Each Sunday we stroll at the Arboretum to the azalea gardens. The variety of azaleas bloom at different times. This week 4/2/16 we were thrilled with the first blooming azalea and other beautiful sights and smells. Even the parking lot looked beautiful.
Arboretum Strollers ist meet Sunday….if the temp is above 45…….
Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge leveles. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.
Easy Hiking Trails
Azalea Collection Trail – 0.5 miles (Foot traffic ONLY)
Starting with a bridge from Bent Creek Road, this trail provides access to multiple routes through the National Native Azalea Repository, including a teaching circle and a close look at Bent Creek. At the west end of the Collection, the Fern Loop provides a cool route along a natural mountain wetland and through part of a Rhododendron thicket where you can get a slight feel as to what a “Laurel hell” meant to a mountaineer traveling cross country. Total length, including the Fern Loop, is approximately ½ mile.
Bent Creek Road – 1.3 miles
Bent Creek Road is a gravel-surfaced corridor shared by pedestrians, pets on leashes and cyclists. The 12-foot wide road follows Bent Creek for the length of the Arboretum property with several adjoining roads leading off the property into the Pisgah National Forest.
Bent Creek Trail – 1.3 miles (Foot traffic ONLY)
Bent Creek Trail, for foot traffic only, parallels the road in several places, running closer to the creek. One favorite attraction along Bent Creek Trail is the National Native Azalea Repository. Bent Creek Trail is 1.3 miles in length.
Old Mill Trail – 0.3 miles
The Old Mill Trail connects the trailhead/recreation parking area at the Arboretum’s main entrance to Bent Creek Road. After leaving the trailhead parking area, turn to the left around the pipe gate. Cross the bridge and the trail will begin to the right through the woods. This trail is named for the old grist mill that existed in the area around the viaduct bridge.
Wolf Branch Road – 0.3 miles
Wolf Branch Road allows easy access to the Carolina Mountain Trail and Bent Creek Road, affording a short, pleasant walk along a cascading stream.
The Arboretum Strollers will walk these easy hiking trails.
Yesterday I was caught in a traffic slowdown of stop and go traffic for two hours. My usual commute is about 20 mins. The radio told me of a number of accidents on the major routes around town which impacted the bypass route I had taken- it was friday at 5 30. My initial reaction was irritation and concern about riding my brakes. Then I started to see the areas I usually whiz by now dressed in fall finery and frequent elaborate halloween displays in yards as I passed. I drove through a “snowstorm” of tiny golden leaves as the wind blew. Right then I remembered I could choose to be grateful for the time to enjoy this rare view. Each tree is dressed in its signature colors from the dark red of the dogwoods to the golden birch and a few red maples just starting. The hillsides that often hold little definition were highlighting each individual tree and ridge and valley. When the road traveled along the french broad river I watched the sun sparkle on the moving water and felt I had been given a gift. I rolled down the windows and sang along with the radio and smiled and smiled.
I do a dance of joy today…because I can. Merry Solstice!
I marvel at the beauty of this area often. Watching the changes from day to day interests me. This day I watched it minute by minute as the plumes of mist crept slowly up the valley between two hills. We had a cold snap after a rain. Here the name for this yearly cold snap is called blackberry winter because it is when the blackberry bushes bloom. I can now be sure that spring warmth will follow and it is safe to plant.
Wash out the egg shells, let dry. Place a water soaked cotton ball in each shell, add grass / wheat seed and place in sunny location. Trim hair and nibble!
Another wonderful idea from https://www.facebook.com/greenrenaissance?fref=photo