Summer Botanical Hiking at Occoneechee Mountain

Mark All My Words

by Mark Miles

I’ve been quiet on my blog for the past four months. You may have realized this, or it may have escaped your attention. In either case, there is good reason. Since February, I’ve been dealing with a case of severe and prolonged polyneuropathy, which is the presumable symptom of latent multiple sclerosis. As a result, I’ve been far more fatigued and depleted than usual and have had to reduce my activity on this blog in order to focus on regaining my health.

In the interim, I’ve still been hiking and exploring trails in the area. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that one of my favorite trails is at Occoneechee Mountain in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where there’s an abundance of botanical life that continues to surprise me. On a recent hike, over the last weekend of August, I was able to…

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Life in Alaska – Dear Dad and all – Short Note From Ced – August 28, 1946

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons


P. O. Box 822


28 Aug. 46

Dear Dad & all:

I now hold and A & E mechanics license, but still not a commercial pilot. I have done a lot of flying tho’, and should have nearly enough hours. Have to find a place to move to by Sunday of this weekend, so am frantically searching for any thing which will suffice. Car is in need of repairs also, and I have to do work on it before then so we can use it to move with, then must cut this very short. Rusty came into Anchorage for a few days – looks fine and I think the Barrow stay did him good. Leonard and Marian send regards. I sent more promises of future and better letters.

Must close now as time and tired feet (?) try on the wild winds.

Oh yes, I…

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Un rare courage devant la maladie


Cat Daddy and I had a long discussion about the right time to take Louis Catorze to the vet, because investigating the sneezing would require a general anaesthetic and that is not something that we feel should ever be undertaken lightly. 

However, Catorze scared us witless when his usual breathy post-drink wheezing – a bizarre but utterly harmless quirk of his – sounded more like that awful mating fox yelp that sometimes wakes us Londoners in the night. And, when I checked his face again on Tuesday morning, I could see that his right nostril was somehow enlarged and misshapen. We know our cats’ faces like we know our own, don’t we, so we knew then that it was time. 

Cat Daddy took Sa Majesté to the vet that morning and, as luck would have it, he had a sneezing fit in front of her so she was…

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À ses souhaits


It’s happened before, Mesdames et Messieurs, and I don’t know why I didn’t learn my lesson from the last time: the minute I boast about Louis Catorze’s astonishingly good health, something goes wrong. 

Remember when I played Saint Jérôme to his lion and extracted a HUGE piece of grass from his poor little nose? (The full story is here, in case you missed it at the time:

Well, the little sod now has something else stuck up there. I can’t prove it but I know it. I am even inclined to believe that he remembers me removing the grass the last time, as he won’t leave me alone and even allowed me to look up his nose and down his throat. (If you have followed Le Blog for any length of time, you will know that he would usually kick me unconscious and leave me for dead for…

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