Santa train rides again through Appalachia

ftp://avweb:U9e3KxY@www.appvoices.org:21//appvoices.org/images/voice_uploads/krause.santa.gif The crowd started to trickle in by nine, watching the volunteers of “Dante Lives On” set up their bake sale on the concrete slab that marks the site of the former theatre. By ten, children were playing on the grassy lot that once housed the company store. The Santa Train used to stop at…

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It takes a universe: An interview with Thomas Berry

Last year, Southern nature writers John Lane and Thomas Rain Crowe traveled together to the home of ecologian Thomas Berry, in Greensboro, North Carolina. At 91 years of age, Father Thomas Berry is one of the most profound, if not most celebrated, spokespersons for the preservation of the environment in the English-speaking world. His books…

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NC’s Mountain Bogs Show Amazing Diversity

ftp://avweb:U9e3KxY@www.appvoices.org:21//appvoices.org/images/voice_uploads/Bog.scientists.gif It’s been a long day in the field, but sitting around a kitchen table strewn with plants, bags of soil and books, N.C. State researcher Brenda Wichmann and Misty Franklin, botanist with the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, still have a few bags of specimens to work through. This is the end of the…

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All in favor of cranberry bogs, please raise your forks

The cranberry sauce on your holiday table is probably from somewhere along the low-lying New England coast, brought to you courtesy of Ocean Spray. Chances are good it was shipped along with millions of other supermarket cans to travel across the nation, to be opened and dumped onto fine china dishes, and to be set…

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Two decades after “Dirty Dancing”

Early travelers once believed Virginia’s Mountain Lake was bottomless – or, at least, up to 300 feet deep. In reality, the mountaintop pond extends about 100 feet from the surface. And there’s a hole in it. Water comes into the natural 55-acre basin from a 500-acre watershed, but it escapes at a rate of 600…

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Appalachian Classics — Books page

Appalachia: A History. By John Alexander Williams. 2002, University of North Carolina Press. While certainly a scholarly book, Williams’ readable style makes this an ideal source for the casual reader. His narrative begins with the earliest European explorers and concludes with the current state of Appalachia, including the crisis of mountaintop removal. He examines and…

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Ten Years of Appalachian Voice

Anyone who has been paying any attention to the news lately knows that the planet is getting warmer and environmentalism is getting cooler. Magazine covers with people dressed in shades of green have been popping up like kudzu. Newsweek put this headline on its cover: “The New Greening of America: From Politics to Lifestyle, Why…

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Donetta’s Christmas cheer

From there, Donetta Blankenship kicks back at life. At 39, her failing liver struggles to eliminate the toxic levels of heavy metals in her system. Courage, John Wayne said, is being scared to death – and saddling up anyway. This Christmas, that’s exactly what Blankenship is doing. “With my liver problem, I just wonder if…

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