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Winter Awakening

This morning a thick frost covers the ground, and wild geese echo through the hollow with a resounding cadence, ushering in daylight and what warmth it will bring with it as they spiral downward into the slough among the standing dead of flooded timber. Up on higher ground, robins and warblers and sparrows fuss and scratch in the leaf litter beneath the beeches, red cedars, and buckthorns. A bright male cardinal scales the branches of a holly tree, plucking selectively the bright red fruit that nearly matches the bird's own scarlet plumage. High in the top of a white oak on the hillside, a pair of gray squirrels chase and tumble up and down limbs and tree trunks, launching their weightless bodies from tree to tree, running a maze of intertwined branches, until another one joins in, and yet another. Alas, the struggle ends in a deadlock, and each returns to their business, digging in the deep leaves on the side of the hill and grinding teeth on the steel hulls of hickory
Recent posts

Avoidance

This morning I wake to the sound of birds outside the window. When the alarm went off at 5:30, I shut it off and rolled over, remembering this will be the last day I'll get to sleep in for a while. I had plans to get up and try to get some things done before my extended time off from work expired. But then, when have I ever managed my time well? So at 8 AM, I eased out of bed and got the coffee started, while looking out at the creek through the kitchen window to see if the water had cleared up any since the hard rain muddied it two days ago. The weather is mild today for January, and I would really like to try out a few new bass flies I tied this week when I should've been getting my punch list taken care of, checking off things left undone due to conflicts with my work schedule and family matters. When the coffee finished, I took out my journal, and filled a few pages with random thoughts, most incomplete and some downright nonsensical, until I had nothing else to

A Fisherman Remembers Jocassee Valley

In my search for information on the history and tradition of fly fishing for trout in the mountains of South Carolina, I was extremely fortunate to have made the acquaintance of a true all-around outdoorsman and native son of the Appalachians, Dr. Thomas Cloer.  Our correspondence so far has been by telephone only, but I hope that once this current health crisis dies down, we can get together in person. When I first contacted Mr. Cloer, I didn't know what to expect. Why would he be interested in anything I had to say? But I was pleasantly surprised when he returned my call. Within the first moments of our conversation, I felt as if I had known him forever. Maybe it was the kinship felt between two fly fishermen, or perhaps it was his kind voice, warm and familiar, a voice steeped in the tradition and language of the Southern Appalachians. "Joshua, I would be more than happy to talk to you about fly fishing." Dr. Thomas Cloer is Professor Emeritus of Furman Univers

Book Review: The Southern Wildlife Watcher

For many years, I have been a devoted reader of South Carolina Wildlife . I have spent countless hours, pouring over each issue with a thirst for knowledge of all things outdoors. I was captivated with the natural world at a very young age, and that passion was fueled by the beautiful photography and impeccable writing found in the pages of my favorite magazine. One of my favorite on-going columns in South Carolina Wildlife  is one called For Wildlife Watchers , by Rob Simbeck.  From the first time I read one of Simbeck's essays, I was hooked. It was some of the most compelling nature writing that I had read up to that point. What impressed me was the writer's ability to draw the reader into the story, and then present the facts in a way that is both informative and highly entertaining. Rob has a way of giving life to his characters (in this case, birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, and insects) that a reader can easily relate to.  Now, I am pleased to announce, that Ro

Mountain Bridge

When searching for trout in these southern mountains, the ability to navigate your way through laurel slicks and over slippery boulders the size of Volkswagens is just as important as your angling skills. The farther you find yourself from a paved road, the more aware you become of potential danger: a broken leg, head trauma,  a nasty cut across your forearm, with massive blood loss, or God forbid, the bite from a timber rattler. Somehow, though, the desire to find and catch just one more fish is far greater than any sense of self-preservation.  Maybe it's the eerie silence surrounding you each time you stop to get your bearings that causes you to keep pushing on. The white noise of fast flowing water over the backs of moss-covered rocks is calming, yet unnerving at the same time. The idea that you're not the only living creature in this deep cove keeps you looking back over your shoulder as the mountains close in all around. The cold headwaters of the Middle Saluda

Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose

My book, based upon the posts on this page, is now available on Amazon. Thanks for reading my posts, and check out the book if you have the chance. Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon once you've read the book. It will help my rankings tremendously if you do. I appreciate your readership. New content coming in the days to come. Right now, I am working on material for my next book, some of which I will be sharing on this blog. Thanks, Josh Lanier Here is the link: Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose

Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose

My new book is out on kindle! Purchase your copy here and leave me a review. Paperback will be released soon. I'll update when it is released. Link to order below: Wildcat Creek Journal: Selected Stories and Prose