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BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY OPENS MANY FACILITIES FOR BUSY WEEKEND

Source:  Karen Chavez/Asheville Citizen-Times/US Today Network Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional opening of the tourist floodgates on the Blue Ridge Parkway, when the entire 469-mile roadway and all facilities are open for camping, picnicking, hiking and sightseeing.  But the recent downpours, and more rain forecast for the weekend, have delayed some openings and should…

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BROAD-WINGED HAWKS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD…

…THE SOARING BEAUTY OF WNC HAWKS… ¨These are the keen-eyed wind masters, able to tease lift from temperature-troubled air and soar for long periods on set wings.  They are the clipper ships of the skies.¨ — Pete Dunn, et al. – ¨Hawks in Flight¨ 1988) ¨The commonly observed soaring hawks of the Smokies (and Blue…

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RHUBARB APPEALS TO GROWN-UP TASTES…

SOURCE:  Thanks again to Tammy Algood, Special to Nashville Tennessean, for great articles about local food as it comes on the market. ¨Fresh rhubarb is an opportunity to stalk on the wild side.  My first memory is of it growing on the north side of old houses.  It was old-fashioned looking and certainly something that…

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MEET THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL´S FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT!

SOURCE:  Natalie Stickel for the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine ¨The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)´s new first-female president and CEO, Suzanne Dixon, is intimately familiar with advocating for open spaces.  Growing up in Ireland, she spent time as a youngster in its national parks.  After moving to the US, the first park she visited was Shenandoah. …

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LOCAL SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDE…

Source:  Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, May 2018 After reading pages and pages of this great magazine & guide to everything Appalachian, I winnowed out details on a few festivals and events of interests in the WNC area – through the end of this summer.  There will be more later. Asheville – Mountain Sports Festival —…

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STRAWBERRY PICKING – A RITE OF SPRING!

SOURCE:  Tammy Algood -Special to Nashville Tennessean/USA Today Network.  Thanks, Tammy! ” Some things are worth the wait.  I ate my first homegrown strawberry yesterday, and it was beyond delicious.  It was small, but packed a barrelful of flavor and juice.  A strawberry shouldn´t just look good, it should taste memorable. Sweet Charlies are usually…

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STOP & LISTEN TO THE BEAUTIFUL SOUNDS OF NATURE

SOURCE:  Nature Journal – George Ellison – Asheville Citizen-Times ¨Through the years, I have admonished readers to slow down and take a closer look. ¨ This time around, I would suggest that you ¨Close your eyes and listen!¨  That´s right – just  listen. The wind sighs as it passes through the leaf canopy overhead.  Rain…

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THE BEST SHRUB TO GROW HERE IN WNC

Source:  Nature Journal by George Ellison/Asheville Citizen-Times ¨I´m sometimes asked to recommend easily grown yet attractive native plants suitable for use in an ornamental setting.  In that regard, I´m locked and loaded.  For a fern, it´s cinnamon (Osmunda cinnamonmea); for a small tree, it´s sweet pepperbush (Clethra acuminata); and for a shrub, it´s highland doghobble…

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PLEASE!! – ENJOY OUR BEAUTIFUL WATERFALLS SAFELY!

SOURCE:  YOUR TURN – Jonas Karlson, Guest Columnist/Asheville Citizen-Times ¨Few things in the natural world awe and inspire as much as waterfalls.  Western North Carolina is fortunate to have more than 250 waterfalls (actually, Transylvania County alone has close to that number), with hundreds of thousands of people visiting their splendor every year. Unfortunately waterfalls…

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TAKE A HIKE – NEW GUIDEBOOK HIGHLIGHTS WNC WILDFLOWER HIKES

SOURCE:  Karen Chavez/Asheville Citizen Times ¨Spring might be coming up in fits and starts across WNC, but now that the sun, rain and warmth have collided, it´s the perfect recipe for wildflower time.  Some of the blooms are so showy and famous, like the fluffy pinkish-purple Catawba Rhododendron, that peak in the high elevations around…

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