Hydrapak Ruffner Mountain Crusher Ridge Run (21k, 42k)

photo by Kris Gutierrez via Instagram

photo by Kris Gutierrez via Instagram

In an attempt to balance the impact of trail races, in 2016 we moved to limit the total number of races to 3 per year. The funding from these races assists with operational expenses such as public restrooms, staffing, programming materials, and supplies. 

That being said, on Saturday, October 7th, Ruffner will host the annual Crusher Ridge Run Fundraiser presented by the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society. Please be aware that on race day parking will be limited, but you will be able to use the new sidewalks implemented by the City of Birmingham that lead up to the Preserve. Keep in mind that while the Preserve remains open to the public, the trails will be utilized for the race. Also, please be mindful of the flags which mark the trails. Please do not attempt to move these.   

Let's all respect each other and have a great race!

Thank you to the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society for their continued support of Ruffner Mountain.

More info here: http://runbuts.com/event/ruffner-mountain-crusher-ridge/

Birmingham Audubon Presents: Gosse Nature Walk #7


Friday, September 8, 12:00pm - 2:00pm

From Birmingham Audubon:

"The seventh installation of our Gosse Nature Walk Series takes us back to Ruffner Mountain for a lunchtime nature break. Join us for birds, botany, and the beginning of fall!

The details: Meetup is at noon in the main Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve parking lot, located on the northwestern face of the mountain, at the far end of 81st Street South.

As always, remember to bring plenty of water and snacks, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock, and seasonally appropriate attire. Since part of this trip involves a moderate walk up the mountain side, good walking shoes are a must.

(Mobility issues? Email us—we’re always happy to accommodate your needs.)

Trip leader: Birmingham Audubon Outreach Director Ansel Payne leads this trip. Email him to RSVP, or call 205-719-3678, ext. 2."

This event is FREE. 

Papilio glaucus, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), one of the more common species of butterfly at Ruffner, begins its life cycle as one of these guys, deep green and appearing perpetually determined due to its conspicuous eyespots. These black and yellow markings mimic two large eyes, which scientists believe serve to deter insect-eating predators, such as birds. In this, the fourth instar, or stage, of the caterpillar's life cycle, it is a leafy green. However, in the first three instars, it manifests as a brownish-white in order to mimic bird droppings on leaves. Clearly, the development of this curious creature is intimately and oddly linked to the birds that glide above it. And if the caterpillar is lucky that is exactly where they'll stay.

Visual Ecology Workshop with Doug Baulos: Fugitive Nests & Shelters

Join us this Saturday for Visual Ecology with Doug Baulos: Fugitive Nests & Shelters, an eco-arts workshop where participants get the chance to build their very own nest shelter using found objects from the natural world.

After a guided hike, each participant will be given the opportunity to build a small nest shelter for his or her new "nature friend." You will come up with a name, and a way to care for and protect the friend as if it were still in a wilderness environment. A guided meditation journaling module will be included in the project. We hope to see you there!


Night Festival Is a Success!

Wow, what a weekend! We'd like to thank everyone who came out to the first ever Night Festival this past weekend and joined us in celebrating National Moth Week. The atmosphere, the vibes, the food, the art, the conversation, the music—all of it was absolutely magical, and we'd like to thank you, Birmingham, for helping to make it a reality. A very special thanks to Doug Baulos, Michelle Reynolds, Chiharu Roach, the UAB Visual Arts Department, and each of the artists who particpated in Night Festival. Thanks to Stott Noble, John Friel, and Pete Van Zandt for their moth expertise, and thank you to Jasper Lee, Anna Thomas, Nancy Lewis, Rachael Jamison, and Daniel Long for their truly lovely musical performances. Thanks to Good People Brewing and Revelator for such fine eats and brews. Finally, a special thanks to Joshua Blackwell for rocking everybody's world with his culinary delights. I mean, just look at that cake!

If you weren't able to make it to Night Festival, be sure to check out the Alabama Museum of Natural History's Mothfest at Moundville Archaeological Park. Link in bio.

We feel very fortunate at Ruffner to live in a city with such an abundance of green space and folks who value and appreciate the natural world (like the moth). Let's continue working together to build a community that lives as part of, and not apart from, our nature. Till next time, see you on the mountain. 📸: Bob Farley @ bobfarley.photoshelter.com.


The Very First Ruffner Zine

The Spring/Summer issue of the Ruffner Mountain zine has finally arrived! In it you will find loads of color illustrations, interviews, science facts, stories, and a whole lot of ecology. A good deal of hard work went into the creation of this, the very first Ruffner zine, so it’s our hope that you cherish it as one more chapter in the Ruffner story.

For Members of Ruffner Mountain, swing by the Nature Center any time during regular operating hours to pick up your copy. Not a Ruffner Member? Don’t worry, because the zine will also be available for purchase on our website and at participating locations around the Birmingham metro area. Keep up with us online and through social media for a complete list of locations!

Nature Center Closed for the Fourth


In observance of Independence Day, the Nature Center will be closed tomorrow, aka the Fourth of July. The gate will remain open, however, so that you can enjoy all of our trails, views, and native flora and fauna. We'd like to wish you and yours a safe, fun, and free Fourth of July. See you on the mountain!

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." – John Muir