Fall is my favorite time of year and in my opinion, offers some of the best natural scenery the Carolinas has to offer. This year in particular, the trees were spectacular – showing shades from bright gold to deep maroon to bright reds.
According to most fall foliage followers, the peak of the season passed around mid-to-late October. Even if you didn’t get a chance to travel to the mountains, there were plenty of beautiful colors to see locally. Carolina tourism gets a boost in the fall from foliage watchers; millions are pumped into the states’ economy as people devote time to view this natural phenomenon.
But there are years where the leaves aren’t as vibrant. I’ve heard plenty of wives’ tales about why that happens, but it’s really all about biology, chemistry and metrology – proving that Mother Nature loved science.
And it’s more about the lack of color than more color.
I remember riding up to Mount Airy as a child with my eyes wide open and my face glued to the backseat car window staring at the beautiful assortment of leaf colors. Today, I can still feel my heart skip a beat with excitement as I remember stepping out onto the street to smell those salty, mouthwatering ham biscuits while I listened to a medley of Bluegrass tunes playing in the distance. It’s a memory that is dear to my heart as I grew up going every year to visit my kinfolk.
Most of you may know of Mount Airy because of the iconic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show,” in which Griffith portrayed a widowed sheriff in a town called Mayberry. It’s long been said that Mayberry is based on Griffith’s hometown, Mount Airy. Remember Barney and Goober? Well, come and visit and you will see look-alike characters and you can even take a ride in a replica of Sheriff Andy’s squad car.