I thought that the Catawba Rhododendrons deserved their own post, but there is always much to see and do in the Pisgah Forest. It's a real treasure.
Last Sunday we went to an outdoor concert at the Cradle of Forestry which is several miles into the forest park. The C of F, which is a national historic site, is the location of the first school of forestry which grew out of G. W. Vanderbilt's love of nature. The property was originally used by the Vanderbilt's for hunting parties from the Biltmore Estate which is quite a few miles away. The Vanderbilt's originally owned all the land between the two properties, and amazing piece of real estate!
Our first stop yesterday was at the Fish Hatchery. The parking lot was teeming with hiking parties, camp groups, and families out for their day of adventure. There is an interpretive building on site and we looked at the aquaria which showcased the water creatures of the area... snakes, toads, salamanders, a hell bender, and of course, trout.
It's always fascinating to walk along the concrete pools outdoors where the trout are raised to maturity. It's a little difficult to capture them in a photograph, but here's a try.
For a quarter you can purchase a handful of fish food and when you throw it in a pool it creates quite a frenzy!
We took some time to walk one of the trails adjacent to the fish hatchery that wove through a pollinator garden and over several little bridges.
I'm sure you recognize these common butterfly and bee attractors, but I wasn't sure what tree produced these interesting white puffs. I'll have to do some research unless you can tell me. They are cool, though, aren't they?
And then we drove the short distance to Looking Glass Falls... and descended the 100 or so steps to bottom where there were lots of bathers on this warm day!
It is a pretty spot and attracts a lot of visitors because of it's proximity to the road. We had planned to do a short hike into another waterfall just a mile or so beyond Looking Glass, but as soon as we got to our car, the heavens opened and it started to rain! Brevard is practically a rain forest and so this kind of quick onset shower is never surprising, but it did discourage us from pursuing our hike yesterday.