Astounding Earth

Classes That Connect

Current Class Offerings


Spring Bird Apprenticeship 2022


Ten Tuesdays: March 22nd -May 31st, 2022
(No class April 19th)
7 am to 1 pm. 
In the Asheville NC area.

Limited to 8 participants.  
Registration is now OPEN!

Come take a deep dive into the incredible world of Southern Appalachian Birds.  
This is a fun, active, in the field class, where we get out and meet, observe and learn about dozens of resplendent birds as they traverse the wilds of Western North Carolina.

We will explore: Bird I.D., Song and Language,  Habitat, Behavior, as well as Conservation Issues, and Species Surveys, - all the while participating in an international citizen science project.  Beginners Welcome.


​Tuition Sliding scale,  $420 - $550
​Payment Plans and Work Trade Available
​No one turned away for lack of funds. 

Register Here


For more information call or email Luke at AstoundingEarth@gmail.com  


Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian Mountains

A seven week series on the Natural Plant and Forest Communities of the Southern Appalachians!  

Thursdays: March 31st - May 26th. 

(No Class April 21st and May 19th)

9:00 am to 4 pm.
Asheville, NC Area.

Limited to 12 participants.
Registration Is Now OPEN! 

Join us for seven sensational Thursdays of exploring and discovering the magnificent forests of our Southern Mountains!  

In this series, we will enter and explore 12 of the verdant Natural Communities of our region, learning the significant ecological factors and plant and animal species for each. We will utilize experiential approaches in meeting each ecosystem with hands on and sensory activities to complement lectures and discussions.    
Focus Topics include: Plant, Tree and Mushroom ID, Delineating Ecosystems and Ecotones, Keystone Species, Ecosystem Succession and Appalachian Ecology      

Tuition:  Sliding Scale-  (You choose based on your means):  $300 - $425

Register Here

For More information call or email Luke at AstoundingEarth@gmail.com


The Sacred Naturalist School 



The Sacred Naturalist School is a 25-day naturalist immersion located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina & Tennessee. We stretch out in time to luxuriously embrace the full glory of the Appalachian seasons - from spring ephemeral wildflowers and the long sunshine of summer to the rainbows of trees, mushrooms and wild fruits in the fall.

We meet for five 5-day/4-night immersive sessions to deeply build our relationships reverence and knowledge of this astounding bioregion. We dive deep into the immense diversity of the region, meeting and exploring the lives of plants, trees, birds, fungi, mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles, as well as the cycles and ecosystems that weave them together.

Mandala Springs Retreat Center, sacred land in Cherokee NC, and Blackberry Blossom Farm in Tennessee will be our base camps for walks, talks, embodiment practices, yoga, dance, forest bathing, camping, hiking, swimming, fires, games and much more! 

For more information and to register visit: 




Regular Seasonal Offerings
Full descriptions for Open classes above

Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian (Spring);
Spring Bird Apprenticeship;
Explorations of Appalachian Mountain Plants;

Nature Connection Games & Activities for Educators;
Birds of Summer;
Fantastic Mushrooms and Fungi;

Fantastic Fall Mushrooms and Fungi;
Our Magnificent Trees;
Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachians (Fall);

Winter Tree ID; 
Our Birds of Winter;
Wonders of Winter Ecology Walk; 


Custom Classes



Discover the life all around you...

Luke Cannon, one of Western North Carolina’s premier naturalists and ethnobotanist is now available to bring a dynamic ecological experience to your school, company, group event, family, or home.  Luke offers private personal and g
roup plant, bird, mushroom and ecology walks, custom nature connection and survival skills classes, plant and bird surveys, land consultations and more....  

Luke brings decades of experience to a wide range of classes from beginner-appropriate to expert level and delivers exceptional content and experiential learning every time.  An accomplished mentor,  Luke tailors each class with thoroughness and care bringing his fervor for learning to all. Luke has taught alongside Sandor Katz, Frank Cook, Natalie Bogwalker, 7Song and Alan Muscat, among others.

Example Offerings include:
A half or full day Naturalist Walk at your home or favorite WNC natural area.

A hands on workshop learning the skills of ancient fire making, lean-to survival shelters, or spoon carving. 

An afternoon of fun forest awareness games and experiential activities: for adults, families or youngsters.

A detailed Inventory of the plants, birds and other wild beings on your property.

Luke's passion:  "Helping people everywhere to deepen their connections, understandings and love for our astounding Earth."

To book Luke for your group, event call 804-384-290eight or email astoundingearth@gmail.com

Sign up below to join our mailing list and receive announcements of up coming walks, talks, workshops and series.