October in Asheville, North Carolina: Pumpkins, People and Chimney Swifts

Filed under: Autumn, Nature

We turned the fireplaces on last night at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in Western North Carolina. Isn’t that an interesting phrase: “turned the fireplaces on”? Considering the age of this house and that the original fireplaces were coal-burning, how far have we come from then? And while the pleasure of creating aesthetic heat at the flick of a switch cannot be denied, I sometimes still miss the rituals and smells of a wood-burning fire. Anyway, it is Autumn and October here in the Blue Ridge Mountains and it will be no surprise to anyone else who lives in the East but the cold weather got started a little early here this year. They had three inches of snow in the mountains this morning! The inns and restaurants are filling with tourists who come to see the leaves. And with the cool evenings comes thoughts of Halloween and pumpkins. One of my favorite sights is the array of pumpkins for sale at the Farmers’ Market. It seems to go on for miles with everyone competing for the largest, roundest, ugliest, orangest, pumpkin.

Well, James and I considered one of the 100 pounders but thoughts of the mess should some prankster smash it kept us on the straight and narrow path to the more conventional pumpkins. We still managed to fill up the car. I am thinking that we may have to have a carving contest for our guests as I am only good for one pumpkin a year!

Doesn’t the house look pretty all dressed up for the Fall?

On another note: some of you may have noticed the video link I posted on our facebook page: Chimney Swifts in Asheville, NC. James and I thought it was rather remarkable and wished we had time to go and view the Chimney Swifts at the Convention Center as they swooped into the chimneys there on their migration south. We should have known better.
The other night we were outside around 7PM and there they were, Chimney Swifts circling the chimney on the left and one by one swooping in to nest for the night. It is a mesmerizing sight: the flock circles again and again, diminishing in size. It takes a sharp eye to actually see the birds duck into the chimney. We looked them up online because we were concerned about the damage they might do. The party-line on Chimney Swifts: one is lucky to have them in one’s chimney as it means you will need to clean it every year!


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