Wednesday, December 14, 2011



I have been using a Thompson-Center Encore for all of my hunting for the past 12 years. Yes, there are limitations, but for my purposes, it is a good fit. Not once during this time; have I needed or wished for another shot. I don’t hunt bean fields, clear-cuts or vast, open areas. I hunt the woods of the eastern mountains.  In these conditions, a firearm is carried a lot more than it is shot.  I don’t need a heavy rifle, capable of bench-rest accuracy, nor do I  need a lot of unnecessary firepower.  I have never been stricken by magnumites, and don’t enjoy having my eyes crossed every time I pull the trigger.  I have owned five different barrels for my Encore, and everyone has proved satisfactory. I have also found a few inexpensive and simple ways to make an Encore even better, as a hunting rifle.


The factory hinge pin, which holds the barrel and frame together is the first step in reaching accuracy potential.  There is a small amount of inherent drift, every time the action is opened and closed.  This movement is very slight, but to achieve accuracy, you must start with the same alignment of barrel and frame, on every shot.  The Encore Locker-Pin was designed by Cecil Epps of Precision Rifle to solve this problem.  This product makes sure that the mechanical lock-up of the Encore action is exactly the same from one shot to the next.  The Locker-Pin is comprised of three parts; installation is as simple as removing the old pin, replacing it with the new Locker-Pin and tightening an Allen screw with the supplied Allen wrench.  The Locker-Pin is available from sources listed at the end of this article and will cost around $40.00.


Encore fore ends bind on the frame and create pressure.  I really don’t know what effects this has on accuracy, but it can’t help anything.  It is a very simple problem to solve.  All of my fore ends are synthetic.  I use a rotary tool to grind away the excess material from the inside of the fore end ears.  Keep checking your work, until you have clearance on both sides.  Make sure you wear a dust mask while grinding. The whole process should take about 15 minutes.  I haven’t worked on any wood stocks. I would use sandpaper to do the same thing and seal with linseed oil. This process is mandatory to provide clearance for the Locker-Pin.


Nothing effects accuracy as much as a poor, sloppy trigger pull.  Send your frame to a good gunsmith; with experience in Encore actions.  They will be able to tune-up your trigger pull and smooth everything out.  E.A. Brown does this for around $75.00.  Your groups will shrink with these three simple methods and around $125.00 in expenses.  Your confidence as a single shot hunter will also improve.  My barrels are all standard factory barrels and will shoot MOA from a cold barrel with three shot groups.  I need to stress cold barrel again and I mean cold.  Not warm. After they heat up, strays tend to begin.  Remember; it is a single shot, hunting gun.


The Encore is lightweight; that is why it is a joy to carry all day.  Don’t make the mistake of choosing the biggest and baddest caliber that it is chambered for.  Muzzle blast and excessive recoil do not translate into an accurate lightweight hunting gun.  You will shoot better and harvest more game; if your mindset will let you choose a .308 over a .300 Winchester Magnum. I have personally been using a 7mm-08 over the past six seasons and it has preformed above my expectations.  Caliber choices for the Encore are nearly unlimited.  Factory barrels are offered in many popular calibers. Custom barrel makers offer just about any chambering; that you can dream up.

E. Arthur Brown Co, Inc.     Precision Rifle

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why Grandpa Carries A Gun

Why Carry a Gun?
My old grandpa said to me 'Son, there comes a time in every man's life when he stops bustin' knuckles and starts bustin' caps and usually it's when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin.'

I don't carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don't carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I'm evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry.
I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don't carry a gun because I'm a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am overwhelmed.

I don't carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

Police protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves. Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.
Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take an ass whoopin' unknown (but obviously brilliant)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Confusing Sparrows

It is now time for the Winter sparrows to dominate fields and feeders. At first glance they are all the same; little brown birds. A second look gives many frustrations with identification.

Let us take a good look at this first winter White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). Now you are already thinking; it doesn't have a white crown. This is a juvenile, the white crown is only present on adults. This species is often confused with the more common White-throated Sparrow. Notice the bill. White-throated Sparrows have dark bills. White-crowned Sparrows have pinkish-orange bills.
Two other species which may be confused with this juvenile White-crowned Sparrow, could possibly be the American Tree Sparrow and the Field Sparrow; both have un-striped breasts. Both have rufous-rusty crown markings. The American Tree Sparrow has a bi-colored bill and a spot in the center of its chest. The Field Sparrow has a rufous and gray head pattern; with a stout pink bill. The other sparrows that we are likely to see during the Winter months have striped markings and can be eliminated from consideration.
White-crowned Sparrow

 Photos (c) High Virginia Images All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shaggy Manes

Shaggy Manes (Coprinus comatus) are one of the latest edible mushrooms that we can expect to find in this area. These were photographed and the smaller ones were picked on November 1, 2011; near Horseshoe Run in Tucker County, WV. The recent snow did not seem to bother this clump at all. I picked some last Thursday; near Huttonsville. They had been rained on for three days and were pretty soggy; but still tasted all right. Shaggy Manes and Oyster Mushrooms are what we can expect to find, this late in the season; if we are lucky.

Photo by High Virginia Images
Posted by High Virginia Outdoors
(c) 2011 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tucker County Cormorants

Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) are not a common sight in the mountains of West Virginia.  These were at the Thomas Dam, in Tucker County, WV on October 3, 2011 in the late afternoon. It was a rainy, foggy day and this photo was taken at 400 ISO. The birds only stayed for about 3 minutes. They were gone by the time my cameras lens was covered with mist. there were twenty-nine Cormorants present, when I first stopped the truck.

(c) High Virginia Outdoors 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

PROJECT HEALING WATERS-Mountaineer Chapter of Trout Unlimited

We will hold the October Chapter meeting at 7pm Tuesday, October 11 at the Benedum Civic Center in Bridgeport. We will be discussing our possible involvement with Project Healing Waters. This is a group that has partnered with various fishing clubs and organizations to promote the therapeutic value that our sport can bring to the traumas of war. Our local Veterans Hospital in Clarksburg has contacted Project Healing Waters and asked for a program here. The Veterans Service Partnership Coordinator for Trout Unlimited contacted us in the hopes that our chapter might be interested in helping to start a program here in Clarksburg. If we think that we have a group of volunteers interested in working with this program, one of the Project Healing Waters representatives would be willing to come and talk to us at our November Meeting.
In addition to discussing our interest in participating in Project Healing Waters, Jason Manning and Tom Byers will be giving a talk and presentation on fishing for Northeast Steelhead. If you’ve never fished the tributaries of Lake Erie and Ontario, or if you’ve lost count of your trips up North, Fall is here and these BIG fish will soon be running in from the Lakes. Come and get the fever!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wildflower of the Month/October

Asters,asters everywhere; blooming in the cool October air. It is hard to look anywhere outside and not see a representitive of the Aster family. There are 27 recognized species growing wild in the Mountain State. They also have a tendancy to hybirdize freely; therefore, identification of individual plants is best left to those experts; with a lot of free time. The most showy of the bunch is the New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae), it is truly a stunning wildflower and it is in full bloom right now. It is the time of year to enjoy these wild beauties; they will not be there much longer.

The White Heath Aster above has numerous seeds, which are enjoyed by the Juncos all winter long.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Edible Autumn Mushrooms

Fall has finally arrived and the numerous autumn edibles appear to be in abundance. Giant Puffballs, Oyster Mushrooms, Chicken of the Woods and Lions Mane are a few that may be found at this time. The Giant Puffballs are good; as long as they are pure white inside. They are a rather bland mushroom, but they take on the flavor of what ever they are cooked in, quite nicely. Browned in butter and garlic salt works just fine.
The Chicken of the Woods is my favorite, they are superb when young and tender. This orange mushroom tends to stand out on a rainy day and can be spotted from quite a distance.
I found this Lion's Mane earlier this week. This is the first one I have ever had the chance to try. It was quite good sauteed in olive oil and garlic. This one was a little bitter at the core, the rest was really tasty. Most of the ones I have seen in the past have either been too old or too high up. this species is usually found on beech trees. Get a good book or a knowledgeable person and go out and see what you can find this fall. Good Luck.
Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians by William C. Roody is an excellent reference.

Photos (c) High Virginia Images 2011 All Rights Reserved
Posted by High Virginia Outdoors

TU Fingerling Stocking-Little Kanawha River

BCTU and MCTU will be stocking fingerlings in the Headwaters of the Little Kanawha River on September 24th at 10:00 AM. We will be meeting at the Arlington Community building on Rt 20 Near Fiddlers Mill (about 15 miles South of Buckhannon on Rt 20). Due to the remote and rugged nature of this watershed we will need as many able bodied individuals as possible to get the fish properly spread out. Participants should bring a backpack (if you have one). If you have been interested in participating in a stocking, this is a good one to go to as it is an absolutely beautiful canyon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chasing Waves In Randolph County

Randolph County, WV is not exactly the shorebird hotspot of the state. I never once thought about seeing a Sanderling (Calidris alba) here. Rich Bailey; the new state ornitholigist reported seeing some Sanderlings at the Elkins Wal-Mart on the morning of 9/8/11. I did not see his post on WV Bird; until that night. I went the next morning with hopes that they would be hanging around; still.
I arrived at Wal-Mart at first light; the water puddles had already dried up. I sat around a little while and decided to go look for some water. I found a puddle behind the Rent-A-Center. There were 6 Killdeer and 2 Greater Yellowlegs in the puddle. No Sanderlings. I scanned the parking lot and there was a lone Semipalmated Plover sleeping near K-Mart. I was getting ready to go across the road where some new construction is taking place (large muddy area); when a truck came flying through the lot. Two Sanderlings flew into the puddle. Nice. I was able to get a few photos; before a street sweeper came and ran everything except for the Starlings off.
For those who are not familiar with the Sanderling, it is an Arctic breeder and is the little bird that you see chasing waves at the beach. It isn't something that you would expect to find in Elkins, WV. These photos were shot in low light at 800 ISO and are a little on the grainy side. Also; I never post high resolution photos in cyberland. I always shoot RAW files and have high resolution photos available.

Photos by High Virginia Images (c) 2011 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This Monarch hatched from my strawberry patch, this morning. It was up there in the wide open attempting to dry its wings. I brought it down; this evening and put it in the protection of the morning glory's on the porch. It seems much happier. At least I got one !!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wildflower of the Month/September

Jewelweed is a common wildflower in our region. It grows in cool, moist woodlands and may be found throughout the highlands. there are two distinct species; the Spotted Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens capensis) is the orange flowered Jewelweed.  The yellow flowered Pale Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens pallida) seems to me to be a little less common; but both species can be found growing side by side in the same location. A creamy-white flowered form may be also found in Tucker County. A white and yellow type can be found in the Spruce Knob region.

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors

Friday, September 2, 2011

A First

The Hummingbird Clear-wing (Hemaris thysbe) is a very active moth of the daylight hours. I believe that this is the first one I have ever seen holding still. This one is at rest on a Spicebush leaf. It was pretty dark outside and I almost didn't bother trying to get a photo. I shot this at ISO 800; handheld at 5.6. I was surprised and pleased with the results; after some noise reduction. When in doubt; go ahead and take the shot. It will only cost you a little time and you may get something good.

Photo by High Virginia Images (c) 2011 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Butterfly of the Month/ September

The Butterflies Of West Virginia and their Caterpillars (Pitt Series in Nature and Natural History)
I sat for about an hour today on the edge of a wildflower meadow. I was looking for a subject for the September butterfly. There wasn't much happening; so here it is. The Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) is a very common butterfly of open areas. This species has multiple broods and can be encountered from late-April until mid-October.

The caterpillar host plant is the many species of Aster. The Pearl Crescent can be found statewide; wherever Asters grow.

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors

Photos by High Virginia Images (C) 2011 All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Hope

I was beginning to believe that there was little hope for any Monarch reproduction; this year. But; today I found several caterpillars in one of my favorite milkweed stands. I was able to spot at least a dozen caterpillars of various sizes. I didn't venture into the milkweeds; the caterpillars I saw were from the road.

Maybe the Monarchs born on Backbone Mountain are a little hardier as adults and can withstand the Winter better in the mountains of Mexico. Just a thought.
I am really glad to see a few were able to survive. This has without a doubt, been a bad year for Monarchs.

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors
Photos by High Virginia Images (c) 2011 all rights reserved

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Early Loon

The Common Loon (Gavia immer) is never common in the mountains of West Virginia. It is a unusual find for August, in this region. I found this juvenile at Teter Creek Lake in Barbour County; on August 26, 2011. These photos were taken on 8/28/11.

The Common Loon is often found on our larger bodies of water; during the Winter and early Spring. the adults nest on wooded lakes of the North.

This individual seems quite happy at Teter Creek Lake. I pulled into the boat ramp area this afternoon. I scanned the lake, hoping it was still there. the photos I took on Friday were fairly pitiful. I couldn't find the bird and was ready to go to the other end of the lake. Up it popped at the floating dock; ten yards away! I was able to take several pretty good photos.

I may never have the opportunity to get photos of a Common Loon in juvenile plumage again; around here. So I was quite pleased with the results. The other birds of note today were two Savannah Sparrows feeding on the dam area and one Green Heron at the western side of the dam.

All Photos By High Virginia Images (c) All rights Reserved
Posted by High Virginia Outdoors

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Required Reading: Great References

A Field Guide to Warblers of North America (Peterson Field Guide)Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton Field Guides)Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central AppalachiansThe Butterflies Of West Virginia and their Caterpillars (Pitt Series in Nature and Natural History)
Good reference books make the joy of discovery. The Summer turns to Autumn and activity picks up in the natural world. Many species are on the move; in preperation for Winter.

Those who are observant can always find new things. Good references are the only way to become satisfied with your new discovery.

There are many books available for identification purposes. These are the four that I have found most useful.

I don't know why I couldn't put the links to these books at the bottom of the page; where I wanted them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good News From Cheat Mountain

News Release: August 15, 2011
Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365
Steve Brown, Wildlife Resources Section 304-637-2045

Stream Restoration Program Restores Access for Brook Trout

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and its partners have completed a major project to restore spawning access for brook trout in Beaver Creek of the Shavers Fork River above Cheat Bridge in Randolph County. “For the first time in 25 years, brook trout in the Shavers Fork mainstem can move upstream into Beaver Creek to their critical tributary spawning areas,” DNR Director Frank Jezioro said
Unique in West Virginia, Shavers Fork is a historic, high-elevation, big-river brook trout fishery. For more than a century, the river and its watershed have been impacted by activities such as logging and railroad construction that have reduced brook trout habitat and populations. Recently developed species restoration plans have prioritized both habitat restoration and removal of fish passage barriers between the mainstem and the brook trout’s spawning tributaries.
The DNR Wildlife Resources Section has expanded its highly successful Acid Stream Restoration Program to include physical habitat restoration as well as stream liming, in which limestone pellets are added to streams to neutralize acid rain and mine drainage. Director Jezioro said “New grant funding for stream restoration became available to us through congressional appropriations and the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture. This has allowed us to tackle additional habitat problems such as fish passage restoration.”
To build the Beaver Creek project, biologists worked with key partners at West Virginia University’s Natural Resources Analysis Center and others, assembling a team of experts with unique expertise and skills. The team included DNR biologists, WVU research scientists, stream restoration experts from Canaan Valley Institute, and railroad construction specialists from TrakSpec Railroad Corporation, based in Hurricane, W.Va. Because the project site is located on a remote section of railroad, all construction material such as logs and rocks and heavy equipment had to be transported to the site by rail. TrakSpec’s expertise and equipment was critical.
In the end, the team built a new, fish-friendly section of stream and a sophisticated complex of culverts, the centerpiece of which is a partially-buried 10-foot culvert containing a simulated stream channel. The project also doubled the flood capacity of the Beaver Creek culverts.
Midway through the project, a major design change was required to meet a mandatory construction deadline and to provide a design that could be more readily used for additional streams.
“The most impressive thing for me was the way the team pivoted to an entirely new design and pulled together to build such a high-quality project,” DNR Program Manager Steve Brown said. He added, “Major thanks go to the guys at CONTECH Construction Products who located a 10-foot culvert for us in a matter of hours and had it on site in three days. I also want to thank State Rail Director Cindy Butler and the State Rail Authority, which owns the rail, for their help throughout the effort.”
Looking to the future, Director Jezioro observed that the project is a good model for future transportation culvert replacements because it complies with all current and proposed Corps of Engineers requirements for fish passage through culverts.

Stream Restoration
Stream Restoration

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Butterfly of the Month/August

We are butterfly poor this year; I went out this morning to choose a subject for butterfly of the month. The only species present in any numbers (6) was the Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus troilus). This is a large butterfly of woodland openings and edges. The caterpillar feeds on Spicebush and Sassafras leaves. The adult butterfly feeds upon many flowers; including butterfly bush, milkweed and joe-pye weed.

I have both Sassafras and Spicebush in my yard and the Sassafras seems to be the most consistent host plant for the species. The caterpillar is the familiar caterpillar with the giant eye-spots.
The Butterflies Of West Virginia and their Caterpillars (Pitt Series in Nature and Natural History)

Photos by High Virginia Images    (c) All Rights Reserved

TWO-LANE LIVIN- A West Virginia Publication

Just when the world began predicting the death of print publications, Two-Lane Livin' Magazine was born. When the magazine was launched from a humble home office in Stumptown, West Virginia, no one expected that within a few years, Two-Lane Livin' would grow to be the largest independent publication in the state.
"When we released 10,000 copies of the first issue," said Publisher Lisa Minney, "I didn't know if anyone would want to read it. I knew it was full of topics and information that interested me, but I didn't know if others would feel the same way."
The first issue was gone in three days.
"I told her she was opening a can of worms," said Frank Minney, Lisa's husband and business partner. "I knew 10,000 copies wouldn't be near enough."
Now, Two-Lane Livin' is printed in runs of 16,000 copies monthly, 17,000 during travel season. "We found that, in summer, travelers through the state were taking so many copies that our regular readers weren't getting theirs," Lisa said. "We decided to print more during travel season at no extra cost to our clients, just to get the phone to stop ringing with requests for back issues that we didn't have."
What has made Two-Lane Livin' so popular? Lisa and Frank and both quick to answer, "our columnists." More than 35 columnists have contributed to the magazine in the past four years -- all of them as volunteers. "Some of our columnists are professionals, others just felt they had something to share. All of them have a passion for their subject matter, and that's what brought them to us," Lisa said. "I have no doubt that it is that passion -- that writing from the heart -- that connects to our readers."
As editor, Lisa never gives assignments to the columnists. New writers are given a short list of writing guidelines, but then are allowed the freedom to create and craft their installments on their own. "They are volunteers who know their topic and field much better than I," she said. "Who am I to tell them what to write?"
Two-Lane Livin' began with nine regular contributors, but now features 27 regular columns in every monthly issue. Some of the current contributors, Lisa and Frank have never met in person. "Within the first few months we started getting e-mails and phone calls from writers throughout the state," Lisa said. "Of course when I tell them our columnists are volunteers, there are some I don't hear from again, but even so, we now have a waiting list of columnists who want to contribute."
Two-Lane Livin's instant popularity, however, has not been easy to manage. "We started in ten counties," said Frank. "Now we distribute to 18 counties at more than 500 locations." He notes that distribution is always a challenge. "Ice, snow, flooding, wildlife, road construction, school busses -- all these affect delivery. Each issue is different, and delivery of each issue is different. We never know what we're going to encounter on the road."
Delivery of each new issue also includes recirculation of any leftover copies. "On average, we only encounter a one percent left over rate," Frank said. "Which equals about 150 copies a month." Those copies are instantly re-circulated to laundromats, waiting rooms, rest stops and travel centers. "We work hard to make sure that our advertising clients get every penny's worth of their money spent with us."
With industry studies showing that an average of 2.5 readers come in contact with each issue, Two-Lane Livin' has the potential to reach more than 40,000 readers every month. "But I think our readership is even higher than that," said Frank. "So many people tell me they pass their copy on to others, who in turn pass it on again and again and again."
In addition, the magazine's readership doesn't fit into many marketing formulas. "Very often, advertisers are seeking a specific target audience -- women, seniors, travelers, certain age groups, or social classes," Lisa said. "Our readership is so varied and widespread, it doesn't fit into any one of those categories. It covers them all."
Even so, there is no doubt that advertising and supporting Two-Lane Livin' has served clients well. “I have been very pleased with my advertising experience in Two Lane Livin’," said Sharon Ours of A Domestic Friend, who has been supporting the magazine for more than a year. "It is the best response I have received in any of my past print advertising experiences.”
Kevin Lake, a West Virginia author whose new novel "From the Graves of Babes" has become the best selling West Virginia ghost novel of the year and #1 ranked ghost novel on said, "I'm sure advertising in Two-Lane Livin' helped make that happen."
Lisa and Frank are always thrilled to hear such comments from their clients. "The support of our advertisers is what makes it possible for us to offer copies of the magazine to our readers for free," Lisa said. "We love knowing that our readers support the businesses and organizations that support the magazine. Success for our clients is success for the magazine."
In a time when many are predicting the demise of print publications, what does the future hold for Two-Lane Livin'? "I can't wait to see where it takes us next," Lisa laughs. "I love being the exception to the rule, and that could only happen here in West Virginia." Like all marketers, publishers and other media, Two-Lane Livin' plans to expand on the Internet, but so far, the magazine's efforts don't always follow the current trends.
"Our web site, facebook page, twitter and digital editions are experiencing growth, but nothing like our print edition. We've discovered an appreciation for print that supposedly no longer exists." Lisa said. "In response to demand from day one, we've expanded in print to communities we never expected to reach. Even so, as high speed internet coverage expands in the state, we are prepared to meet that growing demand as well."
Lisa and Frank have both taken courses on social media, video production, audio production and travel writing and photography. They now offer advertising in both their print and digital editions; QR Codes to reach out to readers who use mobile devices; online purchasing of advertising and subscriptions; and send copies -- either digitally or in print -- to 37 states. "Who knows?" Frank asked. "Some day we may launch Two-Lane Radio or Two-Lane TV."
"I'd like to say we planned on becoming the largest independent publication in the state," Lisa said, "but the truth is, Two-Lane Livin' has had a life of its own since day one. From the very start, we've felt like we're just along for the ride."
Over the past four years, the Minney's two-lane ride has also come to include four sub-contractors who help serve advertising clients or help deliver copies; promoted over 250 regional businesses; supported more than 75 non-profit organizations; and expanded the operating budget of the magazine's local post office.
"We're a local business, supported by local businesses, so we're all about local," Frank said. "We work to keep our advertising rates affordable because a little money spent with us goes a long, long way. Not just in distributed copies and readership, but also within the communities we serve."
Growth of the magazine and its features comes in direct response to reader demand and advertising support. While Lisa and Frank have plans and goals for the publication, they have learned over the past four years to respond and adjust to what readers and clients want and expect.
"Two-Lane Livin' surpassed our expectations a long time ago," Lisa said. "It may sound unorthodox, but in a sense, we let it tell us where it wants to go and what it wants to do." The support of a new client allows the magazine to expand in their region or in the media outlet of their choice. The approach of a new columnist gives the magazine a new character. New lessons in new media make new options and possibilities.
"Just as it has in the past," Lisa said, "In the future, Two-Lane Livin' will become what our readers and clients make of it, and we have all the faith in the world in our supporters."
To support Two-Lane Livin' Magazine with your advertising dollars, visit For access to featured columns, columnist blogs, and behind the scenes information, visit

Wildflower of the Month/August

The Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) grows in shaded locations; throughout our region. It often grows in very thick stands. To some, it is known as the Mountain Raspberry. The large fruit is tasty, when perfectly ripe. To me; it is unappealing if it is not quite ripe enough or slightly over-ripe. There appears to be a good crop this year in Randolph County. I checked on a patch yesterday; the fruits will not be ready to pick, until next week.

Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia (Southern Gateways Guides)

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors  Photos by High Virginia Images (c) All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 29, 2011

Something Is Wrong

This is my joe-pye weed on August 2, 2010. It is in the same stage of bloom today and there was one Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and one Silver-spotted Skipper. I do have two Spicebush Swallowtails and a couple of Pearl Crescents. That is pretty much the whole show. This is without a doubt the worst year for butterflies that I have seen. On the bright side, I have numerous Hummingbird Clear-wings; more than I have ever seen.
I do not know what has happened, but something isn't right. There were quite a few tiger swallowtails here this Spring; when the Yellow Poplar was beginning to leaf out. They have since disappeared. I didn't even have very many Cabbage Whites bothering my cabbage and broccoli. I hope they don't return later to devastate my kale. I have seen a couple of sulphurs and a few Least Skippers; fluttering around. There were two Eastern Commas' in the compost pile this morning. I am hoping for a strong late-season performance from the butterflies. I have a lot of milkweed out there; going to waste.

Photos by High Virginia Images (c) All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

White Ibis In West Virginia

You just never know what may show up; anytime or anywhere. These juvenile White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) are common residents of the Southeast and Gulf Coast. They are found from South Carolina to Texas. These four youngsters are at Pleasant Creek WMA in Barbour County, WV.
The only other ones I have seen were near Charleston, SC in the 90's. I managed to get several photos of these. The terrain limited me to only a couple of angles. the grass was also full of ticks.
There was an unbelievable number of dragonflies and damsel flies present at this location, also. I was there in the early afternoon heat, there wasn't a lot of bird activity. One Solitary Sandpiper was in the foreground of this photo, but was cropped out to see the ibis' better.Other birds of note today were Green Herons and a Yellow-breasted Chat. Photos taken on 7/26/11.

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors                   Photos (c) High Virginia Images all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This Just About Says It All

I've been riding down a two-lane highway; just about all of my life

Trying to do things my way; wondering if I'll ever get anywhere, but where I came from:

I hope I'm sane by the time I'm done.

From Place Out On The Ocean

(c) Jamey Johnson: That Lonesome Song

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Still No Monarchs

I leave numerous milkweeds around my garden and normally have several Monarch butterflies hatching in my yard. My milkweed is just about finished blooming and I still haven't seen any caterpillar activity. I have only seen 2 Monarchs hurriedly flying through the yard. It sure doesn't look as if we are going to have much butterfly production around here.
I did see 2 Spicebush Swallowtails  laying eggs on my Sassafras, last week. This has been a slow year for butterfly photography. I sure hope that it picks up as the Summer progresses.

I checked out my favorite butterfly/milkweed spot on Backbone Mountain last week and there was nothing present; except for little wasps, bees and flies. The milkweed was blooming and in normal years; the area is teaming with Monarchs. I guess that we will have to wait and see if anything shows up.

Photos (c) High Virginia Images

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I just read that the "hunting" method of baiting; which is so prevalent in our area has been made illegal on public lands, beginning on September 1. It is about time. Somebody somewhere must have had a rod implanted in their spine. Now, I hope that this will be enforced; stringently. What will the Master-baiters do now?

I also saw that the statewide squirrel hunting season will open on September 10. I personally do not think this is a good idea. I do not believe that the season will be utilized. It is just TOO hot. It seems to me that squirrel hunting is nowhere near as popular as it once was. Probably one factor is that they can't be baited in and you actually have to utilize some hunting skills. I personally haven't hunted squirrels since 2004; when they cut down all of the trees around here. It was once; something I looked forward to and enjoyed. But; it is hard to justify when you can't just go over on the hill and hunt. Those 50 mile round trips to the woods, add up quickly.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Commas' Comma

The Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) is a common butterfly of the woodlands and streams. While it may be common; it is equally difficult to photo. It is an erratic flier and rarely holds still; for any amount of time. I was finally able to get a good photograph; showing the comma of the comma. This photo is untouched in any way and totally natural. The comma on the wing is as bright as it shows in the photo. This shot was taken on Glady Fork, in Randolph County, WV on 7/6/11.

The Butterflies Of West Virginia and their Caterpillars (Pitt Series in Nature and Natural History)

Photo by High Virginia Images

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Something To Consider

Many of you do not like to admit it; or just refuse to notice, but times are a changing. They are changing quickly , too. We no longer live in our parents or grand-parents world. Things are getting worse; everyday.

Do you carry a firearm when you are enjoying your outdoor pursuits? You should. I'm not talking about hunting; either. I am talking about berry-picking, bird watching, camping, hiking and everything else you can imagine.

Why ? You are now asking. The bottom line is that you never know what you are going to stumble upon, when you are outdoors. We are not just dealing with Cheech & Chong anymore. You may very easily walk right into someone dumping a body or engaged in a drug deal. Anywhere. Yes, right down at the end of your lane; maybe at the wide spot in the road where you berry pick. You never know.

One other thing that you may not be aware of is the fact that West Virginia is an open-carry state. You may carry a properly holstered firearm; unconcealed in most locations. (Be sure to read and interpret the laws on your own). The process for obtaining a concealed carry permit is pretty painless; you can do it.

Self defense handguns have evolved greatly in the past decade. There is something out there for everyone. I have pretty much settled on a Ruger SR 40. I went through several models; before I found something that felt good and I could shoot well. It is just a personal preference thing. I settled on the .40 S & W cartridge, for the simple reason that it will do anything that I would possibly need a handgun to do. The weight and balance of the Ruger suits me well.

If you have been thinking about carrying a firearm; now is the time. Your life may depend upon it. Always remember that law enforcement is an hour away; when you only have seconds.

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors             Photos By High Virginia Images   (c) all rights reserved 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Got Butterflies??

I just spent about 30 minutes outside in my garden and walking the surrounding wood-line. Numerous flowers are in full-bloom, the breeze was calm; but something was missing.

I saw exactly zero butterflies. No skippers, no swallowtails, no sulphurs; not even a cabbage white. Nothing ! Something isn't right; I have bee-balm, queen-anne's lace, ox-eyed daisies, black-eyed susans, butterfly weed, butterfly bush and other assorted species blooming everywhere. Not one butterfly.

Nothing was to be found except for one single Black & Yellow Lichen Moth. That was it. The bee population seems low to me also. I have a few of the small bumble bees on my tomatoes and I can see about a dozen or so honey bees on the white clover that is my lawn. No great numbers of either. As they would say in Alabama; "something just ain't right".
The Butterflies Of West Virginia and their Caterpillars (Pitt Series in Nature and Natural History)

Posted by High Virginia Outdoors     Photos by High Virginia Images