Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall in the High Country ... a Beech Mountain favorite

It is Fall in the high country area of the North Carolina mountains that we call home.  My favorite time of year!  The air gets cooler, vistas become clearer and the pace of life settles down enough to be able to enjoy it all.  Our native creatures on Beech Mountain also seem to prefer this time of year, with less traffic and people milling around the mountain and taking more time to forage for food while it is still abundant and the snows have not yet made it harder to find it.  The buck deer, in particular, are showing up more often as the rutting season approaches.  This is the time of year we see the largest of the bucks, chasing the does through our yard and all over the rest of the mountain, to sustain their herd.  

The grouse also can be seen and heard, sifting through the now dried leaves and calling out to others with their distinctive cry that only our ravens have been able to duplicate.

Quite opposite of what you would expect, as we approach Thanksgiving, the turkey seem to be showing up in larger numbers than any other time of the year.  We have a white one in our neighborhood that shows up with a group of about 21 and will even form their own group to march down our street as if they are rehearsing for an upcoming holiday parade.

I would like to thank my friend, Kim Barley, for providing me with these 
exceptional pictures of our local black bears.  

The bears have been very prevalent all year this year and many have sighted them all over the mountain.  For those who have not, I'm sure most have seen evidence of their visits in the form of overturned trash bins and trashed strewn across streets, yards and up/down into the woods.  Another reminder to those who live, visit or frequent our area to PLEASE be careful in how you dispose of trash, food and drinks on Beech Mountain.  Bears WILL get into ANYTHING if there is food and/or drink of any kind within the space.  Most of the time it is a trash bin that someone has put trash in for pickup the next morning (or days away from the next trash pickup day).  PLEASE NOTE:  if you are putting out trash for collection, please do not do so until the morning of trash pickup.  That may require you to set your alarm to get it out but it will lessen the likelihood that a bear will get into the bin,... AND THEY WILL GET INTO IT..., before our waste management people do.  Anyone familiar with our bears and their appetites will tell you if a bear on Beech Mountain wants to get to the food contained within anything, it WILL get in.  That includes vehicles.  There have been at least two pickup trucks that were scratched up by bears that wanted the trash and, in one case, recycled oil that was in the process of being transported to the proper location.  There were also a few vehicles that were left partially open with food or drinks in them and a bear did great damage to those vehicles to get at the source.  Although I have not heard of any vehicles that had food or drink left in that were locked up tight getting broken into, it is a good practice to remove anything from a vehicle that may attract bears.  This is especially true of truck beds, open Jeeps and vehicles with soft cover roofs.

Come visit Beech Mountain to enjoy all of the many wonders we have to offer, including watching the deer, grouse, bear, bunnies, fox, groundhog, turkey, the many varieties of birds and all animals.  Bike, hike, take in the huge views only available at 3200' - 5506' and enjoy our many restaurants and shopping.  There is a lot to see so plan on staying at least overnight to get the greatest experience.  We look forward to seeing you and meeting our new friends.  Don't forget to wave to us...we are very friendly folk and welcome you with open arms.

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