Outdoors roundupWritten by Admin
Garden whiz and author to give talk
Award-winning author, illustrator and gardener Peter Loewer will share his gardening expertise in a talk titled “The Wild Gardener” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Canton Library.
The talk will touch on both rare and common plants, including native wildflowers. The lecture is based on Loewer’s book, The Wild Gardener, which was selected as one of the 75 Great American Garden Books by the American Horticultural Society. In all, Loewer has written more than 30 books on gardening and natural history, many of which are available through the Haywood County Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.
Photography program open to all skill levels
A field photography program is set to begin May 21 and run through June 18. It will be led by local photographer Bob Grytten and include Tuesday evening workshops in the Waynesville Old Armory Recreation Center and Wednesday morning outings to photo-rich destinations in the area. Attendees will carpool to places along the Blue Ridge Parkway and within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park such as Cataloochee Valley, among other destinations.
This program is open to people of all photo skill levels and interests, such as hobby, artistic and journalistic photography. Each Tuesday night session costs $15 and each photo outing $45. The first class will be held Tuesday, May 21. A 20 percent discount can be arranged to those planning on attending all the sessions. Also, for those not located in the Waynesville area, Grytten is gathering input for possible sites for future classes. Space is limited.
Cullowhee hosts fly fishing festival
Jackson County will host of the upcoming Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 17-18 in the Ramsey Center arena at Western Carolina University.
The festival is designed to attract both experienced and beginning anglers with an extensive lineup of guest speakers, fly-tying experts and industry exhibitors, as well as educational programs for novices who wish to learn more about the sport.
There will also be a barbecue dinner Friday, May 17, in conjunction with Trout Unlimited, to support brook trout restoration in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The evening includes a screening of this year’s Fly Fishing Film Tour, a contest for short films about fly fishing.
The festival was held in Helen, Ga., last year and is sponsored by the Southeastern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers. Daily admission price is $5 for individuals and $10 for families. Admission price includes the presentations and programs, along with the opportunity to sign up for paid instruction in casting and fly-tying.
Beginner class for aspiring birders
An introductory workshop to bird watching will be held from 8 a.m. until noon, Saturday May 18, at the Balsam Community Center. The program “Birdwatching for Beginners” will acquaint participants with the basics of bird watching, including how to identify common birds, use binoculars and field guides, and attract birds to into your front yard for easier viewing. The workshop is open to anyone over the age of 10 and family participation is encouraged. The cost is $20 and registration is required.
Fly fishin’ fever hits Highlands
The Three River Fly Fishing Tournament is coming May 16 and 17 to the Highlands area. The tournament is open to anglers of all skill levels, and entails fishing on several different streams in the area as well as other activities over the course of the weekend. This is the third year the tournament has been held.
The cost to enter a two-person team is $500, which goes to scholarships for Highlands high school graduates. The entry fee also includes various fishing clinics, an opening night reception and a closing night winners’ dinner. Limited to 50 teams.
www.highlandsthreeriver.com or 866.526.5841.
Bass tournament hosted by the Pisgah Valley Bassmasters
A bass tournament will be held by the Pisgah Valley Bassmasters Association on May 25 on Lake Chatuge near Hayesville to raise money for scholarships for high school students. The competition will begin at 6:30 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. from the Ledford’s Chapel boat ramp. The event is limited to two fishermen per boat and five-fish with artificial bait only. The tournament costs $100 per boat and the top prize will be around $500, with total cash payouts of $2,500. There will also be hot dogs and soft drinks after the tournament. The tournament is in honor of Terry Stamey, a Canton native who helped run a foster home in Haywood County and died on New Year’s.
Free fishing days for the children
The U.S. Forest Service and the N.C. Wildlife Commission are hosting Kids Fishing Days events across the mountains in early June. The free events are geared for children and their families and focus on education and activities revolving around fishing. Equipment will be provided.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. with the event running from 9 a.m. to noon.
• Haywood County: June 8 at Max Patch pond.
• Highlands: June 1 at Cliffside Lake.
• Graham County: June 1 Rattler Ford on Cheoah Lake.
• Asheville: June 1 at Lake Powhatan.
Participants from across the state will be entered into a drawing to win prizes such as two lifetime fishing licenses and other fishing-related prizes such as tackle boxes and fishing poles.
Chestnut Tree Tours at Cataloochee Ranch
The American Chestnut Foundation is working to restore the American chestnut tree to its native environment and past vigor. Cataloochee Ranch in Haywood County is one of the pilot sites for American chesnut reintroductions. The public is welcome to take an informative self-guided tour any day or guided tours are available on Wednesdays at Cataloochee Guest Ranch starting at 11 a.m. Cost is $15 and includes lunch after the tour. Reservations are suggested.
Volunteers needed at Clingmans Dome
A training session will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday, May 17, for volunteers to work at the information center at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The center sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet on a popular, high-trafficked summit in the Smokies and home to a look-out tower.
Volunteers are needed through November educating visitors about the park and providing trip planning and directions. The center also sells guides and maps, outdoor apparel and other products.
Volunteers will work alongside park employees and each volunteer is asked to work at least one four-hour shift per week. About 12 new volunteers are needed to fill all days of the week, but especially Friday through Sunday. The hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Interested persons will be provided orientation and training before beginning. Volunteers must sign up for the training in advance.
The Mountain Lakes Race comes back to Highlands
After a hiatus of several years, The Mountain Lakes 5K race and walk is returning to Highlands Saturday, June 1.
The scenic course passes through gently rolling hills and two lakes. A short portion of the course is on a gravel road. The race will finish beside First Citizens Bank on Laurel Street. Race-day registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the lobby at the Highlands Recreation Park, with the race starting at 8:30 a.m.
The race is sponsored by the Mountaintop Rotary Club. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Wheelchairs for Bolivia Project, in which wheelchairs are donated to people with disabilities in the third-world Latin-American country. The race is open to both runners and walkers of all ages. The entry fee is $15.