Monthly Archives: August 2014

Background on my new job at Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Institution, established in 1846 with the mandate for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”, today comprises 19 museums, numerous research facilities, and the National Zoo. The Smithsonian’s collections include over 137 million artifacts, works of art and scientific … Continue reading

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Longleaf pine regeneration

Longleaf pine was much more common in Virginia and the South in 1607 than it is today.  It is the classic southern pine and was a prime timber tree in the colonies and was important to the Royal Navy as … Continue reading

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Tobacco Heritage Trail in Southside Virginia

The Tobacco Heritage Trail (THT) follows an old Norfolk & Southern right of way in Southside Virginia.  We walked about a mile up and back on the part near the CP tree farm in Brodnax.  Besides the location in tobacco … Continue reading

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First tree farm

My first farm is still my favorite.  I have had the pleasure of watching the progress.  The plantation trees, about 110 acres, were planted in 2003.  They were the loblolly super trees of 2003.   New varieties have since been developed, … Continue reading

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Virginia tree farms

Coming up from North Carolina, we arrived today at the tree farms. It has been a cool and rainy year in Brunswick County and the trees have done very well.  They are clearly bigger.  The trees on the CP property … Continue reading

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Great Smokey Mountains

The land now occupied by the Great Smokey Mountain National Park was once the home to mountain farms and mountain people.  The area was relatively healthy because the altitude kept the disease rates lower.   Fast moving water provides less … Continue reading

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Tennessee Valley

Work started in 1910 on this dam and was completed eighteen months later. Ocoee No. 1 was one of the first hydroelectric projects in Tennessee, and remains the oldest dam in the TVA system. It is another example, BTW, of … Continue reading

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Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo

Most people in the past were poor, of course some were poorer than others and among these was Elvis Presley.  We went to visit his birthplace in Tupelo, MS.  It has two small rooms w/o a bathroom.  We could compare … Continue reading

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William Faulkner & Oxford, Mississippi

I read excerpts and absorbed a lot of his work when I worked at a bookstore in Madison when I read the backs of lots of books and introductions.  But I never completely read any of Faulkner’s books.  We went … Continue reading

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Memphis

Memphis has been renovated.  The area near the river is now occupied by nice condos.  The Main Street is really nice and clean.  Even Beale Street is starting to seem family-friendly, at least for families that don’t strongly object to … Continue reading

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