Autumn in the North Carolina mountains is usually a glorious time of blazing color. Some Autumn color would fit right in with the Autumn Jubilee event this year, reminding us that with the quilt along, sew along, stitch along, new recipes and projects, there should be a day to just enjoy the season. So today, we take a breath. This year the colors are a bit late and somewhat muted because of the warmth we’ve had over the month of September and October. It has only now been cold enough at night to stop chlorophyll production in the leaves and let the natural sugar colors begin to show. At our house, there is still green everywhere. This past weekend, we wanted to show some autumn color to our out-of-town guests, so we needed to go to a higher elevation. They enjoy hiking, so we decided to get a very early start and go to Graveyard Fields on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Graveyard Fields got its name from the mounds of rotting tree stumps that formed there hundreds of years ago from some kind of wind event. The mounds looked like tombstones. Later, in 1925, a fire destroyed the area trees and the mounds along with them, so there isn’t any hint of this today. Part of the area did get affected by the wildfires from last winter that took 3-4 months to fully extinguish. Another factor this year is the wind blowing the leaves off the trees too soon, from the hurricanes Irma and Nate that made their way across the area. Many trees have been stripped of their leaves before they could turn color.
But, no matter, there is still some color and the hiking is good. The trailhead at Graveyard Fields has two starting points off the parking area. Last time we went, we took the Lower Falls route, so this time we decided to go to the Upper Falls. The hike was 3 miles round trip.
Along the way we did see some pretty colors here and there. This should have been the peak weekend for color at this elevation.
Some parts of the trail have arbors of rhododendrons. These will be covered in flowers in springtime.
Reaching Upper Falls, we stopped to rest and enjoy the view.
There is something so relaxing about the sound of the water and the beauty of the area.
Breathtaking and unspoiled.
Rock formations like these are quite prevalent all over western North Carolina along the waterways.
So serene. There is time to stop, observe, and breathe.
A solitary orange leaf sits on the rock above while the water gently flows below.
Hiking back out we took another trail out, and some of the marshier areas in the lower part of the hike had walkways. These were nice, as a lot of the trail was muddy.
Coming back to the parking area, one last look at the view covering the trail.
A turning maple with the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance.
Next time we will get back to Autumn Jubilee with continuation of the quilt along, more giveaways, and more fun. I have more projects coming up, and another Autumn tablescape. I am currently working on two more quilts, a couple of DIY projects, and more recipes. I am making another tomato pie later this week, as I still don’t have that one set to my satisfaction.
Is there color where you are?
PS – Tomorrow is the last day to enter the Aurifil Threads Giveaway drawing, and some really great prizes are coming up in the next posts for even more goodies!!