North Carolina Mountain Birds: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher building a nest in our apple orchard

A resident of the neotropics, the blue-gray gnatcatcher migrates to our neck of the woods for the summertime and thus gets a spot as our June bird in this year’s 12 Months of Birding at the Inn series on the blog. The gnatcatcher is a tiny gray bird, with a long white-edged tail and dark streaks above its eyes that make it look like the gnatcatcher flew straight out of the Angry Birds game.

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Labyrinth Landscaping at the Inn

In 2009, we constructed a seven-circuit walking labyrinth on the southern end of the property at the Inn on Mill Creek, near black walnut, tall tulip poplar and maple trees. The Inn’s labyrinth is a classical style labyrinth based on one in Visby, Sweden – a shout out to Innkeeper Brigette’s dad’s Swedish heritage. It has a 2-ft. wide grass walking path bordered by white granite pavers.

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Ten Hikes for Summer in the North Carolina Mountains (updated)

View from Mt. Mitchell, highest peak in the eastern U.S.

You really can’t beat summertime in the mountains of Western
North Carolina. The average highs are in the low-80s at the hottest point of
summer. And that’s just our elevation. Drive 20 minutes to the Blue Ridge
Parkway and hop on for a scenic drive up to elevations of 5,000+ feet and
you’ll often experience high temperatures in the 70s, and sometimes even the
60s, in July and August.

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