When I was a child I spent almost all of my time outside exploring the woods, investigating neat looking plants, and jumping over creeks. My son has grown up in a world overcome by T.V., PlayStation, online gaming, cell phones, Kindles, etc. While these items are great to have, they seem to take over sometimes no matter what limits are placed on them. With that in mind I decided a ...

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Turtle Adventures at Wolf Island Prairie

A follow-on post about Wolf Island Prairie by PLC Land Owner Mike Vaughan: Sharing a note from a recent morning after a late summer rain ....Because of the rain last night I figured that the Collies and I might find a Box turtle on our prairie walk this morning.  Even so, I was surprised, when we’d only gotten about 150 feet from our house, to find a mating pair right on the edge of our drive.  Fortunately, the Collies did not see them.  I realized immediately that I didn’t want to break up their romance, but I did decide to walk up to them to try to find out if ...

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Let This be a HOT One!

by PLC Land Owner Mike Vaughan: At the back of my mind, a little voice whispered an old Chinese saying that we should be careful what we ask of the gods. It’s January 2016, and I’m talking to Brandon Price, whom I’ve contracted to carry out a prescribed burn on 20 acres of our land near Reidsville, NC. Aided by my wife and Collie dogs, I’ve worked since 2011 to turn those acres into a re-creation of a grassland/prairie such as we believe was common in the piedmont of the Carolinas when the European explorers arrived here in the 16th century. The warm season ...

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The Science Behind It All

by PLC Executive Director Kevin Redding: I recently had an opportunity to spend a day along the Dan River with biologists from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. While I was hoping to sample the waters for some of the hard-fighting smallmouth bass known to roam the river, the biologists were focused a bit lower in the water table — identifying mussel species. To their credit they were much more successful in finding small little clam-like creatures on the river’s bottom than I was in landing a fish. Freshwater mussels are the aquatic equivalent ...

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