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.
The Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League (A3L) in Old Fort, NC, recently held its 2014 Battle of the Brushes, a plein air art competition, where nearly 20 artists painted scenes of the Old Fort area. Judges chose Judy Meyler’s depiction of the Thomas Wolfe Angel statue in the Old Fort Cemetery as the first place winner. Love the colors!
|Roaring Fork Falls|
A lot of our guests like to hike to waterfalls, and while choices are limited east of Asheville and involve a little bit of driving (scenic routes, of course), the quality of the waterfalls near Black Mountain and in McDowell County near Old Fort more than make up for it. Here’s a short list, in order of drive time from the Inn on Mill Creek Bed & Breakfast to each waterfall hike’s trailhead:
As summer winds down, our Guest Favorites Garden planning is going full speed! Spurred on by the lovely late August color palette of our hydrangea and coreopsis in the garden, shown below, we’re looking into spring blooming favorites of our guests that would have similar and complimentary tones.
|Exploring the outdoors at Biltmore|
We know that most people who visit Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, can’t wait to go through the 175,000 square-foot, fully furnished and ornate, Downton Abbey-esque house, but we tend to recommend heading outdoors at Biltmore, especially in late summer/early fall.
Can’t believe we’re more than halfway through 2014 and we haven’t done any Kiva loan updates this year! As you may recall, our goal as the owners of a small business is to assist with loans to small business owners in every country represented on Kiva, which is currently 78 countries. So far in 2014, we have helped with four microloans. We decided to go with a farming theme this year and are helping out those in the agricultural industry in developing countries, including Walter Alexander in El Salvador, Suurakan in Kyrgyzstan, Chamnan in Cambodia, and the Tei Pin San Village group (63 farmers) in Myanmar/Burma.