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“Spring” Pisgah Forest, N.C., March 13, 2011. Reader photo by Gregory Peters

Reader photo by Gregory Peters
“Spring,” Pisgah Forest, N.C.
Taken March 13, 2011

Editor’s note

Spring is in the air but if you look at data from The Southeast Regional Climate Center, some Western North Carolina communities’ latest spring freezes can occur into the middle of June. In Celo in Yancey County, it could happen as late as July 10, based on historical data.

Overall, the center has some fascinating information based on historical data. Some information goes back as far as 1872 (in Murphy), and all go until 2010. Most of North Carolina’s 100 counties are included, some with multiple estimations in a county.

Here’s a look, based on this data, of the latest probability of a spring freeze for locales across the mountains:

  • Banner Elk (Avery County): June 17
  • Enka (Buncombe County): May 13
  • Murphy (Cherokee County): May 31
  • (Clay County): no data available
  • Tapoco (Graham County): May 9
  • Waynesville (Haywood County): June 2
  • Hendersonville (Henderson County): May 18
  • Tuckasegee (Jackson County): May 22
  • Highlands (Macon County): June 14
  • Marshall (Madison County): June 2
  • Marion (McDowell County): May 22
  • Gillespie Gap (Mitchell County): June 2
  • Tryon (Polk County): May 11
  • Forest City (Rutherford County): May 9
  • Oconaluftee (Swain County): May 31
  • Buck Forest (Transylvania County): May 29
  • Celo (Yancey County): July 10

Photographer’s notebook

Ah, spring is in the air. The snow was nice, but I am ready for the warm weather as are many that I know. The flowers and trees are budding, the bugs are flying and I have spring fever. I am ready to get outside and take some pictures.

Photography is a marvelous way to relax and shed the stress of the daily work schedule, which, of course needs to be done as well. It is always great to get out into nature on a nice day and/or wander through a flowerbed starting to bloom for the first time.

We have many flowers, flowering shrubs and trees around our property, and this photo is of the first push of life from our lilacs. We have white, purple and yellow lilacs. The leaves unfolding in the picture are from our yellow one. This lilac was a gift from our son and his wife. It is only four years old and about 4 feet high and has never had flowers yet; we hope this is the year.

Lilacs are to me about the best smelling flower I know. It brings back good memories of back home as a boy. We had seven huge clumps of lilacs growing around the house where I grew up.

My wife and I also have strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb growing in our little North Carolina patch of earth. She will be planting the garden soon, too. That is her stress relief hobby. We live at 2,500 feet above sea level, and our growing season is about two weeks behind our neighbors down on Route 280. My gauge is the redbud; it is always out down there before up here.

This capture was taken with my Nikon D70s using my Nikon 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens, 125th of a second, at a distance of about 5ft.

Gregory Peters, Pisgah Forest, N.C.
See more photos by Gregory Peters.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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