Tag Archives: didgeridoo yidaki

Earthshine Nature Programs Fall Benefit Events

25 Sep


Date: October 01, 2016

Time: 1-4pm

  Location: SANCTUARY BREWING COMPANY Hendersonville, NC


Date: October 03, 2016

Time: 5-8pm


Brevard, NC


Come to one or both events, bring the family and friends and join us as Sanctuary and Oskar Blues as both wonderful establishments will be donating a portion of taproom sales during the events to 

Earthshine Nature Programs! 

Learn all about our wildlife education, rehabilitation, conservation, outreach, science and renewable energy programming. 

Meet many of our education animals including Rex and Rosie the Tortoises, Scar and Slip the Rat snakes, and Ashley the Boa Constrictor and more!

Help us raise funds for our newest project at our science, nature and wildlife rehabilitation and conservation center – a 5.3 kW solar energy system that will help us power most of the heating, lighting, and habitat life support systems for our education and rehabilitation animals as well as and the lighting, audio visual and computing systems for our classroom…and charge our all electric Nissan Leaf outreach vehicle with 100% renewably generated power from the sun!


*Learn more about our solar energy project in the detailed description at the bottom of this blog post*

Meet special guest Pierce Curren of TV’s Scaly Adventures and hear all about his adventures with his family sharing his love of reptiles and nature with everyone he meets! 


Local artists will be on hand offering their unique wildlife and nature themed art, photography, and jewelry with a portion of the proceeds directly supporting our work. 


Steve and friends will start off the event with a one of a kind music jam with indigenous instruments such as the didgeridoo, flute and drum.  If you play, please bring an instrument and join in on the fun!

At the Oskar Blues event we will also have an Electric Vehicle car show where you can learn all about and maybe even take a ride in an electric car!  Members of the Blue Ridge Electric Vehicle Club will have several sleek EVs on display including possibly the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and BMW i3 on display!

Come learn how you can go electric and kick gas! 


All donations to our 501c3 are tax deductible.

Receive updates from our programs on Facebook at Earthshine Nature Programs and on the Earthshine Nature Blog at www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

If you are unable to make it to one of our fundraisers and would still like to support us, please feel free to visit our Amazon wishlist or the donate page on our website where you will find a Paypal donate link.



Earthshine Nature Programs is a 501c3 nonprofit wildlife conservation and rehabilitation, nature and science education organization, and is a separate business entity from Earthshine Discovery Center.

Please support our

Solar Energy Project

Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3) and Trails Science is working to develop an environmental education classroom and wildlife rehabilitation facility that is powered by the sun!  Our goal with this project is to drastically reduce our carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels by taking advantage of the most renewable energy source – our nearest star.

This 5.3 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array will not only supply our classroom with renewably generated power but it will be a bold teaching tool for the students of Trails Carolina, The Academy at Trails Carolina, and our visitors. It will offer our students a myriad of learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, environmental education, and conservation courses. It will also provide web interface technologies that will allow the system to be monitored in real-time by students in class or from anywhere on the planet!

Once online, this solar farm will not only provide much of the power used by the science classroom but it will also provide enough solar generated electricity to power our nonprofit outreach vehicle, an all-electric Nissan Leaf.


Our students and visitors will benefit greatly from the applied use of renewable energy technologies in class by experiencing the first hand functioning of real world, renewable energy applications such as solar-electric power, and electric vehicles.  In our unique solar powered science classroom they will bust through the negative myths often associated with these technologies by assisting with the maintenance of, and studying of the most up-to-date systems in class and on class field trips to local renewable energy installations and events.  After leaving Trails our graduates will be more up to date, connected, and ready to accept the reality of, and make use of, sustainable clean energy power and transportation systems to power their lives and their futures.

To make this grand vision a reality we have partnered with Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute (BBSI) in Towensend, Tennessee with the goal to install a state of the art off-grid solar array that will allow the Trails Science and Nature Center to one day become fully self-powered by the sun!

The students and I have already begun site preparations and will begin installing the solar array in the early fall of 2016 and depending on granting/donation support we hope to have the system online by mid-November if not before.

The following outline shows what components we have already received and the yet to be sourced components.  Two of the three primary components needed to make this project a reality have already been donated – they include;

1.The Solar Modules (Panels). 22 240watt solar modules – Donated by Frank Marshall of FLS Energy, a local utility scale solar installation company in Asheville, NC.  Approximate value: $10,000

2.The charge controllers.  Two (2) Morningstar 600 Volt charge controllers with DC disconnects – Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $3,600. These devices will monitor the output of the solar modules and the needs of the batteries and regulate the power as the batteries need it.  They are “smart” devices so we will be able to monitor their status from anywhere with an internet connection.

3.Electrical Panels, Wiring and Conduit for Solar Control System. Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $600.00

4.Aluminum Racking for solar panels. Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $3,922

Our remaining needs to make this classroom solar project a reality

  1. The battery storageyet to be acquired. This project will rely on 24 Trojan T145 EHPT 6 Volt golf cart batteries to store power for use at night and on cloudy days.


Need: 24 Trojan T145 EHPT 6 volt batteries. Estimated cost: $5256.  Donate via our wish list on Amazon or special ordered locally from Batteries+Bulbs in Asheville to save on shipping costs.

2. The power inverteryet to be acquired.

The remaining primary component for this system to work as planned is the power inverter.  This device ties everything together, converts DC to AC power, and is the “brains” of the system keeping everything that needs power running smoothly and efficiently.


Need: 1 Aims 6000 Watt 48V Pure Sine Power Inverter / Grid Charger / Transfer Switch PICOGLF60W48V

Cost: $1392.00 via: http://invertersrus.com/product/aims-picoglf60w48v120v/

You may also donate this unit using our wishlist on Amazon.com


3. AIMS Power Remote Switch with LCD Monitoring Screen

This device will allow the students and I to monitor the solar power system remotely from the classroom.


Cost $139.00

Donate via our Amazon wish list.


  1. Hidden Costs: $2,500 – These are the unseen costs that will inevitably come up during construction and upgrades to the ENP/Trails Science and Nature Center. Should this not be needed immediately, it will be deposited into the ENP account and used for future needs.

Primary Supporters of Our Solar Project

Black Bear Solar Institute

Bob Harris – Executive Director


Bob Harris:bob.harris@blackbearsolarinstitute.org

Bob understands the value solar holds to the future and has generously donated many of the components needed to construct this system as well as new, energy efficient computers for the classroom and is providing pro bono guidance, technical expertise, and installation assistance to see this project to fruition.

FLS Energy


Frank Marshall: frank@flsenergy.com

Frank has graciously taken my students and I on guided tours of local grid scale solar installations that his company has installed for Duke Energy.  He also sees the value in supporting solar energy education for our students and has generously donated 20 new 240 watt solar modules to our classroom’s solar project.

Jim Hardy

Jim is a master carpenter, passionate educator, Sierra Club member and founder of Charge Transylvania County.  Jim is also a wildlife advocate and drives a fully electric vehicle.  Jim will also be providing pro bono guidance, construction technical expertise, and installation assistance to see this project to fruition.

Email: jh3@citcom.net

 Trails Carolina

Supports the project and its great value to the students and the organization.

 The Academy at Trails Carolina

Supports the project and its great value to the students and the organization.

Jewell Mimms donated $1000 – THANK YOU!!


Option 1: Donate to our project and be part of something amazing that will truly make a difference in the education of countless students, campers, and visitors to our science and nature center over the lifetime of the project!

In our great and humble thanks to those that have and will assist us with this grand education and conservation undertaking, the students and I will create a one of a kind informational plaque that outlines the benefits of the project, all the student groups that worked together to construct the project, and lists all of the primary supporters* of the project.  The large version of this plaque will forever be proudly displayed on the solar array for all future students and visitors to see.  A smaller version of the plaque will also be permanently mounted in the classroom alongside the solar array’s information and monitoring station.


Level 1. Up to $100  Charged Particle

Level 1. $100 – $200  Shiny Soldier*

Level 2. $200 – $500   Captain Photon*

Level 3. $500 – $1000   Ray of Hope*

Level 4. $1000 – $5000  Enlightened Provider*

Level 5. $5000 and up!     Lord of Light and Wonder*

As stated above all primary supporters* (unless you choose to opt out) will have their names listed on the solar array commemorative plaques as well as having your names listed on our website and a spacial blog posting.

Option 2 – BONUS PERK: Those that donate $500 or more will receive your choice of either beautiful custom made locally crafted jewelry and/or artwork made with fragments of actual solar cells similar to the ones used in the construction of our solar array.  These solar cell fragments are the remains of a very successful classroom solar pilot project that the students and I conducted over two years ago. This project created two student built small solar panels that are still online and providing clean power to one of our animal habitats to this day.  This small array will be coupled with the large array to provide even more power to our systems when all is complete.

These one of a kind items will take the form of either;


-Tie/Lapel pin


-Mixed media artwork

-A combination of the above listed perks

-Or you may submit your own custom suggestion

NOTE: Perks to be granted to supporters after the project officially goes online.




A note from ENP Executive Director Steve O’Neil 

I am passionate about sharing my love, curiosity, fascination, and respect for nature, wildlife and wild places with everyone I meet – especially my classroom and outreach programming students and participants.  It is the students and children of today that will make the big wildlife, nature, science, and energy decisions of the future.  It is my goal to give them the best possible unbiased, science supported, exposure to the best ethics and best practices of these most important disciplines so they will be better informed and ready to change the world for the better as they mature.   

I feel that by demonstrating what is possible, and working together toward the common goal of creating and maintaining a better world for all living things today and into the future by using clean technologies that are readily available to us, we will be able to make all of our dreams come true for the betterment and health of us all and in support of the planet that supports us.  

I am working very hard to complete all of these upgrades and enhancements under my very small wildlife, nature and science conservation, education, and outreach organization Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3) (Tax ID 27-3465594) which is supported primarily through monetary, resource, and time donations from concerned individuals just like you. To cover the remaining costs I am working on acquiring donations from any and all sources that would like to support us. 

Please consider supporting us in any way you are able.  If you are unable to support us at this time please, if you know of any possible monetary or component donation sources and/or granting options please do share this document with them.   

Every little bit helps us get closer to our grand goals that will serve to upgrade our education animal habitats, classroom equipment, power our education facility and outreach vehicle via the endless energy from the sun, and most importantly – educate and inspire middle and high school aged children on the proper respect and understanding of wildlife and wild places and the wise and responsible application of clean energy resources that we can all use to provide for, and empower our shared futures together on spaceship earth. 


Steve O’Neil

Executive Director of Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3)


Naturalist with Trails Carolina and The Academy at Trails Carolina


(828) 606-8939

134 E. Dogwood Lane

Pisgah Forest, NC 28768


Mad Mountain Mud Run–THE MOVIE!

18 Jun


It has been over two weeks since the Mad Mountain Mud Run, and finally the editing is complete and the video of the mudtastic event is complete!  Follow the Earthshine Nature Nerds from Steve’s helmet mounted GoPro camera as they run, crawl, slide, slosh and squish their way through over three mikes of mud covered obstacles in the name of wildlife and nature conservation and children’s education.

If you are unable to view the video above then follow this link to the video on Youtube.

Thanks to many of you, the Mad Mountain Mud Run Fundraiser was a success for both Earthshine Nature Programs and Hands On! A Child’s Gallery!

If you sponsored us in the mud run, your supporter t-shirts are in the works as I write this and I will be getting them to you soon.

THANK YOU ALL to all of our SUPPORTERS and FRIENDS who worked to help make this unique mud covered fundraiser a great success!  Many, but not all of you were featured on the back of our mud run jersey that we wore in the race!


Without all of you, Earthshine Nature Programs would simply not happen.

If you would like to donate to Earthshine Nature Programs please click here.

Earthshine Nature Programs is not affiliated with any and all ads that may appear below this line.


New nature photos from ENP!

27 Oct

Check out several new photos from adventures with Earthshine Nature Programs from over the last few weeks–enjoy!

Turtle of Change visit’s Asheville, NC street buskers and Xavier Rudd in concert!

24 Oct

On October 20th the Blue Turtle award known as “Turtle Grupo Tortuguero” made a special trip to Asheville, North Carolina. While there it witnessed some street buskers playing their didgeridoo (yidaki) for good and positive change. The turtle then was present at a concert by “multi-instrumentalist, world class surfer, animal rights activist and nature conservationist” Xavier Rudd. The next day the turtle journeyed to the top of a remote granitic dome in the middle of the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC for a look at the fall scenery and a special didgeridoo performance by Earthshine Nature Programs Naturalist Steve O’Neil. View the video of highlights from the adventure below.

My challenge for you reading this: PLEASE do something good today for your family, friends, community, animals and Nature. Pass the positive energy along and keep it moving. Let’s create a wave of good and positive, lasting change that will make your communities and the world a better place for all creatures.

Musicians in order of appearance: Steve O’Neil, Chance Feimster, John Vorus and Xavier Rudd.

For more about Earthshine Nature Programs and Steve O’Neil visit: www.earthshinenature.com and www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

For John Vorus visit: www.johnvorus.com

For Xavier Rudd visit: www.xavierrudd.com

Learn more about the Blue Turtle/Turtle of Change Award at www.blueturtle.com

Turtles of Change!

30 Aug

Recently Earthshine Nature Programs Executive Director Steve O’Neil was awarded a very special award known as the “Turtle of Change”

This award is a small bronze statue of a sea turtle.

It is special because it is the only one in the USA and it is traveling all over the world visiting people who are working to make a good and lasting change in the community or the planet.

The turtle called “Turtle Grupo Tortugero” was presented to Steve by the previous recipient of the turtle Alan Cameron.  Alan is also known as “The Salamander Whisperer” because of his ability to find endangered Green Salamanders where no one else can find them. Alan has been volunteering with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for many years and has helped them find thousands of Green Salamander sites all over WNC.

Alan presents Steve with the Turtle of Change.

Steve wrote the following in the Blue Turtle blog:

After receiving Turtle Grupo Tortugero (TSN004) first I took it to meet the education and turtles at Earthshine Mountain Lodge and Nature Center (see last photo). I found four of the turtles who were interested in meeting the turtle–the other seven did not want to have their photo placed on the internet 🙂

Three of the Earthshine turtles are Eastern Box Turtles and one is a Redfoot Tortoise. All of our turtles have either lost their homes due to development, are ex-pets or were badly injured due to unfortunate meetings with vehicles, lawn mowers or dogs. Tripod–on the bottom left–is our mascot. She lost her right rear leg after she was hit by a car in 2007. The turtle to Tripod’s left is Lucky. She was also hit by a car and suffered severe trauma to her left rear leg and shell but she has recovered nicely. The turtle to Lucky’s left is Crash. She was hit by a car and had such severe injuries that I did not think she would survive. After a visit to our veterinarian Dr. Coleman, I patched her up with epoxy, gave her some antibiotic injections and fed her loads of box turtle favorites and she has made a full recovery! The final turtle is Charlie. I found her at a reptile show and felt sorry for her so I gave her a great home at our nature center. Sadly, all of the turtles at Earthshine Lodge and Nature Center cannot be released due to their circumstances. They are however wonderful education animals that help teach people about the wonder and beauty of nature and why animals like the Eastern box turtle need understanding and protection.

After visiting with the turtles at Earthshine Lodge the Turtle of Change traveled with me to a local Veterinary Clinic–Sweeten Creek Animal and Bird Hospital–where I met up with Dr. Lee Bolt and Dr. Ron Davis to assist with the radio transmitter implantation surgery on a Timber Rattlesnake. Take a look at the photo of the turtle on the operating table with the rattlesnake, Dr. Davis (in yellow) and Dr. Bolt. The surgery went flawlessly and the snake has recovered and has been released back into the wild. Dr. Davis will track the snakes movements over the next few years in order to learn as much as possible about the life of the Timber Rattlesnake. The knowledge he gains will be imparted to his students who will become future wildlife biologists, conservationists and naturalists.

The next stop for the turtle was at a remote rock outcrop known as the “Secret Place” on the side of a mountain near Brevard, NC. USA. This rock shelter was used by the Native Americans as evidenced by the petroglyphs on top of the rock. I teamed up with my friend (and didgeridoo virtuoso) John Vorus to play didgeridoo (yidaki) over the turtle in this amazing power place. We first played our yidaki to the turtle on top of the rock then moved down under to the rock shelter and recorded a video. Take a look at the photo on top of the rock and video of our time at “The Secret Place.” View the short video of our concert for the turtle of change here.


The final stop for the turtle (so far) was when it followed me to the office of Dr. Coleman DVM. Dr. Coleman is a wonderful veterinarian and lover of all wildlife and my wildlife vet. I snapped the photograph of Dr. Coleman and the brass turtle while he was treating a wild box turtle. Thank you Dr. Coleman for all that you to for wildlife and for Earthshine Nature Programs!

THANK YOU Alan Cameron for presenting me with this great honor.

View the Turtles of Change website to learn more.

More to come!

Visit us at Earthshine Lodge today at: http://www.earthshinelodge.com

Visit Earthshine Nature Programs at: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Visit John Vorus at http://www.johnvorus.com

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