Sallie shared some of her pictures from earlier in the season when Mountain Air's Dining Divas had a great meal in Heritage Ridge Park. If you like to cook and enjoy sharing delicious food together, talk to Sallie about joining Dining Divas. Sallie is also one of our Heritage Ridge Villas' board members.
One of our newer residents, Bill McKown, took these fabulous images from his back porch. The top image is recent and the bottom one is from last winter. Every morning, we get incredible sunrises over the Black Mountain Range.
The not so well kept secret is that sunsets also can be very awesome. We often get what is called "bounce" as the rays of the setting sun bounce onto the clouds in the east. Some of us also have a view from our front porch or side porch of direct views to the west over the mountains also. Our condos sit on a ridge on the mountain, with views to the east and to the west.
Alpine Glow, video by Carolyn Paul. Carolyn is an artist who lives in the Heritage Ridge Villas. She created this video from her back porch in the late summer of 2020.
Every year, the Property Owners Association at Mountain Air hosts the Ferrari Club. They enjoy the three mile ride from the gate up to the runway at the top of the mountain. They get to do time trials on the runway and have lunch. We residents get to enjoy the show. This year, a few Heritage Ridge Villas residents invited friends and we sat along the side of the road to watch the Ferraris roar up the mountain. In the video below, you get to see a view from a drone. It's a nice tour of the mountain.
One of our residents, Louise Lindsay, created the following interpretation of her favorite red Ferrari, as it sped by in a time trial on the runway.
There are always fun activities at Mountain Air. Last Saturday, runners and walkers made the 5 K climb from the gate to the top of the mountain. The 5 K race is open to all who are interested and happens every fall, in the midst of the beautiful leaf season. Part of the ascent comes right up through our Heritage Ridge Park and neighborhood, and we get to cheer everyone on, or maybe join in the race.
Last week one of our residents drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from 80 S to past Mt. Mitchell. She had the privilege of witnessing an afternoon of the great Monarch Butterfly migration from all over Canada and the eastern US to Mexico. Thousands of Monarchs were pausing on their 2500 mile journey and refreshing themselves (nectaring) on the Blue-ridge wildflowers. You could see them all over the wildflowers and everywhere in the sky. Pure heaven. She stopped at every overlook, sat in the grass, and simply experienced this awe-inspiring event. She shared these pictures with us.
In the landscape images of the views from the overlooks, you may be able to see the butterflies in the sky, although it's hard to see on small internet images.
Normally monarchs live 2-6 weeks. The monarchs who fly south to Mexico live closer to 9 months. The same butterflies start the return trip to the States and Canada. They start an inter generational relay of sorts when they reach Texas, as one generation dies out, and successive generations carry on the migration back to their many northern homes!
If you look up to the skies above and around Mountain Air, often you see the monarchs flying through in the fall. The Nature Center in the Mountain Air Village also has coccons which hatch and a whole program dealing with monarchs. Stop by to take a look.
#MonarchMigration #MonarchButterflies #nectaring #BlueRidgeParkway #GreenKnobOverlook #BaldOverlook
The HRV board, under the guidance of Carol, has had all of our flower beds enhanced with beautiful new flowers this year. We have not yet had a frost, and so the flowers keep on blooming. Our resident photographer, Louise, writes:
Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
. . .
Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.”
~ John O'Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
#PurpleConeFlowers or #Echinacea are still blooming in the mountains of NC. I have been nurturing them in the gardens outside my condo, along with the help of Carol and a few others. They are a little beaten up at the end of the season, so I hand painted in the petals a bit in Photoshop, to give them a more painterly and less pocked appearance. I also love the imperfections and quirks, especially in end of the season flowers. But this time I decided to go with the hand painted version.
The colors are also sometimes a bit more faded at the end of the season, but I think that has its own beauty too. Each day, as I leave to walk my dogs in the morning, or to go off on errands or a hike, I am so happy to be greeted by these flowers.
Lots of residents here enjoy gardening and grow beautiful dahlias. Almost everyone enjoys the dahlias.
A Heritage Ridge Villas resident's daughter, Emily, visited and took this picture of the view from the 18th hole. The 18th hole is right next to the Heritage Ridge Villas, and is one of the most photographed places on the mountain. We hope that everyone has been out enjoying great games of golf.
One of our residents daughter, Emily, was visiting and took this wonderful picture showing the glorious flowers and the view from the top of the mountain. Emily has quite the eye for composition, and the mountain provides many wonderful viewpoints.
Muriel Anderson played a beautiful harp guitar concert last week at the Celo Inn, in Celo. The concert was set up to be a "house concert". "House concerts" are intimate concerts, presented to smaller audiences, in spaces like a living room or parlor. The world renowned Muriel Anderson was touring in the area. Some of our talented local musicians participated in enticing her to drop by Celo, on her way to Nashville, and play a house concert in the Celo Inn parlor. We all benefitted, and several of us drove over to hear the concert. Be sure to check the Yancey Common Times Journal or the Yancey Chamber of Commerce website for information about concerts such as this one.
Residents of the Heritage Ridge Villas enjoy hiking on the Jump Off trail at the top of the mountain. This trail follows a ridge line, and has a long gentle trail, with a lookout point. For those who want a bit of a steeper hike, it's a short climb up to an even higher lookout. This trail goes through an old growth forest, with these giant trees. Residents of the villas have access to the many miles of hiking trails within Mountain Air. The trails are well maintained and well marked. What a beautiful way to spend part of a day.
A few large American Chestnuts which fruit every year are growing right outside the E building of the Heritage Ridge Villas. Jan took some of the fruit and twigs with leaves to the American Chestnut Foundation in nearby Asheville. Ben Jarrett, the science coordinator, wants to come next fall and collect some of the fruit from our very rare Chestnuts, to help with their breeding program, designed to bring back now extinct American Chestnuts into our forests.
Giant Chestnuts used to cover the western North Carolina forests, but by 1950 had succumbed to blight, a fungal disease. They became extinct. The dead trees were attacked by insects and removed, drastically changing our forest environment and climate. The wood from these dead trees, called wormy chestnut, is prized and rare today and still used for decorative purposes.
The American Chestnut Foundation is trying to bring these trees back. By finding the few rare trees that still grow today, and breeding and selecting for the most resilient, they may succeed in bringing the trees back from extinction. The blight is here to stay, but some rare, remaining surviving trees may help repopulate our forests. Our Heritage Ridge Villas' trees are among these stars survivors.
See the pictures and videos below for more information and a view of "our" Chestnut trees.
The trunk, and the root sprouts, of one of our Chestnuts. View looking up.
Video showing location of HRV chestnuts, and a view of the hull of the fruit and the trees. Stoney Falls condos are on the left and the Heritage Ridge Villas E building and the 18th tee box are on the right (but not visible through the trees).
Another view of the Heritage Ridge Villas' chestnuts, with E building on the upper left, and Stoney Falls condos on the lower right, driving toward Mountain Air Drive.
Two of our Heritage Ridge Villas residents have enjoyed wonderful hikes at nearby Rocky Fork State Park in Tennessee. It is about a 30 minute drive from our villas, mostly on 4 lane highway. Louise contributed the videos below.
Rocky Fork Park
We walked along a gentle path, with the above river gently flowing along the path. A beautiful, peaceful and easy walk, with many places to pause and sit along the river. A great place to bring a picnic.
There also are many harder trails and waterfalls in the park.
The park literature says: "The park is predominately Appalachian cove forest, one of the most biologically diverse habitats in North America. The well drained, loamy soil supports the growth of a variety of hardwoods and evergreens. Oak, hickory, beech, pine, hemlock, and rhododendron are just a few of the species found here. The diversity of tree species has historically made the area a desirable timber ground. The park and the surrounding Cherokee National Forest offers miles of old, unmarked logging roads.
Native wildflowers find ideal growing conditions and include Pink Lady’s Slipper and Yellow Fringed Orchid and Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid, and several native lilies, including Turk’s Cap and Michaux’s Lily. Diverse and varied fungi thrive in Rocky Fork’s cool, damp climate.
. . . The park contains a noted cultural site at the junction of Flint Creek and Rocky Fork. This location was the winter encampment of Creek and Cherokee Indians in the late 1700s when Colonel (later Governor) John Sevier and his troops surrounded the encampment and mounted a surprise attack in response to long standing tension between the two groups. The Creek and Cherokee sustained heavy fatalities and casualties during the conflict."
The Mountain Air Property Owners' Association just sponsored the first annual 5 K run up Mountain Air. You might want to sign up for next year's run! It is open to anyone. It was a big success.
The video to preview the road for the race also shows you the main road, Mountain Air Drive, up the mountain, all the way to the runway and Mountain Air Village at the top. The Heritage Ridge Villas are about half way up this drive of 3 miles. You can see in the video that the drive up the mountain is on a well paved and easy to drive road, with only gentle curves, not harrowing switchbacks.
The Heritage Ridge Villas are an easy 35 minute, 4 lane expressway drive, from Asheville. The final drive up the mountain is shown here. Unlike many other mountain communities, Mountain Air is close to Asheville, but at an altitude that brings cooler temperatures, with an easy drive to and up the mountain. When it is 85 degrees in Asheville in the summer, our temperatures are below 75 degrees because of our altitude. Our fall weather is beautiful and mild. Today, at night, it is 65 degrees on my outside porch.
Enjoy this video drive up our mountain, especially the views at the end. Remember that the Heritage Ridge Villas are only half way up the mountain, rather close to the entry gate. You can see how you gain altitude as you drive up the mountain. Come for a visit.
Our Heritage Ridge Villas condos are at high elevation, 4000 ft. They are an easy drive up a well paved and maintained road. Driving seven minutes down our mountain and on a 4 lane highway brings residents to our lovely local village of Burnsville (elevation 2822 ft.). A recent Charlotte Magazine article adds to the praises Burnsville always receives.
We are fortunate in the Heritage Ridge Villas, because we are near the top of Mountain Air, with all the Club amenities nearby. We have glorious long range mountain views. And we are near the entry gate and an easy drive into Burnsville. The nearest grocery store is a ten minute drive away. There is no "rush hour" traffic. Burnsville not only has lovely boutiques, but it is also home to many artists and their galleries. In fact, the Charlotte Magazine article includes pictures of the beautiful murals painted by local artist, Rhea Ormond, mentioned in a prior post.
More than one of our Heritage Ridge Villas residents are from Florida. Some of us were attracted to buy here because not only do our condos provide a beautiful home away from home, or year round home, but they also offer shelter from the Florida hurricanes. Some of us sought shelter here. Our residents live in the Florida Keys (experienced repairable damage), New Smyrna Beach (little damage), the west coast (escaped flooding and damage), St. Augustine (minor damage), Miami, etc. Many of us have enjoyed the shelter of the mountains, both during Hurricane Irma, and during the disorder of the aftermath. We are all grateful that damage was minimal, and grateful that our North Carolina mountains provided such good and beautiful shelter. We are saddened by the devastation caused around the world this year by so many natural disasters.
Of course other residents are from many other parts of the country, including New Orleans, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Charlotte, NC, South Carolina, etc.
Louise Lindsay contributed this "After The Storm" sunrise image, taken from her Heritage Ridge Villas' living room porch.
© Louise Lindsay 2017, prints, etc. available at www.louiselindsay.com by request
While having a lovely dinner at Snap Dragon in Burnsville, I had the opportunity of meeting one of our famous local artists, Rhea Ormond. Rhea currently has some of her paintings on exhibit at TRAC, in Burnsville. She has painted several murals in Burnsville and Spruce Pine also. Images of two of her lovely murals appear below. Be sure to enjoy the many murals in downtown Burnsville and Spruce Pine, and catch the latest exhibits at TRAC in Burnsville, and Spruce Pine. Louise Lindsay
The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival was awesome again this year. Check their website to look into next year's festival, Sept. 6-8, 2018. There were highlights this year too numerous to mention. But one highlight was an interview with James Reston, Jr., pictured below. There was also a lovely free pre-festival concert, with musicians of local and national note. That is Rob Levin, our local and world famous glass blowing artist, but also musician, playing the washboard base. Ron and Minnie teamed up with a yodeler. And Bruce Greene played the fidel and sang old folk tunes with his wife. If you missed this event, you can experience some of the music again this coming Saturday at the Burnsville Town Center "Music in the Mountains Folk Festival.
The weather has been gorgeous here at Mountain Air. The past several days have been comfortably warm and sunny. Some of us have been hiking on the glorious trails here. Below is a view from the first look out on Jump Off Trail. Simply drive over to Timber Sky. Download the hiking trail map on this website, or get one from the Outdoor Discovery Center. There is a trail head over in Timber Sky, that takes you to a gentle trail along the top ridge of Mountain Air. You arrive at a lovely lookout, where this picture was taken. Then, you can continue on up a steeper trail, to an even higher lookout if you wish. The first part of the jump-off trail is gentle and easy, even for beginners.
© Louise Lindsay 2017, prints, etc. available at www.louiselindsay.com by request
Heritage Ridge Villas residents and guests
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