Fall Foliage Primer - October 9, 2019
- October 09, 2019 |
Valle Crucis/Boone – Thankfully, we had a few showers over the last couple of days. Also, thankfully, those showers were not accompanied by winds and heavy rain. We are in desperate need of rain here in Valle Crucis and Boone because the general area is experiencing severe drought conditions. Much of the western part of the state is feeling the effects of the lack of rain.
You’ll see in my photos that there were several “low sky” days when I was out in search of color. The cooler temperatures are helping with the color change and hopefully alleviating some of the drought conditions. The weather over the next several days will be pleasant, ranging from cloudy to sunny with temperatures in the 60s and lows in the 40s and 50s. That can always change, so keep an eye on the weather HERE.
The colors haven’t varied much since last week. I am seeing some color crowning where maples that are close to the road and showing color amongst their top-most boughs. There are some trees that have fought against the lack of water and have given up, but there are so many more that are ready to show their true colors. Cooler temperatures will definitely make that happen. Hurray!
For events this week, head up the Valle Mountain to Apple Hill Farm. Tours are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and it’s your chance to get up close and personal with llamas, alpacas, donkeys, and other animals. The kids’ll love it (and so will the older “kids”). The scenery is awesome with long-range views of Valle Crucis and ridges rippling into the distance. Call ahead to make sure they have room for you: (828) 963-1662.
This Saturday, October 12, is the Todd New River Festival. It’s held at the Cook Memorial Park in Todd along the banks of the New River. Activities include live music, food, crafts, and raffle drawings. The festival starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m.
And an event that we are super excited about that is on Monday, October 14. It’s the first official performance at the newly-reopened Appalachian Theatre in Downtown Boone. Tickets are available to John McEuen & the String Wizards: Will the Circle Be Unbroken. The show starts at 7 p.m., and you can get tickets HERE.
That’s it for this week. We’ll see a little more color next week – which is right on schedule.
Waynesville - The cooler temperatures are settling in, and they could not be more refreshing! The upcoming weekend is projected to stay in the 70s, and it is a much-needed reprieve from the uncommon summer heat we have experienced over the last few weeks. While the signs of fall are sparse, the cooler temperatures are sure to bring on the show here soon. Check the forecast HERE.
Some of us spent some time this past weekend at the Waynesville Recreation Center, and I had forgotten what a gem it is. Did you know that right outside of Downtown Waynesville you can let your dog play at the dog park, take a stroll on a secluded walking path, play a round of disc golf, or even enjoy a session on a well designed skate park?! Not to mention the other offerings from the Recreation Center, this is a place with something for everyone…we even got in a little home run derby on one of the baseball diamonds.
If you have not come to visit us yet, there has never been a better time! First of all, the High Country Quilt Guild’s annual Quilt Show is being held this October over in Maggie Valley, NC. Even if you are unfamiliar with the craft, it is a sight to be seen as over 100 quilts will be on display starting tomorrow from members of the guild ranging for the traditional to large wall hanging pieces.
As we are officially nearing Halloween, you might find yourself looking for a scare! I highly recommend the 8 Nights of Horror Haunted House put on by the Fines Creek Community Association over there in Clyde, NC. It is not for everyone, but is well done if that is your thing. An entry fee of $5 goes to support MANNA FoodBank and a few other local non-profit groups.
This Saturday we are closing down Main Street here in Waynesville to welcome some of the area’s finest artisans. The Church Street Art and Craft Show will be taking place this Saturday for the 36th year in a row! Come find all sorts of one of a kind crafts. This free event lasts from 10:00 a.m. until - 5:00 p.m.
And after you have enjoyed the arts and crafts on Saturday, do not miss Darren Nicholson of Balsam Range and his friends performing at Folkmoot’s Queen Auditorium on Sunday, October 13th. This will be a high energy good time; a great way to start the week or end a weekend!
As amazing as all of this sounds stay tuned for, hopefully, pockets of color in the upcoming photos, and even more fun going on here in Waynesville! Get the wood stove cleaned out…fall is here!
Asheville - With the cold front that hit the mountains this past weekend, it seems this hot summer we’ve been stuck in has finally ended. Temperatures are staying in the low 70s to upper 60s during the day, and the 50s at night, so it looks to be a chilly week. Break out your jackets and come enjoy the more bearable weather! For more information on weather in the area check out the forecast HERE.
With this cold snap, the leaves should start changing any day now and at a faster pace. Here in Asheville, we are still mostly green, but at higher elevations, like the areas I showed you last week, you should start to see more colors, especially reds, yellows, and possibly oranges. But remember to look at more than just the leaves, there are so many wildflowers and berry-covered shrubs and trees that look beautiful this time of year as well.
One of the most iconic of those, especially here in the mountains, is the Mountain Ash, you can usually identify it by its large clusters of red berries. Ash berries are not just an iconic image of fall and winter, they tend to linger long into the cold season, but also as a medicinal remedy and sometimes as a jam ingredient. Another good medicinal tree with red berries that’s popular this time of year is the Hawthorn. For more information check out this WEBSITE.
Looking past the color, there are also some unique photos you can get this time of year, as the leaves start to thin and the lighting changes. Lichen on branches can appear to have more color and some flowers can turn into bizarre shapes as their colors fades. I always look for photo opportunities like this, whether it's an old gnarled tree or just an interesting looking rock outcropping, there's always something cool to see, the colorful leaves just add to the beauty.
We have a number of events happening in Asheville this week, the largest of which is Ciderfest, on October 12 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. This festival is held in Carrier Park, one of Asheville’s many city parks along the French Broad River. So, if you enjoy cider, local arts and crafts, live music, or simply a stroll through the woods during leaf season come to check Ciderfest out.
Another big event going on the entire week is American Craft week at the Mountain Made Art Gallery. This event starts on October 4 and goes all the way through the 13th. The gallery hosts work from a number of local artists and features a variety of different art types. If you are interested in Art, want to support our local artists, or just want something unique to do in Asheville during your stay, check out the Mountain Made Art Gallery this week.
It seems like we might start seeing peak color in certain areas in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for it as the color moves from the higher elevations into Asheville and the surrounding cities. I’ll see you next week, with what I hope is a colorful update!
Hendersonville - Wow, here we go and take a hasty overnight nose dive directly into autumn! All this next week the temperatures are predicted to be in the mid-70s during the day and in the 40s and 50s at night. That is called heavenly, especially after all this unseasonable heat. Get an updated forecast with a click HERE.
Leaf color has stalled out, at green, these last two weeks, and we have seen very little change and even less leaf color. The cooler weather and nippy nights are expected to transform the landscape and allow Mother Nature to paint the trees in her favorite shades of red, gold and orange. In the famous words of Captain Picard, “Make it so!”
The Carl Sandburg House is a favorite destination for many folks coming to this area. It is a North Carolina National Historic Site and a wonderful place to take a stroll around the lake - be sure to bring some crackers to feed the fish from the bridge. Or you can walk up the hill to the house and barns - be sure to pet the tame goats, they love all the attention. There are wonderful hiking trails up to Glassy Mountain and beyond. Carl Sandburg was a famous folk singer, poet, and biographer who lived at the home with his wife Lillian. There is a small fee to tour the house, but you can enjoy the rest of the property for free. Visit this WEBSITE for more information and directions.
Take a drive over to Laurel Park Green on Saturday, October 12 at 11 a.m. with your fur babies for the sixth annual Blessing of the Pets hosted by the First Congregational Church of Hendersonville. All types of pets, large and small, are invited to attend, but they must be leashed or safely contained. Stuffed animals and photos of pets are also welcome. Meet at the gazebo in the center of the park. You can follow this LINK for more info and directions.
The Foothills Equestrian Nature Center in Tryon, NC, also known as FENCE, will be hosting a free FENCE Fall Festival on October 13 from noon to 4 p.m. This family event will have live music, face painting, live animal encounters, art and nature demonstrations, and free food. Great for all ages! Go to this SITE for more information and directions.
Vintage Hendo is a vintage and handmade market in Hendersonville that takes place on Locust Street in the Historic 7th Avenue District on October 12. There will be more than 50 vendors selling food, vintage items, jewelry, clothing, candles, art, pottery, industrial, up-cycled and recycled, handmade and more. It starts at 9 a.m. and runs through 6 p.m. next to the Southern Appalachian Brewery. Well behaved and leashed dogs are welcome!
Leaves or no leaves, Hendersonville is a remarkable place to visit. Don’t forget to stop in at Mast General Store on Main Street to say hello! See you next week.
Greenville - The weather is Greenville has taken a turn, and we are looking forward to more Fall-like conditions sooner than later. The Tablerock webcam is starting to show a few signs of color – check it out! Be sure to check the FORECAST before your visit.
One of Greenville’s best fall activities is Fall for Green this weekend, October 10-13. Located on Main Street, the annual blockbuster event has over 40 restaurants represented featuring over 250 menu items and free entertainment on seven stages featuring over 75 musical acts. The festival opens with a kick-off concert on Friday evening at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday at 7 p.m. with lots of food, fun, and great music in between. Want to see Greenville at it’s best? Come on and Fall for Greenville!
It’s not too early to start thinking about cooking during the upcoming cooler weather. The Cook’s Station has created a Fall Dinner Cooking Class scheduled for November 21 at 6 p.m. We mention this now because the class fills up VERY quickly. The session will cover a Fall menu and will feature Shrimp and Grits, a Fall salad, and grilled Pound Cake with Fall fruit compote. The class is semi-hands-on and a full meal is served. Wine is included for $45. Space is limited and tickets are available at HERE.
Greenville’s fall activities include several art shows, special events, and holiday markets. A few will be highlighted in upcoming newsletters: BOO in the Zoo, October 18-27; GCA Fall Festival and Holiday Market on November 2; Swamp Rabbit Trail – best as trees get more color. For more in-depth information about these and other Fall activities, visit Yeah, That Greenville!
See you next week!
Knoxville - Here in Knoxville, we’re growing our pumpkins big this year. Check out the bad boys in the photos above, courtesy of Farm Fresh Produce on Sutherland Ave. I’m considering using them as living room furniture this autumn.
Somehow, remarkably, the produce still manages to come in bright and delicious despite the oppressive heat and extended dry spell. Temperatures hovered in the mid-to-upper 90s throughout this past weekend, but, by Monday, we got a reprieve with some much-needed rain that plummeted the air to a chilly 65°. Hopefully we can get more of that to egg the leaves on to hues beyond green and brown. Before heading out on your adventure, be sure to check the forecast. Here's a handy LINK to find out the latest in Knoxville.
We ventured out for a brief visit to Seven Islands Birding Park along the French Broad River. There we were greeted by a few turning leaves and numerous wildflowers and sages attracting migrating butterflies. Hopefully, a revisit later this month will yield a broader palette.
As always, there’s no shortage of things to do in Knoxville. Is anybody thinking of getting an early start on Halloween? Then, consider taking a haunted train ride along the Tennessee river courtesy of the Three Rivers Rambler, Knoxville’s vintage train excursion. Their All Hallow’s Eve Special begins October 11 and continues until the 27th. Halloween costumes are encouraged.
The Knoxville Zoo will also be starting its 33rd Annual Boo! at the Zoo beginning October 10 and running through the 27th. This family-friendly event features moderate frights, treats and animals and is perfect as an outing for younger children or grandchildren.
And anyone who just wants to commune with nature for a few minutes without the crowds may want to consider visiting The William Hastie Natural Area. This 85-acre South Knoxville park is lesser known than its high-profile neighbor Ijams Nature Center, but offers 6.3 miles of nature trails and bike paths for those who need a quick wilderness fix.
Have fun out there! See you next week!