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nchighcountrywx

NC High Country Fall 2015 Leaf Color Picture of the Day

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September 21 2015

 

Although autumn colors are just beginning to arrive on Grandfather Mountain, a few areas, such as Cliffside Overlook, are already providing opportunities for photographers to capture colorful images of foliage at higher elevations. Photo by Jim Morton

 

This is the first daily fall color post of 2015 from the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. Photos are posted daily on the Mountain’s website and on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

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Tuesday September 22 2015

 

Fog meets bog in this photo shot in Linville Gap, just down the road from Grandfather Mountain. As cooler temperatures persist, with leaves following suit, Grandfather’s naturalists posit that autumn 2015 seems to have started a week earlier than anticipated. Photo by Skip Sickler

 

Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

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Wednesday September 23 2015

 

Fall color peeks through at Linville Peak, just across Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge. A sign of cool weather, blueberry bushes turn a vibrant red, with sassafras and sedge grass adding some golden hues to the fall fray. Linville Peak sits at 5,295 feet above sea level, offering visitors a spectacular vista of autumn in the High Country.  (Photo by Skip Sickler)

 

Spectators will notice considerable color change on the mountain’s heath balds, areas typically found along narrow ridges and mountain crests with thin, shallow soil.

 

Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

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Thursday September 24 2015

 

Smokey, one of Grandfather Mountain’s resident bears, takes in the autumn sights, sounds and weather from the mountain’s bear habitat. Smokey is somewhat shy for a bear and prefers not to be the center of attention. Instead, she loves lounging in sun beams, harassing her neighbor — Aspen the cougar — and hanging out with her sister, Flower. During the colder months, Smokey and Flower are inseparable and even den together over the winter. (Photo by Frank Ruggiero)

 

Autumn color continues to spread throughout Grandfather Mountain. While the mountain’s more prominent peaks feature the (mountain) lion’s share of vibrant foliage, other locations, including the animal habitats, are also showing colorful signs of the times.

 

Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

 

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Always my favorite thread of the year, I'm so happy to see it rolling. We are eying the Carolina side of the Smokies this year. Last year I discovered how uncrowded it is compared to the Tennessee scene. Our side is great with kids but NC offers more solitude. Got a question about the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Would they close the Parkway if the government shuts down?

 

We have not booked a place yet in case we need to go state parks route. That worked out for us in 2013. Like storm chasing, we just need to improvise and adapt.

 

Happy leaf viewing! :thumbsup:

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Always my favorite thread of the year, I'm so happy to see it rolling. We are eying the Carolina side of the Smokies this year. Last year I discovered how uncrowded it is compared to the Tennessee scene. Our side is great with kids but NC offers more solitude. Got a question about the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Would they close the Parkway if the government shuts down?

 

We have not booked a place yet in case we need to go state parks route. That worked out for us in 2013. Like storm chasing, we just need to improvise and adapt.

 

Happy leaf viewing! :thumbsup:

Last time they did not shut the parkway down, but nothing was open along it. You couldn't camp at the campground, nor were any concession open. 

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Friday September 25 2015

 

Grandfather Mountain is well on the road to full fall color, as this photo shot near Scheer Bluff colorfully demonstrates. The overlook is named for the late Julian Scheer, a close friend of Grandfather Mountain’s founder, the late Hugh Morton. Scheer was best known for his work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he served as a publicist from 1962 to 1971.

 

Back on Earth, the pace of seasonal leaf change is accelerating rapidly. Within the last few days, more patches of hardwoods have begun to be clothed in red, orange and yellow, especially at elevations above 4,000 feet.

 

Photo courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

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(Photo by Skip Sickler)

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Thank you.

Last time they did not shut the parkway down, but nothing was open along it. You couldn't camp at the campground, nor were any concession open. 

I'm going to guess even day use trail parking areas would be gated if a shut-down. Or are they not really gated? Either rway good news the road itself remains open to get to some of the state parks.

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Saturday September 26 2015

 

Leaves are changing — and falling — along Grandfather Mountain’s Woods Walk trail. Circumscribing the attraction’s picnic area on the lower slopes of the mountain, the Woods Walk offers visitors a leisurely 4/10-mile loop through mature Appalachian forest.

 

(Photo by Skip Sickler)

 

Grandfather Mountain is host to at least 64 different flower and plant species, the Woods Walk, with its lower elevation, is starting to show its true, fall color.

 

Photo courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

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Sunday September 27 2015

 

The view from Scheer Bluff on Grandfather Mountain yields a dazzling display of coniferous and deciduous color. (Photo by Skip Sickler)

 

Whereas coniferous trees — also known as evergreens — keep their needles year round, deciduous trees respond to the season’s diminishing daylight by ceasing production of chlorophyll. As the chlorophyll already in the tree’s leaves fades and becomes clear, other chemicals and their colors are revealed. Xanthophyll, keratinoids and tannins exist within the leaf all season but are “overshadowed” by the stronger, more vibrant green chlorophyll. Xanthophyll leads to yellow leaves, keratinoids lead to a mix of orange and yellow leaves, and tannins leave leaves brown.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

 

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Monday 28SEP15

 

Near Stack Rock Creek

 

Fall color bursts into the lush greenery near Stack Rock Creek on the Blue Ridge Parkway, bringing a brilliant reprieve for an otherwise gray, rainy day. (Photo by Skip Sickler)

 

With elevations above 4,000 feet, Grandfather Mountain and portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway are offering some of the most colorful views of the season so far. For those undeterred by rain, cloud and fog, a particularly vibrant stretch of color can be seen on the Parkway from Julian Price Park (milepost 295) to Beacon Heights (milepost 305).

 

Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

 

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Thank you.

I'm going to guess even day use trail parking areas would be gated if a shut-down. Or are they not really gated? Either rway good news the road itself remains open to get to some of the state parks.

Most are not gated, and those that were you still have access. You'll just have to walk farther.

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Tuesday September 29 2015


 


A deer takes advantage of a break in the rain for some fall foraging on Grandfather Mountain. Although Grandfather houses deer in its animal habitats, wild deer are a common sight on the mountain. (Photo by Sharon Glatthorn)


 


Folks who are determined to see deer, however, are encouraged to attend one of Grandfather Mountain’s daily deer encounters (weather permitting), during which staff naturalists will offer the animals an enrichment — something to bring variety to their day, such as a new toy, treat or even a scent. Meanwhile, naturalists share information and answer questions. For a complete schedule of daily events, click here.


 


Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation


 


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I need scouting reports on Grandfather/Rough Ridge/Linn Cove Viaduct area. I'm hoping to go to that area on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, but I'm worry it'll be post-peak by that time.

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Got a chance to get up on the parkway for the sunset last night and it looks like the color around Cowee Mountain Overlook should be peaking this weekend.  Fingers crossed we can make it through the weekend with a lot of wind gusts!

 

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Got a chance to get up on the parkway for the sunset last night and it looks like the color around Cowee Mountain Overlook should be peaking this weekend.  Fingers crossed we can make it through the weekend with a lot of wind gusts!

 

 

 

Nice! I scouted the Parkway up to Graveyard Fields before realizing I forgot my memory card. Once I got my memory card, I went the other direction up to Glassmine Falls overlook and did few time-lapses along the way. Graveyard Fields was stunning so I'm going there today to spend my last day of fall break there.

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Nice! I scouted the Parkway up to Graveyard Fields before realizing I forgot my memory card. Once I got my memory card, I went the other direction up to Glassmine Falls overlook and did few time-lapses along the way. Graveyard Fields was stunning so I'm going there today to spend my last day of fall break there.

 

Went up to Graveyard Fields today and it was definitely beautiful, the waterfall was also very clear and picturesque. Lots of low lying fog and bright yellows around Mt. Pisgah. Autumn has truly arrived here in the mountains. 

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Monday 28SEP15

 

Near Stack Rock Creek

 

Fall color bursts into the lush greenery near Stack Rock Creek on the Blue Ridge Parkway, bringing a brilliant reprieve for an otherwise gray, rainy day. (Photo by Skip Sickler)

 

With elevations above 4,000 feet, Grandfather Mountain and portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway are offering some of the most colorful views of the season so far. For those undeterred by rain, cloud and fog, a particularly vibrant stretch of color can be seen on the Parkway from Julian Price Park (milepost 295) to Beacon Heights (milepost 305).

 

Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

 

tcsDTBC.jpg

Wow, I do wish they would identify the trees.  To me, that looks like Quercus rubra (N. Red Oak), but I could be wrong.  I'm surprised at how pretty it is.

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http://www.blueridgeparkwaydaily.com/blue-ridge-parkway-fall-colors-tracker/

 

Highest ridges may be past peak this weekend, but mid-mountain should light up. Believe the weekend will be excellent on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enjoy!

 

 

Went up to Graveyard Fields today and it was definitely beautiful, the waterfall was also very clear and picturesque. Lots of low lying fog and bright yellows around Mt. Pisgah. Autumn has truly arrived here in the mountains. 

 

Yeah, I visited both of Graveyard Fields' falls and they were gorgeous, although the trail was the muddiest I ever hiked in. I think highest ridges will be right at peak this Friday/Saturday from what I saw, although 4,500-5,500' will steal the show this weekend. I think I'll go for Black Balsam Knob southward this Friday afternoon.

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I'm heading up north on the parkway this weekend and wanted to stop around Grandfather to get on one of the trails up that way. I know of the Tanawha Trail but does anyone have any suggestions of some less traveled areas with great places to take pictures/just enjoy the beauty of the mountains? 

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When will the peak be for areas around Boone/blowing rock?

 

I think next weekend would be a great time to visit that area, but I'm not 100% on this. Maybe High Country posters can confirm this for me?

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Can someone please update the leave conditions around Boone/ blowing rock??

 

You can leave at any time.  But be sure and take in the leaf show before you go. The peak is around 4000' at the moment.

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