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September 26, 2015

Fall Has Started Falling

Fall Red Dogwoods Bertram HenryFall is a beautiful, fascinating period in the Smokies and at Buckhorn Inn.  This photo of the leaves of one of our dogwoods was taken by Bertram Henry, a Buckhorn Regular, when he was here this week.  The main fall leaf season is still several weeks away (mid to late October), but color has begun to develop over the past week in high elevation areas. Many birch trees are showing muted yellows, and species such as witch hobble, sumac, and blueberries are sporting red leaves at higher elevation. It’s still early in the season though, so colors should continue to develop over the next week or two along the crests of the mountains.

At low to middle elevations, dogwood trees have a reddish cast that will develop into brilliant reds later in October. Species such as sourwood and red maple are also turning red. And the brilliant reds of Virginia creeper vine can be seen climbing the trunks of many trees. Overall however, the forests are still very green at these elevations. There’s not a lot fall color to see yet — just scattered trees here and there.

Fall flowers displays are glorious now. Flowers such as purple asters, white asters, black-eyed Susans, pale jewelweed, ironweed, great blue lobelia, closed gentian, and goldenrod are blooming profusely along roadsides and trails. In the forests, look for the vibrant pink, purple, and red fruits of hearts-a-bustin’ bushes and the brilliant reds of dogwood berries.

September 23, 2015

Inn offers birdwatching walks

Birdwatching AdultsBecome a birdwatcher at Buckhorn Inn!   Each Thursday and Saturday morning from now until the end of October, Birder Extraordinaire Keith Watson will lead a morning bird walk here at the Inn.  
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a premier place for birds. The crest of the Smokies towers nearly a mile above the foothills, creating a range in elevations and a variety of topographies that provide a diversity of habitats and microclimates for birds.  The number of birds and diversity of species change with the seasons.  Fall is a time of change when warblers and others wear a confusing molted fall plumage. Restless to migrate, many species will leave at night and head south. In mid-September the Broad-winged Hawks begin to kettle-up over the ridges and glide to the next thermal, with a few Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, Northern Harriers, and others joining. Even as the migrants leave, the winter visitors begin to arrive – Purple Finch, Evening Grosbeak, Swamp Sparrow, and others. 

Bird walks begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays.  Call 865 436 4668 to reserve or email info@buckhorninn.com.  Binoculars supplied.

September 8, 2015

Special Birthday for Buckhorn Inn Regular

Ken Owens 2Beloved and respected guest Ken Owens is celebrating his 90th birthday this month with family and friends and his beautiful wife Barbara.  Happy Birthday, Ken!