Throughout my life I have found great peace and pleasure in the woods and streams of my North Carolina piedmont home. I grew up summering at the beach and learning to relate to nature from my Granny. I studied Natural Resources and Philosophy at NC State, graduating in 1995. During college I worked as a Youth Coordinator and Camp Counselor in North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. I attended a 32-Day Mountaineering Course through the National Outdoor Leadership School and climbed numerous peaks out west including Mount Ranier.
After graduation I worked for three years as an Instructor with the North Carolina Outward Bound School. In 1998 I began the Expedition Program for Carolina Outdoor Education Center at UNC – Chapel Hill and had it accredited by the Association of Experiential Education in 2001. I mentored student leaders and directed that program until 2016. Our programs were distinguished as "high impact" learning experiences for the deep learning they provided students in a short period of time. I chaired and served on numerous student development and assessment committees and learned to refine programs so that they taught students the vital skills associated with critical thinking, collaboration and decision-making.
Our 20 acres of land is rich in history and natural resources. We are situated on the edge of a Triassic Basin, where soils at one end of our driveway are 220 million years old and soils on the other end are 580 million years old. The sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks are undercut by an intrusion of igneous rocks, providing examples of all of the basic types of rocks and a glimpse of the rock cycle in action! The geologic forces are so powerful and complex and can be seen in the endless variety of rocks and minerals: Quartz, Rose Quartz, Mica, Black Tourmaline, Garnet, Schist, Feldspar… A small, spring fed stream cuts through a small valley and empties into the flood plain of Swift Creek, the back border of our property. Evidence of ancient stone tool making has been found on the exposed rocks around the ridge where we live.
We have found ancient pottery shards in the creek and on the ridge. We have numerous projectile points from around 3000 BC to the mid- 1700’s. We have upland mature oak-hickory forest, bottom land forest, open field habitat and immature forest. The diversity of biomes allows for excellent foraging and medicine gathering. You can see forest succession at work and the differences between what lives in a forest or field or stream or creek and mostly at the edges, where different worlds intermingle.