Ambient Autumn in Appalachia

Ask Asheville Linn Cove by Hunter Ward

Mornings first rays greet a frozen foliage wonderland that’s dressed in it’s Sunday best, waiting for Mother Nature to sever her ties. Ah it is Autumn at last. The stink bugs are disappearing, and on occasion one can see her breath. Snow is just around the corner. Neighborhoods are buzzing with trick-or-treat plans, and dads are preparing mountains of leaves for little ones to destroy. Recently I have been up on the Blue Ridge Parkway visiting the higher elevations since peak color has yet to descend into the valleys. This should happen over the next week or so as the chlorophyll within the leaves around Asheville dance with death. Isn’t it ironic that death by nature provides such joy and entertainment to the masses. Anyways, I had the chance to visit Linn Cove Viaduct (pictured) just below Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway recently and the colors were magnificent. Completed in 1987, the Viaduct attracts visitor from all over who simply want to marvel over the exquisite architecture located amidst one of natures greatest places.

Ask Asheville Sunburst Falls by Hunter Ward

The following Tuesday I ventured to Graveyard Fields (which I had been to the week before) and the leaves were basically gone. I have been working on my annual fall time-lapse of the leaves, and was disappointed because I didn’t have great conditions. As I ventured down Highway 215, I had my windows down and could hear rushing water. I enjoy using neutral density filters to give water a motion effect, so the rushing water caught my attention. I came to a pull-off close to where I had heard the water and proceed to try and find a path. A steep trail was the only way day and it was leave covered, but I descended anyways. Unknowingly, I had stumble upon the beautiful Sunburst Falls. The second picture is of the scene I found as the sun went behind the ridge line. Now is the time to begin exploring locations above 3000′ and anything about 2000′ should be stunning in the next week or so. I hope you enjoy!

-Hunter Ward, AshevilleWX

Spending Time With Friends In The Mountains

craggy gardens sunset

Remember the days when “getting away” was all we did. Nature, water, hiking, enjoying the great outdoors. We had lots of time on our hands, and spent it carefree; in moments that would never be revisited. We made friends, we lost friends, we had our ups and downs. We lived, we played, we lost, we won, we survived; standing here today as a witness to a universe that balances all of our lives.

In the photo above are some of our family and friends enjoying a beautiful sunset at Craggy Gardens, near Asheville. We do not have forever, but we do have right now. Take a moment today to make a friend, build a relationship, or maybe renew a friend that has faded away over the years. Maybe you need to get away for a little, for some rest and relaxation in the mountains? You deserve it. And bring some friends. Someone once said that… we are all we have. This is true.