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Chilly Temps Finally Behind Us, The Week Ahead is Nice With Perfect Weather for Memorial Day Weekend

Beautiful rhododendrons are in full bloom across much of the High Country. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Beautiful rhododendrons are in full bloom across much of the High Country. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

May 19, 2014. Firing up the wood stove one last time, last weekend felt like the clock turned back several weeks.

While the general rule of thumb is to plant once Mother’s Day has passed, RaysWeather.com noted in its forecast discussion that frost this late in May is “not all that unusual.”

“We mentioned spotty valley frost for this morning in the forecast last Friday. Some 30 degree reports from deeper valleys show that this morning,” according to RaysWeather.com forecast discussion. “This morning’s valley frost is the last we’ll see for frost until fall. Let the planting commence.”

Amen to that.

And the weather next week is perfect for planting outdoors, celebrating Memorial Weekend or just sitting in that rocking chair on the front porch.

Discounting some isolated showers in the middle of this week, sunshine, temperatures in the ‘70s and dry conditions seem to be the theme through the middle of next week.

As an aside to match the above photo: Beautiful rhododendrons were in bloom this past weekend. For an unassuming plant, the rhodos do come alive in late spring.

Below are two rhododendron festivals coming up in the weeks ahead:

The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble

June 1 to 16, 2014

The Catawba Rhododendron is abundant all across Grandfather Mountain, from MacRae Meadows at 4,300 feet in elevation to MacRae Peak at 5,845 feet in elevation. Because the shrub abounds across this broad range of elevations, its purple flowers can be enjoyed at each successive elevation. The first blooms appear at the lower overlooks in late May and the display will arrive at the Swinging Bridge by the end of June.

Join us at 1 pm each day to participate in special programs and activities that celebrate this herald of summer. All programs and guided walks are included in the price of admission. For details, phone 800-468-7325 or click to Grandfather.com.

*Above is from Grandfather Mountain’s website.

Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival

Saturday and Sunday, June 21 to 22, 2014

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Held at the foot of Roan Mountain in the Roan Mountain State Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 to 22, is the Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival. The festival, which began in 1947 to “memorialize and perpetuate the most gorgeous display of natural beauty on the North American continent,” features music, handmade crafts and old-time demonstrations.

Click here for more information.