As autumn approaches and cooler temperatures creep in, we can't help but think of a fall staple: apples. Apples were and still are a part of people's livelihoods in the Blue Ridge region. During the turn of the 20th century, Martin and Caroline Brinegar, whose cabin and garden is preserved today (Milepost 238), managed an orchard of 25 to 30 trees. Just to the south, textile giant Moses Cone and Bertha Lindau Cone oversaw a working orchard of 32,000 apple trees at their Flat Top Manor (Milepost 294) which produced prize-winning apples.
The Brinegar cabin and Flat Top Manor are open to the public. Free ranger-led tours are offered by registration at Flat Top, or visitors can take a self-guided tour of the home to learn more about the Cones and their estate. Visit the link in the bio for the NPS calendar for times of ranger-led and self-guided tours.
Photo of a lone apple tree with ripe fruit near the Great Valley Overlook (Milepost 99.6) by Brian Wells. #apples#fall
Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) know a little bit about traveling. In about a year's time and over four generations, monarchs journey from their overwintering grounds in Mexico to the northeast U.S. and back. With lifespans of only two to six weeks, each monarch completes its leg of the long journey, mates and lays eggs on its favorite plant: milkweed (Asclepias genus). It is then up to the next generation to continue the trek. The fourth generation of monarchs, living up to nine months, has the large task of returning to Mexico where they will spend the winter until the breeding season.
For more information, visit the NPS subject page on monarchs' extensive travels through the link in the bio.
Photo description: A monarch feeding on mountain mint (Pycanthemum muticum) by Kristina Plaas. #FindYourPark#wildlifewednesday#blueridgenps
RANGER PROGRAM ALERT: Join Parkway rangers at 10:00 am on Friday, September 20th for an easy to moderate, 1.5-mile round-trip hike to the Frying Pan Fire Tower. Learn about the history of fire towers, as well as superstitions and tall tales of the Appalachian Mountains as we take in some of the fantastic views that the Parkway has to offer.
Meet at the Frying Pan Trail pullout at Milepost 409.6, one mile south of the Pisgah Inn and the campground. Park at the gravel Forest Service Road, but don't block the gate. Bring water, wear good walking shoes, and be prepared for changeable weather.
Click the link in the bio for more details.
Photo description: NPS photo of the view from Frying Pan Fire Tower (Milepost 409.6).
Who said life's not all sunshine and rainbows?
You remember ROYGBIV from art class in grade school, right? Sunlight is seen as white light to us, but white light is made up of a spectrum of colors. When rain droplets are present in the sky, light hits the rain droplets, the light is slowed and the colors are dispersed. The light is reflected back, exits the droplets, and is bent, creating the curve shape of the rainbow.
The time of day is very important in seeing a rainbow. There must be an angle between forty and forty-two degrees between you, the droplet, and the sun for a rainbow to be visible. This is more likely to occur in the early morning or in the evening, when the sun is at a low altitude angle.
Have you seen a rainbow on the Parkway?
Photo description: A partial rainbow with mountains in the background from the Montvale Overlook (Milepost 95.9) by Brian Wells.
Suicide was the leading cause of death on the Blue Ridge Parkway last year, with 10 individuals ending their lives in this beautiful place. Park rangers are trained to assist individuals in times of crisis and have responded to 9 suicide attempts this year that resulted in successful intervention.
Some of these interventions were made possible because a Parkway visitor recognized someone in need and called for help. We can all play a role in preventing suicide. If you see someone on the Parkway who is in crisis, call 911 immediately. You may be the one to help save a life.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
On Saturday, September 14th, the grounds of the N.C. Minerals Museum (Milepost 331) will be transformed into a colonial militia encampment for the 28th Annual Overmountain Victory Celebration. This event commemorates the crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains by the Overmountain Men on their way to an eventual battle with British forces at Kings Mountain. Re-enactors will demonstrate crafts and skills of the Revolutionary War period throughout the day. A re-enactment of the Battle of Kings Mountain will be held at the Historic Orchard at Altapass located three miles north on the Parkway at milepost 328. There will also be candlelight tours of the encampment, where visitors can hear soldiers' stories from battle. -
Join us for this celebration, and be a part of history!
For more information about this event, visit the link in the bio.
Photo descriptions: Re-enactors in Revolutionary War military uniforms (photo 1).
The grounds of the NC Minerals Museum during the Overmountain Victory Celebration (photo 2).
September 11th is a National Day of Service and Remembrance, when those all across the county are encouraged to volunteer in their local communities in tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Students and faculty from Christ School spent their day volunteering in their community at Mt. Pisgah Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thank you to the volunteers from Christ School and the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway- Asheville Chapter for your support and for allowing us to be part of your tribute to those who lost their lives on this day 18 years ago.