Chuck Sutherland, Tennessee's Ansel Adams

Chuck Sutherland is Tennessee's Ansel Adams. He knows nearly every rock, ridge and waterfall in our state. He's set out to catalog and photograph every site he can. He's a fraction scientist, artist, and billygoat. It has taken me two years to have the opportunity to hike with him. We spent the day in the deep forest of Overton County. I finished the day with a good feeling that I'd been a part of building Chuck's geological record of our state. Our natural areas are gorgeous and Chuck's art lets us see Tennessee's beauty without the chigger bites. And his science, well, his work may help us have clean drinking water longer than places that don't have people like Chuck fighting for it. It was a good day.

Hector's 90th Birthday

Chuck Sutherland brought a rock to Hector's 90th birthday party. I call Chuck Tennessee's Ansel Adams. Camera strapped, he is always in the woods, on a river, or crawling in cave slime.. if not, he's planning on it. I suspect the only reason we got to see him at Hector's home is because it's deep in the forest near the Pinnacles. Hector and Chuck love rocks – it's their thing. The stone is a chip off the hardest rock Chuck has in his collection. He plays a rock smashing game invented in childhood to test the strength of the rock. Chuck has scientific skills, but rock smashing is the fun density check. Hector was pleased, it was like watching 12 year olds drooling over the bid find.