An eagle-eyed explorer becomes an amateur archaeologist when the winter-bare woods across North Carolina reveal piles of cast-off tools, kitchenware, and other glimpses into long-gone homesteads.
t. edward nickens
Away in a Menagerie
The gift of a friendly beast, whether hamster, gecko, or goldfish, can inspire holiday joy and wonder — so long as the critter doesn’t attempt a Christmas Eve escape.
Birds of Paradise
Handcrafted decoys have evolved from a practical tool for hunting waterfowl into a prized art form. Yet for some collectors, their value lies in cherished memories of the Carolina coast.
Most Improved Sports Fan
Sometimes, when his house full of Tar Heel fanatics huddles up around the TV, the Ramblin’ Man gets to feeling a little sidelined. Hard as he tries, “tackle” and “net” conjure visions of mountain streams, even during football and basketball seasons.
’Tis the Season
The Ramblin’ Man heads into Labor Day weekend with a twinkle in his eye and a song on his lips: For many North Carolinians, dove hunting season kicks off the most wonderful time of the year.
A Q&A with Our Ramblin’ Man
Each month, T. Edward Nickens roams and writes on the Carolina countryside. We sat down with the longtime Our State contributor to discuss his favorite outdoor spot in the state, the inspiration behind his columns, and his most treasured story.
It’s the Little Things
For the Ramblin’ Man, nothing defines the flavor of summer in North Carolina like sweet, succulent shrimp. He trawls roadside stands for these tiny treasures from the sea and sound, and he might be willing to share ... if you’re lucky.
All Bottled Up
For a kid growing up in High Point, a love of wild things came naturally, encouraged by a seventh-grade science teacher and a mom who didn’t mind when those wild things came home in pickle jars and pillowcases.
The Redbug Blues
Exploring the state from maritime forests to mountain trails, the Ramblin’ Man has encountered a rogues’ gallery of pests: mosquitoes, ticks, no-see-ums. None compare to his sworn enemy, the chigger.