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Asheville, North Carolina News

Posts Tagged ‘grandfather mountain’

Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN, NC – The 56th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will be held this year July 7-10. The Scottish Highland Games bring together Clans, families, visitors to celebrate the Scottish traditions of drumming, dancing, athletics and culture to provide scholarships for students to attend college.  The image seen here depicts the Sunday event, in which men from each Clan march in the parade.

July 10th at 8:30 am, Grandfather Mountain adds to the Highland Games with a Scottish Breakfast at Mildred’s Grill, with grilled tomatoes, sausage, beans, just to name a few delicious specialties.  Chelsea House Orchestra will perform afterward in the auditorium.

For more information, http://www.gmhg.org/

Grandfather Mountain Hosts Birthday Party for Animal Habitats, June 15

Monday, June 13th, 2011

BLOWING ROCK, NC – On June 15 Grandfather Mountain will host a birthday celebration for all of the animals in the park. Grandfather’s habitat staff has prepared a fun-filled day for guests as well as programming to honor and treat its furry inhabitants.

“The Animal Birthday Party gives us an opportunity to celebrate all of their birthdays at the same time because they all deserve a special day,” said Habitats Manager Christie Tipton.

2011 Birthday Party Schedule

10:00 am – 2:00 pm “Test Your Animal Knowledge” contest and make the animals a birthday card. Nature
10:30 am – 12:00 pm Behind the Scenes tour! We are offering a special birthday celebration price of $20 per person. Call 828-733-8715 to book in advance or go to the museum gift shop to sign up. Spaces are limited!
11:00 am Come play The Thicket Game! Meet at the Let it Rain picnic shelter.
1:00 pm Owl Encounter! Meet our Naturalists in front of the Fudge Shop.
1:30 pm Come play Quick Frozen Critters! Meet at the Let it Rain picnic shelter.
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Visit the Fudge Shop for a free slice of birthday cake (limited one slice per person).
2:15 pm “Test Your Animal Knowledge” Contest drawing: winners names will be announced and prizes will be awarded at the Nature Museum. Immediately afterwards, follow our habitat staff to the deer, otter, cougar and bear overlooks to watch a special Birthday Enrichment!
2:30 pm Special Birthday Enrichment for the deer, otters, cougars and bears! At the animal habitat.

Grandfather Mountain Hosts Family Fun with Naturalist Programs

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

LINVILLE, NC – Watch a nature program on TV with the sound turned down and you will enjoy the beauty and drama, but turn the sound up and you’ll also be enlightened with lots of interesting details that bring extra meaning and interest to the images you see unfolding on the screen.

So it is when you visit Grandfather Mountain in the company of one of our staff naturalists.  Any time you visit you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery and entertaining animals, but tag along with a staff naturalist and you’ll take away a much greater understanding of what you have seen and a much deeper appreciation of how rare and wonderful this Mountain truly is.

Staff naturalists Jesse Pope and Katie Gray offer an array of programs that allow them to share their love and enthusiasm for all things natural with Grandfather Mountain’s guests.  From slide programs on otters and bears to a hands-on show-and-tell with animal skins and deer antlers, from a close-range interaction with a barred owl to a guided hike across Grandfather’s rugged peaks, Grandfather’s naturalists will be happy to tailor any sort of interpretive activity that will make your experience of Grandfather Mountain fun and meaningful.

Many programs are offered on a regular schedule and are included in the cost of admission.  Other programs are available on request and will require an additional activity fee.  Phone 828-733-4326 for details or email [email protected].

Naturalists’ Program Schedule

May 14-15, 2011
Naturalist Weekend
Joins us for two days filled with guided hikes and special presentations on the birds, wildflowers and nature of Grandfather Mountain. Included with regular admission.

Daily, June – August
Nature Program
Check the message boards at the Nature Museum or the Top Shop to see what topic the program of the day will cover! Some of the presentations offered include: nature walks, wildflower walks, history talks, interaction with live owls, talks on forest composition, nature near the Swinging Bridge, and animal workshops on butterflies, salamanders, and each of the animals that reside in Grandfather’s animal habitats. Programs are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and will last about 1 hour. Free with park admission.

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
Programs, games, live birds, storytellers, music and fun. 9:00-4:00.  Free with park admission.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011
Girl Scout Day
Programs, games, live birds, guided hikes. 10:00-3:30. Girl Scouts admitted free with proof of membership.

Saturday & Sunday,  October 8-9, 2011  October 15-16, 2011
The Colors of Grandfather!
A guided hike to discuss the reasons trees change color in the fall and to identify what trees turn what colors. 1:00 p.m. at the Woods Walk. Free with park admission.

Why Grandfather Mountain is Such a Colorful Leaf-looking Destination

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

attic window peakLINVILLE, NC – Grandfather Mountain is considered one of the best fall color destinations in the Southern Appalachians because of Grandfather’s amazing diversity of plant life. As autumn approaches and the chlorophyll begins to fade from the leaves, the yellow and red pigments that lay beneath the green chlorophyll begin to show through. And because each different species of plant revels a little bit different hue and shade, the abundant variety of plant species at Grandfather reveal an abundant variety of autumn colors.

Contributing most to the seasonal spectacular is the fact that Grandfather is blessed with a wide diversity of hardwood trees. Bright yellow cottonwoods, golden poplars, pumpkin-colored beech trees, orange sugar maples, blood-red sourwoods, rusty red oaks, crimson-colored huckleberries, wine-colored sweetgums and purple dogwoods all contrast against the gray boulders and evergreen firs for a kaleidoscope of color.

peaks of GMElevation also contributes to the diversity of plant species and diversity of color. Because Grandfather Mountain rises abruptly from the valley floor, 4,000 feet in elevation above the Catawba River Valley to the east and 2,000 feet in elevation above Linville Gap to the west, different ecosystems exist at different levels. There are sixteen distinct ecological communities in these various zones, which is one reason why the United Nations made Grandfather the first privately owned unit in its international network of biosphere reserves.

Glaciers are another reason for the diversity of plant species and diversity of color. In the North, the slowly shifting glacial ice of the last Ice Age ground away the top soil, destroying all plant life as it moved. Plants and trees that were common in those areas only survived south of the glaciers’ range. As the temperatures rose, those northern plants found havens in the high elevations of the Appalachians.

Similarly, many Southern plant species find the northernmost terminus of their range in the Grandfather Mountain area. That produces a unique blend of plants that co-exist nowhere else on earth, and they in turn produce a unique blend of showy autumn hues that can be found nowhere else in the South.

The changing of the fall colors is always a miracle, and anywhere you travel in the North Carolina mountains to look at leaves will be a treat. But if a friend tells you that the Blue Ridge Parkway between Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain is the best fall color destination in the South, don’t dismiss it as hype. Because diversity of plant life means diversity of colors, and Grandfather Mountain is the most biologically diverse mountain in the East.