Nicholas School Internship Blogs

That Asheville Magic
by -- July 15th, 2011

To commemorate the Harry Potter mania sweeping the globe, I’ve posted pictures of some of the most magical places I’ve found around Asheville, NC.

In Asheville, magical creatures abound. They are elusive, however, and can often only be seen in artistic renderings along Lexington Avenue... or, if you're (un)lucky, rummaging around your trashcans as you're trying to make it to your car for work.

In Asheville, magical creatures abound. They are elusive, however, and can often only be seen in artistic renderings along Lexington Avenue... or, if you're (un)lucky, rummaging around your trashcans as you're trying to make it to your car for work.

Not unlike something you'd see in Harry Potter's London, Asheville's very own red double-decker bus provides Asheville residents with their daily dose of those magical energy-boosters, caffeine and sugar.

Not unlike something you'd see in Harry Potter's London, Asheville's very own red double-decker bus provides Asheville residents with their daily dose of those magical energy-boosters, caffeine and sugar.

Asheville's version of Honeydukes: the Mast General Store. On top of selling 500 varieties of old-fashioned candy, it offers outdoor gear, local music and books, old-time home goods, and old-fashioned toys. A magical place indeed!

Asheville's version of Honeydukes: the Mast General Store. On top of selling 500 varieties of old-fashioned candy, it offers outdoor gear, local music and books, old-time home goods, and old-fashioned toys. A magical place indeed!

Diagon Alley? No, just the outdoor patio at Asheville's local French restaurant, Bouchon.

Diagon Alley? No, just the outdoor patio at Asheville's local French restaurant, Bouchon.

Magical creatures in the River Arts District.

Magical creatures in the River Arts District.

Asheville's annual Friday night musical enchantment, the Drum Circle in Pritchard Park, enthralls hundreds of tourists each month.

Asheville's annual Friday night musical enchantment, the Drum Circle in Pritchard Park, enthralls hundreds of tourists each month.

Lower Catawba Falls, near Old Fort, offers otherworldly scenery of the Jurassic Park variety. Dinosaurs lurking behind boulders? Not a stretch to imagine here.

Lower Catawba Falls, near Old Fort, offers otherworldly scenery of the Jurassic Park variety. Dinosaurs lurking behind boulders? Not a stretch to imagine here.

A magical creature spotted on the way to Upper Catawba Falls, this Red-Sided Flat Millipede (Sigmoria aberrans) is known to secrete cyanide powerful enough to kill smaller invertebrates as a defense mechanism. Not a bad trick to have up one of its 1000

A magical creature spotted on the way to Upper Catawba Falls, this Red-Sided Flat Millipede (Sigmoria aberrans) is known to secrete cyanide powerful enough to kill smaller invertebrates as a defense mechanism. Not a bad trick to have up one of its 1000 "sleeves!"

Upper Catawba Falls, a half mile and vertical rock face climb upstream from Lower Catawba Falls. Having a magical broom on hand would have been a convenient tool for that journey.

Upper Catawba Falls, a half mile and vertical rock face climb upstream from Lower Catawba Falls. Having a magical broom on hand would have been a convenient tool for that journey.

The last few images are from by far one of the most magical places I've been in Western North Carolina: Max Patch. This is the road there from Asheville.

The last few images are from by far one of the most magical places I've been in Western North Carolina: Max Patch. This is the road there from Asheville.

Even along a largely abandoned 1.5 hour drive to the North Carolina-Tennessee border, tiny reminders of magic and hope exist.

Even along a largely abandoned 1.5 hour drive to the North Carolina-Tennessee border, tiny reminders of magic and hope exist.

Max Patch: 300+ acres of grassy bald covered with wildflowers. Unlike the (perhaps) natural grassy balds at the Roan Highlands, Max Patch was cleared in the 1800s for a cattle and sheep pasture.

Max Patch: 300+ acres of grassy bald covered with wildflowers. Unlike the (perhaps) natural grassy balds at the Roan Highlands, Max Patch was cleared in the 1800s for a cattle and sheep pasture.

In the early 1900s, Max Patch was used as a landing strip for tour pilots. I bet they had to work some magic to land on this thing.

In the early 1900s, Max Patch was used as a landing strip for tour pilots. I bet they had to work some magic to land on this thing.

Today, the lower fields around Max Patch are still farmed.

Today, the lower fields around Max Patch are still farmed.

The Forest Service now maintains the peak. Otherwise succession would have long since set in - the entire field would already be covered with shrubs and trees.

The Forest Service now maintains the peak. Otherwise succession would have long since set in - the entire field would already be covered with shrubs and trees.

The Appalachian Trail crosses Max Patch summit, and many trails wind around the bald, including a 5-mile loop trail that offers excellent views of the mountain and surrounding area.

The Appalachian Trail crosses Max Patch summit, and many trails wind around the bald, including a 5-mile loop trail that offers excellent views of the mountain and surrounding area.

Wildflowers.

Wildflowers.

If you're looking for spellbinding scenery, you can't ask for much more than this.

If you're looking for spellbinding scenery, you can't ask for much more than this.

And the photographic magic hour sets in: the golden glow during the last few hours before sunset that helps to ensure no photo you take will ever turn out poorly.

And the photographic magic hour sets in: the golden glow during the last few hours before sunset that helps to ensure no photo you take will ever turn out poorly.

An absolutely enchanting sunset!

An absolutely enchanting sunset!

The sun setting over the Great Smoky Mountains from Max Patch.

The sun setting over the Great Smoky Mountains from Max Patch.

The conclusion of another truly magical evening in Asheville!

The conclusion of another truly magical evening in Asheville!

4 Comments

  1. Scottee Cantrell
    Jul 15, 2011

    On a plane headed to Orlando & Harry Potter World. Loved your Asheville magic! Just left Duke Engage & MEMs in Louisiana. They went to the midnight HP showing in Houma. Nurture your inner wizard!

  2. Tawnee
    Jul 15, 2011

    Scottee, so glad you enjoyed the Asheville magic! (You, of course, probably know many more magical places in Asheville then the ones I’ve posted.) I am certainly nurturing my inner witch here! Wow, first the bayou and now Harry Potter world… you and John are certainly getting your share of mystical and enchanted places on this trip. I can’t wait to hear how HP world is. Have fun!! 🙂

  3. Sue Smith
    Aug 9, 2011

    Tawnee, you and your camera have captivated us quite a bit this summer. I’ve really enjoyed your beautiful images and good eye through it all.

    • Tawnee
      Aug 10, 2011

      Thank you for this comment, Sue! I had such a wonderful time taking pictures, so I’m so happy to know you enjoyed them. Hopefully I’ll be able to capture some interesting photos throughout the upcoming year as well!

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