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.
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 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.
© Louise Lindsay 2017
Many Mountain Air residents saw the partial eclipse from Mountain Air, and others traveled to nearby places to experience the total eclipse. Mountain Air's Outdoor Discovery Center chartered a bus and took a large group to Clemson University. Louise and Steve coincidentally also stopped at Clemson University on their drive up to Mountain Air from Key Largo, FL. It turned dark, and the cicadas started chirping.
Spectacular fall color all over the Blue Ridge Mountains makes sitting on the Heritage Ridge Villas' back porches a special experience. If the video below, taken from the back porch, is slow to load, you can also watch it on Youtube.
Video © 2016 Louise Lindsay The music in this video is creative commons music, called Farewell Flight, by Gregoire Lourme.
Heritage Ridge Villas residents and guests
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