Editor’s Note: Local photographer Kathy Hardy shares her photography tips and favorite things about autumn in Transylvania County.
We enjoy an abundance of color here in the mountains, with people traveling near and far to catch a glimpse, but a lot of people don’t realize the Appalachian Mountains are some of the oldest mountains (roughly 480 million years) in the world. Because of that, there are lots of plants and wildflowers that grow here during the fall that are very rare and can only be found in a few other places around the world. One of Hardy’s favorites is the “Grass of Parnassus” (aka Bog Star) that blooms during the fall in the vertical bog areas along the parkway. But the true indicator of autumn in Transylvania County is the appearance of the Monarch butterfly. “This is when I really know fall has arrived,” Hardy said. These beautiful creatures start showing up mid-September through mid-October. This area is actually on the migratory path for several species of butterfly and birds, which only adds more color to autumn in Transylvania County. “My tips for a great photo would be always have your camera, always have a polarizer filter on your lens (for shooting outside any time of day) and always look for the magic,” she said. “It’s here, if you look hard enough.” A Baton Rouge, La., native, Hardy moved to the mountains with her husband almost 11 years ago. She divides her time between photography and running a successful online Etsy shop, where she sells her handmade things. You can see more of her photos and learn more about her by visiting www.myhandmadelife.com.