It’s late September on the Parkway and although we think of wildflowers as being associated with spring, this is a wonderful time of year for many meadows and roadsides to show off the last of the year’s blooms.
In the Rocky Knob area south of Roanoke, Goldenrod and the bright red Cardinal Flower are in bloom with some showy specimens around the edges of the pond behind Mabry Mill. Touch-Me-Not and Sneeze Weed are blooming between the flumes of the mill as well. Look for Lanceleaf Coreopsis and Queen Anne’s Lace, Black-eyed Susan, Ox-eye daisy, Daisy Fleabane, Yellow Wood Sorrel, the orange Turk’s-cap Lily, and the tall purple-headed Joe-pye weed in many Parkway meadows.
Doughton Park in North Carolina is reporting an assortment of Asters, Goldenrod, Crown Beard, Coreopsis, and Ladies’ Tresses Orchid. In the Blowing Rock area around Moses Cone or Price Park, Chicory and Goldenrod, Bladder Campion, White Snake Root, Foxglove, and tall Ironweed are in bloom.
Blueberries are ripening and there will be some showing of Mountain Ash in the Pisgah campground before, as well as scattered examples in the high elevation areas along the road all the way to Cherokee.
We’re beginning to see some hint of fall color on a few mountain sides. Sims pond on milepost 295, you may catch some early fall colors beginning to show. Typically that parkway change occurs during the middle couple of weeks of October. It will hang on later in the month perhaps even until November, depending on the weather.
We’re always concerned about safety so please do not be in a hurry to squeeze in that one last trip of the summer. The parkway is meant to be a slow, relaxing ride. Watch out for built-in distractions such as wildlife and fantastic views. Have a safe visit to America’s favorite drive.
Weekly updates at 828-298-0398 will keep you informed of what’s being reported throughout the Parkway.
Have a safe parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.