I awoke this morning to the call of a mockingbird. Then a cardinal pair sang the sun up. As the days shorten and cold weather gets ready to descend upon the mountains, the Dance of the Princely Paw Paws begins. And I too begin this series of adventures in the Appalachian mountains told by "fireside"...stories of our bioregion , the Dazzling Provinces of the Blue Ridge Mountains .
Possibly better known as the Greater Asheville (Buncombe County) North Carolina area, this is a land of refined mystery and beauty. As we journey through time and territory the magic of this area will reveal itself to you. ...a sense of place so magnetic that few who visit or are lucky enough to live here are untouched... . Magic happens here ...The world can look different through green glasses, so find a pair to don and we're on our way! I'll take you to some of my favorite places, powerful spots with awesome vantage points including the following (and maybe a few more!):
•A. Appalachian Trail - Big Bald •B. Bartram Trail - Franklin,. N.C. •C. Grandfather Mountain
•D. The French Broad River •E. Blue Ridge Parkway- Greater Asheville
•F. Where North America and Africa Meet •G. And maybe a few more
Along the way, I'll tell the story of the original mystical inhabitants who (it is said )lived here long, long, long ago...even before the Cherokee ... how our mountains were formed, what rocks and minerals you can find along the trail, the types of soils in the mountains, what causes them to erode, and what you can do about this I'll tell you about the water systems and water routes and how they affect our habitats. I'll point out the grand and lovely trees that grow here (more species of trees grow in the Blue Ridge than all of Europe!) ...and what happens to ecosystems when we don't play by the rules of sustainable forestry. I'll even tell you about the bear paths and migration routes of animals you may see and later tell your own stories about... And, I'll tell you about our weather patterns and how elevation plays a role in the weather in Western North Carolina.
But first a little folk history ... Mysteries abound in Guaxule (the Cherokee name for Asheville) where I make my home and help others to settle. Legend has it that the Cherokee who have lived in this area for a very, very long time, certainly for hundreds of years before the Scots-Irish and other European settlers first arrived,
were still not the first to grace our mountains and valleys. LEGEND has it that....in this land beyond time,
tiny-tiny-tiny people with 'almond shaped eyes' played in the streams around what is now Asheville. Seems like everyone prizes this land. (I'm smiling.)
- Take a look at this link. If YOU spot any tiny-tiny wee people, let me know.
- Live-Photo.com Asheville Downtown
- Live Image of Asheville Updated every minute.
Here in the Southern Appalachians, an area of incredible beauty, diversity of life, and culture, I feel fortunate to be a real estate professional because in my daily travels, every day I learn more about our land and peoples and about the natural world ...Should you choose to live here, maybe you will also fall in love with this place and care about providing it with a sustainable future. This series is just a jumping off place for beginning to understand the complex community of plants and animals inhabiting this ancient land and the role we all play in shaping the present and future natural communities of the Blue Ridge bioregion.
Fiction or Fact? Lungless salamanders are found in abundance in Western North Carolina.
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