Fall Foliage Primer - October 3, 2018
- October 03, 2018 |
Valle Crucis/Boone – Well, last week I was a little surprised at how much color I was seeing. This week it looks like someone has hit the pause button. There is very little additional color change from last week to this week.
Some of the highest elevations in the High Country, around Grandfather Mountain, are seeing some spotty color. They may see a little more toward the weekend. In Boone, Howard Knob has yet to show much color at all. You will see an occasional maple, dogwood, or tulip poplar showing their true colors, but it’s still a little early.
That doesn’t mean that there isn’t color to be found. Just look a little lower to the ground. The Jerusalem Artichoke, goldenrod, and asters are blooming away. And, the mushrooms you find in the forest, like the brightly-colored chicken of the woods, are beautiful to observe, too.
Our weather looks to be very summer-like through the end of the week. Highs will be in the mid 70s and lows in the 60s. Expect sunny days until Friday, when we have a chance of showers and storms through the rest of the weekend. Just pack a rain jacket, and you’ll be fine. Follow this LINK for an updated local weather forecast to check before heading out.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, there are events to suit everyone’s tastes. On Friday and Saturday nights, try the Night Flight at Sky Valley. You can zip along the first stage of the zip lines at Sky Valley, including Big Mama – a 1,600-foot long zip line that’s 300 feet off the valley floor. You’ll want to make reservations.
For the artist, stop by the Steamroller Print Fest on Friday, October 5. It’s held at the Turchin Center in Downtown Boone, and yes, it appears they will be doing some printmaking with a steamroller. It concludes just in time to enjoy First Friday in Downtown Boone. Shops and galleries stay open for art openings, musical performances, poetry reading, and more.
On Sunday, mark your calendar for the Blowing Rock Music Festival. This event is a Florence reschedule. Music starts at noon and goes until sunset at The Blowing Rock. You can get tickets HERE. Some of the bands include Soul Benefactor, Strictly Clean and Decent, and the Jeff Little Trio.
Of course, anytime you visit is a great time to paddle at Price Lake (you can rent kayaks and canoes there) or to enjoy a hike on the many trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I look forward to visiting with you next week.
Asheville - Pull out your pumpkin spiced everything, October is here at last! Let's hope that with this new month comes some cooler weather; we definitely need it. Although for this week it seems like the unseasonably high temperatures are persisting with highs in the lower 80s and lows in the 60s. Other than a small chance of rain predicted for Wednesday night, the week is clear of moisture and seems ideal for early trips of leaf peeping. For more detailed forecasts, check the NOAA website or Ray’s Weather Center here in Asheville.
While fall is still slow to show itself on the trees here in Asheville, there at least seems to have been some change since last week. If you head south along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you can see the color growing along the road, even in the lower elevations. Especially along the ground amidst the fall wildflowers, you can see the grasses beginning to turn yellow and red. Even in places where the color hasn’t started, the lighting in forested areas is beginning to have that idyllic “fall” tint. You can especially see it in some of the areas around Black Mountain, North Carolina, as well as areas further south like Lake Toxaway and Glenville. These areas may not have a lot of color, but they are still gorgeous in this early fall season.
If you are looking for something to look at other than leaves, there are a number of wild plants in bloom right now. The American Pokeweed has a bright red stem and giant berries that look so much like blueberries you want to pick them, but don’t, they are highly poisonous to humans. So admire these beauties from afar. Some other things to look for are any number of wildflowers out this season, like the Aster, Jewelweed, Queen Anne’s Lace, Cardinal Flower, and many others. These seem to decorate the roadways not just on the Parkway but in various places around Asheville as well. For a full listing of North Carolina’s fall wildflowers check the North Carolina Native Plant Society website.
We have a number of events going on this week here in Asheville. It is the last week for the Chihuly Art Exhibit in the Winter Garden Area of the Biltmore Estate. Dale Chihuly is famous for his monumental glass sculptures and unique ways they can be incorporated into outdoor spaces. I had the pleasure of seeing one of his exhibits on a trip to Arizona, and it was breathtaking, so I highly recommend catching the exhibit if you happen to be in the area this weekend. The Biltmore Estate itself is a wonderful place to visit as well, so make a whole day of it and explore the largest private home in America. For more information check the Biltmore’s website, or watch this video for more on Dale Chihuly and his process.
Other big events happening this weekend are Asheville’s Oktoberfest, Asheville’s Food Truck festival, as well as lots of live music or theater shows. So if you enjoy music, local beer, or simply want to spend time downtown you have many choices on how to spend your day.
I hope to have more color to show you in the coming weeks as we get nearer and nearer to the middle of fall. Have a great week!
Hendersonville - Dear Autumnal Observers, Can you believe the first day of October is here already? October conjures up childhood memories of hot apple cider, picking and eating crisp red apples, choosing the perfect, REALLY BIG, pumpkin, and the colorful kaleidoscope of fall leaves everywhere. Then October winds up with my favorite holiday, Halloween! How perfect is that?
This first week of October is forecast to be a little warm. The temperatures will start the week in the mid-70s with nights in the low 60s. But, by Wednesday, we will be in the low 80s during the day with the same low 60s at night. Not much chance of rain for the weekend, whoopee! It will be wonderful weather to be outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Things can always change, so click on over to check Ray's local weather forecast.
Be sure to take a stroll down Main Street and go on a bear hunt! Follow the bear map to try to locate all of the bears of Historic Downtown Hendersonville. They are painted by local artists, sponsored by local businesses, and after they are auctioned off at the end of this month, part of the proceeds benefit area non-profit organizations. A brochure to guide you to all of the Bears is available at the Visitor Center at 201 South Main Street or you can view the digital brochure HERE. Take a selfie with your favorite bear or with all of them!
Ride out to the Holmes Educational State Park on Saturday. There will be a Fall Tree Identification Hike led by Ranger Kinsella from 10 a.m. until noon. It is free for everyone. The park is a very family friendly forest with many opportunities to introduce your clan to the outdoors (kids love the Talking Tree Trail!). For more information, check the website.
Farm City Day is here again! This is an old-fashioned celebration of the agricultural roots of our community that all ages will enjoy. It will be a fun-filled day with antique farm equipment, tractor pulls, live entertainment, kids' games (like greased pig contests), and more. Check it out with a click HERE.
So keep your eye on the sky and the treetops! Hopefully, the first tiny blush of color we see right now will be enhanced by the cool nights this week.
See you around town!
Greenville - Fall is in the air, or so many of us wish. In Greenville, the lingering highs in the mid-80s to low 90s have many of the locals pleading for fall weather. The mist of several overcast days in the mountains gives encouragement to otherwise restless souls longing for a brisk morning. Sipping a Pumpkin Spice latte just isn’t the same when the temperature is still slightly less than blistering. Even the Crepe Myrtles are still letting out the final blooms. The lows in the 60s, however, give a brief consolation in the evening. You can find an updated forecast HERE.
Fall wouldn’t be fall without a good Oktoberfest. While the leaves are not quite turning (excepting a few leaves on the dogwoods), the beer taps will in NOMA square this weekend. It is not Oktoberfest in the bustling city of Munich, but it will be evenings filled with Beer, Brats and Bavarian costumes. So strike up that Oompah band and get to NOMA square this Thursday through Sunday. The event is free.
If you prefer country melodies, Cole Swindell will be playing at the Heritage Park Amphitheater in Simpsonville on Friday night. And if you love a good farmers' market, this Thursday evening is the first Travelers Rest Bluegrass and Harvest Market. It goes every Thursday in October from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Trailblazer Park.
Though fall is not fully here in Greenville, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is always a good choice for riding bikes, marathon training, dog walking, or just enjoying an afternoon stroll. I’ve even seen a few Razor scooters on occasion (#throwback). Be sure to check out all Greenville has to offer this not-quite-feeling-like-it-yet fall weekend. It's certain to get more colorful soon.
Knoxville - Summer's temperatures are not ready to fade away. We have experienced a lot of rain with above average temperatures recently. There are little to no fall colors to report at this time; however, if you are able to slow down and look closely, you will see small signs of fall arriving here in East Tennessee.
One of my favorite signs of fall are the bright red seeds from the Hearts-a-Bustin' bush. The "seed pods" resemble exactly what the name implies - a heart bursting with love. Turtlehead blooming along the banks of the river is another beautiful sign that summer is winding down and fall will soon be here.
Temperatures in the coming week are to remain more like summer than fall with highs in the 80s. If you need information about the local forecast please go HERE.
Since you may want to squeeze in a few more warm-weather activities to go with the summer temps, I suggest checking out the City Lights Night Paddle. This adventure gives you the neat experience of floating on the Tennessee River as the sun sets on Downtown Knoxville. The last float of the season is on October 6th.
The world's most amazing dogs will be in Knoxville later this coming week. The 2018 Dock Dog's World Championships will be happening in Knoxville starting on Tuesday, October 9. You can find more information with a click HERE.
We will keep looking around to report on Fall colors for you, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy all the fun things there is to do and see around Knoxville.
Looking forward to next week!