Winter Diversion: Biltmore Estate Conservatory

While the winter of 2017 has been rather kind to us (just one snow day so far…and our daffodils are peeking out at the end of January… whaaaaaat!?), wintertime in the mountains of Western North Carolina can often be a teensy bit unpredictable. For those chilly days when you don’t want to go outside or you’re getting antsy for spring, we suggest a little indoor “green” therapy at Biltmore Estate’s Conservatory. Inside we go!

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North Carolina Mountain Birds: Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow By Vkulikov (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Look high up in the trees or on top of the high evergreen shrubs (and sometimes on the ground) near the birdfeeders at the Inn on Mill Creek and you may spot the Chipping Sparrow, our January 2017 pick in our 12 Months of Birding at the Inn series on the blog.

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Early January Snow Day

Happy New Year! And yippee! Our first snow of the winter season arrived on January 6, 2017, blanketing Pisgah National Forest around Asheville, including our neck of the woods at the Inn on Mill Creek with several inches of beauty. Stillness. Peaceful. Calming. Quiet. A great way to kick off the new year.

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North Carolina Mountain Birds: Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird by John Benson via Flickr

Hear a noise that sounds like a cat who’s gotten itself stuck in the branches of  a tree? Well, if you hear that “Mew Mew” at the Inn on Mill Creek, it’s likely you’re listening to the Gray Catbird, our final pick of the year in our monthly Birding at the Inn series on the blog.

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North Carolina Mountain Birds: Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl by Albert Herring https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WR_-_Eastern_Screech_Owl_4_(5761936594).jpg

We’re big fans of the Eastern Screech Owl, a small raptor with a distinctive set of songs, none of which sounds like a screeching owl to us, but more like a bubbly, warbly, trilly, whinnying owl. So let’s meet our November 2016 selection in our 12 Months of Birding at the Inn blog series.

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2016 Fall Color Report for the NC Mountains: Week 7

Fall leaves on mossy ground

Finally(!), oak trees are changing en masse, with bold orange and rust-colored tones dominate the landscape at our elevation of 2,300 feet in the North Carolina mountains. This will be our final fall color report for 2016, and it’s been a beautiful fall season.

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2016 Fall Color Report for the NC Mountains: Week 6

Fall Color at the Inn on Mill Creek Oct 28 2016

While peak color has ended in several areas above 3,500 feet, color remains at elevations below that, including the immediate Asheville area. We still have green leaves on our oak trees, in fact. Fall is going to linger on into November, yay!

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