Get a spring in your step: Local events, treks and more

When the rivers run full and the trees and flowers blossom,
when the world wakes up to the sounds of birds singing,
That’s the feeling of the new season springing. ~ Eric Crews

The greening of the world is upon us once more. What better way to celebrate the beauty of a gorgeous spring day than to head out and take in the sights, sounds, and scents of springtime in the mountains.

The spring wild flowers of the Appalachian Mountains soon reach their peak blooming season, and there is no better time to head out on a hike and discover some of the unique species of flowers we have here in the mountains. An upcoming event, also hosted by the Elisha Mitchell Audobon Society, should prove to be a great resource for those who would like to learn more about area flowers, their bloom schedules, and where to find them. Scott Dean will be leading the informative lecture, titled “An Appalachian Spring,” on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. The event will be held at the Reuter Center, Room 206.  For more info, visit the local Audubon Society’s website.

Here’s E.M. Audubon Society notice:

Scott Dean will give a PowerPoint presentation on our beautiful wildflowers and where to find them. Scott was born and raised in the mountains of southern Appalachia, and the Asheville area has been his home since 1992. He attended UNC-Asheville, earning a degree in biology, with a focus on the flora and fauna of the southern Appalachians. For the last seventeen years he’s been a walk leader for UNC-Asheville’s annual Wildflower Pilgrimage. He’s also led wildlife and wildflower walks at the Western North Carolina Nature Center. He developed the curricula and teaches field classes for the Blue Ridge Naturalist program offered at the N. C. Arboretum.—press release from emasnc.org

For a quick trip and a chance to hear the many sounds of the birds that visit Western North Carolina this time of year, go no further than the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. It offers visitors a chance to see and hear more than 100 different species. An upcoming bird walk with the local nonprofit Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society will offer participants a great opportunity to learn more about the many birds we have in our area. The walk will take place on May 7, at 8 a.m.For more info, visit the local Audubon Society’s website.

Here’s the full release:

“The next Beaver Lake walks will be at 8:00 a.m. on 2 April and 7 May. Beaver Lake Bird Walks are scheduled the first Saturday of each month. To beat summer’s heat and catch the birds when they are most active, we begin at 8 a.m. during April-September. In October, we revert to our 9 a.m. starting time. We meet at the gazebo at the sanctuary on Merrimon Avenue. Results of each bird walk are posted on our web site and tallied for the total number of species seen for the year.”
—Simon Thompson, Field Trip Coordinator

If you need a bit of inspiration, look no further than the Biltmore Estate’s Festival of Flowers. The Estate’s website offers a frequently updated slide show that showcases many of their spring blooms. Visit the Biltmore Estate’s website to see what’s blooming now at the Biltmore.

“Welcome spring with thousands of tulips and acres of azaleas at Biltmore. Join us for an estate-wide event celebrating the beauty of George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate, including gardens and landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of American landscape architecture. In April, thousands of tulips in the Walled Garden and around the estate will shine in hues of purple, orange, yellow and white. By May, the show continues with irises, peonies, and acres of azaleas, with summer blooms soon to follow.”

video and photos by Eric Crews

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