It’s early September and the time of year when lots of folks are thinking about that one last day or weekend before school begins.
Naturally many of them come to the Parkway where cooler temperatures and late summer blooms in the meadows are their reward.Here’s the latest of things to look for in virtually every district or every section of the Parkway.
Butter and Eggs, Black Eyed Susan, Woodland Sunflower, Ox-Eye Daisy, Coreopsis, and Goldenrod all light up the roadside and meadows with a variety of shades of yellow.
New York Ironweed is the deep purple tall bloom sometimes standing next to a paler Joe-Pye Weed in damp or boggy areas. Purple Headed Coneflower may add another shade of purple in a few places.
Queen Anne’s Lace and Jewelweed are common throughout the Humpback Rocks area and on that high flat plateau south of Roanoke through Rocky Knob and down to the North Carolina state line.
If you notice a very bright red flower growing in boggy wet areas you’ve almost certainly spotted the Cardinal Flower, a favorite of many folks this time of year in the mountains. Wild Mint and Goldenrod are the newest blooms around Mabry Mill this week.
Near the Blue Ridge Music Center tall Coneflower, Cardinal Flower, Joe-Pye Weed, Goldenrod, Ironweed, Black Eyed Susan and Coreopsis are common in the fields and the agricultural leases of the Parkway.
In North Carolina a short stroll under the Linn Cove Viaduct may be the loveliest walk this week in the Grandfather Mountain corridor. You’re likely to see Pink Monkshood, Lavender Turtlehead, Snakeroot, Jewelweed and Angelica.
In the Asheville area some Goldenrod, Black Eyed Susan and a few Bee Balm are around. Look closely to find White Snakeroot and Angelica around the Parkway visitor center along with Fleabane, Jewelweed and Virgin’s Bower in certain areas.
If you haven’t heard already this is the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary year. So you may find communities celebrations going on in many places. Visiting these great adjacent towns can be part of your best Parkway experience. Our big celebration weekend takes place September 10-12 at the Blue Ridge Music Center and Cumberland Knob. Both near the North Carolina/ Virginia state line. Don’t be in a hurry and as we always say to visitors, “enjoy the view, but watch the road!”
Regular updates for color reports will be posted to our web site home page. You can also use the National Park Service information line at 828-298-0398 to keep informed of what’s being reported on the Parkway.