The weather seems to have gotten back to “Fall normal” as we move through the month of October in the North Carolina mountains around Asheville. Cool nights are back, as are sunny days. And it looks like the color that we do have will be lovely for Week 4 of our fall season.
|Green Knob Fire Tower Trail|
In early November, we had the chance to hike with friends on one of the Blue Ridge Parkway hiking trails, to the Green Knob Fire Tower. This is a special spot for us since you can see Green Knob and the fire tower from our orchard at the Inn on Mill Creek B&B.
|Last leaf report for the year!|
This looks to be our sixth and final fall color report for 2014 for the North Carolina mountains around Asheville and Pisgah National Forest. We really are spoiled with at least six weeks of fall color within a 30 minute radius of the Inn on Mill Creek B&B.
|Beautiful Barred Owl photo by MDF [Source: Wikimedia Commons]|
While the phrase, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?” is not heard much inside the Inn on Mill Creek B&B (answer already well-known: Innkeeper Dave!), you may hear it outside, in the trees of Pisgah National Forest surrounding the Inn. And just who is asking that question? None other than the Barred Owl, our October 2014 bird in our 12 Months of Birding at the Inn blog series.
|The Inn on Mill Creek B&B in late October|
“Peak week” for fall color has arrived in our neck of the woods, between Black Mountain and Old Fort, NC (2,300 feet in elevation). The Inn on Mill Creek B&B is situated two miles inside Pisgah National Forest, and with so many different tree types, we are seeing large bursts of varying color all around!
|Color has reached 2,500 to 3,500 feet|
This week brings more color to our elevation (2,300 feet), and it looks like peak color at elevations around Asheville and Black Mountain, NC, will be happening over several days through the very end of October. As usual, we are still waiting on the oak trees! Gah! However, other tree types, such as sugar and red maples and sassafras, are beginning to change more rapidly. As it stands, this year’s predominant fall color is velvety gold, with birch, beech, hickory, sassafras and others providing different shades of yellow, bronze, and yellowish-orange. Early changers, such as sourwood, dogwood and sourgum are still showing color (mostly red hues) while tall tulip poplars are now bare after a rainstorm on October 14th caused their brown-tipped yellow leaves to drop.
Into week 3 of our fall color reports we go, on this rainy Tuesday! While not very common in October around these parts, the rain is actually doing a bit of good “clean up” duty, sending some of the early, dull-colored leaves to the ground and making way for the stars of the fall color show that are just starting to shine.
|Fall colors are beginning to show at the Inn on Mill Creek B&B|
We’re in the second week of the “fall foliage” season here in Western North Carolina near Asheville, and the best color so far remains at high elevations, including peaks along the Blue Ridge Parkway. In particular, we recommend checking out Graveyard Fields, a valley that’s more than 5,000 feet above sea level, surrounded by tree-covered mountains. It’s a neat landscape that’s unique to the area. Graveyard Fields is named for tree stumps that dotted the valley after a devastating storm many, many years ago. The tree stumps are no longer there, but the fields are covered in early-changing shrubs, which you can traverse using boardwalks. The trails, which underwent upgrades this year, are pretty awesome at Graveyard Fields, with a waterfall hike included.
|Early fall color at the Inn on Mill Creek B&B|
Exciting news! Fall has most definitely arrived in the mountains of North Carolina. You know what that means…time to begin our annual tradition of weekly fall foliage reports for our area around Asheville, Black Mountain, Old Fort, Pisgah National Forest, and the Blue Ridge Parkway between Mt. Pisgah and Grandfather Mountain! Each Tuesday through the fall season, we’ll let you know which trees are changing and the best places to capture great fall color.
|Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at the Inn on Mill Creek|
September marks the end of summer here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and what better way to bid farewell to lovely summertime than feature one of our lovely summer residents before he flies to his winter home in Central or South America? Therefore, we introduce you to the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, our September 2014 bird in our 12 Months of Birding at the Inn series on our blog.