A Visit to the Upper and Lower Rose River Falls

Join Randall Sanger, author of Waterfalls of Virginia & West Virginia: 174 Falls in the Old Dominion and the Mountain State, on a visit to the Rose River Falls. The Rose River Falls hike is a pleasant stroll through beautiful forest; the stream parallels the trail about halfway into the hike. From the parking area, cross to the east side of Skyline Drive to the trailhead. Follow the Rose River Fire Road for a very short distance, and then turn left onto the Big Meadows Horse Trail/Rose River Loop Trail. At 0.5 mile, when the Horse Trail bears to the left, continue on the Rose River Loop Trail, and at about 1.3 mile in, you’ll arrive at the Upper Falls. You’ll have to scramble down from the trail a short distance to reach the stream. You can continue on this trail to Dark Hollow Falls and then hike up the Rose River Fire Road...

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Ghostly Tales of Mississippi

Ghostly Tales of Mississippi by Jeff Duke is our latest addition to our Ghostly Tales series. A graveyard where the dead do anything but rest peacefully, a haunted bridge that was the site of unspeakable violence, the ghost of an ancient witch who roams the dark woods—Mississippi has long been regarded as one of the most haunted states in America. This collection of nearly 30 ghost stories by author Jeff Duke presents the scariest, most surprising ghostly tales of the Magnolia State. Horror fans will delight in these reportedly true accounts that prove Mississippi is the setting for some of the most compelling ghost stories ever told. Read them alone at home, or share them with friends around a campfire. About the author: Jeff Duke was raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, and began writing at an early age. He formulated a love for all things horror after spending untold hours in detention with books by Stephen King...

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The Cascades, One of the Prettiest Waterfalls to Visit

Randall Sanger, author of Waterfalls of Virginia & West Virginia: 174 Falls in the Old Dominion and the Mountain State, recalls the Cascades being one of the first waterfalls he visited as a young teen. The Cascades is one of the first waterfalls I can recall seeing. As a young teen on a trip to visit my grandparents’ place in nearby West Virginia, my Aunt Sue gathered up a few of my cousins and me for a hike there. I’ve been back numerous times since then, and on my most recent visit, I met my friend Kevin there. We had both hiked it about nine years previous to the day, and it was good to hike to the falls with him again. If you’re like me, you’ll spend more time photographing the many stream scenes along the hike than photographing the main feature. It is such an incredible creek, with cascade after cascade; you’ll...

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Hidden Critters: Animals Hiding in Plain Sight!

Naturalist and wildlife photographer Stan Tekiela’s latest children’s book Hidden Critters: Can You Spot them All? documents how clever animals are hiding in plain sight. Readers get to see Stan’s best shots of real animals hiding in nature. Here are three examples. The American bullfrog is one of the largest frogs you’ll ever see. Unlike other frogs, which chirp and peep, it croaks out a loud “rum, rum, rum!” Lots of critters like to eat bullfrogs. So it sits very still near green plants in the pond. This makes it hard to notice. At night it becomes active and hops around. The white-tailed deer stays perfectly still when it senses trouble. It’s much harder to spot this way. If danger comes near, it runs and holds up its tail, showing the bright white underside like a white flag. The deer is fast, like a car. It jumps over fallen trees and races away. Almost everyone has...

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The Amazing World of Agates and Fossils

Dan R. Lynch, author of Rock Collecting for Kids, talks to us about the amazing world of agates and fossils. Find out how to start your own collection. There are lots of popular rocks and minerals that people like to collect. Some, like gold and diamonds, are more popular than others but can be very rare. But there are others that are just as popular that are easier to find and even easier to buy at a rock shop! Agates, thunder eggs, geodes, fossils, and fluorescent minerals are all special kinds of rocks and minerals that you will see in many shops. Because not all rocks and minerals can be found in every area, sometimes buying a specimen is the only way you can get one. And we’ll also show you which dyed minerals to watch out for! Rare and Popular Collectibles There are lots of rocks and minerals out there to collect, but unfortunately...

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Announcing Our Upcoming Children’s Book: Hidden Critters

We are excited to announce the publishing of Hidden Critters: Can You Spot them All?, our newest children’s book, by Stan Tekiela. Many animals are excellent hiders. They hide while they hunt, and they hide to avoid being hunted. Award-winning wildlife photographer and naturalist Stan Tekiela is also good at hiding. He hides from animals to take amazing photographs of them! In Hidden Critters: Can You Spot them All?, readers get to see Stan’s best shots of real animals hiding in nature. Look at each picture closely, and try to spot the critter. Then read the clues and guess which animal it is. When you have an answer, turn the page to learn more about it. Hidden Critters is an engaging, interactive introduction to several of North America’s most interesting critters. Take a look, and see for yourself why this book is sure to be a child’s favorite! About the author: Naturalist, wildlife photographer, and...

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Minnesota’s North Shore — An Adventurer’s Haven

Katie Berg, author of North Shore Adventures, tells us why Minnesota’s North Shore is an adventurer’s haven. There are very few places in the United States, much less in the Midwest, that offer so much fun in such a concentrated area. The fact that it’s all easily accessible in a beautiful location makes Minnesota’s North Shore one of the premier destinations for an adventurer. Don’t believe me? Here’s the evidence. It’s a multi-sport athlete’s dream destination. I’ve been to a lot of places that are renowned either for their incredible climbing, paddling, world-class beaches, or their breathtaking mountain biking. Along the North Shore, a multi-sport adventurer can pick a few sports to do in a weekend and pack it all in at world-class levels. You can get an evening paddle in Duluth Harbor on a Friday, then wake up for a Saturday morning dive to the Madeira shipwreck before doing some hiking around the shore’s best...

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The Amazing Skills of Owls

In today’s post, Stan Tekiela, author of Our Love for Owls, shares with use three amazing skills possessed by these birds. I’ve always had a special place in my naturalist heart for owls. The reason behind this magnetism may be that owls are unlike other birds. For instance, they have large heads that are as wide as their shoulders. Their eyes are in front of their heads, and their eyelids close from the top down, like ours, making them look somewhat like people. From a distance, their low hooting can even sound human. Most owls are nocturnal and hunt under the cover of darkness. Add to this that owls are top predators, and you have a winning combination of smart looks, power, and skill. The World Through Their Eyes Owl eyes face forward like ours; but, unlike our round eyeballs, theirs are tubular. Compared to their heads, their eyes are huge. In some...

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