13th annual Mountain Wildlife Days are July 15-16

From Mountain Wildlife Days:


One of the many magical things about our mountains is the chance – often unexpected – to meet the creatures with which we share this beautiful area. The 13th annual Mountain Wildlife Days, July 15-16, at the Sapphire Valley Resort, will once again offer something for all ages in getting “back to nature.” Be prepared to meet and learn about the animals that live outside our back doors – and some that come from a little farther away.
Friday’s (July 15) Daytime Activities offer a wide variety of free programs:
9 am – A “Let’s Get Acquainted with our Birds” walk led by Russell Regnery, President of the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society. 24 different species of birds, including Eastern Phoebe, Red-winged Blackbird, Blue-headed Vireo, Chipping and Swamp Sparrow, are often seen in this area.
9:30 am – Two nature hikes: an easy two-mile (roundtrip) hike to King Creek Falls and a more moderate hike on the Chattooga East Fork Trail. Both include visits to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery.
3:30 pm – “Birds of Prey” program by Michael Skinner of the Balsam Mountain Trust.
This is a “free”, open presentation, designed specifically for Sapphire Valley Resort campers, Boys and Girls Club members and other youth groups in the area.
Friday Evening Program – 7 PM: Following an introductory “Creation Celebration” program featuring Bryan Heller on piano and Greg Hall on trumpet, popular nature photographer and naturalist Bill Lea will once again entertain at the evening event. This year, Bill’s program, Bobcats, Foxes and More – God Made Predators, Too, will focus on bobcats, foxes, coyotes and wolves – all amazing animals with remarkably individual personalities and behaviors. Unfortunately, many of these animals and their vital roles in our eco-systems are misunderstood.
Entry fee for the Friday evening program is $5 for adults; children with adults free.
Saturday’s Schedule is a full and entertaining one, with Highlands Plateau Audubon Society President Russ Regnery as Master of Ceremonies. Admission for all day Saturday is $8.00 for adults; children free with adult:
9:30 am   Exhibits and Silent Auction Open (Evergreen Room)
10:00-10:50 am   “Life of A Black Bear” featuring Cynthia Strain of the B.E.A.R. task force along with an entertaining visit by “Arthur the Bear”.

10:50-11:00 am  Break – Exhibits and Silent Auction Open

11:00-11:50 am  “Hunters in the Sky” – A unique look at Carlton Burke’s birds of prey.

12:00-1 pm  Lunch Break – Exhibits and Silent Auction Open
1:00-1:45 pm  “Wolves-Our Most Misunderstood Animal”   A popular presenter, Rob Gudger and his wolves, will be returning to Mountain Wildlife Days for an informative and exciting program.

1:45-2:00 pm  Break – Final Silent Auction Bids
2:00-2:50 pm  “Unique Animals from Australia” – Wildlife Wonders of the North Georgia Zoo will provide a close-up look at some of their unusual animals from Australia.

A silent auction will be held Saturday with proceeds going to Mountain Wildlife Days’ Western North Carolina Wildlife Outreach. This program provides important wildlife and outdoor education for schools and other organizations throughout Western North Carolina. Auction items will go on display at 6:30 PM at the Sapphire Valley Community Center prior to Friday evening’s program, with bidding throughout the day on Saturday.

Mountain Wildlife Days is co-sponsored by the Sapphire Valley Resort and financially supported by sponsors and friends of wildlife. For more information on Mountain Wildlife Days and to make reservations for Friday’s bird walk or hikes, visit the Sapphire Valley Resort Community Center or call 828-743-7663. Information is also available at mountainwildlifedays.com.

About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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