Wednesday, May 10, 2017


What gorgeous weather we're having now, after a chilly hit last weekend.  Over the past month, maybe more, all the gravel roads got graded and some graveled, and the lushness speaks for itself.  Picked up several inches of rain that has aided the vernal explosion, as well.  No real information to share at this time, just....

...a bunch of pics I've taken from the end of Staymon in the past several weeks.  I wanted to get more wildflower pics to show, but here at least are a few if some wanted to identify a lot of those visible from the drive up and down the mountain.  Click on any pic to enlarge.

Easter morning sunrise
Dwarf Larkspur
Large Flowering Bellwort
Dutchman's Breeches
Squirrel Corn
Canadian Violet
Wake Robin Trillium
Star Chickweed

One of my favorite shots :-)
How those rainbows can vary!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


(early Friday AM updates in red)

I didn't bother to talk about Wednesday's chance for strong to severe storms earlier because with the incoming storm direction coupled with the height of the Smokies and the Plott Balsams, many storms are prone to get worn down in severity as they pass through here....or at least the storms get broken up and the severe parts are spotty in nature.

Be that as it may, it might be boisterous here tomorrow afternoon and evening, with strong straight line winds and hail the bigger concern. ACA has just been dropped back to "slight" chance for severe...but it will still be very windy, which could lead to downed trees and power outages. Tie that in with continuing strong winds for a day and a half, incoming cold, highs staying in the 40s Thursday and Friday, and a rain-snow mix that may well go to all snow above 3500' late Thursday closer to midnight through early's an UGH situation all around the board.

Good news is the ground will be warm, so not anticipating icy roads.  Slushy, maybe, and that's plenty slippery, but afternoon highs at least go nicely above freezing to help keep roads good.  I still could see 1-2" for ACA, especially above the blue roof house.  The "sleepy" NAM has gone bonkers pushing 4-5" here, but the more 'steady' GFS is keeping us in the dusting-2" which is what makes more sense. (Amounts listed still holding at this update.)

Early April has given us big snows going back in years, so this is a minor event, truly.  I just want to get information out for those that might not have 4WD vehicles that need to move around.  Winter coats will be appreciated with the windy cold conditions soon to be here.

On a brighter note, I took some pics this afternoon of the early, mostly 'white' wildflowers now out.  Even saw the buds to the deep purple Dwarf Larkspur waiting to bloom later.  Pics below (click to enlarge):


Spring Beauty

Cut-leaved Toothwort


   Sometime around midnight Thursday into Friday morning, cold rain showers should switch over to snow, certainly above 3500'.  Good news is that the ground temp will be above freezing, so I am not anticipating road issues, but if it feel hard enough for a bit it may lay down an inch or two on grassy/wooded areas. And if it were to lay on Apple Creek Road, it will not be frozen and just a slushy texture.  

   Friday will be a chilly April day with highs only in the low to mid 40s on most of the mountain, but at least it will be above freezing.  From Friday through Sunday mornings, lows will flirt around if not below the freezing mark before warming up some next week (Spring Break for Haywood County Schools).

Dawn color bouncing off of Lake Junaluska

Good ol' dawn color April 2
   The above shots were from Sunday morning at the end of Staymon (click to enlarge).  If there is to be color at dawn's light, there is usually a burst of strong color for 1-3 minutes, called the morning 'glow'.  It was nice to see and drink coffee to on the deck.  And to my surprise, Bogart has not returned to my house in days. I'm okay with that...I like sleep.  ;-)

   As April goes on, you will see quick changes to the greenery on the forest floor...Bloodroot, Cut-leaved Toothwort, and Spring Beauty are well-flowering, with Trillium leaves already out around my house.  Trout Lillies, too.  It's a glorious time.

   Apple Creek Acres is considered a safe haven, safe to say.  However, as it warms, there is an increased possibility of ne'er-do-wells snooping around...which is where our Community Watch comes in.  We're only as safe as our least 'watchful' resident...if you see suspicious activity or vehicles, try to get a good description and a tag number if possible, and call the Haywood County Sheriff. There is an officer dedicated to Apple Creek, and they do a great responsive job in keeping us safe.  Keep this number handy:



Thursday, March 30, 2017



We have had a nice influx of new residents here, so you may be reading this type of information for the first time. Welcome, y'all! It's no surprise to the rest of us, of course...bears are part and parcel of life here in ACA.  I've called this particular bear Bogart in honor of the Waynesville restaurant flooded with carved bears.  

Best I can tell this is the same one I had last year, and I'm guessing it's now 3 years old.  Its color was a bit washed in the face and body last year, but I have to say it's a very handsome bear now, good and black with the clear brown marks on the head area. It's just not very big as adult bears go.  I didn't have the camera ready when he came to and on the deck I don't know how many times from 1-3am, but I got my army of bird feeders in before there was an issue.  Bogart did not like the chorus of Maisy and Molly barking their fool heads off on the other side of a glass door just three feet from the  golden path to the bird feeder area. 

And so the word to all to bring feeders in at night and don't leave garbage and food scraps available to our visitor.  It's in its best interest to eat as nature intended and maybe it will move on...or not.  There's a big chunk of real estate east of my house all the way to Hall Top that I imagine was its den area this winter.  And who knows, it won't be unusual to have other bruins cruise through from time to time.

As an aside, I have made a tweak to this blog so it should be easily viewed on mobile devices.  Sorry for that delay.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Well, I've picked up around 3" of new snow today here at the end of Staymon, albeit with whippy winds at times and some melting earlier.  Apple Creek Road has been in perfect shape from even early this morning; however, the temp is now down to 27 degrees just before 6pm and it's only downhill from here.  

The NW flow snow showers will continue intermittently through the night and possibly well into Wednesday.  The Winter Weather Advisory for Haywood County is through 8am, but I'm seeing a massive upstream moisture flow that will not go anywhere quickly as the parent low pummeling the northeast is starting to recurve slightly NW.

It's possible to pick up another 1-3" overnight.  Driving up this afternoon, the snow was relatively absent below the blue roof house (relatively, I say).  Accumulations will continue to be higher in the upper elevations above 3500'.  What had been a non-icy Apple Creek Road can easily become more icy as time wears on, so a big concern for travel in the morning as well as school schedule concerns.

Bitter cold is incoming, so what falls sticks and stays.  We'll ever so slowly start warming up by Friday, but until then the bitter cold will reign.  Gusty winds increase our danger for power outages, as well, so prepare for that for the next 24-36 hours.

Wheeeee.  Way to go, Punxsutawney Phil....



As I write I've got about 1.5" of wet snow with the temperature hovering around the freezing mark. Even though I salted my driveway last evening, it's snow covered, but temps haven't been cold enough to freeze the slush (yet).  Slush is perfectly slippery, but I'm not anticipating any trouble getting down (cautiously) in AWD.  Highs will go above freezing (even if just a little), so we should have some road clearing later today.  Problems come in tonight if not enough melting takes place on Apple Creek Road.

Bands of intermittent snow showers will continue today...radars don't look impressive this morning, but a lot of the bands are under the radar beam and not readily visible.  Light accumulations are possible if the bands are heavy enough.

Bitter cold moves in tonight and locks in for a couple of days.  Tender vegetation will take a nasty hit. Any snowy or icy areas will stay put, hence the heads up if roads don't clear adequately today.


Monday, March 13, 2017


Looks like the colder air is coming in colder and a little sooner for this next event tonight through Wednesday morning.  Precipitation should start late today/tonight as a rain then wintry mix before going to snow before sunrise Tuesday. If the rain component doesn't develop, then just a bit more snow will total. Off and on snow showers may fall through Tuesday and Tuesday night, tapering off early Wednesday morning.

The Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 8pm tonight through 8am Wednesday.  Higher elevations could see up to 6", but the winds and wind chills will be truly bone-chilling. Power outages a real possibility. Current NWS totals range 1-3" with a chance for initial sleet and freezing rain (think ice under any snow).

Amounts I see range 1-3" for the event at this time on my models, though those models have been trending slightly heavier.  WLOS just posted their guess for us as 2-3".  Same idea.  It doesn't fall all at once, just some here and there as the bands move through.

The inescapable is the flower killing cold coming in, with Tuesday AM lows in the upper teens, and even a tad colder Wednesday and Thursday morning.  Bad news for our budding and flowering plants, fruit crops, etc.

So, a heads up for Tuesday travel...with such temps, what falls is sticking and going nowhere, and for our new residents in ACA, even a half inch of snow on Apple Creek Road can be a nightmare on the steeper problem sections.  Be careful.