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July 11, 2017

See Summer Flowers in the Smokies

Many guests ask us when is the best time to see rhododdendron and mountain laurel in bloom. Well, it depends–mostly on the elevation. Here at Buckhorn where our elevation is about 1600 feet, May is a great viewing tiime. But up in the mountains, July is the best time. There are many other summer wildflowers besides these two perennial favorites in bloom right now, including the beautiful jewelweed shown left. The Great Smoky Mountains Association recommends several good viewing spots. 
         Low Gap (from Cosby to Low Gap) – Crimson Bee Balm, Rosebay Rhododendron, Wood Nettle, Pale Jewelweed, Canadian Violet, Pipsissewa, Common Elderberry, Loosestrife, Galax, Basil Bee Balm, White Clover, Wild Hydrangea and Blackberry.
         Appalachian Trail (From Low Gap to Mt. Cammerer Trail) – Blackberry, White Clover, Mountain St. John’s Wort, Loosestrife, Galax, Wood Nettle, Wild Hydrangea, Flame Azalea, and Partridge Berry.
         Mount Cammerer – Galax, Rosebay Rhododendron , Wild Hydrangea and Blackberry.

May 30, 2017

Labyrinth at Buckhorn Inn One of Largest in U.S.

The Buckhorn Inn’s Rachael’s Labyrinth, at 60 feet in diameter, is one of the largest meditation labyrinths  in the United States.  It is built of local fieldstone, and is a unique feature of the Buckhorn Inn grounds. Peoples all over the world have been creating these structures since the Neolithic period.  They are marked by a symmetry that is visually pleasing and contain surprisingly long paths in a small amount of physical space.  They provide timeless beauty and an intriguing way for individuals to interact with the setting.  Some estimates claim that as many as 10,000 labyrinths may have been constructed all over the world in the last 25 years.  Today the terms “labyrinth” and “maze” often are confused.  A maze is complex, has many branches and dead-ends, and offers walkers various points of decision.  A labyrinth, on the other hand, is unambiguous with one route that always leads to the center.  As such, it is the perfect place to leave stress behind and renew one’s spirit in the tranquility of nature.  The Buckhorn Inn guests have often described it as a quiet haven and a respite from stress.  For more information on Rachael’s Labyrinth, please visit our website .  http://www.buckhorninn.com/grounds/rachel’slabyrinth

Rachael’s Labyrinth at the Buckhorn Inn

 

How to do a simple walking meditation in a labyrinth

  1. 1.  Stand at the entrance.  Center yourself with a few deep breaths.
  2. 2.  Begin to walk, concentrating on the sensations of the placement of your feet and the rhythm of your breath.  If you are stressed, you may find that walking at a slow pace will help to quiet your mind.  As outside thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them, then bring your mind back to the present sensations of walking.  3.Upon reaching the center, pause for a moment of quiet reflection.  4.  Walk out, appreciating the sense of calm.  

     

    Your journey through the labyrinth begins with your first step.