Naturewalks in Western North Carolina
May 5, 2011 by Susan Murray
>Sometimes when the weather is especially nice here at the Carolina, James and I play hookey. Like Tom Sawyer we leave the paint brush in the paint can next to the metaphorical picket fence of housework at our Asheville North Carolina Bed and Breakfast, and head for the mountains! This past Sunday was one of those beautiful days when every flower and leaf glows in the sun and a gentle breeze blows down from the hills. So we decided to take a hike in the forest surrounding Bent Creek. We got out the trail map, stopped at GreenLife for a picnic and drove about 15 minutes from here to the place where the trail was supposed to start. I say “supposed to” because we never did find the trail and our hike turned out to be more of a walk through the woods to a picnic than a picnic but it was beautiful none the less.
The trail took us along a mountain stream replete with wild-life and flowering plants. At one point we reached a small man-made pond where people can swim. I was sort of amazed to see that people were actually swimming already–but then I am a well-known hater of cold water! Next to the pond a mother goose protected her baby goslings. She would not let me get any closer than this to take her picture. They were lovely, yellow fluffy chicks!
Further on we came to a stone bridge which crossed the stream. Even though we are grown-up, our family still likes to play “Pooh-Sticks“. This is my stick which made it to the other side first.
My daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Mike were visiting us and Mike likes to spend time in the Northwoods of Minnesota. He showed us where some beavers had started to gnaw through a tree to build a dam. It’s always useful to have someone along who knows something like this!
Later, we saw a group of butterflies feeding at a rock in midstream. Butterflies get minerals and salt from standing water and rocks like this. But it isn’t often that one sees a whole flock of butterflies. Here they are covering the puddle they are feeding from.
This was our first choice for a picnic spot but Sarah was too likely to fall in so we continued on until we came to a safer spot!
It wasn’t the energetic hike we had hoped for but almost any walk through the Pisgah National Forest will turn up something interestingHiking, Nature, Outside Asheville, Things to Do. Bookmark the permalink.