Newly published this spring at UNC Press, Philip Gerard’s Down the Wild Cape Fear: A River Journey through the Heart of North Carolina is the perfect compliment for any trip out to the Cape Fear River.
The first essay, “Three Elephants in the Basement,” allowed me to transport the reader back to a time not very long ago—just a comma and three zeroes ago—when the land that would become North Carolina was populated by three species of elephant and a menagerie of strange animals as large as any in Africa today.
For me, every story is a journey, so the format was natural: follow the river and pause at each interesting bend to reveal its story—its natural and human history, the way it has shaped our life and politics.
Now available: an omnibus e-book that combines John Yow’s delightful books The Armchair Birder and The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal.
Our featured North Carolina icon this week is the Appalachian Trail. There are thousands of different species of plants and animals along the Appalachian Trail, varying as the trail goes through different climates. There are 2,000 rare, threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant and animal species.
Our Holiday Sale is now underway! If you need some gift ideas for the folks on your list, our Southern Gateways catalog is a great place to start. Southern Gateways is where we collect of all our general interest books about this region we call home.
Fraser Firs are our featured North Carolina icon. They’re number 61 on Our State magazine’s list of 100 North Carolina icons. We’ve got 2 books on our recommended reading list for this icon.
This week we’re featuring number 79 from Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list: the Brown Mountain Lights. Unexplained lights often appear at Brown Mountain, hovering in the air when the weather is right. Our State writes, “Your best chance at catching the Brown Mountain Lights is Milepost 310 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, at the Brown Mountain Overlook along Highway 181, or from the top of Table Rock.” There have been various explanations for the lights, from scientific to legends and ghost stories. Today we have some suggested books of Carolina ghost stories.
Our North Carolina icons this week is the Appalachian Trail. It’s number 6 on Our State magazine’s list of 100 North Carolina Icons.
The Uwharries and the North Carolina Zoo are our featured North Carolina icons this week. Learn more about them in William Powell’s Encyclopedia of North Carolina.
This week for our North Carolina Icons series, we’re featuring Muscadine wine and Yadkin Valley wine. They are numbers 28 and 85 on Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons. Muscadine grapevines are native to the Southeastern United States and have been used to make wine since the sixteenth century. Yadkin Valley stretches from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the North Carolina Piedmont and is full of wineries and vineyards.
This week in our North Carolina Icons series we’re featuring Asheville and its most famous residence, the Biltmore House. Our State describes Asheville as “A different kind of place. Unless you’re a little different yourself. Make a visit and see.”
This week we continue our NC Icons series with loggerhead sea turtles, number nine on Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list. Loggerhead sea turtles are an endangered species that nest along North Carolina’s coast (and as far south as Florida and north to Virginia).
Today we have two books that will go along perfectly with a visit to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse or be a fulfilling substitute until you can make that trip yourself.