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Fall Foliage Primer - October 12, 2016

 
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Fall Color Update - October 12, 2016

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Valle Crucis/BooneAshevilleWaynesvilleHendersonvilleGreenville • Knoxville

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Valle Crucis/Boone, NC – We’ve all talked about it…how the colors are a little later this year. We still haven’t had a frost, and we are looking at the third weekend in October coming up in just a few days. Wow, were the katydids wrong this year. According to them, we should have had frost way back in September.

We have had some nights that have dipped down into the 30s, but the cold temperatures were accompanied by a breeze (and sometimes a wind) that kept frost from forming. Last weekend, we did have some wind from the outer bands of Matthew and a little rain, but thankfully, we didn’t lose bunches of leaves. This weekend and on into next week, the temperatures are going to be just about perfect for any activity you want to take part in outside. Ray says the highs will be in the 60s and maybe low 70s with lows mostly in the 40s. Here’s where you can find a complete, up-to-date forecast

I was out on the Parkway on Saturday, when it was rainy and foggy, but you could see the colors shining through the fog at the higher elevations near the Linn Cove Viaduct. Even in the rain and overcast, it was, well, WOW! Even without the frost, more colors are starting to show. This weekend for the Valle Country Fair and Woolly Worm Festivals, I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the color, and you may want to come back next weekend to see more. With this being a busy festival weekend, I recommend that you make sure you have accommodations if you’re planning on staying overnight. This time of year, a room can be hard to come by. You can give High Country Host (800-438-7500) a call or check in with Explore Boone at 828-266-1345 if you have questions.

For a great hike this weekend, I recommend heading down to the waterfall near the Valle Crucis Conference Center. It’s a short hike, but it’s uphill both ways! It’s just over a ½ mile one way to the falls. Some parts of the trail are pretty steep, but it is not technical. You’ll be rewarded by a cascading waterfall and a pool that you may want to dip your toes in before it gets too much cooler. Take the hike on Friday or Sunday because you’ll be enjoying the Valle Country Fair on Saturday (come early to get the most out of your day).

That’s it for this week. See you next week with even more color!

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Asheville, NC - It’s the second week of October and it looks and feels like fall in Asheville – at long last! The high winds and rain from Hurricane Matthew found us grateful to be indoors a good deal of Friday and Saturday. Our friends who have been devastated by the storm here in the Carolinas and Florida, especially the people of Haiti, are heavy on our hearts and minds. The American Red Cross and UNICEF websites offer ways we can help our neighbors in need.

The weekend’s turbulent weather brought down some limbs and leaves, but don’t appear to have caused a major upset in our fall color progression. If anything, the drop in temperature and much needed moisture have “flipped the switch on the autumn color machine” and pops of brilliant fall color are definitely picking up the pace in Asheville.

A Sunday drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway up to Mt. Mitchell revealed that peak fall color is still about a week away at the highest elevations. However, the contrast between deep summer green and the first of fall color are striking. As you see in my photos, evergreens and many remaining green hardwoods provide the perfect contrast to the brilliant maples, sourwoods, and tulip poplars that are already beginning to change.

The Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks between Craggy Gardens and Mt. Mitchell were packed with leaf lookers on Sunday, October 9th. Quite a few “leafers” were venturing out along the hillsides for a closer look and many cyclists were enjoying a ride on the Parkway, too. It’s easy to get caught up in the fall splendor, but please remember to share the road with cyclists and be mindful of pedestrians.

On Monday morning, my 2-year-old daughter spotted a fuzzy “pillar” (as she calls it) on our dahlias in the front yard. As you see in the photo above, this Woolly Bear Caterpillar, also known as a “Woolly Worm,” is solid black! This is big news if you believe the Woolly Worm can predict winter weather. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 distinct segments of either rusty brown or black. The wider the rusty brown sections (or the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. The more black there is, the more severe the winter.”  If you believe in the weather prediction powers of the Woolly Worm, then the one we spotted reveals that this winter is going to be very chilly, indeed. Exciting!

Our family is planning to visit Hickory Nut Gap Farm in the week ahead. Not only do they offer barn dances with live music on Friday nights, the Farm is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. for loads of fall family fun. Kids will love the corn maze that includes farming and agriculture clues to help you find your way to the end. Feeding goats, baby pigs, and calves are fun and safe activities for children of all ages. There’s a large variety of farm grown pumpkins, gourds, and apples to select and take home. Hay and horse rides are also available on the weekends. You can bring your own lunch or choose from a wide variety of local dishes in the farm store. Hickory Nut Gap farm is only 20 minutes north of Asheville. You’ll find more information HERE.

Coming up this weekend in Downtown Asheville, the HardLox Jewish Festival will treat all of your senses to one of our city’s favorite annual celebrations. Enjoy a wide variety of delicious traditional Jewish foods, learn about Jewish holidays, have your name written in Hebrew, and sing and dance along to klezmer music. It all kicks off in Pack Square Park at 11 a.m. on Sunday, October 16th, and wraps up around 4 p.m.

According to Ray’s Weather, we have an absolutely perfect week of fall weather ahead. With lows in the low 40s at night and highs in the low 70s during the day. We’re very happy that the sun will be shining brightly on our colorful mountains and hillsides. As far as fall weather goes, who could ask for anything more? I look forward to sharing more color progression and outdoor events with you next week. Enjoy

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Waynesville, NC - When you step outside you can feel the weather has changed. Mornings are crisp and cool, afternoons are sunny and warm. The leaves are turning more and more colorful with brilliant yellows and deep reds to please the eye. If you get a chance to hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you can see all these magnificent colors! Just bring a jacket due to it being 10 degrees cooler up there.

The weather for the coming weekend is predicted to be sunny and pleasant with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Of course, things can change quickly in the fall, so be prepared for most anything. You can find an up-to-date local forecast with a click HERE

One of the biggest events of the weekend is happening right behind the Mast Store. It's our annual Tent Sale. You can save 50% OFF items under the tents in our back parking lot. There's lots of fall clothing and shoes. Follow this LINK to find out more. 

On Saturday, Downtown Waynesville's Main Street will be filled with everything apple for the Annual Apple Harvest Festival. There's entertainment, crafts, food, and lots of apples! Learn more HERE

If you are looking for more arts and crafts, Maggie Valley's fall show is also this weekend, October 15 and 16. Here's a little more INFO

For hikes this weekend, try Skinny Dip Falls (Milepost 417) and Cataloochee - in addition to the colors, you might see some elk. 

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Hendersonville, NCWhat a wet, windy and wild week we have had! Now hurricane Matthew has passed by, the weather has cleared and it finally feels like Fall! Crisp nights and warm days in the mid 70s are forecast all week and makes everyone long to be out under the brilliant blue skies, hiking, playing or just soaking up the sun. This is the perfect time to plan a visit to the mountains, so let's see what is happening this week.

The Henderson County Crafters will host the Fall Arts & Crafts Show on Saturday, October 15th  from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The show will be at the NC National Guard Armory in Flat Rock, NC. Henderson County Crafters Association has a variety of artisans who create handcrafted baskets, crocheted and knitted items, hand stamped cards, jewelry, painted gourds, quilted and appliqued items, tapestry and needlework, stained glass, fused glass, photography, hand made wreaths and more. 

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Mills River, North Carolina will present their second annual Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, October 15th from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Join the celebration featuring specialty beers, a German feast, live music and dancing, glassblowing demonstrations and more. Grab your lederhosen and head out! You'll find more of what you need to know HERE.

Fall migration is still in full swing and with Hendersonville smack dab in the middle of the migratory flyway, Jackson Park is the place to be! The park is located at the east end of 4th Avenue in the heart of downtown.  With a good variety of habitats and several trails that crisscross the property, the park offers superb birding. Check out what the Carolina Bird Club has to say.

Take a lovely drive to Jump Off Rock. As the road winds its way up the hills, keep your eye open for wild turkey and deer at the side of the road! It ends at the top with a panoramic view of rolling pastures along with the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges. From Downtown Hendersonville follow Fifth Avenue West, it becomes Laurel Park Highway and the road dead ends at Jump Off Rock. The look out is free and open daily, sunrise to sunset.

The fall leaf colors are still patchy here in Hendersonville. Dogwoods are showing off their deep dark reds, a few of the maples are turning crimson, along with the burning bush. Sweet gum trees are showing off their colors here and there around town, but I am afraid we may have to wait another week or two for the best color. The cool nights and maybe a slight touch of frost?, should help speed things up a little. But, as they say, everything in its own time. Check the weather to plan your visit. Here's a LINK to a local forecast. See you next week. 

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Greenville, SCGood news everyone! Our leaves are promising us a colorful future! The Ginko leaves are starting to show some change that will eventually lead to a stunning yellow blanket that will hide the grass beneath it. Some of the area Maples are revealing some red specks, and the Dogwoods are beginning to fade from green to a light orange. Currently, our mornings are cool, our afternoons are warm, and our nights seem cold. It’s the perfect combination to aid our leaves in changing this season. It looks like this week we are still going to be lucky enough to not exceed a high of the mid 80s.The lows this week are expected to stay around the 50s. If you are planning on exploring some night life downtown be sure to bring a jacket. For further persuasion, you can get your complete 10-day forecast HERE.

If you are in town this weekend you will have a chance to get a real taste of Greenville. One of our biggest festivals is this weekend - Fall For Greenville! Starting this Thursday, you can join us to experience some of the food that keeps people coming back to our town. The festival is designed to give you the convenience of tasting 40 restaurants that reside in Greenville all in one location on Main Street. The festival is set up on a ticket system. You can purchase a sheet of 8 tickets for $5 and then you trade the tickets for food, drinks, beer, wine, and desserts! Beer usually ranges from 6-8 tickets, Wine from 7-10 tickets and Food from 2-8 tickets. 

One of my favorite restaurants in Greenville is Larkin’s on the River. Their menu this year is sure to get praise with items like Filet Bites covered in a sweet pepper onion demi glaze and a side of garlic mashed potatoes and smoked bacon siracha mac and cheese.

Though this weekend will be all about good food, you can catch some great live music too! We will have musicians like The Marcus King Band, Shooter Jennings, and Mac Arnold and Plate Full of O’ Blues plus many more. If you are ever looking to see what Greenville has to offer be sure to make it down this weekend. For more information about the festival and how to purchase tickets click HERE.

If you are looking to get away from some of the crowds for a bit of relaxation, I have recommendation for you. Travel about an hour from Downtown Greenville you can begin a half a mile hike that will bring you to Spoonauger Falls. I find it to be a really unique water fall because it looks a bit like a wall filled with smaller versions of itself, this making it quiet captivating. For a physical address so you can see it for yourself click HERE

That's all this for now, but I will be excited to report more color in the near future. See you next week!

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