Bird-watching tours Flat Rock
Highland Lake Inn offers breakfast and bird watching
Highland Lake Inn, in Flat Rock, is offering a weekly breakfast and guided bird-watching tour every Thursday through the end of August.
Rich Leppingwell, a member of the Hendersonville County Bird Club, will meet up with participants at 8 a.m. at Season's Restaurant (at the inn) for a breakfast buffet. Following breakfast, the group will set off for an informative, one-hour guided tour around the 26-acre property. Participants will learn about bird habitats, identification, migration patterns and ideal locations for birdhouses. Highland Lake Inn is a certified Wildlife Habitat and includes pastures, meadows, wooded and natural areas and a lake. For the tour, bring binoculars, a hat and good walking shoes. Cost for breakfast and the tour: $25 per person. The inn is at 86 Lily Pad Lane, Flat Rock. Reservations are required: 800-762-1376. www.HLInn.com.
Naturalist event Grandfather Mountain
‘Rhododendron Ramble' highlights nature's splendor
Purple petals are starting to appear along the lower slopes of Grandfather Mountain, and the park's naturalists are gearing up for the “Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble,” Monday through June 14.
The guided walks and other activities honor the native rhododendron Catawbiense and educate guests on how the plant fits into the ecological communities at Grandfather Mountain. The flower blooms at lower elevations early in the month and arrives at the high peaks, near the Mile High Swinging Bridge, by the Fourth of July. Grandfather Mountain is on U.S. 221, two miles north of Linville and one mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 305. All “Ramble” activities are included with park admission. Details: 800-468-7325; www.grandfather.com.
Music festival Galax, Va.
Galax Leaf & String Festival kicks off summer season
The annual Galax Leaf & String Festival, showcasing the region's cultural heritage through music, art and literature, will be June 12-13 (a Friday and Saturday) in downtown Galax.
Friday's musical entertainment will be provided by musicians from the Blue Ridge Music Makers Guild, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Friday night “Blue Ridge Back Roads” radio program, held at the historic Rex Theater, will feature Wayne Henderson and Jeff Little ($8 at the door). The Crooked Road and other regional musical acts will play Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Grayson Highlands Band will perform for the square dance, 7-9 p.m. on the Grayson Street Stage. This year's festival will feature an “Author's Stage” on West Grayson Street, with more than 45 local and regional authors. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts will showcase arts, crafts and demonstrations in blacksmithing, pottery, puppetry and street theater techniques. There will also be an antique show and jam sessions. Details: 276-238-8130; www.visitgalax.com. Rochelle Reynoldson